Many students at Bethany are familiar with the mennonite faith, and in our bible classes Dale teaches us all about different religious figures in the mennonite church. I’ve learned a lot about these different people in my time at Bethany, however, I also have many other Christian heroes who don’t fall under the Mennonite denomination. Faith is something that I value highly in my life. I am a Christian, and believe in Jesus’ life, death, and how through him we all can be saved. Because of that, I wanted to start a monthly series on Sightline where I write an article about a personal “hero of faith”. I’ve compiled a list of Christians that i look up to, and that have inspired me in my faith journey.
This month’s hero of faith is a man named Watchman Nee. He was born in China in 1902, and began initiating church meetings in 1922. He founded several churches throughout China and Malaysia. He was also a writer, and had some of his work published in Christian magazines. However, in 1949, the communist party rose in China, and many christians were persecuted for their faith. Nee moved his church services underground, refusing to cease them because of his devout faith and trust in God. These practices got him into trouble with the Chinese government. He was arrested for the first time in 1952 after he was discovered leading a church service. He was charged, however, with bribery and tax evasion, two charges that he was innocent of. His only real crime was his devotion to the bible, and his preaching. Over the course of his ministry, Nee was arrested dozens of times, and he escaped miraculously. While he was in prison, he continued his ministry, and preached to the inmates.
What inspires me most about Nee’s story is how devout he was. Even when he was beaten, imprisoned, and separated from his family, he still had his faith in God. He trusted God until the very end, regardless of his circumstances. That faith compels me every day. It inspires me that no matter how hard things are in my life, God is there for me just as much as he was for Watchman Nee.