God has demonstrated his grace and mercy to us in manifold ways again in the past year, just as he has for many decades now. For his glory and your encouragement, allow me to mention only a few highlights of 2012.
Dori continued to play a vital role in our ministry among Chinese and those who wish to serve them. I don’t know how many meals she has prepared, or how many overnight guests have stayed here, but just in the past two weeks we have had two sets of the latter, and Dori put on the annual Christmas party for the Chinese Christian Fellowship (CCF) with her usual flair, elegance, and warmth.
More than I, she has helped the leaders of CCF by attending their monthly meetings and supporting the women on the leadership team. When they hold an event like the fall welcome dinner for new students, she always provides some delicious food. In general, she serves as “mom” to these kids away from home.
In June, she escorted one of our Directors and his wife on a two-week trip to China, where she also connected with our friends. The wife of that couple wanted to do something more for Chinese, so she has been leading a Bible study group with Dori and two mature Christian women.
For me, the year was one of intense writing. Facing a June 1 deadline, I raced to complete the translation of Lit-sen Chang’s Critique of Indigenous Theology. I couldn’t have done it without the help of two Chinese students and then, just at the right time, a one-week visit from a brilliant scholar. I also edited the translation of Chang’s Critique of Humanism which had been done by another man and wrote an introduction for the volume.
Then I turned to revising Christianity in America: Triumph and Tragedy, which is a greatly expanded and improved English version of a book published in Chinese. Both works should appear in 2013, and I am slated to give lectures connected with them in Taiwan and China in the fall.
At present, my editorial assistant Laura Mason is trying to help me complete work on Reaching Chinese Worldwide, which collects and expands the short essays I have been writing on that subject for several years. We hope to turn it in to the publisher by January. This will be the only relatively comprehensive rationale and guide to ministry among Chinese of which I am aware.
Aside from these books, I continue to “feed” our websites with reviews and articles, including stories for the Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity (www.bdcconline.net). These sites are widely read both here and in Greater China, and generate invitations to speak at conferences and host visiting scholars, one of whom came for a couple of days last week.
In addition to writing, I have had a variety of speaking opportunities. In January, I addressed the Chapel Hill Chinese Christian Fellowship, and I have preached in a local Chinese church almost monthly for several years now, going slowly through Ephesians. I was one of the speakers for the Chinese Leaders’ Renewal Center in April. On several occasions, I have spoken also to CCF in Charlottesville.
In August, I spoke to the annual Seminar of Chinese Theologians, held this year at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston. My talk on how Christians can contribute to a harmonious society, based on Ephesians, was very well received by an audience that included dozens of Chinese church leaders and thinkers.
Dori accompanied me on another trip to Boston in October, when I gave a paper on Hudson Taylor at the Conference on Church History.
Convinced of the need to help equip leaders for the Chinese church in a non-traditional way, I launched a Leadership Training Course for a few men in September. Initial responses prove the effectiveness of a more practical approach.
In September, we had a great reunion and mini-retreat with the former leaders of the Chinese Bible study which met here in the 1990s. We have also tried to keep up with others who have moved away from Charlottesville.
Dori and I are both members of our church’s Ethnic Chinese Ministry Team, of which I am currently chairman. The Mandarin Sunday School class has grown from about ten to more than two dozen in the past few months. I teach when I am in town.
We are thrilled at the addition of Kevin and Sarah Sawyer to our team here, and enjoy weekly meetings with each of them.
This bare recital of activities does not begin to do justice to the profound gratitude we feel for the privilege of serving our Lord among the Chinese.
In His mercy,