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  • John Kim

Simon Zhao

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This morning I read about an incredible man of faith named Simon Zhao. In his late twenties he became the leader of a movement of people who dreamed of traveling from China to Jerusalem, spreading the good news along the way. On his first attempt to cross the border, he was stopped and sentenced to 4 decades in prison as a traitor. No prison is easy, but Chinese prisons in the 1940’s were essentially death camps. His wife miscarried, then died herself. His 4 co-leaders all died. Doled a daily ration of torture with 14 hour working days on starvation rations, death looked certain for Simon as well. But he never gave up his faith in God, and he managed to survive his sentence. God had provided miracles in jail too. “On one occasion the other prisoners locked him out of the barracks in the dead of winter with no outer clothing, taunting him to see if his God would help him. Simon cried out to the Lord and suddenly felt warm all over. The prisoners were astounded to look outside and see steam rising off his body and the snow melting around his feet. On another occasion, he was beaten so severely that his skull was fractured. While unconcscious, the Lord came to him in a vision and said ‘My child, I am with you. I shall never leave you or forsake you.’ Regaining consciousness, he touched the spot where his skull was smashed, and although there was dried blood on the spot, the wound had been miraculously healed.” (From “Unrelenting Prayer”, Bob Sorge) When he got out, all he wanted was to live a quiet life in the presence of God, but believers heard about this man’s story and insisted that he come and speak. Simon reluctantly started traveling to share, and masses of believers were inspired by his testimony of perseverance. He fueled the fire of perhaps the greatest revival of the 20th century. Lord I bet there were moments when Simon Zhao wondered why you didn’t let him cross that border. It probably didn’t make a lot of sense to him, but in hindsight we can see that you had bigger plans for him. You wanted to multiply his impact. When I wonder about my circumstances, I thank you that I can have faith in your ultimate goodness. You have a plan. I love you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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