When dawn arrives in China you can hear people praying. They are rejoicing in the Great Love that unites all the peoples of the world.
These prayers soar over the highest mountains and melt the ice off the coldest hearts. There is no more bondage. There are no more wars. Hearts receive blessings from above, and destinies are changed. It is going to be an excellent year for the harvest.
Above is from one song of Canaan Hymns. The Canaan Hymns show an open-mindedness, which is rarely encountered in China. Anyone who wants to understand the Chinese Home-church assemblies will want to reflect on the hymns sung by its members. These hymns express the faith, testimonies, and experiences of the faithful and show the world the pure innocence of all those who tread a rocky path. In remote villages and prosperous cities, wherever there are Christians you will hear joyful voices of the faithful expressing their devotion through their hymns.
Without instruments or the ability to read words or musical scores, these peasants who are Christians are able to sing dozens of hymns without ever taking a rest.
These songs have been assembled in what is called The Canaan Hymns. There are totally 930 hymns. They are sung not only in the Home-church assemblies, but are also sung in the Chinese Three-self Churches. Some are sung in Chinese congregations all around the world.
It’s hard to believe that all the melodies and lyrics of the Canaan Hymns were written by a peasant girl named Xiao Min, A girl who can’t even read music.
Xiao Min grew up in a little village in Henan. Xiao Min said :”I was born into a family of farmers; my parents are simple farming folks. My mother never went to school and my Dad studied for only a year or two. He barely reads. They were very poor.While I was in Junior High, I suffered sinus infection. Every day, about noon, I felt dizzy and nauseous. I couldn’t finish the day. Soon, I just quit school all together. So often, during prayer time, quiet time or time of meditating on God’s Word, the Holy Spirit would come and bring me a verse or two. Usually within five or ten minutes, I’ll be singing the hymn with melody and lyrics.”
Later, Xiao Min was given a little recorder. She records what comes into her mind, whether it‘s day or night. Later, she writes down the words, and someone else writes down the scores.
During walks in the field or during prayer meetings, Xiao Min finds inspiration from the world around her. Her heart is always open to be touched by the Lord. The Canaan Hymns came down to this golden land from the deep blue sky. They are an eternal gift from the timeless beauty of the heavens, a gift of love to those who inhabit our precious earth. These hymns have spread over the immense land of China in the blink of an eye.
A missionary said: “We once were on a mission to the tribal villages in the province of Yunnan. There we needed inspiration from the hymns more than ever. When we were feeling hopeless and weak, it was Xiao Min’s hymns that gave us strength.” People who are deeply moved by the songs in the Canaan Hymns may be curious about the peasant songwriter. There is a deep spiritual connection between her and God.
Since she became a Christian, Xiao Min’s life was no longer hers alone. She is the messenger that God chose for China.
Jesus is walking on the land of China. He walks with grace and supreme power but in simple clothes. He walks into poor and desolate villages, through main streets and narrow lanes.
He is followed by groups of Chinese people. Among them is the singer Xiao Min.
Many years ago, Xiao Min became a mother, but her life still belongs to God and His Church. She is a beloved daughter of China. Her songs continue to flow from her heart.
Canaan Hymns are becoming the holy songs of the Chinese nation. They are the pulse of seventy million Chinese Christians. They reflect the path where so many missionaries walked in the past century. They prophesy the inescapable destiny of the Chinese nation.