The Lantern

The Importance of the Rearview Mirror

Recently two of our long-time ChinaSource staff members wrote poignant posts for the ChinaSource Blog that touched on memories of long-ago friendships. In each case, there were lessons from those encounters for us as we look forward to China-related ministry yet before us. These remembrances are not only touching; they’re also important reminders of our forebears in the faith and how much we have to learn from them.

In his June 30 post, “A Missed Opportunity: How Our Questions Shape Our Narratives,” Brent Fulton tells the story of Pastor John Ding. A popular speaker, he was often called upon to give his testimony, especially about the persecution he faced at the hands of the Communists.

However, as Brent points out,

Pastor Ding was not only a pastor who had been persecuted for his faith; he also witnessed and participated in the extraordinary early days of the contemporary Chinese mission movement…The lessons learned from his cross-cultural endeavors could well have been instructive for those seeking to engage Tibetans with the gospel at a time when China was opening up to outside involvement.

Joann Pittman wrote about the perspective she gained through knowing Dale and Alma Bjork in her blog “An Unexpected Treasure.” The Bjorks arrived in Beijing in 1946, but Alma and their first daughter evacuated back to the US in 1948, due to the unrest following the victory of the Communists. Dale was separated from the family until he was able to get a visa to the US in 1950. What a difficult situation!

Yet, Joann reminds us,

God wasn’t finished with them or his people in China. In 1952 the Bjorks were reassigned to Japan, where they served for 10 years before returning to the US…In 1981, [Dale] and Alma were able visit China to see some of the places where they had served and to reconnect with Chinese brothers and sisters. It was a sweet gift from the Lord for them to see how God had been faithful to his church in China.

Even as we value the past, we also value the future. Joann wrote on Monday about the Arise Asia conference, which she’ll be attending later this month as an observer. This is a wonderful opportunity to listen and learn from our Asian brothers and sisters as they challenge and mobilize the next generation of Asian workers to take the gospel cross-culturally throughout Asia and beyond.

When we drive forward to our next destination, it is crucial to keep checking the rearview mirror. In a similar way, as ChinaSource looks to the future, those vital glances in the rearview mirror will always remind us of where we’ve been and who has gone before us.

Kerry Schottelkorb

Ways to Pray

  • Ask the Lord to bless the Arise Asia conference participants and to produce long-lasting fruit.
  • Pray for traveling mercies for Joann Pittman as she goes to Thailand and for other traveling team members.
  • Thank God with us for the bravery and perseverance of the previous generation of workers.
  • Praise the Lord with us that we are in the final leg of our Content Manager search! We have been meeting with many godly and gifted candidates. Pray with us that we will be welcoming our new colleague aboard by the first week of August.
  • Join us in thanking God for his past provision for ChinaSource. Summer is often a slow season for giving, and we trust the Lord for our future needs.

News and Notes

ChinaSource Team News

  • On August 9, Joann Pittman will be leading an online book club discussion of Beyond East and West, by John C. H. Wu for ERRChina. This event will be held over Zoom on August 9 at 7pm US CDT. Please go to the ERRChina website to register.

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ChinaSource Team

ChinaSource Team

Written, translated, or edited by members of the ChinaSource staff.          View Full Bio

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