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.   

Jun 23

Nurturing Marriages and Raising Children—Challenges for Chinese Missionaries

by Si Shi (四石)

Family needs, particularly the needs of the spouse and children, are among the causes of the high attrition rate among Chinese long-term missionaries. 

Jun 21

A Servant Is Not Greater than His Master

by Steve Schirmer

Reflecting on the deaths of two Chinese missionaries to Pakistan.

Jun 19

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

by I’Ching Thomas

After having been the only child for many years, my parents finally brought home a tiny bundle—my very own baby sibling. While many would celebrate the arrival of another member to the family, that special day was instead laced with disappointment for my father. I found out much later that my mother went into labor before my father got to the hospital. When he finally arrived, he took a look at the baby, uttered in dismay, “Another girl,” and walked off.

Jun 16

Father’s Day in China: A Gospel Opportunity

by Mark Totman

Father’s Day in China, like many other countries, falls on the third Sunday in June. It is not an official holiday in China, nor is it widely observed, especially in comparison to other similar holidays such as Mother’s Day and Children’s Day. Yet, for those working among Chinese (in any context) it does provide a unique opportunity to generate gospel-oriented discussion given the central theme of God the Father in the Bible. 

Jun 14

An Unforgiving Mirror

by Brent Fulton

Reading Kathleen Lodwick’s How Christianity Came to China (Fortress Press 2016) was disturbing for two reasons. 

Jun 12

Recent Articles on Islam in China

by Joann Pittman

Last week Brent wrote about a Christian serving among China’s Muslims who joined in the Muslim celebration of Ramadan. Given the fact that we are now at the halfway point of the month of fasting, I thought it would be a good time to highlight some recent articles and resources about Islam in China.

Jun 9

Beijing Taxi

A Film Review

by Hannah Lau

The film Beijing Taxi, directed by Miao Wang, a Beijing native who immigrated to the US in 1990, begins two years before the Olympics and follows the lives of three taxi drivers. Each of them shares their own perspective on Beijing’s transformation, China’s rise, and most importantly, what it all means to them. Is China hosting the Olympics really all the glitz and glory that it was dreamed to be? What price economic growth and development?

Jun 7

A Chinese Christian Observes Ramadan

by Brent Fulton

Last year, in order to better understand those whom he has been called to serve, Pastor Mark, a Chinese Christian, joined in the Muslim celebration of Ramadan. He learned some unexpected lessons. 

Jun 5

China’s God-Shaped Vacuum

by Joann Pittman

Our friends at The Gospel Coalition recently asked me to review Ian Johnson’s book The Souls of China: The Return of Religion after Mao. Last week, it was published under the title "China’s God-Shaped Vacuum." 

Jun 2

Effective Outreach among Chinese—No Visa Required

by Narci Herr

For those who live near university campuses, opportunities to reach out to Chinese students and researchers with the gospel are well within reach and don’t require a visa or plane ticket. Churches wanting to minister among Chinese often need look no further than the closest college campus. The challenge often isn’t lack of opportunity but rather a lack of understanding that effective ministry is possible for any believer in Christ who wants to serve Chinese students studying overseas. 

 China in Our Midst: Reaching Chinese International Students in America by Glen Osborn and Daniel Su of China Outreach Ministries (COM) will help anyone who wants to get involved in serving and reaching Chinese students but is uncertain about how to do it or wonders if they are qualified.