Originally published in Charisma News
Pastor Paul is one of a multitude of Chinese Christian leaders who has a burning desire to see his nation converted and brought into abundant life in this world and everlasting life in the world to come.
He founded a church in 2003 and then sent his young leaders out to start more churches, and today he has 40 growing churches bringing the gospel to his people—the Chinese!
He also has connected with many other pastors in his area, understanding from God’s Word that our Lord loves unity.
Most of all, he understands that the first and foremost act of obedience to bring forth a harvest in his land is a strong network of prayer.
One day a fellow pastor urged him to go to the All Nations Prayer Convocation in Jerusalem, led by Tom Hess. At first Paul thought, Why go to Jerusalem? I’m working in the harvest field in China, and that’s where my heart is.
But he attended the conference in 2008, and his heart was stirred. However, when he felt God prompting him to come to Jerusalem every year, he said he felt shocked. “I will obey,” he said, “but I don’t know why.”
The Jewish Connection to China
After attending the conference for the next two years, Pastor Paul began to understand that Israel is very important in God’s plan and, indeed, for the salvation of China.
He began to read everything he could find on Israel in the Chinese language. Books like Don Finto’s Your People Shall Be My People: How Israel, the Jews and the Christian Church Will Come together in the Last Days began to open up before him a huge horizon. (You can order Don’s book here.)
Pastor Paul devoured the Bible, now seeing the Jewish connection that runs from Genesis to Revelation. He also heard about Christians in the West giving donations to nonbelieving Jewish organizations, some of whom actually fight against the Messianic Jewish believers. Instead, he felt stirred to help the local body fulfill its purpose in the land.
Pastor Paul explains the spiritual journey he underwent:
“I thought deeply about the new awakening concerning Israel that I saw happening around me among my Chinese fellow Christians.
“I developed a profound desire to go deeper with my understanding of God’s plan for Israel. Most of all, I wanted to connect with the local believers. In 2011, I and my tour were in an Arab hotel in Jerusalem praying and struggling to understand what God was saying to us.
How Can I Bless Israel?
“I knew that I wanted to do something that would enable China to bless Israel. This verse shouted its message to me:
“‘Go through, go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway! Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples!’ (Is. 62:10).
“I felt God was telling me to host a conference in Jerusalem between Chinese pastors and local Israeli Messianic Jewish leaders. I was shocked. Absolutely shocked.
“I said, ‘But Lord, I am an unknown pastor. I am not famous or rich. I don’t even know any Messianic Jews in Israel! God, you could use someone from Hong Kong or from Taiwan—some famous father in the faith.’
“But then I said, ‘Lord, I have faith. I will obey, and I know you will open the door.’
“The very next day, I met a Messianic Jewish couple, Noam and Debra, who worked for the believing tour company, Sar El. A further shock—without Debra knowing my struggle with the directive from the Lord, she simply said to me, ‘God will use you to organize a conference here in Jerusalem.’
“I left to catch my plane and entered the airport heading towards my airline check-in counter. As I walked, I happened to glance at a man sitting by the side, looking at his iPhone messages. I recognized him although I didn’t know his name. But I remembered I had met him for two minutes at a prayer meeting some time before in Tel Aviv, hosted by Tom Hess.
“Something leaped in my spirit. I went over and introduced myself, reminding him where we had met. He was Ari Sorko-Ram. He began to tell me his vision for the local body of Messiah. He told me how he had begun studying Chinese a year before.
“I had brought with me an offering of about $2,000 from my churches but hadn’t known what to do with it, because until that day I hadn’t met any Israeli spiritual leaders. I had been feeling sad that I would be taking the offering back to China!
“Now I felt that I was to give Ari that offering. Of course, he was very surprised! As we talked, I told him, ‘I want to organize a conference next year between Chinese pastors and Israeli Messianic leaders.’
‘I Can Help You’
“Ari looked straight at me and said, ‘I can help you. You have met the right person! In fact, I will adopt you! I feel like the Lord has said to me to adopt you.’
“I didn’t know what the word adopt meant, and perplexed, I stopped to look it up in my Chinese-English dictionary!
“Ari continued, ‘I know the Israeli leaders here in the country. I can help you organize a conference.’
“Back in China, I shared with my elders the story. We prayed, and God gave me this plan—to create an alliance of Chinese Christians who will pray for Israel, who will love Israel, who will build a bridge between Christians in China and Israel’s Messianic body, and who will help Israel and China realize their destiny.
“We held three conferences in China last year to bring the knowledge of God’s plan for Israel to our people. I also visited Israel several times and found the Messianic leaders I met excited about such a conference.
“In 2012, some 100 Chinese and I came during Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), and at our first conference we met with a number of Israeli pastors.
“This year, 150 Chinese leaders interfaced with 80 Messianic Jewish leaders. We prayed, worshipped and gave Israelis opportunity in small groups to share their vision and their work in the land. I was amazed at the connections being made—even though it was through translators!
“Next year, we are planning for somewhere around 100 Israelis and 200 to 300 Chinese pastors and leaders to meet, again during the Sukkot holiday.
“Yes, I am amazed what God has done with an unknown pastor like myself. Through divinely directed encounters, God has begun to build a bridge between the Christians in China and the Messianic Jewish leaders of the land of Israel.”