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Jackie Pullinger: 'Mission is what every single believer is called to'

Jackie Pullinger has written books and spoken to thousands about her ministry in Hong Kong, but her greatest joy is seeing “someone touched by Jesus” ...

Jackie Pullinger has written books and spoken to thousands about her ministry in Hong Kong, but her greatest joy is seeing “someone touched by Jesus”, she tells JOANNE APPLETON

“Last night it was an old man of 80 and his wife who came for food,” says Jackie. “We were having a prayer meeting so we gave them food and prayed for them.

“They met Jesus – they spoke in tongues and his knee got healed. Then we listened together to Scripture, and at the end his wife could repeat the whole story back, even though she was probably illiterate.

“Then this afternoon I prayed for a man who is thinking about the next steps of his life. We took him off drugs 15 years ago.

“It is thrilling just to see how, after many ups and downs, his heart is still so soft and open to letting Jesus deal with him.”

Jackie has seen many lives changed through God’s love during her time amongst some of the most impoverished and needy parts of Hong Kong, including the notorious Walled City. Her book Chasing the Dragon gives a graphic account of how the work developed.

She admits there are huge battles. “We are housing more than 300 people in different places whose lives are in distress, and their sons jump off roofs and their wives attempt suicide.”

Jackie doesn’t really get used to all this, but at the heart of every difficulty is the challenge to respond in a godly way.

“Being aware of what comes up in the stress times is important, because sometimes my reaction is due to the unredeemed bits of me, rather than because the situation is so huge.

“When there is a response I am ashamed of, I am learning to ask the Lord, ‘where did that come from?’ He shows me, and I confess where I got it wrong for many years and I see Jesus come and put it right.

“Actually, we have learnt that when challenges and difficulties come up we just about manage to be thankful, because they reveal in us what needs to be dealt with. Then Jesus comes and deals with it and he is at the centre of the situation.”

This willingness to be changed by God is foundational to Jackie’s ministry, as she explains:
“We have to realise our own brokenness because God cannot do through us what we will not let him do in us.

“It would be not much use if I, who was and is broken in many places, left my country with my brokenness, preached the Gospel and did not get healed along the way myself.

“People see who we are more than they listen to what we say. So, if I can say, ‘God’s healing me in this area’, instead of ‘look, once you have Jesus all your problems are gone’, then they identify with me and we can be friends.”

Jackie is clear that we all have a part to play in sharing God’s love with others.

“Mission is what every single believer is called to,” she insists. “It may be that you remain in the house where you live, but we are all called to go somewhere, somehow – you can’t be a ‘stay-put’ believer.

“If people look at me and feel inadequate, it is their problem, not mine. My call is to be obedient to the Lord, so I think it is worth my whole life to help one more man.

“Numbers are not indicative of success. Many people who are bringing thousands of people to the Lord are actually doing it because a whole sitting room of old ladies prayed for 20 years.

“So, because you have seen wonderful things, it doesn’t mean you are exceptional – it means you have played your part and the harvest is the Lord’s.

“Some sow and some reap, but I don’t have ownership – I am just part of it.”

  • Jackie will be speaking at the GO2013 mission festival at Bulstrode, Gerrards Cross from 3-6 May 2013. For more information, and to read the full interview with Jackie, visit www.go2013.org.uk
  • Chasing the Dragon by Jackie Pullinger is published by Hodder and Stoughton, price £8.99.

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