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Interview: China Soul Association President on ''A Generation of Testimonies''

( [email protected] ) Dec 21, 2008 07:02 AM EST
After concluding the overseas gospel conference “A Generation of Testimonies” held from December 6-7 in San Francisco, China Soul Association director agreed to an interview with The Gospel Herald reporter in order to give a recap of the event’s turnout.
Overseas gospel conference ''A Generation of Testimonies'' hosted by China Soul Association and Bay Area Spring Camp in San Francisco attracted over 360 ministers from mainland China, thousands of believers in North America, and tens of thousands from mainland watched through direct online broadcasting. (China Soul Association)

After concluding the overseas gospel conference “A Generation of Testimonies” held from December 6-7 in San Francisco, China Soul Association director agreed to an interview with The Gospel Herald reporter in order to give a recap of the event’s turnout.

The two-day conference drew participations by 360 ministers from mainland China and thousands of Chinese Christians from North America. Also, tens of thousands of Christians in mainland China watched the event over live internet broadcasting, which was unprecedented.

The event host said the conference concluded successfully, which provided a good example for the unity among the Chinese Christians. About a year ago when they first began the planning, their original idea was to have China Soul produce a film “Overseas” that will introduce the history of faith of overseas Chinese, which will be similar to the latest released documentary “Cross”, which showed the situation in China, but after careful considerations they've decided to host an event that will introduce the testimonies of faith of those from across the Pacific.

To record the testimonies of each one of the mainland ministers would require much funding and work, said the director, so they've decided to just gather these Chinese ministers together. The speakers who gave their testimonies this time included Zhang Boli, Hong Yujian, Liu Tong Su, Hu Yuan Chi, Chu Lin, Xiao Min, Fan Xuede, Yu Zhichu, and many other influential ministers from mainland China.

Despite their different denominational backgrounds and theological positions, the speakers who've testified at the conference all agreed to participate in the end, which drew a well-rounded conclusion for the conference, said China Soul president.

At first, only 300 pastors, ministers, and coworkers from China signed up in the roster, but the total number of those from mainland who showed up surpassed 360 people. These participants included those from different provinces of China and represented different sectors of the society, he said.

On the opening day of the event, around 3,300 people showed up. Because the auditorium’s maximum capacity was 2,500 people, 600-700 people had to move to Home of Christ V, a church nearby. Then, 2,400 people attended the second day’s conference. That same night, after listening to a series of testimonies by various ministers, 21 people immediately decided to devote their lives to serve and 127 people agreed to devote their entire lives for the Lord during the altar call, he exclaimed.

Meanwhile, Chinese Christianity Network TV (CCNTV) broadcasted both days of the event for live viewing on their website. Tens of thousands of believers from mainland tuned in to the broadcast. At the peak hour of viewers, 20,000 people watched the broadcast at the same time, he said. Even until two weeks after the event, the website was still accessible from China, but it was blocked earlier this week.

Furthermore, the viewers from mainland responded, saying that they have never imagined that it is possible to see so many familiar speakers to glorify God on the same stage. They hope similar events can be held in Hong Kong and even in mainland China, said the event's host.

To see a review of the conference, go to China Soul Association’s website: www.chinasoul.org

[Editor's note: reporter Sharon Chan from San Francisco contributed to this report.]