One of our favorite quotes about China is, “If you are not confused, you are not paying attention,” from author Rob Gifford in his book China Road. Two of our staff are in China this month. One comment coming back was, “Five days in China and I'm more confused then ever. Which is, perhaps, not entirely a bad thing.” As we talk with Chinese believers we are hearing a wide variety of thoughts and responses to the increasing government pressure on churches and individuals. Vibrant online discussions are taking place on WeChat and other social media outlets in China. These differences have resulted in some splits within churches and fellowships.
Foreign workers in China are facing greater uncertainty. As the government and Party seek to exercise greater control over all sectors of society including education, students, teachers, and foreign teachers are facing greater scrutiny of their beliefs and practices. We are aware of some families who have had to leave China in recent weeks and are concerned for them.
We started November with an important Missio Nexus webcast on November 1 where we tried to outline the new situation for the church in China. This has been archived and is available online to Missio Nexus members.
In a recent call with Brent Fulton, he shared about a helpful week-long retreat in Colorado. He said, “We came away with a detailed plan for our sabbatical—things that we need to work on individually and as a couple, helpful books to read, and new ways of thinking about our future roles. We could not have asked for a more thorough and focused time of preparation for the months ahead.”
Our board search committee continues to talk to possible candidates for the future leader for ChinaSource. There are a number of follow-up meetings scheduled this month as both the search committee and candidates explore skills, interest, fit and calling. We believe that at the right time God will provide the man or woman to lead the ChinaSource team for this important ministry.
ChinaSource is also looking for people to serve in other capacities. This month we are introducing a section on opportunities to volunteer and/or work on the ChinaSource team (see below). Since we are a virtual team, location is not a limitation. We are looking for people whose heart is to serve in what God is doing in China and who have the skills we need to carry out our mission. We are praying that God will provide the people and skills we need for our team.
As part of our year end wrap-up the 2018 ChinaSource annual report is now out and available for download on our website. Working on the annual report is a good opportunity to look back and give thanks for what God has done for us, with us and through us. We are blessed to be able to serve the broader China ministry community. We get to meet and work with so many heroes.
We know many of our supporters give generously during these last two months of the year. We are encouraging all our readers and supporters to help us with our need of US$148,376 to finish out this year. At the same time we are encouraging donors to consider making their donation a monthly faith commitment to give regularly to our ministry.
We are thankful for each one we get to partner with and serve. We appreciate your interest, prayer and support as we engage more deeply with the church in China. We trust our efforts will result in greater impact for all those involved with China.
He is faithful,
Your friends at ChinaSource
Opportunities to Serve
Donor Relations Manager (part-time)
- Responsible for developing and implementing donor engagement strategies.
- Support existing ChinaSource donors.
- Work with ChinaSource leaders and board members for new donor development.
To inquire, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
News and Notes
- On October 17 Joann Pittman spoke on “Christian Communities in China” on Faith Radio.
- An interview with Brent Fulton, “Change and Challenges: Understanding Three Decades of Chinese Church Growth,” was published by World Magazine on October 25
- From October 28 through November 2 Hannah Lau was a workshop speaker at LittWorld 2018, a global Christian publishing conference in Singapore.
- “Communist-Party-Led . . . Church Multiplication? An Update on the Church in China” by Joann Pittman was published by The Gospel Coalition on October 29.
- An article by Brent Fulton appeared in the November issue of Anthology, a publication of MissioNexus publication.
- On November 4 Hannah Lau shared at the Sunday service of Cempaka Baptist Mission in Ipoh, Malaysia.
- Brent Fulton was interviewed by former ChinaSource board member Mark Swallow for his radio ministry, God Is. It aired on WROL and WEZE in New England, November 5-16, 2018. The episodes are also available here.
- Hannah Lau gave a seminar on November 7 at Alby Christian bookstore in Singapore on “Finding Your Creative Voice through Writing.”
Ways to Pray
- Pray for Brent and Jasmine Fulton in their second month of his sabbatical. Brent and Jasmine recently spent a week at a retreat center in Colorado and came away with lots of ideas and suggestions for how to best use their sabbatical time. May God richly bless this time for Brent and Jasmine.
- Pray for those workers who have been forced to leave China suddenly. Pray for their adjustments and for discernment regarding future ministry focus.
- Pray for wisdom for the search committee as they contact and interview potential leaders for ChinaSource.
- As 2018 draws to a close, pray that the year-end financial needs of ChinaSource will be met.
In Case You Missed It
A selection of recently published items
- In Everything Give Thanks. ChinaSource Blog, November 21.
- Giving Thanks in China, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), November 20.
- Shandong: The Revival Province, ChinaSource Blog, November 19.
- Finding the “Pastoral Middle” in the Translations Debate, ChinaSource Blog, November 16.
- Advantages and Challenges for Indigenous Researchers (1): The Advantages, ChinaSource Blog, November 14.
- Reflections from a Three-Self Pastor on the Challenges Faced by the Church in China, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), November 13.
- China's Van Goghs: A Film Review, ChinaSource Blog, November 12.
- The Meaning of Gifts, ChinaSource Blog, November 9.
- Search and Research, ChinaSource Blog, November 7.
- Reflections from a Reformed Perspective on the Challenges Faced by the Church in China, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), November 6.
- How My International Fellowship Trained Me: An International Student’s Maturing in China, ChinaSource Blog, November 5.
- Hope for Today, and Tomorrow! ChinaSource Blog, November 2.
- When Counting Is Hard . . . in China (2): Analysis, ChinaSource Blog, October 31.
- A Shanghai Pastor Reflects on Challenges Facing the Church in China, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), October 30.
- We Use Chinese All the Time: Why Chinese Is a Key Language for Reaching International Students in China, ChinaSource Blog, October 29.
- International Student Ministry in China—A New eBook, ChinaSource Blog, October 26.
- When Counting Is Hard … in China (1): Considerations, ChinaSource Blog, October 24.
- A Book for Dads and Their Children, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), October 23.
- My Heart Burns for Them: An International Student’s Passion to Reach Others with the Gospel, ChinaSource Blog, October 22.
- Shenyang! ChinaSource Blog, October 19.
Are you enjoying a cup of good coffee or fragrant tea while reading the latest ChinaSource post? Consider donating the cost of that “cuppa” to support our content so we can continue to serve you with the latest on Christianity in China.