China #7: So, what did you DO in China?

by Nancy Fox

In Shanghai on Tuesday, October 23, we met with six of the top leaders of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), which is the official Protestant church (a single denomination) in China and the largest Protestant body in any country. In Jiangsu Province alone (where we have spent most of our time), there are about two million members. The “three-self” element is drawn from what was new Protestant mission thinking around the end of the 19th century, that newly planted churches should be self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating. That approach was shown to be highly successful in Korea and was embraced by the Chinese church after foreign missionaries were expelled in 1949 and the re-opening of churches following the Cultural Revolution. Because of this three-self emphasis, the Protestant church in China is truly Chinese.

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China #6: Humility

by Laurie Denham, National Presbyterian Church, Washington DC

October 21, our group split the day between Jiangyin and Suzhou. Those of us in Suzhou spent most of the day at Lion Mountain Faith Church with the delegation from University Place Presbyterian Church (UPPC) in Takoma, WA. We arrived at the church to discover they were having their annual rummage sale to benefit the surrounding community. As we entered the sanctuary, I immediately observed a wonderful diversity of age and socio-economic status in the congregation. This is a church that truly serves their community.

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China #5: Grasping the Lord’s Abundant Grace

By Julia Sensenbrenner, for the team

On October 19, we left Nanjing and drove to Suzhou, where we visited Dushu Lake Church and enjoyed a delicious dinner of Suzhou specialties. We marveled at the beauty of the church, opened in 2010, with its commanding statue of Jesus and beautiful stained-glass windows, including many by He Qi, a Chinese artist who trained and taught in Nanjing before moving to the United States. We enjoyed meeting Pastor He and Pastor Thomas, two of the four pastors of the church, which offers three worship services each weekend, including a Sunday afternoon service oriented toward young people.

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China #4: Amity Printing Company and Jiangsu Theological Seminary

by Dale Keller, First Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, NC

The Outreach Foundation Mission group visited two important Nanjing Christian centers on October 18, 2018: The Amity Printing Company and the Jiangsu Theological Seminary.

Amity Printing Company:

God’s Spirit is hard at work at the Amity Printing Company. Our group was warmly welcomed to the company, briefed on plant operations, toured the print operation, and hosted in an employee lunch dining room.

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China #3: A City Church, a National Seminary, and a Global NGO Founded by Christians

Day 2 in Nanjing 

Ten bleary-eyed new arrivals joined the Outreach team for our second day in Nanjing. They had arrived in Nanjing well after midnight from their long trip but were determined not to let fatigue stop them from seeing what God is doing in China.

Our first stop was Sheng Xun Church, a beautiful, 5000-seat church located in a new area of Nanjing which was the site of the 2013 Pan-Asian Games and the 2014 Youth Olympics.

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China #2: 20th Anniversary Celebration of Jiangsu Theological Seminary

Jeff Ritchie, Mission Advocate

We arrived in Nanjing early Monday evening and were greeted by another long-time friend of The Outreach Foundation, the Rev. David Shi (Chinese name: Shi Li). David got us checked in and deliciously fed, then told us to get a good rest so that we could enjoy the Jiangsu Theological Seminary 20th anniversary celebration the next day.

When we arrived at Jiangsu Seminary Tuesday morning, we saw parked cars and buses line up and down the street leading to the seminary. Something was about to happen!

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China #1: Remarkable Faithfulness and Growth

Days in Harbin, October 12-15

Reflections by Jeff Ritchie, Jimmy and Lynne Quinn, Choon Lim and Juan Sarmiento 

Five of the sixteen participants in the 2018 Outreach Foundation trip to China began their trip with a four-day visit to Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province in northeast China. Harbin was the place where most of the early Outreach Foundation trips to China centered on. For four of the five travelers, this was a homecoming to people who have become like family. For Juan Sarmiento, Associate Director for Mission of The Outreach Foundation, it was his welcome to the family.

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Pakistan #5 - Bathed in Prayer

by Rob Weingartner

Our final day in Pakistan (Wednesday) was a day of encouragement and rich experiences for Richard and me. We are deeply grateful for the hospitality and help that the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan Moderator, Rev. Dr. Majid Abel and his wife, Hina, provided to us during our entire stay.

Our first visit was to the new offices of the Presbyterian Education Board which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the denationalization of primary and secondary schools. The church’s educational ministry had been very strong up until the time that the schools were nationalized. When the opportunity to build and run schools returned to the church, PEB stepped up to provide strong leadership. Currently, PEB educates about 6,000 children in 12 high schools and six village primary schools. PEB seeks to serve “the poorest of the poor,” and they serve both Muslim and Christian students. PEB also directs a number of Women’s Empowerment Projects.

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Pakistan #4 - Gujranwala Theological Seminary

by Richard Paddon and Rob Weingartner

Tonight is our last full night in Lahore. We depart 3:35 am Thursday and, of course, must be at the airport two hours earlier! Each night since arriving at 2 am Wednesday, September 13, we have been overnight guests at Church House adjacent to the Naulakha Church where Rob preached. Half of the first floor is the home of Pastor Majid and his wife Hani and separate from the rest of the house. We have enjoyed simple breakfasts prepared in the house kitchen and served in the adjacent dining room. The living room beyond is available for informal gatherings of pastors or other meetings. The adjacent photo shows the two people, Nargis and Asid, who have looked after us with love and care throughout our stay.

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Pakistan #3 - Worship and Forman Christian College

by Rob Weingartner

What joyful worship both Richard and I experienced on Sunday morning. Standing before a couple of hundred Pakistani believers singing psalms by heart from the heart about God’s heart – accompanied by harmonium and finger drums - is a bit like standing in the ocean and having wave after wave knock you off your feet. But these were waves of blessing, and they strengthened us rather than shook us.

Richard preached at St. Andrew’s Church. His texts were Luke 5:17-26, Psalm 103:1-5 and Psalm 107:17-22. I preached on Philippians 1:1-6 and John 17:21 at the Naulakha Church. What a privilege! We know that the sermons were likely better, and at least clearer, thanks to the help of our translators. And the Pakistani practice of removing one’s shoes before entering the chancel properly framed the task for those leading God’s people in worship.

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Pakistan #2 - Memorial Christian Hospital

by Richard Paddon

Today, Saturday in Lahore, is our fourth full day here; this morning we were driven from there to Sialkot, now a thriving city and a long-time center for the production of surgical instruments. A web search will give you the backstory of that from 1905. We were there to see Memorial Christian Hospital, established 1886 by Maria White, M.D., a young American sent by the United Presbyterian Church of North America. She was the first of scores of medical missionaries called by the Lord to provide prenatal, maternal and pediatric health care. Evangelistic and medical mission by U.S.A. Presbyterians was later established in several more cities. A small dispensary for women and children, constructed in Sialkot on land deeded by a Muslim gentleman, soon grew to a 55-bed hospital.

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Pakistan #1 - Lahore

by Rob Weingartner

Arriving at our temporary home in Lahore, Pakistan, at 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, we departed at 5:30 a.m. for the Christian Hospital at Taxila. Rev. Richard Paddon, my traveling companion and a retired pastor and school chaplain, quickly discovered that this trip would not be for the faint of heart. Our two days here have been long and intense. Our host for this time is the Rev. Dr. Majid Abel, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan and pastor of the Naukala Church whose guest quarters we are occupying.

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