Dear Praying Friends:
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:2) God showered us and our colleagues with many blessings in 2013.
My Board of Directors continues to affirm writing as my chief priority. In the summer of 2013, by God’s grace, three books came out:
Reaching Chinese Worldwide distills pretty much all I have learned about ministry among Chinese over the past four decades. It is meant to give an almost comprehensive introduction to principles and practices for effective work, for both beginners and those with experience.
Christianity in America: Triumph and Tragedy surveys the interactions of Christians and their society in America over the past four hundred years. I hope that both Americans and Chinese will see both the positive contributions of Christians to our society and the ways in which we have not honored our Lord.
Wise Man from the East: Lit-sen Chang (Zhang Lisheng) includes a translation by me of Chang’s Critique of Indigenous Theology and of his Critique of [Chinese] Humanism by Dr. Sam Ling. Chang speaks to current issues with great power.
Other writers, especially my assistant Martha Stockment, have helped me to keep supplying all three of our sites with fresh articles and stories. Martha has also launched pages for us on FaceBook and made frequent postings on Twitter.
Our colleagues completed the translation of the best biographies from the last two volumes of the Salt & Light: Lives of Faith that Shaped Modern China series for a second volume in Chinese, to be published soon in China, D.V.
Ministry in Charlottesville
The Mandarin Sunday school class which meets at our church continued to grow, from about two dozen last year to more than thirty this year. A team of leaders has emerged to share the load in guiding the discussion and in caring for members, who include Chinese of all ages.
The Chinese Christian Fellowship (CCF) at the University of Virginia has seen a steady influx of newcomers, thanks to several members who have actively invited their friends. Strong Bible teaching by various speakers has been augmented by small group Bible studies and prayer meetings, all marked by warm affection.
We were thrilled when eight students and three adults were baptized in our church last April.
Dori and I have had more contact with CCF alumni/ae than before. I was totally surprised in August by a party/reunion organized by CCFers from the previous decade. We thanked God when we heard how he had guided and grown the faith of most of them, and rejoiced to see a few who had drifted away come back “home.”
It seems that we are getting more calls and visits from graduates; it’s great to see them again and have a share in their present life. We are especially encouraged to witness slow steps toward Christ by two student volunteers whom we have known for years but who had not committed themselves to the Lord.
Dori continued in a Bible study with Chinese women led by the wife of one of our Directors, while meeting with Chinese women from the Sunday school class and CCF. She also remains on the church’s China ministry team.
In September, I travelled to Taiwan to deliver four lectures on Lit-sen Chang in two locations for Holy Light Theological Seminary. The lectures were well received, and gave an opportunity to strengthen the resolve of faculty and students who want to be faithful to God’s Word and apply it to every facet of life.
While in Taiwan, I met with several dozen old friends and colleagues, some of whom were experiencing significant challenges. Others lifted me up with stories of God’s faithfulness. And, as always, I had the chance to share the gospel with lots of taxi drivers.
Throughout the year, our associates in England, Taiwan, and the U.S. engaged in steady, varied, and strategic ministry to educated Chinese in university centers.
Babies were born to two former assistants, Laura and Michelle, as well as to John Barwick and his wife Pamela. Helen streamlined the process of receiving and responding to donations, leaving time for Martha to do more writing. Two young scholars joined us as research assistants, and two Chinese women began helping as translators. Jason started work on a total makeover for the Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity. Our Chinese editor, Dr. Yading Li, resumed full-time writing of stories for the BDCC.
Thank you for making all this possible through your prayers and gifts. May God richly bless you at this Christmas time and throughout the coming year with a renewed sense of his love.