Mission To China
Mission To China
By Paul Lau
Paul Lau in China
As part of CBM expansion to Asia, I participated in a Missionary survey trip to China this summer. The leaders of our 6 person team were Pastor Peter Wang and his wife, Ann Lo. It was my hope that I would learn about the needs of the growing Chinese Christian church, how I can be part of it as a possible missionary, and report to my home church as to what I had seen.
The first camp was with the college students. There were about 90 students; perhaps a few more girls than boys. The theme of the college camp was “Don’t Forget Our First Love, Follow and Commit.” The camp setup is very similar to what I have observed at the CBM high school camp at Mount Hope. Each day started off with singing, and then division into groups of 10- 12. The camp leaders were volunteers from the network of churches. Pastor Peter Wang shared the Gospel and two team members and I gave our testimonies. Ann Lo gave her presentation on communication/listening skills/emotions.
The next week, the high school and middle school camp was a bit larger with 120 kids. There was a new group of counselors. Their theme was learning about God and how God works in their lives. The camp program was more social than the college camp. Since the students were younger, Christian fundamental principles were emphasized. Pastor Peter Wang shared the Gospel, the same message as the fi rst week of camp. We gave our testimonies just as we did the previous week. The last night, they did Bible skits by each group; very similar to what they do at the CBM camps. I was surprised at their understanding and creativity of the Bible “story” that each group had to act out.
I asked a young mature Chinese Christian who will become a missionary to help with refugees in Turkey, what does China need? She said that China doesn’t need old style Missionaries from the West. There are too many cultural/language issues, and besides, the central government restricts western (non-Chinese) missionaries, who sometimes attract unwanted government attention. Overseas Chinese fi nd it easier to enter China, and, of course, they blend in. The big obstacle for American born Chinese missionaries is learning Mandarin Chinese. But what the churches in China really need most is fi nancial support, and pastoral teachers to give local pastors and workers training to preach the Word to the young and old. We did visit a small seminary in the center of the city, and were impressed at the student’s dedication and thirst for learning God’s Word. This is what Pastor Alan Gin with LRI has talked about. Financial support would be used to fund church workers and construct facilities as needed. Just like in America, there is much to be done, but few workers. I did not observe any luxurious or wasteful spending on the part of the Chinese network churches.
By this short term missions trip, I want to inform and open the eyes of our church members to both the needs of the network churches. Furthermore, it may encourage others to consider helping in China on a short term missions trip.