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While Brother Yun was in the prison labor camp in China, he began doing massages as an excuse to pray for the sick. He was soon known as a gifted masseur! One day a lady who was the director of the medical clinic called him to the office. The Heavenly Man, p. 207, reads:
"The doctor told me, 'I've heard from the other prisoners and guards that you are a gifted masseur. I want to know where you were trained.' I relaxed when I realized they weren't scolding me for playing Christian music. I replied, 'I've never been trained as a masseur. I'm just a Christian who wants to help relieve people with pain in their bodies.' The doctor poured out her heart, 'My father has suffered a stroke because of a blood disease. Now half his body is paralyzed. We've taken him to numerous doctors in many cities. One specialist advised us to use long term massage therapy to ease his pain. Your reputation as a masseur reached my ears. I've applied to your superior for permission so you can leave the prison and come to my house to massage my father. Would you please come and try?" . . . .
Brother Yun agreed to go to her home.
"It was a lovely home with soft chairs and bowls full of fresh fruit. The doctor asked me to sit down and eat but I said, 'Thank you, but I'm fasting and praying for your father. I hope you don't mind. I'm praying he will receive a great blessing from the Lord.' The doctor's mother was moved to tears when she heard my words.
"The doctor had to return to the hospital. I leaned forward and assured her, 'Go in peace. I won't try to escape. I need time to get to know your father a little and then I will massage him'."
Brother Yun then led the doctor's parents to the Lord before returning to the prison.
"The next morning before dawn the old man suddenly felt someone strike him on his neck and back. For the first time in months he could easily move his head. He exclaimed, 'It feels as if a rope around me has snapped!' He stood to his feet and freely moved his neck and back. The man's wife jumped around the room in gladness. The whole family came together and thanked God for his goodness to them.
"That morning the doctor came to the prison and told me what had happened. She invited me to join them for breakfast, because her father wanted to testify about what God had done for him.
"The old man's health recovered and soon he was able to walk up and down the stairs. This was remarkable for a man who'd been paralyzed by a stroke! He witnessed to all his old friends and sought forgiveness from people he'd wronged in the past.
"The name of Jesus was being spread inside and outside the prison camp. We took every opportunity to lead people to the feet of Jesus. Brother Chuan and I became the unofficial pastors of the prison.
"Because of the bold witness of the old man who'd been healed from a stroke, the news spread as far as the secretary of the Prison Labour Camp Political Committee. When the doctor reported to him what had happened, he said, 'If this is true, then we should send Yun to the Luoyang Massage School to give him advanced training. Then when he returns, he can help many people." (from The Heavenly Man, pp. 207-209)
Brother Yun then received a free education in massage therapy three days a week. When finished, he was promoted to the medical clinic to work alongside the doctor. This gave him hundreds of opportunities to witness for Christ, even to Communist Party members. He was even invited to many of their homes to share more in private.
Brother Yun was released early after only 19 months for good behavior on recommendation from the prison authorities. When he returned home, he found that the authorities had fined his wife heavily for violating the State's one-child policy. (They had two children, a boy and a girl.) Then because Yun's wife had no money to pay the fine, the police broke down the main door and took Yun's mother to prison. They also forcibly sterilized Yun's wife so that she would have no more children.
Upon his release, Brother Yun was asked to come and teach in many places. One leader had already scheduled many meetings for him. But this time Yun turned down the offers in order to wait upon the Lord for further instructions from Heaven. After a week of prayer and fasting, the Holy Spirit gave him the word, "Oil Station." Then people came to him asking him to conduct training schools for people.
"Sister Sheng added, 'While you and Brother Chuan were in prison these past two years, our church has been like orphans without guidance. Only a few people have been attending our meetings. The preachers don't know what to teach. Some of our co-workers have been forced to leave the ministry and get jobs to pay the fines the police have imposed upon them.'
"We all wept. I realized that it was truly God's call for us to start an 'Oil Station'. Without good training, the light of God in our midst would gradually be extinguished." (The Heavenly man, pp. 219, 220)
With a shortage of Bibles in China, compounded by illiteracy, there was a great lack of Biblical teaching. This, of course, speaks to me as a Bible Teacher. They have not yet run into the problem of too many Bibles and not enough understanding of the Word, such as we have in the West.
Brother Yun's Bible School was a cave on top of a mountain. Worship and Prayer time began at 5:00 a.m. and classes began at 8:00. God showed them that the priority was to train people to send workers into the poorest and most needy areas of China, where people had never heard the name of Jesus. The new trainees dedicated themselves to the spread of the Gospel. Within a few weeks, on January 16, 1994 the elders laid hands on the young workers and sent them out into all parts of China as missionaries.
Meanwhile, a new goal was set in one of the house church movements in South China. Each believer was required to lead at least three people to Christ during "Gospel Month." Church leaders were required to lead at least five people to Christ during the month. At the end of the month, 13,000 new believers had been baptized. Within two years, 123,000 new believers were baptized. After that, they ceased keeping records, because it was beyond measure (Gen. 41:49).
The Church in China has experienced exponential growth since then to the present day. During this time, of course, Bibles from the West began to arrive, beginning in the late 1980's.
My friend, Ron Oja, was one of those who distributed Bibles and Christian tracts in China in 1989. He was nearly arrested once by the police, but was miraculously delivered. While the police were arguing about the literature, he backed up and walked away, and no one saw him leave.
The day is soon coming when the Gospel will explode out of China into the Muslim nations that lie on the Chinese border, for the Chinese Christians have already learned how to trust God and live by faith in many dangerous situations and in deprivation. They have been prepared by hardship to endure persecution. This work, too, is close to my heart, because the Lord revealed to me beginning in 1985 that I would someday preach the Gospel to those same nations in that part of the world.
May God speed the day.