Dear Praying Friends:
Although strict regulations prohibit open Christian ministry by foreigners in mainland China, there is a wide array of options for foreign Christians to advance the kingdom of God among the Chinese.
Outside of China
First and foremost, we can all pray for God to spread the Gospel widely among the Chinese, bring many to true repentance and faith in Christ, and equip Chinese Christians to be faithful witnesses of Christ.
In many countries, the presence of Chinese in our midst provides immense openings to demonstrate the love of God and to share the Gospel, as long as we are prayerful, patient, and wise. Students, especially, may be curious about Christianity; in any case, they are far from home and deeply appreciate hospitality and friendship.
Nearer to mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong enjoy full religious freedom. The church is strong in each place, but Christians comprise only a fraction of the population, so foreigners can augment local witness in a variety of ways, including direct Christian ministry.
In Taiwan, English teaching offers an especially fruitful opening for building relationships that could lead to conversion and church growth.
In all these areas, Christians can also encourage Chinese believers in their spiritual growth, perhaps providing both models of Christian maturity and family living, as well as solid instruction in the Scriptures and their application to daily life.
Inside Mainland China
Even in China proper, though the church has grown enormously, Christians are so few in number that there is ample scope for foreigners to bear witness to Christ.
Think of it: Even taking a high estimate of the number of Christians in China (100 million), and assuming that each of these has shared the full Gospel with three others (an unlikely supposition), then there are still at least 900 million Chinese who have never heard the Christian message from a believer!
How can we be content with such a situation? Do not the example of Christ and his clear command (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15) compel us to do all in our power to bring the saving news of Christ to these people?
Perhaps the best way to start is to go to China for serious, long-term study of the language and culture. Building slowly, one can develop both an understanding of the Chinese and solid friendships with a few of them.
Teachers of all sorts are still welcome in China. Qualified English instructors are needed all over the country, at almost all levels of the educational system. Those with advanced degrees in many fields can put their knowledge to use in universities also.
Teaching affords special advantages, since you build relationships over a period of months and perhaps even years; hold a respected position in society; can demonstrate Christian character before their very observant eyes; and even share your faith in discreet and low-key ways.
People engaged in business, either living in China or visiting, can play a vital part also. By holding to high ethical standards; providing needed goods and services; nurturing true friendships; and cooperating with local Christians in business, one can shine the light of Christ in some pretty dark places. The same holds true for those in the diplomatic corps.
China’s economic rise has not obliterated poverty and sickness, especially in the rural areas. Short- or long-term medical and mercy work, when done in cooperation with local believers, can demonstrate the love of God and help develop life-transforming relationships.
Even tourists can pray for God to use them to replicate the meek and loving character of Christ to all whom they meet on their trip to China. If you are willing only to sow, and not eager to bring home stories of quickie conversions, you can make an impact. Short-term lecturers can be effective also.
For more information, you can visit the following web sites: China Source (chsource.org); Educational Resources & Referrals China (errchina.com); English Language Institute China (elic.org); Friends of China Foundation (friendsofchina.org); Jian Hua Foundation (jhf-china.org); Overseas Missionary Fellowship International (omf.org).
For reasons which I have explained elsewhere, the greatest need right now is for godly men, both Chinese and foreign. I am asking God to raise up a host of both younger and more mature men to dedicate their lives to service among the Chinese, especially in Taiwan and mainland China. Will you pray with me?
Please Pray for Us
All of our team members engage both in direct ministry to Chinese and in mobilization of others in the U.S., Taiwan, and England, with occasional visits to mainland China. Please ask God to make us effective.