In the 1920’s Christian missionaries in North China were grieved over the spiritual condition of the churches. Members showed little or no spiritual sensitivity or concern. The missionaries began to wonder if many people had accepted Christianity mentally but had never been born again.
In 1920, missionaries and Chinese leaders began to devote one day a month to pray for revival. In March, 1927, the southern revolutionary army burned Nanking, and all missionaries were ordered to Tsingtau and Chefoo for possible evacuation. Those evacuated to Chefoo began to study the Scriptures and ask the Lord why they had been removed from their work. God began to speak through His Word.
A group of missionaries asked Marie Monsen, and evangelical Lutheran from Norway, to join their prayer meetings. God began to use her to challenge missionaries and others to get right with God. The missionaries spent days before the Lord. They confessed every known sin. They sought to be reconciled with one another.
During a special prayer time God worked to heal the eyesight of Ola Culpepper. In the middle of their rejoicing, God convicted the missionaries that they were far more concerned about physical healing than they were about the salvation of the Chinese. They once again began to confess sins to the Lord. God was getting a people right with Himself.
Marie was again used of the Lord as she asked the missionaries and others, three penetrating questions.
1. Have you been born of the Spirit?
2. What evidence do you have of the new birth?
3. Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit?
The hunger for spiritual vitality caused people to do much soul-searching. Christians and especially the leaders were revived and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Once Christians were revived, God had clean vessels through which to work. By 1932, revival was spreading.
Many came to realize they were only “head” Christians, but they had never placed their trust in Christ. An evangelist for 25 years, Mr. Chow realized he was trusting in his good works and not in Christ for salvation. After he was saved, he refused to be paid for his preaching because he had preached for 25 years without the presence and power of the Lord. Lucy Wright, a missionary nurse for nine years, realized she had only joined the church. She trusted Christ for the first time. In 1932 masses of people were coming to Christ. In one school all 600 girls and 900 out of 1,000 boys trusted Christ during 10 days of meetings.
- Saved people went everywhere telling everyone what Jesus had done for them.
Those who turned to Christ took down their “house gods” and burned them.
- The hearts of God’s people were full of praise and thanksgiving. Joyful singing filled
the services. New songs were written and the Scripture was put to music.
- All believers had a great hunger for God’s Word, Bible classes met nightly, and the
Bible schools and seminaries saw significantly increased enrollments.
- Spiritually dead churches were revived. Church attendance multiplied, and the
members paid close attention to worship, prayer, and discipleship. Prayer meetings
lasted two or three hours as people got right with God and prayed for the lost.
- Broken families and relationships were healed.
This account has been adapted from Go Home and Tell by Bertha Smith, Nashville: Broadman Press, 1965, pp 12-39, and The Shatung Revival by C.L. Culpepper, Atlanta, North American Mission Board, 1982.
P R A Y E R F O C U S
• Pray for a fresh out-pouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives
• Pray for the salvation, filling of the Holy in each member of our families and friends
• Pray for a godly fear of the Lord for our Congress, Senate, and Cabinet members
• Pray for our President, President Obama, and his family to deeply experience God’s love and anointing of wisdom
By Pastor Dotty Schmitt