Reflections on 20 years of service from Brent Fulton, president of ChinaSource.
It’s been 20 years since ChinaSource’s founding as a clearinghouse of information and relationships for Christians engaged in China. From its roots at the Billy Graham Center of Wheaton College, ChinaSource has grown to become an international organization that has been privileged to serve thousands of agencies, churches, institutions, and individuals.
As we celebrate God’s work in our midst during the past two decades, we have much for which to be grateful. Two things, in particular, stand out.
Our role has given ChinaSource a unique position from which to view the profound developments in China, most notably the growth and strengthening of the church in the midst of China’s relentless economic expansion and an urban migration unprecedented in human history.
I’ve lost count of the number of times in the past two decades—as we have witnessed Christians in China doing things that many had said were impossible—that I’ve had to pinch myself and ask, “Is this really happening? Are they really doing this?”
A turning point came in May 2008. As leaders from scores of organizations along with a number of urban church leaders gathered for a consultation in a southeast Asian city, we received the tragic news of a massive earthquake in Sichuan province. Prayers went up from the foreigners in attendance, while the leaders from China were busy on their cellphones, giving direction to what would become a sizeable relief effort by Chinese Christians. In that moment it was clear the initiative for new ministry efforts no longer lay with the overseas organizations; a new generation of Chinese church leaders was taking the lead.
Far and away the greatest privilege of serving during these 20 years has been the relationships. God has raised up choice servants from around the globe to live and work alongside Christians in China. Among these are pioneers who have brought innovation in business, medicine, education, and other fields. Others through quiet witness and a pastoral heart have brought needed care and encouragement to Chinese believers, as well as to their fellow travelers from other lands. As our work has shifted from encouraging partnership among foreign entities to joining hands more directly with Christians in China, the blessing we have received from these life-changing relationships has been immense.
Playing a catalytic role in the midst of this diverse and amazingly gifted community has been humbling, challenging, and exceedingly fulfilling for those who have been part of ChinaSource over the years. In an era where the roles of both Chinese believers and foreign workers are changing, ChinaSource continues in its commitment to serving as a “go-to” resource for relevant China knowledge and a catalyst for partnership.
As we mark 20 years, we invite you to celebrate with us!
Please make plans to join one of these upcoming ChinaSource Connect evenings in North America or Hong Kong, where we will be connecting with friends and also sharing our vision for the next leg of the journey.
ChinaSource Connect in Dallas, Texas, US
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2017
Venue: Highland Park Presbyterian Church, Room H-018 (Private Dining Room)
Address: 3821 University Blvd., Dallas, TX 75205
*Parking along west end of complex—meeting room directly thru Elliott Hall on the right.
RSVP here by Sept 11.
ChinaSource Connect in Los Angeles, California, US
Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Venue: San Gabriel Valley area
Address: More information to come
RSVP here by Sept 13.
ChinaSource Connect in Hong Kong
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2017
Venue: Evangelical Community Church (ECC) Ministry Center
Address: 4/F, Hankow Center, 5-15 Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
RSVP here by Oct 2.
News and Notes
- On July 16 Brent Fulton was quoted in “The Secret Lives of Chinese Missionaries in Northern Iraq,” an article published in the South China Morning Post.
- Brent Fulton was quoted by Kyle Hutzler in his article “God with Chinese characteristics, ” a review of Ian Johnson’s The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, published on July 20
- “Chinese Government: Give Up Your Faith, Or Else, “ an interview with Brent Fulton was also posted on the CBN website on July 20.
- On July 30, 2017 Hannah Lau spoke on “8 Ways to Help a Hurting World” at Emmanuel English Church in Hong Kong.
- Joann Pittman was quoted in “Reformation 500 for the Chinese Church” published at The Gospel Coalition on July 31.
- On Aug 6, 2017 Hannah Lau spoke at Emmanuel English Church in Hong Kong on “[God Said] You're Invited.”
- Joann Pittman attended the 2017 Conference of the United States Catholic China Bureau, in Queens, New York on August 11-13 gave two presentations: “The Protestant Experience in China: Key Challenges,” and “The Bells Are Not Silent: Writing Stories and the Meaning of Faith.”
Joann Pittman speaking in New York.
Ways to Pray
- Rejoice with us in the 20th anniversary of ChinaSource this year. Pray for wisdom and discernment as we look ahead to ongoing service to the Christian community.
- Pray for the three planned ChinaSource Connect events—that they will be celebrations of God’s goodness and occasions to share how God is using ChinaSource and the ways people can be involved in the ministry.
- During the past month ChinaSource has had the opportunity to consult with two more organizations on dealing with China’s Overseas NGO Law. Continue to pray for wisdom as we assist those who are facing new challenges in their ministry in China.
- Significant behind-the-scenes work is taking place this summer on the ChinaSource website, which has seen a doubling of users in the past 15 months. Pray for those doing this work.
In Case You Missed It
A selection of recently published items:
- China’s Religious Revival, From the West Courtyard, July 19.
- Chinese Sending Organizations—Are They Necessary? From the West Courtyard, July 21.
- Mother Swears at the Horse, From the West Courtyard, July 24.
- 20 Things a New Chinese Pastor Needs to Learn About Ministry, Chinese Church Voices, July 25.
- The Overseas NGO Law: A Second Look, From the West Courtyard, July 26.
- Recommended Read—Shanghai Faithful, From the West Courtyard, July 28.
- Matteo Ricci: The First Western Chinese Language Learner? From the West Courtyard, July 31.
- Why China Needs a Higher Righteousness, Chinese Church Voices, August 1.
- China’s Church and Its Future, From the West Courtyard, August 2.
- Dwarves Kingdom: A Film Review, From the West Courtyard, August 4.
- What Does "Ju" Mean? From the West Courtyard, August 7.
- Massive Church Building Project Underway in Ningbo, Chinese Church Voices, August 8.
- Too Quickly to Be Astonished, From the West Courtyard, August 9.
- Western vs. Chinese Theology, From the West Courtyard, August 11.
- Stinky Tofu and Language Learning, From the West Courtyard, August 14.
- What Not to Say When Disaster Strikes, Chinese Church Voices, August 15.
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