Turning Caves into Cathedrals

April 21, 2005

My current fascination is with the emerging Missionary movement in China as they prepare their people to reach the final frontier: the vast people groups among the Buddhist and Muslim worldviews. In reading one book “Back to Jerusalem” I ran across a heart-enriching story I wanted to share with you.

Two girls in their late teens were called by God to go and preach to a village in the Northwest corner of China, an area that is primarily Muslim. During their first few days in that place, the townspeople found out their purpose and began to persecute them. They would not allow anyone in town to feed them or give them aid in any way. Without food and shelter, the girls wandered around the area, preaching when they were allowed, praying when they were not.

These are teenage girls mind you.

After several days of this, they were very hungry and thirsty and tired. They asked the Lord to help them and He lead them to go to a cave overlooking the town. God literally lead them…they only walked in whatever direction He said to go. They found a cave that was almost hidden from view. In the cave was a small stream that had very fresh water. When they awoke the first morning, they found mushrooms growing all over the cave. They found the mushrooms to be delicious and nourishing, totally satisfying in every way. In fact, they had never tasted mushrooms like it. The cave was clean and dry and had all they needed for their sustenance. They continued to go down into the town day after day, week after week, and even for several years, teaching the people about Jesus.

Finally, some of the villagers became believers in Jesus and a Church was started in that town. With these new converts, they began to teach the Bible with great power and accuracy. More people came to believe. Finally, they were invited by leaders of the village to come and stay in the town. They decided to go back to the cave and sleep there one last night.

In the morning, when the awoke, they were startled to find that there were no mushrooms growing on the floor and no stream flowing in the back. That was their last night in the Miracle Cave. However, they have returned many times over the years. That cave has now been made into a training center, where people can come for prayer and be instructed in how to do ministry.

Hebrews 11 calls people like this “those of whom the world is not worthy.” These two girls gladly accepted hardships and persecution and their reward is now great. Great accomplishments call for great sacrifices.



  1. What books are you reading that you got this story from. I just weep when I read stories like that and compare them to myself or those around me. God lead me daily and have mercy on me when I choose not to listen.

  2. A prominent American evangelist was recently invited to China and after seeing how powerful the witness and effective the Church was over there, a companion standing beside him, in awe, stated, “we have nothing to teach them” (the Chinese Christians). The Chinese church is genuine biblical Christianity without all of the mega-buildings, powerpoint, programs, boards, or budgets. What a concept!

  3. Two of the many new books that give me stories and perspective on the Chinese church are:

    The Heavenly Man
    Back to Jerusalem

    both by Paul Hattaway. Really, these books are only translated into English by Mr. Hattaway. The writers are Christian leaders in China as they tell the miraculous stories about what is happening there.

    We have nothing more to teach them. Oh God, please send our Chinese brothers and sisters to model how to live as Christians again in America.

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