In late November 2014, a Dunamis team arrived home after two weeks of ministry in South Korea.I take this opportunity to share with you how the Holy Spirit moved among us in power there.Part of the team at Exousia: The Rev. David Westra, Mary Ellen Conners,
The Rev. Cindy Strickler, Josephine Choi and The Rev. Brad Long
Exousia and Chinese Mobile Dunamis
First, we partnered with Korean teachers and ministers for an Exousia at Jesus Abbey, South Korea
The following week, these same Korean partners led us to another location in South Korea to provide equipping for the Chinese Mobile Dunamis. From all over mainland China believers came to be instructed in how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to carry on Jesus’ ministry.
You have heard and read about PRMI’s China Initiative. This was our initial Mobile Dunamis event for North East Asia.
The Gruelling Challenges of Travel
How these brothers and sisters journeyed to meet with us is truly inspiring. Some traveled up to eight days from across the vast expanse of China, on train and bus, on bike, and sometimes on foot, spending nights in bus and train stations.
Some spent up to a half year’s salary on travel costs alone. We heard that there were many other leaders desperate to receive this equipping but were blocked from coming, some for financial reasons.
We trust the Lord will reveal to us how we can assist those with financial need for future events.
Distributing Vital Resources
The teaching material was Dunamis Project 1 and 2–Gateways and portions of In the Spirit’s Power. Each participant received two manuals at the beginning of the event.
At the conclusion, they all received flash drives containing that written material in digital format, power point slides, the teaching in video as well as audio form, and an entire Bible program.
Sowing Seeds of Ministry
Here the scattered seed of Jesus’ parable landed on good soil and the mobility afforded by flash drive digital technology bodes a great harvest as our Christian brothers and sisters return to share this equipping with their churches and fellowships as well as with other Christian communities nearby where they can hold their own Dunamis events.
God is fulfilling the vision of starting local Dunamis Schools wherever two or more gather in the name of the Lord Jesus to build His Church.
That is generally the report from Korea.
Now the backstory: how the Holy Spirit has worked throughout history to prepare Christians–Korean and Chinese as well as American–to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to extend the Kingdom of God.
And how privileged PRMI is to contribute to it!
Revival, Endurance, and Evangelism
More than a hundred years ago the Holy Spirit fell in power upon Korean Presbyterians and Methodists in Pyongyang City, which is now the capital of North Korea.
This ignited the great 1907 Pyongyang revival that was marked by the power of prayer and the vision of taking the Gospel to the whole world, and especially to their “elder brother China.”
That great move of the Holy Spirit would prepare them for the fires of refinement by the brutal Japanese occupation, the communist takeover, and subsequently, the Korean War.
While their suffering was no doubt the work of the Devil, our Father would use it to refine Korean believers to become a vanguard of the world-wide missionary movement.
China, the Jesus Family, and a Persecuted Church
At about the same time, another movement of the Holy Spirit was taking place in China.
This gave birth to expressions such as the Jesus Family that would likewise prepare the Chinese Church to endure and survive, first the terrors of Japanese occupation and then the extreme hardships foisted upon them by the Communist takeover and the implementation of its ruthless principles which cost millions of lives.
Since then, much of the Chinese Church bears witness to the faith without help from missionaries of the world Church.
Taking the Gospel to Jerusalem
In the 1920s there was born an amazing vision among Chinese church leaders that future generations of the Church in China would play a special role in fulfilling the Great Commission—the Holy Spirit would call and empower the Chinese to take the Gospel along the Silk Road to Jerusalem.
Along that road they would preach the Good News to the Muslim world!
Why the Chinese?
You and I may ask why the Chinese? Why would our God select Chinese believers to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to overcome the demonic stronghold of Islam with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
The Lord’s logic may be revealed, at least in part, by Samuel Huntington’s prescient book The Clash of Civilizations, in which he notes that the two civilizations with the least conflict between them are the Muslim and the Chinese.
In other words, there are fewer hurdles for Chinese Christians–who come out of a Confucian worldview–to reach out to Muslims than exist for Western, Orthodox, and Hispanic Christians.
PRMI Privileged to Participate
The Holy Spirit is the master director of the great world-wide advancement of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and He knows what He is doing!
The amazing thing is that our Father is including PRMI in these plans and has formed a partnership for advancing the Gospel.
The Story of PRMI: Korean Beginnings
Many of you know my story already. I repeat portions of it here.
I went to Korea in 1966 where I first met Archer and Jane Torrey and their son, Ben Torrey. Archer’s grandfather was R.A. Torrey, the great teacher on the Holy Spirit who worked with D.L. Moody and was part of major waves of the Holy Spirit in the Western world during the 1890s into the 1920s.
His son, R.A. Torrey, Jr., was a missionary to China. RA Torrey III, Archer Torrey, was born in China and later went to Korea as a missionary.
He established Jesus Abbey in 1965. Archer is my beloved mentor, the one from whom I received the teaching about the Holy Spirit which I later developed into the Dunamis Project. It was at Jesus Abbey in 1975 that Archer and Jane Torrey laid hands on me to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
A Continuing Legacy
Ben Torrey, Archer’s son, with whom I became best friends while going to High School in Korea, is now back living at Jesus Abbey. He is the founder and director of the Fourth River Project which is dedicated to preparing the Korean church for the day North Korea opens the door to free thought, that is, to the Gospel.
Ben is also called by the PRMI Board of Directors as PRMI’s representative in Korea. He and a team of Korean leaders have built what is called the Korea Dunamis Network which becomes the Dunamis Fellowship Korea next year.
I share at this point two more pieces of the history.
First, in 1972 the Rev. Brick Bradford, Founder and Director of Presbyterian Charismatic Communion which later became PRMI, took a trip to Korea and Japan. The invitation for him to speak at the conference on the Holy Spirit in Yoido Church in Korea came at the recommendation of Archer Torrey.
Our Father was gracious to use him to ignite moves of the Holy Spirit in both of those countries.
A Vision for China
Secondly, in 1989 while I was still a missionary to Taiwan, I was caught up in the Spirit and saw a vision of taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ all over China. This vision began to be fulfilled in 1993 when I went to China.
Humbly and gratefully I share that the Lord Jesus used me as an instrument through which He poured out the Holy Spirit upon believers at a Chinese seminary.
Since then, PRMI’s China connections have grown stronger in Taiwan as well as in the Chinese Christian community of New York. There are doors opening in many locations in China all going back to this outpouring which took place in 1993.
The Holy Spirit is like a vast underground river that bursts out into living springs and in surprising places.
The Power and Unifying Work of the Holy Spirit
Back to the present. Nothing is ever wasted with our God. Jesus’ prayer for unity among His followers is being answered.
One evening during the Chinese Gateways the Holy Spirit fell on the whole group to lead us to confess our sins to each other. The Korean and Chinese people share a difficult and painful past. These precious believers confessed their sins of seeking to block cooperative labor together in the Lord’s vineyard to build the Kingdom of God.
Koreans confessed their arrogance and hurtful ways in which they have sought to fulfill the Great Commission, without regard to the Chinese.
The Chinese, for their part, asked forgiveness for the ways in which they have invaded and subjugated Koreans over the centuries.
Representational repentance and forgiveness are powerful invitations to the Holy Spirit whose heavy but sweet presence began immediately to heal wounds. Only the Holy Spirit can bring unity across culture, history, and human sin.
Intercession and Support Transcending Language Barriers
Another word about our Korean partners at the Mobile Dunamis event is necessary. Although the teaching was conducted in Mandarin and in English, our Korean brothers and sisters poured out their love and care upon us all.
They served as intercessors throughout and so built a prayer shield to enable the teaching to go forward without impediment. The Korean Dunamis Network provided the massive logistical support and thousands of dollars in financial support up front so that this could happen.
Outpouring and Empowerment
All of this was concluded by the laying on of hands and prayers for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for us all to be empowered to equip others in the Holy Spirit’s gifts and power so that this vast army may be raised up to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.
Mobile Dunamis and the Great Need for Discipleship
If there was any doubt before about the need for the Mobile Dunamis, those concerns were forever quieted.
The Chinese shared openly about their lives as Christians in China. Their stories of suffering for the Lord Jesus, their eye-witness accounts of miracles, their verification of the astonishing growth of the Church, thrilled us.
Their honesty about the need for new Christians to be discipled came as powerful confirmation that the Mobile Dunamis is right in step with the Holy Spirit.
We are grateful to count you as partners in this adventure. We cherish your prayers first and foremost.
Of course, Satan would love to prevent any of this from happening. Together, let us continue to approach the Father in Jesus’ name and in the power of the Holy Spirit to bid His will be done!
Your Next Steps
We know you also want details about how you can contribute financially. In 2015 we anticipate needing $115,000. Let me make it more tangible by breaking down some of the costs.
➢ A gift of $500 would enable us to assist one Chinese leader to attend a Mobile Dunamis event at the Korean location. A flash drive costs $20, one large enough to hold all the material plus an entire Bible program. Remember the believers return to their homes to teach Dunamis themselves to countless others. Further, they can copy the flash drives to give to other congregations and fellowships. The vision of seeds scattered and blown by the Holy Spirit to land in fertile ground across China is being realized!
➢ Travel expenses for a Dunamis team to Asia can be staggering. In the first phases of the Mobile Dunamis, teams will travel there so that personal relationships are established. Remember your own first experiences of the Dunamis Project. The fellowship you enjoyed with others as your worldview was stretched and your spirit soared was critical and precious. Soon enough, the Chinese themselves will step into the roles of teachers and administrators of Mobile Dunamis events at Mobile Dunamis Schools.
➢ Finally, we want you to know about the costs to produce the Dunamis materials first in English, and then in Chinese. Staff hours to accomplish this are many.
May our Father continue to bless and empower you by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Good News of our Lord Jesus!