“Commissioned to Pray’’
by John Patrick Canavan
The ongoing story has been the persecution of the Chinese Christians barred from attending this Congress in Cape Town. One powerful calling to all in attendance came from Dr. John Oh as he prayed on Monday the 18th, ‘’help us to unite our hearts and minds… so that all of us would be commissioned to pray for our brothers and sisters who are in need and who are in suffering.’’ He adds, as words of encouragement given to the believers in China, ‘’… my brothers and sisters, let nothing move you, always give your service fully to the work of the Lord and know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.’’
Billy Graham’s declaration that still rings true in the Lausanne Movement today, ‘’the Whole Church taking the Whole Gospel to the Whole World,’’ certainly, and overwhelmingly, includes China, as the second largest delegation scheduled to attend the Congress. Archbishop Henry Orombi expressed their absence on this world stage as ‘’like not having Brazil at the World Cup – it [was] unimaginable.’’ Executive Chairman Doug Birdsall added, ‘’I have said it will be worth it to go to Cape Town if only to meet the exceptional, outstanding young men and women who will be here from across China.’’
Sadly, their influence was not seen in person at the Congress. But their story of persecution and humility was ever on the hearts and minds of all in Cape Town as many prayed diligently.
[NOTE: Mr. Canavan is a member of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia (USA). Tenth Presbyterian Church is a congregational member of the World Reformed Fellowship. Mr. Canavan is serving as a Steward at the Lausanne Congress.]