When God first called me into ministry 14 years ago, the destination of my first few missions was Northeast and Southeast China. Reminiscing on one such mission to Northeast China, I was invited to a conference attended by some 150 pastors and ministry workers from several provinces. The conference was held in a obscure village as approval for such mass gathering was not likely to be approved by the authorities then. I remembered that there was a motorcycle on standby for our rapid evacuation at the rear of the village home in which we congregated.
I prophesized about the coming economic crisis which would happen after the 2008 Olympics then. (My mission partner, a Malaysian missionary based in Shenzhen, translated for me. He told me later that though he translated for me, he did not pay attention to what I said and the paper loss of his stock portfolio came to about USD 25,000 when the 2008 financial crisis began in Oct 2008.)
On the last day of the conference, a church in Tumen, a town on the border with North Korea populated mostly by the Korean tribe, invited us over to share the word of God with them. The train journey from Shenyang to Tomen would take 18 hours.
In the afternoon of the last day of the conference, when we were about to leave for the train station, the brothers who cooked for the conference – affectionately called “Martha” – wanted us to stay a while longer to pray for them. My mission partners were divided whether to stay or head for the train station. Eventually we stayed behind and missed the train. We prayed and decided on renting a van to chase after the train to the next city Changchun. Along the way, we were lost. Again we prayed and we managed to get back on track. We arrived one hour late at the train station and by the grace of God, the train departure was also delayed. Hallelujah !
We finally arrived to minister to the church in Tumen. We also took the opportunity to share the gospel in the lobby of the hotel in which we stayed.
We were so close to North Korea. Our hotel was very near the ruined bridge straddling across the Tumen River which separate the 2 countries. The bridge was bombed by the Japanese during the second World War.