Moses Zhang, the Last Warrior of Chinese Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band, Dies at 93

By Ruth Wang, January 11, 2017 03:01 AM

The second batch of members from Chinese Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band sent to evanglize in Xinjiang(File photo Provided to CCD)

On January 3, the last warrior of Chinese 'Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band,' Moses Zhang, passed away at 93. His memorial service was held on that day in Gongyi, his hometown in Henan. One of his grandsons confirmed this news with ChristianTimes on Jan. 8, claiming "Moses returned to heaven and Joshua is about to arise."

The memorial service for Moses Zhang
The memorial service for Moses Zhang(Credit: CCD).

Zhang's grandson introduces that Moses Zhang, original name Zhang Jinqin, was born in 1925 and dedicated himself to God in 1941 in a calling part conducted by Miss Helen Bailey, a missionary of the American Presbyterian (South) mission. Recommended by the missionary to study in Northwest Bible Institute at Fengxiang, Shaanxi, the warrior was taught by Grace Ho or He Enzheng.

The Institute was initiated by the grandson of Rev. James Hudson Taylor (founder of CIM) in 1941, aiming to promote evangelism in Northwestern China. On the evening of Nov. 25, 1942, the faculty and students saw that Chinese churches in Gospel-debt to other countries in prayer. Mark Ma, vice president of the school, founded the 'Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band' in 1947.

In March 1947, together with his wife Zhang Huixi, Ho and other four members from the Bible school, Moses Zhang was sent to preach in Xinjiang as the second batch of evangelists. They went through difficulties along the way.

Later he returned to his hometown. At the age of 85, he commenced building a local church with great pains. Finally, Luokou Church, located in Town Heluo, Gongyi, was completed. In his early years, the great servant wrote his own life testimony, witnessing that the power of the Bible: "God moved me with his piercing words so that I could only preach the gospel for him with faithfulness."

Reading Mark 8:34-37 and Acts 20:24, his heart was stirred, "I determined to work in the toughest place for God and would not hesitate to lay down my life. I would be faithful unto death and not give up halfway, offering my lifetime to God. I did this not to enjoy eternal blessings in heaven but to help everyone get rid of the power of sins and receive freedom from truth."

He also shared his experience in the Band and resolution: "Receiving revelation from the Lord that Chinese should preach the gospel back to Jerusalem, Mark Ma, the institute's president, Teacher Grace Ho and my classmate Mecca Chao established the Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band... Revealed by God, I evangelized in Afghanistan and became a working member."

After China's liberation in 1949, his family had to return to his hometown for they didn't have registered permanent household residence in Anxi, a county of Gansu. What was worse, the local church was shut down under the political pressure. He became an old farm laborer.

During the Cultural Revolution, he told the authority that he was sent to evangelize in Xinjiang by the 'Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band' while he was accused of being a spy. Zhang suffered from denunciation day and night, then he was punished to work in a labor camp, being separated from his family.

After the revolution, the Chinese church reopened. However, in the beginning, he refused to do church work for there was hurting from the past history. Disciplined by God, he resumed the mission to help locals build their church. 

Translated by: Karen Luo

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