Dear Praying Friends:More people speak Chinese as their mother tongue than any other language. Despite rapid church growth, the Han Chinese are the largest unevangelized people group in the world. Some analysts believe their nation will become not only the most powerful on the globe, but the most powerful in the history of mankind. As with England in the 19th century, and America in the 20th, Chinese Christians in the 21st century could possess unprecedented opportunities to transform their culture and to fulfill the Great Commission. Chinese intellectuals wield disproportionate influence, both in society and in the church. We at China Institute focus all our energies on this strategic population.
Have you ever felt as if you had just boarded a fast train that was hurtling into places you’ve never been before? It’s both exciting and a bit daunting. That describes my condition these days. On the one hand, I thank God for significant growth in almost all areas of ministry in the past year.
Since spring of 2004, two couples have joined us as ministry partners. Albert and Vivian Yeh have opened the Christian Leaders’ Renewal Center in southern Virginia. Randall and Connie Chan work among scholars from China in Cambridge, England. We have also expanded our research team. Five others, both senior and junior researchers and beginning language students, are seeking to understand Chinese society from a Christian perspective. These include my daughter, who provides reports and book reviews.
The next generation
Five young people have been meeting with me weekly for discussions of theology, missiology, Chinese history and culture, and principles of life and ministry among Chinese. They have augmented reading and class by helping out with Chinese Christian Fellowship and International Christian Fellowship.
As our team expands, so does the work necessary to serve them well. We praise God for sending us a very competent, cheerful, and dedicated helper from our old home church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She has brought much greater efficiency to the office, and increased our capacity significantly. Many times since her arrival in March, I have thought, “If she weren’t here, we just couldn’t manage!”
After my health suddenly improved last summer, opportunities for ministry seemed to multiply. Chinese churches have invited me to preach, and the China Evangelical Seminary/North American Campus, has scheduled three courses for me in 2005. The first, on Systematic Theology, was taught in Princeton, New Jersey, in April. The second (Gospel of John) will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the end of July, and the third (Paul’s Epistles) in Toronto, Canada, in November. Preparation for these classes takes a lot of time, but enriches me personally, as does the teaching itself. I love sharing God’s Word with these highly-educated, motivated people, most of whom come from China, and all of whom are already engaged in ministry in their local church. Last year, I had to use my own English outline, but this year I have had assistance of Belle Huang, from Taiwan, who has translated the outlines into Chinese for me, making them much more accessible to the students.
With the assistance of Belle, I have begun the revision of the Greek-Chinese lexicon which my students produced in the mid-1980s. Work on the introduction to Chinese culture continues, along with writing book reviews for various publications and a devotional commentary on Matthew’s Gospel.
Stretched to the Limit
As I said at the beginning, all this is both exciting and a bit daunting. With varied responsibilities and limited wisdom and strength, I often feel highly inadequate, as do my colleagues.
Your vital part
- First and foremost we ask you to pray for us, that God would indeed make us sufficient for the work He has set before us (2 Corinthians 3:4-6). - Visit our Web site for information about Chinese culture and ways to serve God among the Chinese. - All of our team members are trusting God to provide what they need to serve Him. If you would like to know more about what they are doing, please write us. Tax deductible donations designated for any of them may be sent to China Institute at the address above or through PayPal on our Web site. With momentous, and sometimes scary, changes going on all around us, now is the time for each believer in Jesus to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” and to heed His call, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 6:33; 4:19). Yours in the service of the King, Wright