Evangelist Luis Palau preached to local Chinese believers in Beijing on the evening of November 20th. His 40 minutes of passion to win souls to Christ was vibrant among the over-seated audience of Gangwashi Church.
Ten minutes before the service commenced, the main chapel was completely filled to the back. Some attendants were escorted to the adjacent rooms where they are able to sit on pews and watch the introduction of the 71-year old renowned evangelist from television sets. The crowd sang hymns passionately as they waited for the opening of the service.
Rev. Ying Dufeng, pastor of Gangwashi Church, presided the evening service. She introduced Dr. Palau as an "old friend" who has been a frequent guest speaker to the church in each of his visits to Beijing.
Dr. Palau then went to the pulpit to greet the audience and in no time was exerting his evangelistic spirit as he rolls into the sermon. After a brief moment of humor and digest on his meeting with President Bush and Vice Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and formerly Minister of Information Zhao Qizheng during the past three days, he share with the crowd how meeting God through Jesus Christ can be a 'staggering' event in their lives.
Referring to Psalms 66, part of an earlier scripture lesson for the service, the evangelist explained how exciting relationship with God could be as opposed to religious worship. After being 59 years in faith, Dr. Palau said he lives acknowledging that it gets better and better each year in knowing Jesus Christ.
One particular example he gave was the story he heard from the prime organizer for his 1997 festival in Hong Kong. The organizer, affluent and successful in his youth, faced a troubled married life and unfaithfulness to his oath. Feeling guilty for his sins, he was about to commit suicide in 1987 until he saw the advertisement for the first Luis Palau Festival in Hong Kong. The theme of the festival was "hope of man;" it was a festival that turned his life around and gave him a renewed purpose.
"The change begins when you open your heart and say that I believe in Jesus," Exclaimed Dr. Palau. "God loves you just the way you are, however he does not want you to stay the way you are."
"God knows your heart; He says, give me your heart."
After he explained the steps of receiving forgiveness, experiencing change in life, and coming to believe in Christ, Dr. Palau called forth the new believers to stand. A number of attendants stood from their seats and shouted one by one "I believe;" their faith were encouraged by the applauds of surrounding believers.
Dr. Palau concludes the sermon by adding a story of a Chinese official he met over dinner on this trip. "Two years ago I met him, and during dinner he lifted wine and bread and said that it reminds him of Jesus; blood and body that we write in our Bible." He said, "This time, he lifted wine and bread again at dinner; he said that it reminds him of Jesus' blood and body that we write in our Bible, but he asked me, 'where am I going?'"
"Jesus said I will give you eternal life; this is a gift of God." Exhorted the evangelist to the newly believed in the crowd.
Dr. Palau will spend one more day in Beijing to give synopsis on his experience of organizing charity at the "Hand in Hand in Charity; Shoulder to Shoulder to Harmony" charity conference. Afterwards he will return to the United States to end his world tour for the year.