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.   

Sep 23


by Joann Pittman

From the series Cities of China

A look at Sanya, the Hawaii (and snowbird destination) of China.

Sep 21

China’s Missing History

by Brent Fulton

A wealth of scholarship on the history of Chinese Christianity has emanated from Asia during the past 50 years. Yet, although significant work on Christianity’s past is taking place in academic circles—including among mainland scholars—many Christians in China today are largely unaware of the rich history of the gospel in their own nation.

Sep 19

13 Questions on the Implementation of the Foreign NGO Law

by Joann Pittman

The website NGOs in China recently published a summary of a Q&A session between the European Chamber of Commerce and the Foreign NGO Management Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security. Seeking clarification on how the law will be implemented, the delegation from the European Chamber of Commerce posed 13 questions. 

Sep 16

Returning to China with a Degree and a New Faith

by ChinaSource Team

Some forty years ago in Saint Louis, a group of Baptist churches combined their cooking skills and gifts of hospitality to host a weekly lunch for international students studying at Washington University of Saint Louis. This week the first Tuesday Lunch for Internationals of the 2016-2017 academic year took place, continuing a ministry that has welcomed students and scholars from around the world, providing them with a hot meal, and in some cases with their first opportunity to sit down and talk with a Christian.  

Sep 14

The Ordinary in the Midst of the Extraordinary

by Brent Fulton

David Joannes is a self-proclaimed “missionary,” trailblazer, and ragamuffin whose newly released memoir, The Space Between Memories, chronicles twenty years of pioneering work among the minorities of Southwest China.

Sep 12

What Color Are You?

by Joann Pittman

There are numerous models of cultural differences out there. The good folks at Global Mapping International (GMI) have put together a helpful infographic highlighting three primarily cultural orientations as depicted by the three primary colors. 

Sep 9

The Value of Interdependence

by Christine Novak

First, let me confess that I am not an expert on China, nor have I lived in China. My exposure consists of supporting New Song’s in-country program director while working remotely from the US. Twice a year for 6-8 weeks at a time I travel to China for direct interface with those Chinese nationals who are trained and equipped to implement self-worth development curriculum. Through these committed community leaders New Song has impacted children and youth across China with what I believe is a culturally relevant and biblically based message of the intrinsic value of every individual. As a Westerner, my knowledge of China is shaped by this sliver of a window into Chinese culture and the church in China. It is more exposure than the average Westerner but not as much as some of you who read this blog.

Sep 7

Towards a New Model for Christian Education in China

by Brent Fulton

Dissatisfied with the current educational system and wanting their children to be taught from a biblical worldview, Christian parents in China are exploring a variety of alternatives. In the latest episode of ChinaSource Conversations we explore these alternatives in Christian education with three educators who have firsthand experience with schools in China.

Sep 5

Of Road Trips and Chinese History

by Joann Pittman

I just returned from a 5400-mile road trip from Minnesota to Newfoundland, Canada (and back).

Sep 2

One Last Summer Reading Recommendation

by Amy Young

It’s September and the autumn semester has started for most students, but before the leaves start to turn and the temperature plunges, we have one more summer reading book recommendation for you.