I am happy to welcome my longtime friend and colleague Joann Pittman, ChinaSource Senior Vice President, to the Lantern this month! Joann oversees partnership development and has been instrumental in helping grow our partnering networks.
In these times of uncertainty brought on by the pandemic and intensifying restrictions, we see the Lord orchestrating more unifying efforts for his glory. This unity is only possible by way of the Triune God of grace, as an answer to our Master’s prayer for oneness in John 17, that Joann references below.
Whether formal or informal, mentioned or behind the scenes, we are grateful to engage, collaborate, and serve alongside our kingdom partners!
In the seventeenth chapter of his gospel, John records Jesus’ prayer to the Father prior to his arrest and crucifixion. In it we see Jesus acknowledging that his earthly work is coming to a close and commending the disciples into the care of the Father. In verses 20-23, he beseeches the Father “that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (v.23)
At ChinaSource, we are passionate about seeing God’s people work together to fulfill the Great Commission; hence collaboration is one of our core values. Working in collaborative partnership allows us to live out the unity that we desire—a unity that transcends national, cultural, and denominational barriers, and one that can only be found in Christ.
Over the past 20+ years God has graciously allowed us to develop a broad network of relationships that form the basis of collaborative partnerships, both formal and informal. Through these partnerships we have been able to play a catalytic role in collaboration among individuals and organizations, as well as providing a platform to share resources and expertise.
In the past year, we have had some unique partnership opportunities in the area of content, events, and research.
We collaborate with a number of individuals and organizations within China to produce content, either in the form of original writing or translated pieces written by and for the local Chinese audience. In this way we can stay current on what is happening and provide our readers with stories that reveal the day-to-day issues that believers in China are facing. We also regularly convene calls with China experts from a variety of fields to plan content.
Recently, we have had opportunities for collaboration with Christianity Today as they seek to broaden the scope of their international coverage. We offer advice and consultation, and have assisted with translation projects. Earlier this month Christianity Today asked Brent Fulton to write an analysis piece about how some churches in Hong Kong are responding to the new national security law.
For our flagship publication, the ChinaSource Quarterly, we invite individuals outside of ChinaSource to serve as guest editors. These partnerships allow our readers to tap into a broad network of experts, and provide those experts with a platform from which to share their experience and expertise.
We also are privileged to have an ongoing partnership with Missio Nexus, conducting webinars and presenting workshops at their annual conferences. We also teamed up with them to produce an infographic highlighting the complexity of the church in China.
In April of this year, we hosted an academic lecture on the life and work of Timothy Richard, a Welsh Baptist who served in China in the late 19th century. Originally meant to be a live event in the Twin Cities (MN), the pandemic forced us to do it online. We had anticipated an attendance of 75-100, but 430 registered for the online event. Since then, more than 700 have accessed the recording of the lecture on YouTube. This event was part of a joint-lecture series hosted by ChinaSource, the US-China Catholic Association and the China Academic Consortium. Co-sponsors of the event also included Anselm House, Evergreen, and two academic departments at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul (MN).
We have convened calls with various ministry leaders to assess what is happening in China and are collaborating with another organization on a research project.
We are grateful for churches around the country who are financial partners and who have graciously provided space for us to meet as a team, and to host ChinaSource Connect events. Special thanks are due to Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN, Cedar Valley Church in Bloomington, MN, First Chinese Baptist Church in Walnut, CA, North Creek Presbyterian Church in Mill Creek, WA, Whitworth Community Presbyterian Church in Spokane, WA, and Word of Life Lutheran Brethren Church in Marysville, WA.
We are small team with a large vision. It is only through collaboration with others that we can do what we do to serve the China ministry community and the church in China. No matter what your level of partnership is with us—be it reading our publications, financially supporting our work, or working with us on a project or initiative—we are grateful for your participation with us “so that the world may know.”
News and Notes
ChinaSource Quarterly, 2020 Summer Issue
In answer to the question “What are one or two key lessons or takeaways from this issue [of CSQ]?” WU Xi wrote:
The first key lesson is that a Chinese missiology is developing. The articles on this subject in this issue are penned by local mission leaders. All of them have done significant advanced degrees in either a western or Asian setting. A second key lesson is that they are starting to write and publish their own reflections, not just their studies. It is a big leap going from a book review or an academic study to reflecting on how such studies can be applied in their context and drawing out applications. We are seeing a new generation of Chinese missiologists emerging.
To read the articles written by our Chinese brothers as well as two articles by a long-time expat worker and a review of a recent book on an early missionary to China, go to “Doing Missions with Chinese Characteristics.”
ChinaSource Team News
An article by Brent Fulton, “Hong Kong Christians Respond as Beijing’s Grip Tightens” appeared at Christianity Today on June 5.
Ways to Pray
From the ChinaSource Team
- Pray that we, the ChinaSource team, are attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as he guides and directs us to accomplish our Heavenly Father’s will through Jesus Christ.
- Pray that the Lord will use ChinaSource to help facilitate unity in Christ, bringing the Chinese church and the global church closer together; engaging, collaborating, and serving together to advance God’s kingdom.
- Pray that the Lord will have mercy and stop the advance of COVID-19.
- Pray that the Lord will grant wisdom and direction to world leaders, as well as strength and courage to those on the frontlines serving others.
- Pray that the Lord raises up workers for the harvest, as he is mightily on the move, pursuing and transforming hearts across the nations!
From the 2020 summer issue of ChinaSource Quarterly
- That Chinese churches will see the open door for missions that is before them and make use of the opportunities that today’s China affords them.
- For Chinese churches and sending agencies as they evaluate the Wenzhou model of missions and other models to decide which are the best ones for them at this time.
- That Chinese churches and sending agencies will confront the difficulties workers face as they serve cross-culturally equipping them beforehand and providing them with the support they need on the field.
- For pastors as they educate and motivate their congregations to become involved in missions.
- That Chinese Christians will heed the call of God upon their lives to become cross-cultural workers.
In Case You Missed It
A selection of recently published items:
- Missions from China Today: A Reader Responds to the 2020 Summer Issue of CSQ, ChinaSource Blog, June 17.
- Churches in China Begin Reopening, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), June 16.
- A Response to Richard Cook, ChinaSource Blog, June 15.
- National People’s Congress 2020: A Reading Roundup, ChinaSource Blog, June 12.
- Off We Go: A Book Review, ChinaSource Blog, June 10.
- A Generation of Digital Nomads (2), ChinaSource Blog (CCV), June 09.
- Doing Missions with Chinese Characteristics: Developments in the Indigenous Missions Movement from China, ChinaSource Quarterly, June 08.
- Be Open: What I Learned through My Church Experiences in China, Wheaton, and the World, ChinaSource Blog, June 08.
- Seeking Redemptive Recovery, ChinaSource Blog, June 05.
- 3 Questions: Indigenous Missions Movement, ChinaSource Blog, June 03.
- A Generation of Digital Nomads (1), ChinaSource Blog (CCV), June 02
- The Fading Vision of a Christian China: A Book Review, ChinaSource Blog, June 01.
- Summer Reading for 2020, ChinaSource Blog, May 29.
- Going Glocal in the Age of COVID-19, ChinaSource Blog, May 27.
- An Offer the Church Can’t Refuse, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), May 26.
- So, Are You Ready? Again?, ChinaSource Blog, May 25.
- History as a Theological Laboratory, ChinaSource Blog, May 22.
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