Onward Christian Soldiers--in China!
Anthony Bollback has just posted the June edition of China Clippings. It is full of good news about the progress of the Christian movement. Mr Bollback quotes extensively from a recent Newsweek International Edition story by Susan Schafer called Onward Christian Soldiers. The subtitle reads, "Chinese missionaries are winning souls across the Middle Kingdom—and plan to spread even farther." Here is a key quote:
All across China, more and more people are turning to Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. The numbers have been growing for years, encouraged by the personal freedoms that have slowly accompanied the country's economic reforms. Protestantism—and especially evangelicalism—appeals to many Chinese in rural areas that have been left out of China's economic miracle. Now China has at least 45 million Christians, the majority of whom are Protestant, according to Chinese academics. Western observers say the numbers are much higher. Dennis Balcombe, a preacher from California who has made hundreds of mission trips to China since the late 1970s, and Western researchers put the number at closer to 90 million.
A number of people have asked me where to find an accurate assessment of the church in China. Schafer's article is the best summary I've read recently. I hope you will read the article because it will stir your soul to discover what God has been doing in China in the last 50 years. The article reminds us that what we call a "closed country" is only a human term. God doesn't know any "closed countries" because there is no place on earth closed to the Holy Spirit.
Anthony Bollback offers this helpful addendum to the Newsweek article:
With the Chinese church setting such an exemplary example to the rest of the world, will other believers respond to the challenge? Will the church in North America respond? Here are some things urgently needed:
*A deep sense of repentance. We urgently need to turn back to God in a new commitment of love and devotion to Jesus that will overcome the materialism and coldness of our lives.
*A new sense and commitment to prayer for the lost in our communities and the suffering church around the world.
*A willingness to once again live a simpler lifestyle that will enable us to support the work of extending the Kingdom of God around the world.
*A desire to be part of this advancing, dedicated group of people who live wholeheartedly for Christ regardless of personal cost or persecution
YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THIS MOVEMENT
Everyone can be involved by:
1) Praying earnestly for this movement of God to evangelize the 10/40 Window.
2) Regularly supporting your own church's missionary organization, and specifically their efforts to help in the training of cross-cultural missionaries for the 10/40 Window countries.
3) Supporting other reputable groups that give a good accounting of their resources who are engaged in printing Bibles, training people for cross-cultural ministries or church planting.
4) Contact Anthony Bollback for information and specific prayer requests as well as information on how you can be involved financially.
5) Contact Chinese churches in your area and ask for prayer requests about their activities to prepare people for overseas ministry. Many Chinese churches known to the editor are deeply committed to planting churches overseas that actually participate in this movement by sending their own people on short term mission trips to train Chinese young people.
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