As I share about the China mission over the last six months, I would like to highlight a few people, projects, and partnerships that have helped build the capacity of the church in the U.S. and China for participating in God’s mission.
Don and Wei Hong Snow, long-term PC(USA) mission co-workers, have stepped down from their position as regional liaisons for Presbyterian World Mission in China. The Snows were key people in helping develop the way The Outreach Foundation does mission in China. For the last three years they helped orient the U.S. mission participants of our English Exchange Camps, and they have often participated in our Presbyterian Mission Heritage Discovery Trips. We thank God for their faithful service.
Two alumni of our Presbyterian Mission Heritage Trips, Dr. Walt Conser and Mr. Jimmy Quinn, are now serving in the China Mission Network of the PC(USA). Walt, who has been to China twice, is the Convener of the China Mission Network, and Jimmy is the web master for the network’s homepage. Jimmy and his wife, Lynne, have been to China multiple times with The Outreach Foundation. These leaders are key people in shaping the direction of the Network (see below for more about this partnership among PC(USA) congregations).
Christian Counseling Center in Nanjing
Dr. Wang Xuefu, a Christian psychologist and a ministry partner of ours for a number of years now, is planning to set up a resource center for pastoral counseling. I am working to network him with others who might help in this worthy endeavor in addition to our support of his correspondence courses in equipping lay counselors to provide basic pastoral care.
Continuing Education for Chinese Church Leaders
Chris is a young pastor from Suzhou. We were given the opportunity by Jiangsu Provincial Christian Council, working with Suzhou City Christian Council, to serve as one of the sponsoring entities in bringing him to Princeton Theological Seminary to attend a one-year MA in the Theological Studies program. He and his wife, Vivid, have since arrived and were present at the meeting of the China Mission Network.
Mini-Libraries for Graduates of Seminary and Bible Schools
In partnership with the National China Christian Council, graduates from Shandong Theological Seminary, Zhejiang Theological Seminary, Heilongjiang Provincial Bible School, Jiangsu Provincial Bible School, and Shaanxi Provincial Bible School were each given a set of books chosen by their teachers to form their own “mini-library,” a start-up library as they begin pastoral ministry.
Study Bibles for Pastors and Lay Leaders
We provided 400 study Bibles to pastors and lay leaders in the northwest part of China through a Bible school in the region. This will help pastors and lay leaders multiply their effectiveness in training new believers.
Resources for Lay Leaders
A preliminary understanding has been reached with the Chinese leadership to translate and contextualize the new three-volume discipleship training manual for new believers known as the “2:7 Series.” Actual translation will begin as soon as the copyright details and contextualization process can be worked out between the parties.
English Exchange Camp
In partnership with the Jiangsu Provincial Christian Council, the third China English Exchange Camp was held from July 3 to 12 in Nanjing with 14 Americans and 17 Chinese in attendance. Participants said that this camp was the best one yet. Dr. Don Snow’s book, Encounter with Westerners, was again used as the curriculum.
The Bible Ministry of the Church in China Exhibition
The China Christian Council has brought this traveling exhibition of how the Bible is shaping the life of the church in China to the U.S. again. The last time it came here was in 2006. This year the cities hosting the exhibition are Washington, DC, Chicago, Dallas, and Charlotte. The Outreach Foundation sent a delegation to the opening ceremony in Washington, DC.
China Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The China Network National Meeting is a forum through which Presbyterians can cooperate with each other as they seek to be in partnership with and serve the church in China and Chinese society. The national meeting was held in Wilmington, NC from September 30-October 1. People came from California, Texas, Florida, and New Jersey to join the host congregation, First Presbyterian Church, as they shared experiences of mission in partnership with the church in China. Three representatives of the church in China were present and added greatly to this inaugural meeting. Jeff Ritchie and I were there speaking on topics related to ministry in China.
Your participation in my ministry is the partnership that makes this all possible. Thank you!
China Specialist for The Outreach Foundation