We had cried out to God for a long time to open new doors for us to bring to people the message that burns within us. Then in a dream in September 2016, God showed Barry that He was calling us to China. Four weeks later, we were at an Apostolic Conference where Michael Liu and Jacqueline Jiang from China came and sat with us. We shared our hearts extensively with one another. They explained that a sadness and emptiness runs deep in the soul of the nation of China because the fathers are absent, distant, and extremely demanding of perfection, performance, and financial accomplishment.
“The people desperately need a revelation of the Father’s love,” Michael compellingly explained to us.
During our hours with them, it felt like an amazing miracle was unfolding. Michael explained: “The message you bring of the Father, and love, and His presence is exactly what is needed the most desperately in China.”
We also gave Michael our book “Revival on the Horizon.” When he returned home he excitedly wrote to us:
“While I read the book on the plane, I was touched by what Revival looks like and what can kill it. I also cried over your very honest stories about how God humbled and changed you. We want you to come to our country and help us minister to the people. The believers in China are hungry for God’s Spirit and for Revival.”
At that moment, a new journey began for us to a completely different culture that is oppressed with darkness, even as more and more of the people are yearning for a way out of their sadness and emptiness. As we said yes to this new assignment from the Father, it reminded me of this powerful declaration:
“The time is coming to gather all nations and tongues.
And they shall come and see My glory.”
Isaiah 66:18 NASB
I began to ask God for the same miracle He gave me when we were in Africa and I was able to worship with the harp in the language of the different tribes we went to. This supernatural gift is what made it possible for them to go quickly into His presence and experience for the first time worshipping Him in the Holy of Holies. Shortly after arriving, God did give me this miracle and I was able to sing in what Michael said was amazingly “perfect” Chinese. When both the unsaved and the Christians heard Mandarin in a “new song” with the harp, a profound awe and many tears came upon all.
It reminded me of the early church when the presence of God was so strong that this is what happened to the unbeliever:
“Having fallen upon his face, he will bow before God,
declaring that God really is among you.”
1 Corinthians 14:25 YLT
During our many walks so that we could be among the people, without us saying a word the presence of God and His unspoken love is what visibly affected them. Amazingly, each time we left the place where we were staying we also had to go by the Communist Headquarters. Despite the cautious stares of the guards, over and over we smiled and looked deep into their eyes to express the Father’s kindness toward them. By the third week, their faces brightened as soon as they saw us approaching. The Lord showed me that something had happened to these men. He had touched them. Long after our return to the United States, they would remember those brief encounters with His love and His presence and greatly miss us passing by.
Another person who was profoundly affected by experiencing and learning about the Father’s love, and the love He wants us to have for one another, was an exceptionally special young person in this picture. Her name is Summer Adeng.
This is what she wrote to me several weeks after we returned to America:
“At first I didn’t understand why you and Barry always told us that we should love and that it is what’s most important.
But now I understand.
I love my husband much more. Our relationship is much better. We have faith in our future. We are becoming better people. It feels like a new year in our hearts. I’m enjoying everything in my life so much more. I feel like I’m flying free like a bird. I’m so grateful.”
We will also never forget our Christmas in China when young and old, saved and unsaved, gathered together in a cabin on a mountain far from Shanghai and sang with such reverence and childlike wonderment, “Silent Night.” The awe on their faces was unforgettable. Those who did not know Jesus experienced a tender encounter with the Lord that visibly affected them. By the end of those two days, the countenances were radiant with an indescribable joy.
As our weeks in Shanghai came to an end, we knew we would be sad to say goodbye.
That’s when God gave Barry this gripping prophetic word:
China O China
I am the Father in Heaven who has come to speak to you
My heart aches as I look at your masses of people.
I see the emptiness and pain in your souls.
I long to fill that emptiness.
I long to remove the pain.
I am here to tell you that I will do this for you.
I want to fill that emptiness with peace.
I want to replace the pain with hope.
I have made a way for you to have the
Peace and hope you long for.
China O China
I must tell you that you will not find that peace and hope
in the things of this world.
You will not find them with money.
You will not find them in people.
You will not find them in fame or power.
You can only find them in me.
China O China
I have sent my Son Jesus to die for you.
To remove all your shame and condemnation.
To make you My children.
I love you that much.
I am sending my Spirit to comfort you
like a kind gentle Mother.
The Spirit will fill you and empower you with My love.
I will send those that become My children
To tell your people of My great love for China.
I will send them to love China for Me.
China My China
You are precious to Me.
I long to hold you in My arms to comfort you.
I love you.
Your Abba Father
Shortly after we returned home, we were tremendously comforted and encouraged when we received this note from Michael:
“Great love you poured out when you were with us, and on everyone with us, without reservation. What a journey we had together. In so short a time, we became so much closer to the Father’s love.
And before you came, we asked the Lord to give us the truth, which is so rare among men, and He sent His truth through you both. You taught us many practical wisdoms and insights. He freed us through you, and we are expecting more and more freeing of us to come.”
A month later, Barry captured our hearts in this letter that he sent to Michael and Jacqueline:
“We love you so much and miss our times sitting around your table and talking. I sure miss my new family in China.
The Lord also has been speaking to me in my dreams. Many nights I see a group of Chinese Christian Leaders calling to Ruth and me to come help them draw close to the Lord. When we were going to Africa, this same thing happened. So we started to have one week retreats with leaders from three areas in Uganda. This is what sparked revival on a mountain.
I am not sure how God will work this out in China. But Ruth and I believe that this is what God is showing us will happen. For we long to be with you and your people and every time I have one of these dreams, my heart cries out to God to make this possible.”