by Suzanne Freeborn
John 1: 5 (MSG): "The life-light blazed out of the darkness - the darkness could not put it out."
Today was a day of information gathering and exploring how our church might walk alongside our Chinese friends.
After our morning team devotions we headed out to the Amity Printing Company of Nanjing. Their mission and priority is to serve the Christian Church in China, and they are the main Bible production company in China. In 1989 they printed 1,000,000 Bibles. Currently they produce over 20,000,000 a year in 90 different languages, including Braille.
We toured the production plant and were able to see Bibles in all stages of production; 77 Bible distribution centers in China will receive the Bibles and feed them into 60,000 churches and meeting points.
After lunch we went to the Amity Foundation whose role is to promote social justice and ease social conflict within China through a variety of social programs. We enjoyed cookies made in the Amity Bakery, a program that teaches challenged young people life skills and gives them jobs.
Then we met with Rev. Shi Li (David), the Vice Chairman and General Secretary of the Jiangsu TSPM and Christian Council. He shared his vision and his challenges in the Jiangsu Province where there are 2.4 million church members, 4,600 churches and only 370 pastors. The need for Chinese pastors is staggering as each pastor is responsible for 8,000 members. He told us, "People are thirsty for the gospel, you can see it in their eyes."
After dinner our team met for sharing and prayer for not only our Chinese brothers and sisters but for ourselves and for the church we love in University Place.
Suzanne Freeborn for the team