The year was 1914. William Christie had called China and Tibet home for twenty-two years when the outlaw band led by Bai Lang (also known as “White Wolf”) swept through Central China, ruthlessly pillaging and slaughtering. Through God’s protection, the missionaries of Min Chow were spared the physical harm that ravished their city and many others.
After escaping through an unguarded city gate, Christie led his wife, young daughter, and two single lady missionaries 110 miles to refuge across the Tibetan border at the Lupa mission station. From there they could make plans for relieving and rebuilding Min Chow after the decimation White Wolf had left.
Days after the missionaries’ arrival at Lupa, two loyal Tibetan believers made a furtive nighttime visit to them with a somber warning. One hundred seventy armed Tebbu tribesmen were en route to attack the station. After two hours of armed vigil, William discovered a few Tebbu who had scaled the wall and were preparing to burn the mission buildings. While sounding an alarm, William directed the women to hide and pray as the Tebbu rushed to open the gate for the waiting warriors outside. The missionary men took positions and fired their rifles into the air. Twenty minutes of chaos later, the confused Tebbu fled out the same gate through which they had stormed in.
A Tibetan friend later told Brother Christie, “Your Jesus gave you the victory!” Those words aptly sum up not only the harrowing experiences William Christie faced in 1914, but also the other sixty-three years of unreserved service he rendered to his King. In a time when Tibet was considered to be a land forbidden to outsiders, Christie devoted himself to evangelizing its people. He carried God’s Word on horseback through mountains and valleys, in driving rainstorms, and under the sun’s relentless heat.
In the face of demonic opposition and physical persecution, he lived in God’s strength and looked to God for victory. Our God has not changed; He offers the same strength and victory to those who will passionately pursue Him today. May we live and serve rejoicing in our victory in Jesus!
See William Christie, Apostle to Tibet by Howard Van Dyck for the complete story.