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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New Cross-Cultural Ministry Training during the summer break

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

Security and Communication in China

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.

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What does it take for returnees to thrive – Part 2

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/

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Chinese Bible Reading

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.

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Introducing the Church in China

It’s been a while since we’ve been in contact. During the last year we have been busy putting together some resources that we think you will find very helpful. In 2017 we hope to begin sending out monthly newsletters like this to let you know about some of these resources.

We see Christian Chinese returnees serving God in China as they thrive in their personal faith, participate fully in the body of Christ blessing their families, communities and the world. However, we are deeply distressed to hear that up to 80% of Chinese who believe in Australia leave their faith on returning to China. With God’s help we want these returnees thriving in their faith and being a blessing to those around them.

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