Sun Yi-yin, known in America as “Freddie Sun,” lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday evening. He was 76.
From 1992-2012, the Holy Spirit used Sun to organize and help with the operation of 154 Bible institutes and missionary training centers inside China, including Tibet.
Serving as native missionaries, more than 60,000 graduates of these schools have won more souls to Christ and planted more churches in China than all the foreign missionaries who served in China between 1807 and 1949 combined, according to China Christian Aid.
Sun said his preparation for missionary service began during a 10-year trial by fire, during which he suffered in Communist prisons during the so-called cultural revolution. Before his arrest, Sun was a university professor. His captors were determined to crush his spirit during 10 years of forced labor, but Sun never lost his faith. Instead, the trial worked to increase his devotion to Christ and prepare him for the years of service that lay ahead.
Before his imprisonment, Sun was involved with house churches in Shanghai started by Watchman Nee, and while in Beijing attended the Christian Tabernacle pastored by Wang Ming-dao. Both Nee and Wang were also imprisoned for many years.
“I believe history will show that Freddie Sun’s work in establishing and distributing financial support for 154 Bible institutes in China during the past 20 years has had a greater impact for the cause of Christ in that Communist country than that of any other single person or ministry,” says Bob Finley, founder and chairman of Christian Aid.
“When I left China in 1949 we estimated that there were less than half-a-million evangelical Christians in the entire country. Today there are more than one hundred million. Native missionaries working with local house churches throughout the country have won most to Christ. And by far the greatest source for these native missionaries has been the 154 Bible institutes started and financially supported by Freddie and Dorothy Sun since 1992.”
His wife, Dorothy Chang Sun, survives Sun.