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”
Currently, most courses in cross-cultural ministry are only offered during semester times when campus workers are busy with ministry. The Summer Institute is a new initiative of Thriving Turtles to equip front-line gospel workers with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective cross-cultural gospel ministers. The Summer Institute offers short modular courses at the end of the summer holidays each year. These courses build on each other, and the training can extend over several years. Our facilitators have extensive experience in cross-cultural ministry. The courses are provided as eLearning through our online Moodle classroom, and are highly interactive with forums, chats and video conferencing. This platform allows us to offer this training at a very affordable cost. With an investment of 10 hours over a 2 week period each year, and no need to travel away from home, you can equip yourself to be a more effective cross-cultural minister of the gospel.
29th Jan – 15th Feb 2018 – Trial courses for free
For more information see the website via this link www.thrivingturtles.org/summerinstitute
Infographic Video: https://biteable.com/watch/the-summer-institute-introduction-1686099
Big Brother is Watching
In recent months, news articles have pointed out developments in censorship and communication in China, and I have been asked many times for advice on how to communicate with Chinese people, both here in Australia and in China. There is no easy answer to these questions, but let me try and lay out some of the known facts and then consider what options are available.
Continue reading “Security and Communication in China”
What does it take for returnees to thrive?
In part one of this series we considered the importance of discipling Chinese students as Chinese believers who are prepared to live in a Chinese context (contextualized discipleship). In this second part we consider the need for pre-return training to prepare returnees for the issues they will face on returning home. Experience has shown that there are four key topics that need to be addressed:
- Relating to family.
- Facing work and career issues.
- Understanding and relating to the church in China.
- Reverse culture shock and transition
Read Part 2 of the Pre-Return Training article here: https://thrivingturtles.org/2017/08/26/what-does-it-take-for-returnees-to-thrive-part-2/
Continue reading “What does it take for returnees to thrive – Part 2”
In our last letter we looked at the first of three characteristics of a successful returnee: they have been discipled as a Chinese Christian to live in a Chinese context. In this newsletter we have some suggested resources.
Continue reading “Discipling Chinese to thrive in China”
At Thriving Turtles, our mission is to facilitate culturally appropriate discipleship of Chinese returnees. What do we mean by “culturally appropriate“? It means to disciple them as a “Chinese” believer rather than an “Australian” believer. Maybe this seems a small point, but it makes all the difference when they return home to China, to live as a Chinese Christian, to worship in a Chinese Church and be a blessing to a Chinese community. We want to send home Chinese believers who know how their Christian faith answers the questions the Chinese world is asking and know how the gospel transforms a Chinese persons life so they can glorify God in a Chinese way.
This issue we highlight two articles for your perusal.
Continue reading “Chinese Bible Reading”