Dear Praying Friends:As we look back over the past year, we are once again both amazed and thankful for what God has done.
As the church-related, “religious” arm of our work. China Institute aims to present the whole counsel of God, so that those who do not yet believe will commit their lives to Christ, and Christians will grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord. We especially aim to help current Chinese church leaders to strengthen their ability to communicate, and exemplify, the Gospel. Doug Anderson arrived in Taiwan last June to teach English. Debbie Wong hopes to head to Taiwan this coming May to commence Chinese language study. Randall and Connie Chan continue their outreach to Chinese intellectuals and their families in Cambridge, England Dori went to China last March, taking a couple of people from our church, to help strengthen our congregation’s understanding of China and rapidly-developing outreach to ethnic Chinese. In Charlottesville, she mentored several Chinese women, one of whom helps her husband to lead a Chinese Bible study; the other was baptized this year. She and I continue to serve as advisors to the Chinese Christian Fellowship at U.Va., and to advise Chinese Christians by telephone and email. Visitors are frequent and always inspiring. I was asked to be the speaker at a number of evangelistic meetings in Chinese churches in the U.S., as well as opportunities to preach in churches here, Taiwan, and England. I love to do this, and am very encouraged by the response, including requests to return. Beginning this year, I have been preaching monthly in one of the Chinese churches in Charlottesville; a Mandarin adult Sunday school class started in August, which I teach when I am in town. One member of the class, whose baptismal testimony I interpreted into English earlier this year, recently wrote:
“I'm so grateful to what God has done in my life. It is such an amazing grace! No language and word is enough to express my gratitude to Him. I love our LORD very much. Every time when I think about Him, He touches my heart. And every time when I think about Him, I cannot help my tears.”
My trip to Taiwan last spring was the longest so far, and featured a plenary address to a major China ministry conference; lectures at Tunghai University; and preaching in churches, my former seminary, and the staff meeting of the Far east Broadcasting Co. in Taipei. After five years, I finished the revision of the Greek-Chinese lexicon of the New Testament. The Chinese edition of The Lord’s Healing Words was published. One woman in Taiwan wrote:
I am reading your The Lord's Healing Words and I read about 3 or 4 pages a day. It is very easy to read. I will ponder when I read it. It is helpful to me and also for every Christians no matter how old they are. It seems you need someone to advocate your books; I hope more people could read your books.
As resource for those who want to know more about Chinese culture and society, China: Ancient Culture, Modern Society (available from Amazon.com), co-authored with Dr. Peter Yu, was published in October. A veteran traveler to China said, “I am telling everyone I know to order the book.” A young man from China called it “a very good overview.” A retired American professor commented that it was “a good read. I always looked forward to picking up the book and never set it aside disappointed. I hope it gets discovered by the intended audience and becomes a great success.” Carl Henry: Theology for Today was accepted for publication next spring by Pickwick Publications.
Global China Center
Global China Center is the scholarly arm of our work. We seek to build a network of scholars studying Chinese Christianity and to establish relationships with our counterparts in China, of whom there are many. These intellectuals are beginning to have great influence within urban house churches, so they are a very strategic group. In January, I took part in a Chinese Biblical Studies Colloquium at King’s College, London. Two dozen scholars met to discuss ways in which Chinese have “read” the Bible. Many of them don’t know much about evangelical biblical scholarship, so I prepared a long bibliography of New Testament reference works available in Chinese for a second meeting of that group held in September. I hope to attend the next colloquium, which may be meet in China next summer. In April and June, I presented papers at conferences in North Carolina and Yale University. Two professors at universities in China have invited me to give lectures on Christianity there next spring. We are waiting now for official approval by their departments and appropriate visas. Other invitations might follow these. The Chinese pages of the Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity continue to add new stories by Dr. Yading Li and others, including his wife, Dr. Cui’an Peng. Jason Truell greatly increased the value of the site by building a simplified character version. New English stories contributed by GCC colleagues and friends are frequently posted as well (www.bdcconline.net). The Global China Center web site (www.globalchinacenter.org) has come to be recognized as a significant source of in-depth analysis of Chinese religion, culture, and society. The widely-read ZGBriefs newsletter has featured stories from it half a dozen times this past year. Carol Lee Hamrin (whose articles appear on the GCC web site) and Stacey Bieler published Salt & Light: Lives of Faith that Shaped Modern China, not only in English, but in Chinese. They are getting very positive comments from readers. Jason & Kristie Truell began a second year of living at China Evangelical Seminary in Taipei. Cole Carnesecca entered a Ph.D. program at Notre Dame University, and John Barwick wrote a draft of the last chapter of his dissertation. John is engaged to be married in May. Most important of all, each member of our team sees God at work in their Chinese friends. Lives are being transformed before our eyes and God’s truth is penetrating, and affecting, both the church and the wider culture. Dori and I consider it a great privilege and joy to serve our colleagues. We are conscious of the need for God’s constant supply of grace, and most grateful for your prayers. As Christmas approaches, and the world is still marred by strife and suffering, how blessed we are to know the One in whom God’s grace and truth are embodied! And how thrilling to see more and more Chinese come to know the Savior and grow in His love! Yours in His amazing grace, Wright