During World War II, the old campus of the first Christian missionary school in the city of Weihsien, China, was used by the Japanese as a prison camp. More than two thousand civilians from Allied countries who had been living in northern China were imprisoned there until they were liberated by a team of Americans on August 17, 1945.
Following the liberation, American planes arrived regularly from the east, dropping parachutes loaded with food, clothing, and medicine. British internee Norman H. Cliff would later write, "I stood one morning in front of the guardroom, and looked at the sky, which was full of blue, green and red parachutes floating down on to the fields in front of me. It was a moving sight, and with a lump in my throat I sent up a little prayer of thanksgiving to my God. The years of bread porridge, bread pudding, and bread-what-have-you were now over. The guards in the room to my right had no further authority over us. Manna was coming down from heaven."
At Pentecost, it wasn't food-laden parachutes that fell from heaven but something even more precious: the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. As a result of Jesus' victory on the cross and enthronement in heaven, the Spirit descended to begin the new age of salvation and ignite the mission of the church. Evil was still present, but it had no further authority over the world.
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