China Ministry Update - August 2015
The China Ministry of The Outreach Foundation
For the past seven years The Outreach Foundation has been pleased to have the Rev. Dr. Peter Lim as our China Mission Specialist. In this role Peter has nurtured and deepened the relationships we have been developing with the Church in China since 1993. He has overseen projects which have built the capacity of the Church in China to carry out its calling to share the good news in word and deed among China’s 1.3 billion people.
Peter has also led annual trips to China, what we have called “Presbyterian Heritage Discovery” tours. These trips are the way that many U. S. Christians have been introduced to the Church in China. For those who have wanted more sustained relationships with Chinese Christians, he has facilitated retreats and exchanges among Chinese and American Christians, both in the U.S. and in China.
Finally, Peter has been a catalytic leader in the China Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This network has been a place for U.S. Presbyterians involved in China to meet with each other and with invited Chinese Church leaders to resource each other in the ways of partnering with the Chinese Church in God’s mission.
Now Peter is moving from The Outreach Foundation to Fuller Seminary in California where he will become a professor of global leadership in Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies. Peter has done much with us to deepen our relationships with and understanding of the Church in China. He will continue to advise us on our work in China while Jeff Ritchie, Associate Director for Mission, will serve as the chief liaison between the Church in China and The Outreach Foundation.
At a recent meeting with Peter, we discussed our work with the Church in China as we go forward. The contours of what we hope to do are sketched below.
The Outreach Foundation has built its work in China on some key foundational pillars.
• We do our work on the legacy of more than 200 years of Presbyterian mission in China.
• We work as invited friends of the Church in China, with transparency and humility.
• We start with relationships and develop projects out of those relationships as we hear the priorities of the Church in China.
• The Outreach Foundation will continue its commitment to go “long and deep” with the Church in China as we continue to nurture our own relationships with Chinese Church leaders in eastern and inland provinces.
• Through introductory trips such as the Presbyterian Heritage Discovery tours and Seminarians’ trips we will introduce Christians from outside China to our friends in China.
• For those who wish to have a deeper connection with the Chinese Church, we will broker relationships among U.S. congregations and Chinese churches. We will also be offering focused ministry retreats and encounters.
• Inside the U.S., we will continue to be supportive of the China Mission Network of the PC(USA), and we will be in touch with wider networks of those interested in the Church in China.
• We will also encourage congregations to extend hospitality to the many Chinese in their midst – university students, seminary students, and immigrants – and connect them with those already involved in this vital form of outreach.
• Finally, we hope to discover those with a special calling to serve in China and point them to any of several sending agencies. For to be truly engaged with the Church in China, there must be “human bridges” connecting two very different cultures with each other so that one part of the body of Christ may effectively bless the other.
We will continue to seek gifts for several projects that will build capacity in the Church in China:
• Bibles for China: providing Study Bibles for lay leaders and seminary graduates.
• Mini-libraries: providing start up libraries for seminarians and lay leaders.
• Continuing Education for Chinese Church leaders: grants to those selected by the Church in China to receive further training and enrichment, both in seminaries and though the kinds of focused retreats and encounters described above.
• Library Acquisitions for Theological Schools in China: A major need identified at most of the seminaries and Bible Schools has been the inadequacy of the libraries. This is where The Outreach Foundation can continue to make a contribution to the upgrading of the quality of theological education in China.
The Outreach Foundation places a high priority on our friendship with the Church in China. We bless each other and equip each other for participation in God’s mission. Come to China with us and meet the Church. Provide a Study Bible (@ $10) or a set of Christian books (a mini-library of 6-8 books @ $75) for a lay leader. Share with us how you are reaching out to the Chinese around you, or let us connect you with a Chinese studying here in the U.S. These and more opportunities await you when you connect with the Church in China.
Thank you for your partnership in China with The Outreach Foundation.
Associate Director for Mission