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The Heavenly Man made a stop in Steinbach this weekend.

His name is Brother Yun. He comes from China and the book The Heavenly Man tells his story of years in prison for being an evangelist and the persecution and torture he has endured as a Christian. Brother Yun spent the weekend at Southland Church, speaking at both services Saturday and then again Sunday.

Kris Duerksen is Pastor at Southland Church. Duerksen says he contemplated the idea of attempting to bring in Brother Yun about two years ago for International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Not thinking there was any chance, Duerksen thought 'you have not because you ask not,' and decided to at least try.

The attempt was unsuccessful but then in the last year he heard from one of Brother Yun's associates and before long they were able to nail down a weekend for Brother Yun to visit.

A typical Saturday 4 pm service at Southland will see about five hundred people in attendance. But that same service this weekend packed at least two thousand people into the auditorium.

"It's complete chaos, but it's organized chaos," says Earl Funk, an usher at the Church. "I just love it, I'm excited."

Funk admits he has yet to read The Heavenly Man but says he has heard stories from that book. And when Brother Yun started sharing those same stories of being tortured in a Chinese prison, it hit home. Funk says one thing that encouraged him Saturday evening was how Brother Yun prayed for Canada. He says as a local politician that meant so much to him.

Tracy Dueck who attended both services Saturday says it was encouraging to see so many politicians there. Whether serving in Ottawa, or at the provincial level or even more locally, she says that was one thing she noticed. Dueck adds it was really neat to be in the midst of so many believers.

"To be gathered with over two thousand people for one of the four services, people coming from anywhere from Winnipeg to Minneapolis to Snow Lake, Manitoba is just powerful," she says. "It puts that hope back in your system of you aren't alone and that God's family just continues to grow and is very diverse."

Speaking through a translator, Brother Yun shared stories of God's miracles in his life. From witnessing his father beat terminal cancer to leading a group of convicts on death row to Christ, Brother Yun shared stories of having a faith that God will answer.

"His passion, my goodness, his passion comes through just loud and clear," shares Ken Penner, after attending Saturday's service. "His passion and his love for Jesus speaks louder than anything."

Penner says Brother Yun's testimony shows the different ways that God will work.

"God uses whatever method is necessary to work," says Penner. "The way He works is endless, the number of ways He can reach people. That's probably what I will remember most about it."

Pastor Duerksen says it was a powerful weekend. He notes Brother Yun is a humble, down to earth, funny guy. Duerksen admits he always gets a little nervous when a guest speaker is brought in, not knowing whether the church will find him interesting, and especially in this case because Brother Yun spoke through a translator. But he says it was awesome and God was moving.

Duerksen says he loved how Brother Yun spoke on hearing God.

"He really just spoke the importance to believers, we have to hear Jesus," recalls Duerksen. "And then the cry out to Jesus for our needs and to have faith that God's going to answer."

According to Duerksen, this is Brother Yun's first time in Canada in about 14 years. His time in Manitoba is brief as he will speak in Red Deer, Alberta Monday.

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