From the West Courtyard

From the West Courtyard—thoughts about working and serving in China from our staff and others with experience and insight to share. 

The name comes from a Chinese phrase that was taught in an early 1900s Chinese language curriculum, “有一个人,从西院子过来,”meaning “a man came over from the west courtyard." The idea of moving from west to east, of journeying between these two courtyards, reflects our desire to root our observations in the non-western context and allow the local Chinese context to determine what is culturally normative for life and work in China. 

Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by ChinaSource.   

Aug 18

Coming Alongside

by Si Shi (四石)

Elements of the Chinese church are passionate about participating in the great commission. There is a freshness, an enthusiasm, an excitement about taking the gospel of Christ to unreached parts of the world. To what extent should the international church, an older, more experienced church, undergird these efforts? Come alongside in a supportive role?

Aug 16

3 Questions: Remembering the Poor

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

Brother Tom is a grassroots church planter in an Asian city. For the past twenty years he has worked with a global organization on creating access and sustainability for church planting.

Aug 14

Stinky Tofu and Language Learning

by Joann Pittman

From the series Learning Chinese

Earlier in the summer, I had the chance to meet a family that was in the process of moving to China. Among other things they wanted to know about resources to help their young children learn Chinese.

Aug 11

Western vs. Chinese Theology

by Tabor Laughlin

In the “Teaching across Cultures” class I took last month with Dr. Craig Ott, he had us read The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently . . . and Why by Richard Nisbett. The crux of the book’s argument is that Westerners and Asians think differently because of their different ancient roots. 

Aug 9

Too Quickly to Be Astonished

by Brent Fulton

Surveying China’s extraordinary rise over the past decade, Graham Allison, in his book Destined for War, paraphrases former Czech President Vaclav Havel when he says, “It has happened so quickly, we have not yet had time to be astonished.”

Aug 7

What Does "Ju" Mean?

by Joann Pittman

From the series Learning Chinese

When I was living in China, newcomers, especially those who had been around for a few weeks or months and had started to pick up some new words and phrases, would often ask me, “what does ju (or some other word) mean?”

Aug 4

Dwarves Kingdom

A Film Review

by Hannah Lau

A documentary exploring the lives of some of China's "little people" living and working at a theme park in Yunnan. 

Aug 2

China’s Church and Its Future

by Brent Fulton

A fundamental question for Christians in China—who will lead the Chinese church of the future.

Jul 31

Matteo Ricci

The First Western Chinese Language Learner?

by Joann Pittman

From the series Learning Chinese

Learning Chinese is a big task, but learning how to use the language to accomplish simple, everyday tasks is not. You may never, like Matteo Ricci, translate Chinese classics or write books in Chinese yourself. But even Ricci had to start with the basics, learning the sounds, the tones, and the simple vocabulary to accomplish the stuff of everyday life.

Jul 28

Recommended Read—Shanghai Faithful

by Joann Pittman

When a Catholic Chinese-American journalist discovers that her grandfather was a prominent Anglican church leader in China in the 1940s and that her granduncle was none other than the famous house church leader, Watchman Nee, she did what every good journalist does—she set out to tell the story.