“Angels in yellow”: Christians in Wuhan take to the streets to boldly spread love, share Christ
What comes to your mind when I say “Wuhan”? Coronavirus, lockdown, fear? But what if I tell you that in the midst of darkness, there’s another narrative being written – another picture being painted?
You might have already heard how the authorities in China have clamped down on Christianity in recent years: churches have been raided and members arrested, Bibles have been confiscated, and even celebrating Christmas has become a problem. Persecution is rife.
But at the heart of China’s coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, Christians are demonstrating the opposite of fear.
In one video, a lady can be seen thanking God and laying out Christian resources for anyone who’s interested to pick it up. In another, a pair can be seen going out to the streets distributing masks, while playing a gospel audio track in the background. It seems believers are using all sorts of ways to broadcast the Bible to their fellow residents in Wuhan, even playing them from their balconies for all to hear.
In a blog post titled A Door Opened in Wuhan, China, one missionary to Wuhan wrote: “Now it is the 10th day since the city has been separated by quarantine, and protective masks are the most valuable thing in Wuhan. Money is useless because you can’t find a store that sells the masks. People are in a desperate situation. In response, our brothers and sisters preach the gospel and give out tracks and free masks.”
As heralds of peace, Christians in Wuhan are now known for their full yellow protective suit that they don while hitting the streets day after day – they’ve even been called “angels in yellow”.
“Yellow has become the most beautiful colour in the city,” the missionary concluded.
If there’s a silver lining in this epidemic, it has to be this: Christ is being made known in China. Against the risk of persecution and infection, Christians are tirelessly working to make the gospel shine in the most hopeless of situations.
Here are a few reflections of my own on why this is happening all over Wuhan.
THE GOSPEL TAKES AWAY THE FEAR OF DEATH
There’s just something about death that gets to us. The certainty, the mystery and the finality of it all. I mean, even with this coronavirus outbreak… aren’t we all so uptight about it because we fear death?
Even among Thir.st’s top stories in 2019, two were messages written on deathbeds. But it wasn’t just their deaths that stood out to us – it was the way they faced death.
Andrew Hui and Elliot Soh were confident of where they were going, and they had so much peace that even when their time was running out. All they could think of was: “How can I tell people of the hope I have?”
Similarly, this was what Reverend Vincent Choo from Life Church and Missions Singapore alluded to when addressing his congregation for the first time after news broke that the church was listed as a potential coronavirus cluster: “What is our real sickness? It is inside us; the condition of our souls. That is what Christ came to save us from.”
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NLT)
When we realise that we have been saved from the greatest human condition, “we will not be afraid to be a living testimony no matter the different trials in life”, said Reverend Choo.
THE GOSPEL COMPELS COMPASSION
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38)
Amid the chaos and confusion, I believe that the Christians in Wuhan saw what Jesus saw, and did what He said to do: Have compassion.
And it is this compassion that has compelled them to bring hope and love to their community, especially those who have not known the same peace that they’ve experienced.
As Christians, we have a peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7), a peace that is found not in external circumstances but in a Person. We can have such peace because we know and believe that Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33).
It’s so easy to see doom and gloom in this situation. It’s so easy to spread fear instead of faith. But as someone once told me: A crisis reveals Christ in me.
In this coronavirus crisis, do people see Christ in you?
THINK + TALK
- Is it easy or difficult to have peace despite the circumstances that are surrounding us?
- There is a peace that is found not in external circumstances but in a Person. Would you like to know of such peace?
- What has the coronavirus situation revealed about the faith that you have in Jesus?
- Using eyes of faith and a heart for compassion, what are some practical ways you can help meet the needs of fellow Singaporeans?