Happy Chinese New Year!
Since the year of the Tiger began on February 1, I have been reflecting on a quote by Frederick Buechner from his book A Room Called Remember: “The peace of Christ is a tiger in the blood.” As we face the unknown of 2022 we do so in the deep peace of Christ, the arms of our Heavenly Father, and the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit.
I am blessed to work and serve alongside my friends and colleagues at ChinaSource. One of them is Peter Arneson, our Donor Relations Manager, who just marked his one-year anniversary with the ChinaSource team. Peter has brought joy, wisdom, and encouragement to our community and I am pleased to welcome him to this space!
A Word from Our Donor Relations Manager
It’s February but here at ChinaSource we are still excited and praising God for his provision at the end of last year. During December alone, ChinaSource received almost 41% of 2021’s raised funds. That is a huge reason to give thanks.
It’s also a reason to reflect. This is the third year in a row that the share of annually raised funds arriving in December has increased. While it’s pretty normal for nonprofits to receive an outsized percentage of funds in the last month of the year, it reminds me of the special value of our monthly donors and makes me realize again how useful consistency and frequency are when it comes to income.
Think about it, if you were relying on 41% of your income to arrive in a single month of the year how would that impact you?
- What would it do to your stress level?
- What barriers would it create?
- Would you take a vacation this year?
- Do you put money into college or retirement savings?
This rhythm can make December feel like a wild make-it-or-break-it month and truthfully, moments like this are healthy for me as an individual. I seem to constantly need reminding that while my faithfulness to the task of fund development is a way for me to honor God, it isn’t really my effort that yields results, but only our gracious God who provides. While this reminder is good for me personally, it presents a significant challenge to the good management of an organization like ChinaSource.
Please don’t read the following as a financial appeal to raise funds. Instead, read it as a stewardship appeal to help create a more effective and impactful organization capable of taking on bigger projects in pursuit of its mission.
If you might be inclined to donate US$100 this coming December (like maybe you did a few months ago) would you consider making a monthly gift starting now?
Consider if you had begun giving US$10 a month in January. By the end of the year ChinaSource would net more than that hypothetical US$100 I just mentioned (12 months x US$10 > US$100), but the real value here is the consistency of the gift and how it evens out our cash flow and creates new expansion and ministry opportunities. That kind of thoughtful partnership is a tremendous blessing!
If after praying about it, you decide to become a monthly supporter, click on the Donate link at the top of the page. Check the box next to “Make this a monthly donation”.
However, I should note that this approach isn’t a fit for every supporter. There is good stewardship wisdom in waiting to make a gift when there is potential to double it through a match. We also recognize the incredible generosity in making a late December gift out of discretionary funds. Even as we seek to encourage regular, monthly giving, we are grateful to see growth in other fundraising areas. In fact, it’s fair to say we’re thrilled with the growth we’ve seen. Below are a few growth snapshots from the fund development area (where I spend most of my time). If you’d like a better understanding of how ChinaSource is expanding its ministry, please see our most recent annual report.
- In 2021 a total of 63 friends became first-time financial supporters to ChinaSource.
- ChinaSource has seen the percentage of partners who continue to give from one year to the next rise three years in a row.
- Over 75% of the 2020 financial supporters who gave again in 2021 maintained or increased their giving level in 2021.
All this growth is crucial to help ChinaSource meet the mission God has placed before us. The rising challenges are many and can be seen as we consider ongoing COVID-19 policies, the continued tightening of religious activity, how ministry is transforming under these pressures, and common Western narratives about China.
China ministry is getting more challenging and yet ChinaSource is moving forward in new ways to help believers around the world think about how God might be calling them to participate in building his kingdom by working to unify the Chinese and global church.
However you participate in this ministry, as a consistent pray-er, a monthly financial supporter, a ministry practitioner, a faithful year-end giver, or as a reader only, please know that we are very grateful for you. We’re excited to share our successes and challenges with you as a partner who cares about the global church and ChinaSource’s role of increasing international understanding and prayer support for the Chinese church while providing spaces where leaders can meet and develop collaborative ministry projects.
Donor Relations Manager
Ways to Pray
- Praise the Lord with us for the growing network of volunteers at ChinaSource. We thank God for the intercessors, financial supporters, writers, translators, and ministry partners who give and serve so abundantly.
- Pray for Peter Arneson as he oversees the fund development direction of ChinaSource. Pray also that the Lord will increase the level of monthly support through our friends and partners in 2022.
- Lift up the people of Hong Kong as the COVID case rate continues to surge. Pray also for the Body of Christ in the city, for strength and courage. Pray that God’s people would be a loving, caring, witnessing community, especially for those in distress.
- We can be sure that throughout the Winter Olympics, Christ’s people have had many opportunities to share the Good News along the way. As the games come to a close, pray the seeds that were sown will take root in the hearts of people God is calling to himself.
- Pray for the ChinaSource team that we will serve the Lord and one another in ways that glorify God, serve the Chinese church, and advance God’s kingdom in 2022.
News and Notes
Speaker Series: Exploring Christianity and Culture in China: Today and Yesterday
On March 16, the US-China Catholic Association (USCCA) will be hosting this year’s first joint lecture series, co-sponsored by ChinaSource and the China Academic Consortium. The lecture, titled “The Rise of China and What it Means for the Church,” will be given by Rev. Paul Mariani, SJ, professor of history at the Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA. In this lecture, Fr. Mariani will explore how the transformation of the People’s Republic of China since 1949 has impacted the Church in China.
This event is free and open to the public but requires registration. It will be held on the campus of Santa Clara University and will be live-streamed. Attend in-person or on-line. Please visit the USCCA website for more information and a link to register.
ChinaSource Team News
- On February 4, Joann Pittman spoke at a Chinese New Year gathering for international students in Minneapolis sponsored by China Outreach Ministries and The Hospitality Center.
- On February 9, Joann Pittman shared about China during a “Prayer for the Nations” time at the Bethlehem Conference for Pastors in Minneapolis.
- Joann also had the opportunity to speak to a Sunday school class at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mounds View, MN on February 13.
In Case You Missed It
A selection of recently published items:
- When a Loved One Is Drawn into a Cult, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), February 15.
- Islam with Chinese Characteristics, ChinaSource Blog, February 14.
- Partnership with a Purpose, ChinaSource Blog, February 11.
- China Ministry and Transformational Development (2): The End of an Era?, ChinaSource Blog, February 9.
- Preparing for the New Internet Religious Information Measures, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), February 8.
- Drawing Boundaries amidst Ambiguity, ChinaSource Blog, February 7.
- Reading Tea Leaves from the 2021 National Religious Work Conference, ChinaSource Blog, February 4.
- China Ministry and Transformational Development (1): The End of an Era?, ChinaSource Blog, February 2.
- An Engineering Student at Tsinghua University Comes to Faith, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), February 1.
- Red Packets and Grace, ChinaSource Blog, January 31.
- Capturing Chinese Stories, ChinaSource Blog, January 28.
- Historical Context Matters, ChinaSource Blog, January 26.
- Churches in China Prepare for the New Year, ChinaSource Blog (CCV), January 25.
- My Life in Christ, ChinaSource Blog, January 24.
- The Translation of the Bible into Chinese: A Book Review, ChinaSource Blog, January 21.
Image credit: Image credit: Dan Forys via Flickr.
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