BEIJING- The renowned American evangelist and preacher Luis Palau met with some Beijing Christians and gave them words of encouragement, following his appearance at the Beijing International Book Fair.
In Aug. 31 evening, Palau was invited to the Beijing Gangwasi Church at the city center to preach on a youth fellowship gathering. Over a thousand of people have gathered and packed the 700- seats main chapel. Christians from other churches have also attracted to come and see Palau.
This is not the first time Palau has visited the Church. On Nov. 20, 2005, Palau has attended the Sunday Service of this Church with the US president George W. Bush and delivered a message. Within the one-hour meeting this time with young Christians, once again, he highly recommended them to read his new book "Riverside Talks: A Friendly Dialogue between an Atheist and a Christian" that is co-authored with the former spokesman for Communist China's Cabinet Zhao Qizheng.
In his sermon, Palau exhorted young believers to keep themselves pure as the holy temple of God, to live a holy Christian life and to have correct values on marriage. He encouraged them to be used well by God when they are still young in age. He dedicated his life to Christ at the age of 13, and he shared, "If you want to be used by God by the age of 30, you must start prepare when you are 13 years old." Palau’s excellent sense of humor has enlightened the heart of young audience.
After Palau’s sermon, young believers at Gangwasi Church performed for this special guest, some of the programs include hymn devotion, testimony, dance show and others. At the end of the meeting, Palau shook hands with believers and greeted the Church leaders warmly before leaving.
Since 2000, Palau has been allowed to speak at a variety of events in China. Some of those events were evangelistic and others promoted charitable activities and opportunities in China. He believes each trip to China is getting him closer to his life-long dream to one day hold an open-air Festival in China with government approval.
In Wednesday’s press statement released by the Luis Palau Association, Palau gave a report of faith for his years of engagement with China, "On each visit to China I have made new friends at all levels of society and influence. I have witnessed continued change. I continue to pray these friendships and changes will lead to greater religious freedom."
"Exciting changes are coming to China as millions of Chinese come to faith in Jesus Christ. These followers of Jesus love China and believe the love of God will bring nothing but positive social and economic change to their great country," he continued.
According to sources from the Luis Palau Association, Palau will conclude his trip in China on Thursday Beijing time. And he will be back to the U.S. by Friday.
[Editor's Note: Special Correspondent of the Gospel Herald contributed reporting from Beijing for this article.]