Morning Star of Chinas Revival
His Preparation. Ding Limei was born on Oct. 2, 1871 in rural Shandong. The name given him by his Christian parents meant Established Beauty. He attended high school and college at Presbyterian schools in Tengzhou (now Penglai), 160 miles from his home. He was a graduate of the first class of the North China Theological Seminary in Tengxian. The young preachers faith was soon tested. During the Boxer Uprising, he was arrested and beaten 5 times with 40 stripes during his 40 days in jail. He emerged with a determination to preach the gospel in every province in China and with a burden to reach Chinas students in order to build an authentic Chinese church. He wrote, Out of a hundred Chinese Churches we cannot count more than one or two self-supporting and governingWe are sorely grieved by this state of affairs, for as long as the Church of Christ in China is lying low, so will our compatriots continue to suffer
His Evangelistic Ministry. During his evangelistic ministry (1908-23), Pastor Ding served as Roving Secretary of the YMCAs China Student Volunteers for Evangelism. His slogan was: To preach the gospel throughout China even to the ends of the earth, within our generation. Revivals in Shandong and Beijing saw thousands saved. In one five month period in 1910, he led 87 meetings and preached over 200 messages. In early 1919, he fulfilled his vow to preach in all 18 provinces when he led one of Chinas first home missions teams to work among the Miao in Yunnan. His team of six spent 6 months there and had a time of encouraging fellowship with famed CIM missionary James O. Fraser.
His Teaching Ministry. In 1923, Pastor Dings ministry shifted from evangelism to theological education. He taught for eight years at the North China Theological Seminary, and then spent a short time pastoring a church in Manchuria. In 1932, he became a professor at the seminary newly established by the National Holiness Mission in Tianjin. During one of John Sungs revivals in Tianjin, Pastor Ding humbly became one of the first to come forward to confess sins and he took a leadership role in the follow up teams. He was ill the last two years of his life and devoted himself more intensely to prayer at this time. He kept prayer books with the names of those for whom he was praying, and at one time had 5000 names in his three prayer books. He went to be with the Lord on Sept. 22, 1936, and his body was buried in Tianjins British Cemetery. He left a wife and three children.
Ding Limeis Ten Prayer Points
1. By prayer I feel Christs presence, and the fellowship of a bosom friend.
2. By prayer I feel spiritually nourished, like flowers by sprinkling waters.
3. Righteousness, peace and joy, like three rays, surround me, whereby my heart is greatly encouraged.
4. By prayer and Bible-reading is the joy of my devotion to the Lord increased.
5. By prayer is my preaching secretly helped by the Spirit
6. By prayer is love for others increased, that there is not one under heaven who cannot be loved.
7. By prayer is hope added to faith, and that greatly multiplied.
8. Whenever I sin, hidden or seen, big or small, I am self-rebuked through prayer, and will not leave off without confession and repentance.
9. By prayer I find the way opened up before me and everything becomes smooth-sailing.
10. The gradual increase of prayer bands is not through my individual effort, but by one and all, individuals and groups.
Photo and Final Quotation from Tow, Timothy. The Asian Awakening. (Christian Life Publishers, 1988) p. 234