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.   

Feb 8

Happy New Year


by Joann Pittman

Four Chinese characters to spark meaningful conversations during the Chinese New Year.

Feb 5

30 Minutes towards a Better Understanding of China’s Urban Church

A New ChinaSource Conversations Podcast

by ChinaSource Team

Many people outside of China see the church in China primarily as a persecuted church and as a church with many needs. The reality of the situation for the Chinese church—especially with the emergence of the urban house church—is much more complex.

This month’s ChinaSource Conversations podcast—in just 30 minutes—will give you a head start on better understanding the church in China today as Brent, Joann Pittman, senior vice president of ChinaSource, and Mark Swallow, host of ChinaSource Conversations, discuss the key points in his book.

Feb 3

At Home in This World

A China Adoption Story

by Mark Wickersham

At Home in This World . . . a China Adoption Story by Jean Macleod. 

Reviewed by Mark Wickersham

Feb 1

3 Questions: G. Wright Doyle

Church Growth in the Chinese Church

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

A ChinaSource "3 Questions" interview with Dr. G. Wright Doyle, director of Global China Center, editor of Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity, and co-editor of Studies in Chinese Christianity, published by Wipf and Stock.

Jan 29

Making It Safer for Seniors to Stay Active

Raising Up Trained Caregivers

by Paul deMena

I was riding on the subway in Wuhan one afternoon, standing in the middle of a very crowded car. A frail senior gentleman was sitting in a seat near me. When we came to the next stop, a senior woman, who was standing by the door, started shouting at him to hurry and get off the train. He stood up and those of us around him helped him get to the doorway as quickly as possible, but by the time he got there, the door started to close. The woman was already on the platform, but he was still standing in the car. When the doors closed, the glass platform door closed on his arm, and the car door closed on his head. 

Jan 27

Partnering with Churches in China

Toward a New Paradigm

by Brent Fulton

How can churches outside China that seek to make a meaningful contribution to the church in China continue to serve effectively? Here are some initial suggestions.

Jan 25

Chinese Indigenous Missions

A Reading Round-Up

by Joann Pittman

On December 31, Christianity Today published a piece titled “Made in China: The Next Mass Missionary Movement.” This article provides an excellent introduction to the topic and some of the related issues.

To help provide context and background, we thought now would be a good time to highlight some of the resources that ChinaSource has published on the topic over the years. We hope these will be helpful to those wanting to learn more.

Jan 22

The Changing Face of Political Leadership in China

by Brent Fulton

Since rising to power three years ago, President Xi Jinping has frequently been called the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. Such comments often refer to the way Xi has consolidated power by bringing the various Communist Party organs firmly under his control and to how he has eliminated possible opposition through a wide-ranging anti-corruption campaign and emphasis on rule by law.

Jan 20

Christmas Crowds in China | Part 3

Crowds of New Believers

by Swells in the Middle Kingdom

From the series Christmas Crowds in China

In years past I have marveled at the large numbers of people who flow through China’s churches every year at Christmas. I know of one urban church that hosts over 10,000 visitors during its six Christmas services. Each year I see the church building bursting at its seams, bodies crammed along every aisle and stairway. Each year I watch as the area around the church is closed to traffic and swarmed by young people eager to catch a glimpse or hear a word of Christmas—compelled by a sense that Christmas must in some ways must be connected to the church.

Jan 18

Christmas Crowds in China | Part 2

Crowds of Apples

by Swells in the Middle Kingdom

From the series Christmas Crowds in China

As I walked through the center of town on Christmas Eve, I was forced every few steps to maneuver around yet another vendor trying to sell me something. In years past the pushcarts had been covered with Santa hats and light-up electronic wands. This year, however, it was all about apples—enormous apples branded with fortuitous (or sexy) images and packaged in Christmas-y cardboard boxes.