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.
Continue reading “Sharing the Good News”
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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.
Continue reading “Becoming a Christian Overseas”
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
Continue reading “Peace and Preparation for Difficult Times”
Being salt and light to influence society
Many Christians in China today are seeking to be salt and light in their communities and in society. But what does that look like? In the translated article below, originally posted on the mainland site Christian Times, the author summarizes a talk given by a pastor in Henan Province on the topic of being salt and light.
Continue reading “Work & Career”
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.
Continue reading “Friendship and Christmas”
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)
Continue reading “Returnees and the Church in China”
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.
Continue reading “Connecting Returnees With Churches”
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.
Continue reading “Singleness, Marriage and Family”
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.
Continue reading “Going home is not what I thought it would be”