Pam Bone, Director of LIVE Ministries, shares her reflections on her trip to China with a CCC mission team last October.
After 14 days in China and a few months back home to process and reflect, we were left with some distinct impressions and ways we feel called to pray.
I'll share my thoughts here; if anyone would like to learn more about what we saw or experienced, feel free to contact me or any of our other team members: Meghan Stewart, Mart Alberici, Nick Hope, Myong Hope, Phyllis Chappelle and Samuel Phillips.
In Chinese cities, where populations range from 3-30 million, the absence of nature had a profound impact on some of us. The simple blessing of seeing God in nature was absent.
In Romans 1, Paul tells us that God has shown us his attributes, and that his power and divine nature are clearly perceived in the things that have been made. Isaiah 55 says that the mountains and hills will burst into song before us and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow, and all this is for the Lord’s renown.
Our prayer is that God will reveal himself to the Chinese who live in these massive cities in ways that they will see His amazing attributes.
The House of Joy is a ministry that gives dignity to orphans, young and old, with special needs. In that culture, people with special needs are often rejected and discarded as people with no value. Besides feeding, grooming, clothing and just spending time with these special people, the ministry has made it a priority to take them out to a public park, where they dance and play games. Over time, they are changing the way the people of this community see and value those with special needs. Many people come and participate with them, even touching and hugging them.
Another observation was that people don’t seem to truly see each other. They do not look at each other as they walk about the city or ride on the buses. The impression was that just as they don’t see each other, they probably don’t feel seen by others, or by God, and that the overwhelming amount of sensory overload probably causes emotional shutdown.
There is significant value in the way that internationals do mission work there, primarily in the university system. All of the Chinese Christians that we met were introduced to Jesus while in college. It is great for students to be exposed to internationals as they see something different and ask questions.
In the same way, there is great value in the way that Chinese nationals use education to reach people. Many Chinese are seeking alternative education, as they are unhappy with the government system and are open to western teaching methods.
The private school that we connected with there has taken a stand to openly share the Biblical principles on which they are founded. They have suffered persecution by individuals and from the government, but have also experienced much fruit as many of the students, teachers and family members have decided to live for Jesus.
It was really exciting to be around believers in China, because they are not “lukewarm.” They are sold out for Jesus – the real deal! We left with a sense of hope, with one teammate likening China to Narnia, where “winter” is melting.
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