“After I had started preaching on the streets of China, many people started to come to the Lord. There was an explosion, but it wasn’t because I was preaching to them. The new believers were going to their neighbors and family members and preaching the Good News to them. There was a ripple effect and the officials soon realized that multitudes of people were coming to Christ.
When they looked to see who was behind all of these people hearing about Jesus, of course they found me and quickly identified me as the instigator of all their troubles. New believers were being arrested everywhere and many of them were telling the same story: “Brother Yun shared this message of Jesus with me.” Overnight I became a counter-revolutionary.
After I had been on the run for more than ten years, I was becoming extremely tired. The persecution kept me moving all the time. I could never stay in the same place for long. That was good for the spreading of the gospel and it was good to keep me from being arrested, but it was not good for my body. I didn’t know how to rest and I was tired to the bone.
Then the Lord spoke to me and said, “My child, I can see that you are tired. I have prepared a place of rest for you.” I was so excited when I heard those words from the Lord. I had never been on a vacation before and could only imagine what kind of glorious resort He was preparing for me to find refuge in so that I could rest.
Before the Lord sent me on this vacation, He told me that I needed to first hold a discipleship-training meeting to train up my replacements for the time when I would be away. I really felt that I was not prepared in any way to train up disciples, but I did what the Lord commanded me to do. I called together about 100 young and passionate believers who were hungry for the Lord and willing to give their lives for the calling. Once they were together, I simply assigned each of them a book of the Bible to memorize in the New Testament.
I then explained to them that they were each a heavenly person. They have been called to a heavenly kingdom, their riches are not of this world, and this would forever be their new identity. They were no longer citizens of China, but now they were citizens of the Kingdom of God. Only a couple of weeks after I left them, I was arrested. My vacation home was a Chinese prison and the Lord gave me the rest that I had so desperately needed.”
What Brother Yun has experienced and what he has learned from his many difficult experiences has made him a unique witness around the world. Christians living in the West might have a problem with some of his theology, but believers who currently live in persecuted countries around the world find hope in Brother Yun’s story.
These persecuted Christians are people like Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini, who read Brother Yun’s testimony and traveled to Germany just to meet with him. Pastor Saeed was detained in an Iranian prison in the summer of 2012 for four years and feels a unique connection to Brother Yun because of his experiences in prison.