Dear Praying Friends:
China Institute was begun twenty-five years ago this month as a ministry to Chinese connected to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and a means to equip others for more effective service among Chinese. Since that time, we have experienced God’s faithfulness in a multitude of ways as we have watched this small ministry expand.
A few highlights:
China Institute has grown to include five couples, in Charlottesville; Taiwan; and England. After nine years in Taiwan, the Truells are here on home assignment.
From 1990 to 2002, we led a Chinese Bible Study. International Christian Fellowship held Sunday services in English for ten years (1996 – 2006). During that time, both groups saw a total of about fifty people baptized. The Chinese Bible Study and International Christian Fellowship have been replaced by the Mandarin Sunday school class, which meets at our church each Sunday. Almost twenty people from that group have been baptized in the past few years.
A graduate student in the Chinese Bible Study started Chinese Christian Fellowship (CCF) for undergraduates at UVA in 1993. It continues to reach out to ethnic Chinese students, with a higher percentage from China now.
From the beginning, producing Christian literature in English and in Chinese has been a priority. Over the years, the following books have come out in English: Reaching Chinese Worldwide, a semi-comprehensive introduction to ministry among Chinese both here and in Asia; China: Ancient Culture, Modern Society; Christianity in America: Triumph and Tragedy; Carl Henry: Theologian for All Seasons (which is now being translated); Christ the King: Meditations on Matthew’s Gospel; The Lord’s Healing Words; and Jesus: the Complete Man.
Chinese publications include an abridgment of the first four volumes of the Chinese edition of Carl Henry’s God, Revelation, & Authority (the last two volumes should come out in 2015); a revised edition of the Greek-Chinese Lexicon to the New Testament (2014) which was first published in 1986; an autobiography; New Testament Reference Works (which I have been asked to revise); Confucius and Christ; The Lord’s Healing Words; a short commentary on Ephesians; The Way Home: A Faith for the 21st Century (the Luce Theological Lectures); and Hope Deferred: A Study of Christianity and American Society, which was a precursor to Christianity in America.
Jason Truell designed and built the web site for China Institute, with both English and Chinese pages. On this site you can find reviews of books about China and God’s work among the Chinese; articles dealing with “best practices” for ministry among Chinese; columns describing both Chinese society today and God’s work among the Chinese; more of my books in pdf format (Your Part’s in God’s Plan: Studies in Ephesians); Worship and Wisdom: Meditations on Psalms and Proverbs; and several others) – and much more. The site has been totally re-designed. I invite you to browse it at www.reachingchineseworldwide.org.
Travel to Asia
As you know, we lived in Taiwan for a total of about ten years (1976-1988). Since 1990, I have returned to Taiwan more than twenty times, to visit friends; preach in churches; teach seminary courses; and share the gospel with hundreds of taxi drivers. We’ve also been to China to see friends and learn more about the land, the culture, and the people.
Teaching and lectures
In addition to teaching short courses for several seminaries in Taiwan, I gave the Luce Theological Lectures at Tunghai University and the Lit-sen Chang Theological Lectures for Holy Light Theological Seminary. For a period of about five years, I also taught intensive courses for the North American campus of China Evangelical Seminary in various cities in the U.S. and Canada.
Mentoring, coaching, encouraging
In recent years, I have devoted more attention to writing and to what might loosely be termed “discipleship” of a few people. As time allows, I try to keep up with our CI Partners around the world. The Leadership Training Course includes five men and meets monthly both here and by Skype. Email, Skype, and in-person conversations over a period of years have been important ways to help people grow in their walk with Christ and their ministry to others.
Dori’s indispensable role
In all this, Dori has not only taken care of me, but also hosted I don’t know how many guests in our home for a meal or a night. Not infrequently, Chinese have stayed here for months or even longer. Both in small groups and one-to-one, she has poured her life into dozens of Chinese women, both students and adults, and children.
Others have played vital parts in all this, including our Board of Directors, a series of very able administrative assistants, editorial helpers, and YOU, our faithful prayer partners. We are indescribably grateful to you all.