China is reeling under a pandemic as the coronavirus outbreak has brought the Wuhan and many other cities to a standstill. As per official stats, over 500 people have died and several thousand are infected. However, unofficial sources claim that the casualties may as well run in thousands as the Chinese authorities are under-reporting it.
Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak and many other cities are under complete lockdown. Flights have been cancelled and businesses have been brought to a halt as the country faces one of the worst pandemics in recent decades.
Amidst all the chaos and confusion, one can imagine the mental condition of the people who have been living or are stranded in Wuhan. However, for some, the chaos, deaths and fear mean an ‘opportunity’.
Christian organisations are claiming that they are using this outbreak to “bring the gospel” to the people in China.
Christians in #Wuhan bravely step into the street, serving the community by providing hopes: masks and Gospel.
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S.Lewis
— Himalaya Global (@HimalayaGlobal) February 1, 2020
In a video shared by an organisation called Himalaya Global, Christian missionaries are seen distributing face masks to the people in Wuhan, along with leaflets of ‘the Gospel’. A voice in the background speaks, “because men have sinned against God, we all live under God’s angry judgement.” The voice proclaims, “God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ will save all the sinners from the eternal destruction”.
As per a report in ‘Faithwire’, the masks that are being used to lure people into receiving “The Gospel” have a two-way benefit, not only they stop the spread of the infection from one person to another, they also save the missionaries from being identified by the authorities. The site claims that Christians often face persecution from the Chinese government.
The report quotes Lucille Talusan, a CBN News Asia Correspondent, as saying, “Since the people of Wuhan are facing fearful uncertainty in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, some have become ‘more receptive’ to Christ at this time. There are Christians, a ministry in Wuhan, they go out to the streets. They’re very courageous. They give out masks and they say that they are Christians and they share the love of Christ and point to Jesus to bring hope to them and their families and the whole of China, this is really a breakthrough”.
The videos of the Christian missionaries spreading the gospel are being widely shared by supporters and organisations to garner support for their work.
Another report in Mission Network News quotes John Pudaite, the CEO of Bibles For The World, as saying, “We continue to feel that it (the coronavirus outbreak) should not deter us from our commitment to provide God’s word there and to get the Gospel to the people of China.”
Pudaite claims that every year, his organisation distributes over 300,000 Gospels of John and about 15-20,000 Bibles. His message for the Christians in China is to keep praying and hope that they can play a ‘positive role’ and use this ‘opportunity’ to “share God’s word and the message of peace and love that Jesus Christ brings.” The report ends with the lines “Pray that in the midst of this epidemic, Christ would build his kingdom in China.”