By Marc Wyatt
“I am the world’s light.” -John 9:5b (The Message)
The Communist Party of China is the founding and ruling political party of the People’s Republic of China. With a membership of 86.7 million, it is the largest political party in the world. It follows a political and economic ideology that is dedicated to the establishment of a social order absent of class, money and the state. But for many its anti-religion position embracing atheism is perhaps most striking.
Visiting Chinese Scholar, Dr. Nui Chenguang* is a PhD of Engineering and a member of the Communist Party in his home city of 10 million. He just finished a year of English Studies at North Carolina State University. Dr. Morning Light (Chenguang translated into English) regularly attended the English as a Second Language Class hosted by a local Baptist church.
He found out the local church offered free ESL classes for university students. Desiring all the English help he could find and intrigued by what seemed an oddity, a Christian church; he quickly enrolled. That is where he first heard the words of the Bible and met ‘real Christians’. He had heard there were people who practiced the Christian religion in the United States but for this Communist Party Member it was all very different from his view of normal.
It took many months for Dr. Morning Light to realize he was experiencing the power of the Gospel’s draw on his heart and mind. Slowly but surely the English words became sacred words. The message that God’s great salvation gift of Jesus Christ was also for him and his people melted the power of his communist upbringing. And then it happened – Dr. Chenguang heard the voice of The Morning Light, Jesus Christ calling him to follow.
Almost a year to the day of his first ESL class, this one among more than a billion Chinese, this member of the world’s largest political party, this man with no religion was baptized in that local Baptist Church. He was buried with Christ and raised to a new life in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As he wiped the waters from his eyes he heard the church cry out, Amen and Amen! He was born…again. His life would never be the same.
We shared food and fellowship several times before Dr. Morning Light returned to his home in China. I asked him if he realized he was returning to a land where Jesus was not known, where the Bible was not read. I asked him what he hoped would happen once he returned. He thought about it for a moment and then said gently, ‘I want to share my new faith with my wife and son. They have read everything I’ve experienced on email and listened to me by phone but when I see them with my own eyes and tell them about Jesus face to face I know they will believe too.’
Dr. Morning Light returned to his country this summer a disciple of Jesus Christ. He returned as salt and light among his own people. This is the great hope of all ministries to Internationals. Some stay in the United States, but for those who return to the land in which they were born they go back a light among millions, millions who have never heard the Good News we have heard our whole lives.
Remember him the next time you pray for China.
*Not Real Name
Kim and Marc Wyatt serve as Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel. The Wyatt’s share the love of Christ with refugees, immigrants, internationals in academic settings and among trafficked people.