Dear Praying Friends:
Like the rest of us, but perhaps even more, the Chinese love stories about people. They learn about character and conduct from stories more, perhaps, than from ethical instruction or exhortation.
For this reason, we have focused our energies over the past ten years on producing stories about Western missionaries and Chinese Christians.
We have three goals for these stories:
1. To encourage believers and give them role models.
2. To attract non-Christians to the Christian lifestyle and to the Lord.
3. To refute slander and clear up misconceptions about Christianity held by many Chinese, especially intellectuals.
To reach these goals, we have concentrated on two media:
1. Biographical volumes in the Studies in Chinese Christianity series (http://wipfandstock.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=studies+in+chinese+christianity). I’ll write more about these books later.
2. The online Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity (bdcconline.net)
Here you will find short, but substantial, biographies of missionary icons like Hudson Taylor, Lottie Moon, and Gladys Aylward, and Chinese Christian heroes like the great evangelist John Sung, and theologian Lit-sen Chang. The BDCC has both English and Chinese pages.
The BDCC is “visited” between 16,000 and 18,000 times each month; half of these are unique. Since the site was first launched in 2005, there have been more than 600,000 visits, more than half of them unique visits. Here is a breakdown by country:
United States 32%; China 19%; Hong Kong 19%; Taiwan 10%; the rest are from Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. 43% visited the Chinese page; 52% visited the English page (not sure why this doesn’t add up to 100%).
May I ask you to pray especially for the Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity (BDCC)? We are in the midst of a year-long project, generously helped by a Christian foundation, to re-build, upgrade, and substantially enlarge this important resource.
Dr. Yading Li, the editor of the Chinese page, has been writing authoritative articles in Chinese for several years. Now he is also training students in his church history classes to compose stories as well. We hope that more Chinese will contribute to this collection, which already has about 300 entries.
The Chinese-language BDCC has become a major source of information about Christianity in China for Chinese readers, but it needs to keep adding biographies.
Jason Truell, our web content manager, has been spending many hours totally re-designing the entire site from the bottom up, using new software that will make it easier to use and more attractive, as well as quicker to post new articles. Jason has a full-time job as pastor of the English section of a Chinese church in Richmond, British Columbia, so he already has plenty to do.
Meanwhile, both my editorial assistant Martha Stockment and I have been working on substantial entries, some to replace shorter articles which were used from other reference works by permission when we first began. I plan also to translate more of Dr. Li’s Chinese stories. Sometimes others volunteer to submit articles, too.
Please ask God to:
- Enable us to research and write authoritative, lively articles as quickly as possible.
- Raise up others to contribute stories, including several who have already promised to do so.
- Enable Jason to finish the complicated, time-consuming task of re-building the entire site.
- Continue to draw people to both the English and Chinese pages of the BDCC, that he might be glorified in the lives of his faithful people over the centuries.