Understanding the Times
Recently, a dear friend reminded me of the profound narrative in 1 Chronicles 12, in which the account is given of those who came to Hebron to support the fulfillment of God’s will for David and his people.
From Issachar came “men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” 1Chronicles 12:32
As you well know, the current China ministry context calls for perspective and clarity regarding the implications of the changes taking place in China, not only for China’s Christians, but for the global church. This is indeed a vital season, during which our Father is “pouring new wine into new wineskins.” At ChinaSource we are very aware the Lord is doing a new thing. Ministry terrain is changing almost by the day and our call is to worship and wait on God, so we may be in alignment with his calling and will in this hour.
Welcome Back Brent!
It is in the context of this dynamic period that we are pleased to announce and to warmly welcome, Dr. Brent Fulton back to ChinaSource in his new role as Founder/Catalyst, as of September 1! We believe Brent’s return is incredibly timely and will significantly strengthen ChinaSource’s ability to speak and move into this very critical, highly nuanced, ever changing, China ministry season.
In October 2018, Brent and his wife Jasmine embarked on a ten-month sabbatical, their first extended period of rest since ChinaSource began. Throughout that time, they waited on the Lord for his direction into the future.
Over the past three months Brent and I have talked and prayed together about his return to ChinaSource and how his new role will energize his calling and gifting, while empowering and furthering the vision and mission of ChinaSource.
What’s in a Title?
As mentioned above, Brent’s title is Founder/Catalyst. Founder is clear enough, but you may be wondering what catalyst means in this context. Throughout his career, the Lord has used Brent in situations where people or groups of people are poised to move ahead in significant ways, to clarify vision, and to help bring people and ideas together to create something new.
Through dependence on God’s Spirit, Brent has helped catalyze ministries and mobilize ministry founders, leaders, students and other individuals. This dynamic has often been quickened through teaching, advising, and writing as well. I have experienced Brent’s catalytic ministry personally, in a wide variety of settings, amidst a diversity of people.
About the Day to Day
Brent will focus his energies on furthering the ChinaSource mission through writing. While he has actively pursued this passion for the past two decades as an author and as editor of the ChinaSource Quarterly, Brent now looks forward to broadening his scope by contributing to more outside publications and undertaking other research and writing projects, all the while continuing to contribute to various ChinaSource publications.
He will also be available, under the ChinaSource umbrella, to serve the China-ministry community through consulting.
Brent will also be a trusted advisor to me, personally, providing input into ChinaSource’s strategy.
As you can see, through prayerful discernment and discussion, both ChinaSource and Brent have concluded that collaborating together within a well-supported structure will be the most strategic and fruitful way of blessing the Chinese body of Christ. I am extremely thankful for this opportunity to serve together!
Adventures in Myanmar
Over the past year, the Lord also led the Fultons into an exciting ministry to children in Myanmar. As many of you know, Jasmine grew up in Myanmar and the Lord has opened up exciting new opportunities there to promote the children’s curriculum designed around Max Lucado’s book You are Special. Very soon we will pass along more details for those interested in hearing more about this timely work.
Still Serving in Hong Kong!
As you will read elsewhere, we have had to cancel the ChinaSource Connect event slated for Hong Kong on September 25 because of rising tensions. Even so, ChinaSource continues to be vitally involved in service to the Christian community there.
We have two staff members as well as board members who reside in Hong Kong. On September 25-27 the ChinaSource board of directors will meet in Hong Kong. Along the way, various members of our team are pleased to serve Christ’s people there in a variety of ways throughout the year. Please pray with us for every person in Hong Kong to encounter, or be renewed by, the Prince of Peace!
Ways to Pray
- Praise the Lord with us that Dr. Brent and Jasmine Fulton had a blessed and renewing sabbatical and that Brent has rejoined ChinaSource as Founder/Catalyst.
- Pray for Brent and Jasmine as they make the transition from their sabbatical to the life and ministry to which Jesus has called them.
- Pray for Christ’s church in Hong Kong during these days of unrest, that his people will offer hope to the hopeless through Jesus Christ.
- Pray that the ChinaSource board meetings, scheduled to take place in Hong Kong, September 25-27, will go on as scheduled and that deliberations and decisions will be confirmed by the Heavenly Father’s will, according to the Holy Spirit, and in the name of Jesus Christ.
News and Notes
ChinaSource Quarterly, 2019 Autumn Issue
China and Africa, guest edited by Joann Pittman
In her editorial Joann Pittman wrote:
The aim of this issue is to provide historical background as well as information and analysis of the various issues related to Chinese and Africans working together to reach both Chinese and Africans.
In the lead article, Fred writes about the need for partnership between Chinese and African believers in reaching out to and ministering to the Chinese in Africa. He provides a model of Chinese and African Christians working together to overcome cultural barriers, serving hand-in-hand to reach Chinese in one country in Africa.
Michael Hicks, a PhD candidate studying the history of China-Africa relations during the Mao era, provides us with important historical background information, while also providing context for understanding some of the current issues.
Christopher Lai explores seven key challenges that Chinese Christian workers face in Africa. These range from preserving the “face” of the Chinese government to issues of cross-cultural communications.
Next we hear from Faith Wanjiku Mworia, the founder of a language and culture learning center in Nairobi that provides services to Africans and Chinese from all walks of life. She writes about her love of all things Chinese, and of using language and culture learning as a means of building understanding between Chinese and Africans.
Another African voice we hear from is Tim, a student from Zimbabwe studying in China, whom I had the chance to interview. He reflects on some of the cultural similarities and differences between Chinese and Africans, and shares his thoughts on how Chinese Christians can reach out to the African students in their midst.
Lucy Liu reviews the book, China and Africa: A Century of Engagement, written by David H. Shinn and Joshua Eisenman. She commends the book for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it helps those interested in the subject to “get their facts straight. “ This is important for those wanting to engage both Chinese and Africans in meaningful ways.
We conclude with a recommended resource, The China in Africa Podcast, produced by the China Africa Project. Produced weekly, this podcast explores the numerous facets of the increasing engagement between China and Africa.
ChinaSource Connect: Hong Kong—Cancelled
The ChinaSource Connect that was announced last month for Hong Kong has been cancelled due to the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong. We look forward to rescheduling the event at a later date.
In Case You Missed It
A selection of recently published items:
- Heading Home with Jesus: A Book Recommendation, ChinaSource Blog, September 18, 2019.
- When a Member Seeks Financial Gain in the Church, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), September 17, 2019.
- China and Africa: An Eternal Imprint, ChinaSource Blog, September 16, 2019.
- Stream of Praise, ChinaSource Blog, September 13, 2019.
- “What If” Is Here: Global Trellis, ChinaSource Blog, September 11, 2019.
- A Cathedral in Shanghai, ChinaSource Blog, September 10, 2019.
- The Farewell, ChinaSource Blog, September 9, 2019.
- Lord, I Love You, ChinaSource Blog, September 6, 2019.
- Same but Different, ChinaSource Blog, September 4, 2019.
- Reaching Tibetans, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), September 3, 2019.
- "China and Africa"—a Preview, ChinaSource Blog, September 2, 2019.
- 5 O'clock in the Morning in China, ChinaSource Blog, August 30, 2019.
- God’s Work among the Lisu, ChinaSource Blog, August 28, 2019.
- The Importance of First-Hand Faith, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), August 27, 2019.
- Going to School in China, ChinaSource Blog, August 26, 2019.
- Fair Name of Jesus, ChinaSource Blog, August 23, 2019.
Image credit: etourneauatokyo from Pixabay.
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