Coronavirus: Threat and Opportunity

Returning to Australia from China during the Coronavirus outbreak: a personal experience

When the news came that Australia had also closed its borders to all Chinese nationals who did not hold a permanent residency, my heart sank. You see, more than half of the 200,000 Chinese international students are stuck in China. That includes a large number of the student leaders and students in various university FOCUS Christian groups, including my own group at Sydney University.

Letter from a pastor in Wuhan, China

The situation is so critical, yet [we are] trusting in the Lord’s promises, that his thoughts toward us are of peace, and not evil (Jeremiah. 29:11), and that he allows for a time of testing, not to destroy us, but to establish us. Therefore, Christians are not only to suffer with the people of this city, but we have a responsibility to pray for those in this city who are fearful, and to bring to them the peace of Christ.

https://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/chinese-church-voices/wuhan-pastor-pray-with-us

Five prayer requests from behind the Coronavirus curtain

Having received numerous questions about our well-being and needs, I thought it might help to share some prayer requests from behind the Coronavirus curtain.

Wuhan Church: “Take care of yourself, your family, and neighbours with Christ’s Love”

On January 25, the eve of the first Sunday Service after the nationwide epidemic, a church in Wuhan (Wuhan being the source of the epidemic) issued a prayer initiative and notice on gatherings to advocate for prayers for the safety and health of medical staff (and their family members) fighting on the front-line, and also ourselves and our families.

http://www.chinachristiandaily.com/news/category/2020-02-03/wuhan-church—take-care-of-yourself–your-family–and-neighbors-with-christ-s-love-_8810

Coronavirus: Chinese pastors go digital

The capital of Hubei province, Wuhan is one of the most developed cities in China and classified as a “New Tier 1 city”. It is a manufacturing hub with a population of over 11 million and a land area of nearly 8,500 square kilometres.

Fear of the virus spreading has left the streets unfamiliarly quiet, and reports are also surfacing of churches cancelling outreach efforts and worship services.

Pastors are making use, instead, of various forms of digital media to shepherd their flock.

What is it like in Wuhan? – Video

Wuhan, the Chinese city identified as the origin of the coronavirus outbreak, has been on lockdown since 23 January. The Guardian spoke to residents, expats and tourists currently in the city about what it’s like living in quarantine.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2020/jan/29/my-anxiety-is-increasing-day-by-day-the-voices-of-wuhan-video

Serving effectively in the face of a pandemic

The deeper question to ask is, “How do we remain a strong light if indeed the darkness looms in the form of disease?” This is really a question of resolve and effectiveness under circumstances that are above and beyond what our world would expect us to endure. But God has different expectations than this world, and we must ask him what things he would have us do to prepare for the possibility of Avian Flu or other global diseases that could impact every facet of our ministry. This article was first published in 2006 after the SARS pandemic.

https://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/chinasource-blog-posts/serving-effectively-in-the-face-of-a-pandemic

Sharing the Good News

Portrait of an overseas Chinese student

Xiao Mei visited a local British church nearby where she joined a Global Café for the possibility of meeting new friends and learning to speak English. The relaxed atmosphere encouraged her to return, and the friendly church people invited her to learn more about the faith sustaining them. Over the next few months, Xiao Mei made many friends and really enjoyed the worship services. She became a Christian at a gospel event, but she admitted that she was mainly attracted by the genuine love and care of the Christians she met at church.

https://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/articles/the-hook-and-the-cook

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Becoming a Christian Overseas

Stories from Chinese millennials: interview with a disappointed dreamer

Last year I spent time interviewing a group of Chinese graduate students I regularly met with for bible study. With the permission of those interviewed, I published a series called “Stories from Chinese Millennials” – this is a late addition to that series. None of the students interviewed were professing Christians, though they are all in various stages of spiritual seeking, and all have now returned to China.
http://www.chinapartnership.org/blog/2018/6/stories-from-chinese-millennials-interview-with-a-disappointed-dreamer-part-1
http://www.chinapartnership.org/blog/2018/6/stories-from-chinese-millennials-interview-with-a-disappointed-dreamer-part-2

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Peace and Preparation for Difficult Times

Peace and preparation – the kingdom of God is near

In this article, Wang Ziyu shares from personal experience about one summer that taught Wang the value of preparedness. Wang likens preparedness for the school year with readiness for the coming of God’s kingdom. Article in English and Chinese

https://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/chinese-church-voices/peace-and-preparedness

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Friendship and Christmas

Do they know it’s Christmas ?

It’s lunchtime on Christmas Day, we’re sitting around our dining room table about to tuck into the turkey, ham, stuffing and cranberry sauce – the traditional Christmas dinner. Sitting around the table is my husband, my mum and dad, Alison and Andrew (a boyfriend and girlfriend from China), Tim* from Vietnam and not forgetting Archie the dog who is under the table, sitting expectantly, hoping that something might fall off for him! Alison, Andrew and Tim have never been in the UK on Christmas Day before. In fact, they have never celebrated Christmas before. They know very little of what Christmas is about or of who Jesus is.
https://omf.org/blog/2018/01/05/do-they-know-its-christmas/

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Returnees and the Church in China

Returnees Committing to Church in China: I wonder what excites us most about the prospect of brothers and sisters returning to China:

  • How wonderful to have this godly man heading up a hospital, refusing underhanded deals with pharmaceutical companies.
  • How strategic to have this winsome sister working as a university lecturer; just think about the kind of impact she could have on a whole generation of students!

Yes, such inspiring thoughts spur us on in serving our Chinese friends from overseas and yet how individualistic is this perspective? Indeed, perhaps we do stress the importance of church but to what extent is this merely pragmatic? Without a supportive church community, how else will our friends stand firm in such a challenging context? No, this is something far more significant for church is right at the heart of God’s eternal plan. (Ephesians 3:10)
http://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/blog-entries/returnees-and-the-church-in-china

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Connecting Returnees With Churches

What does it take for returnees to thrive – Part 3

If isolation is a key underlying problem, then helping students to make connections that will develop into nurturing and supportive relationships in China is a critical need and the best place to find nourishing spiritual relationships should be in a church or fellowship. What can be done to connect returnees to churches and fellowships and help them to settle? In this third and final part In this third part we will focus on how to help returnees settle in a church or fellowship where they can serve and be supported in their daily Christian walk.
https://thrivingturtles.org/2018/08/12/what-does-it-take-for-returnees-to-thrive-part-3/

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Singleness, Marriage and Family

Marriage In The Middle Kingdom

Marriage, like so much else in China, has undergone profound changes in recent years. In the past, tradition, social expectations and poverty all tended to oblige couples to stick together, whatever the reality of their relationship. Marriages were generally contracted at a young age, married children usually lived with parents, and divorce was rare. Today, in a much more mobile society, grown?up children may live far from their parents, and opportunities for multiple relationships are much greater. Living together before marriage has become commonplace, at least in cities. Divorce has reached levels similar to that in Western countries. Abortion is widespread, particularly where the one?child policy is enforced. At the same time, parents put huge pressure on young people to get married and produce a child. All this presents great challenges to those returning to China who have become Christian believers overseas, particularly since the expectation would be that they marry soon after returning. This article is intended to help those working with Chinese students overseas to understand more about the situation of marriage in China, and to encourage them to address this subject with pre?returnees, so that they may be better prepared for the challenges they will encounter.

https://thrivingturtles.org/2018/03/27/marriage-in-the-middle-kingdom/

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Going home is not what I thought it would be

The unique challenges faced by returnees

Why is it so hard for returnees to continue in their faith after returning home to China? I suggest that the chief cause is a conflict of cultural values that has developed because they responded to the gospel and were discipled in a Western cultural context and are unable to adapt their faith to the cultural context of China. This article by Thriving Turtles was published last year in the Mission Round Table journal.

https://thrivingturtles.org/2018/01/29/going-home-is-not-what-i-thought-it-would-be/

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