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All articles in category Eastern Asia

Discovering the heart of China
September 2008
China

Discovering the heart of China

Discovering the heart of China   China has been very much in the headlines lately, and we are often given negative impressions from the news reports we receive — whether they relate to the Olympics, the thorny issue of Tibet, or human rights and the persecution of ‘underground’ churches. China is even being blamed for the world’s economic ills in worries over its rising demand for raw materials and oil.   However, all these criticisms were temporarily quieted when the extent of the Sichuan earthquake on 12 May shocked the world, and aid began to flow in from many nations. Even Taiwan which has no...

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China and the Reformation Translation Fellowship
April 2008
China

China and the Reformation Translation Fellowship

China and the Reformation Translation Fellowship   One goal of Chairman Mao’s ‘Cultural Revolution’ in China (1966-1976) was to snuff out the religious impulse in man. He attempted to do this by persecuting the weak church, ridiculing all things spiritual, and proving once for all that the co-operation of people under their almighty State could satisfy the deepest needs of man.   How did Mao fare? In the middle of that ‘revolution’ liberal Western missiologists were declaring that more than a century of Christian missionary effort in China had been for nothing — ‘The church in China is dead’, they declared.      But did you...

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A visit to China Part 2
March 2008
China

A visit to China Part 2

A visit to China   In January’s ET Jack and Angelina Sin described their visit to China. Here they provide some historical background to gospel and missionary work in that great land. Famous preachers in China Robert Morrison (1782-1834) was sent out to China by the London Missionary Society in 1807. He remained there until his death in 1834 — studying the language, compiling a Chinese dictionary and grammar, and translating the Bible. The next notable Western missionary was James Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission (today’s OMF), who was called by God to the mission field early in life. Arriving in Shanghai...

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A visit to China Part 1
January 2008
China

A visit to China Part 1

A visit to China     China is the most populous nation in the world and territorially the third largest. It has changed greatly since the drive for modernisation began under Deng Siow Ping in the 1970s. With a huge market of 1.3 billion people, it is well poised to host the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.   From 6-19 September 2007 we visited the cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Dalian, fellowshipping with believers and conducting Christian meetings there. China’s mainstream churches are known as the Three Self Churches (self-propagating, self-supporting and self-ruling). They are largely managed by the state authorities. House churches, however, abound and...

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Missionary Spotlight – Eating scrolls in Mongolia – Dr Gerald Mitchum
August 2006
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight – Eating scrolls in Mongolia – Dr Gerald Mitchum

I have never actually eaten a scroll, but I have eaten some meals in Mongolia that would make a scroll look like a gourmet feast. However, I know some of our western food in equally repulsive to our Mongolian friends. But God told Ezekiel in Chapter 3:1 of his book, ‘Eat this scroll’. Did he eat it? It says, in 3:2, ‘so I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat’. People come to the mission field for various reasons – some for travel adventure or to experience a different culture, others to escape the stress of living in the West. Still...

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Missionary Spotlight – Mongolia – ten years on
October 2004
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight – Mongolia – ten years on

  Not a few ‘wordsmiths’ have tried to capture a cloud on paper with a pen. Standing in the desert in Mongolia, I turn full circle and on all sides see the earth surrounded by floating balls of cotton-wool. Try to touch them and they are not there, but from where I stand they fill the air — a mystical mist with form but no substance. And overhead, streaking the deep blue background, there are yet more clouds — wispy things of white horsetail hair, painting the canvas we call sky. In the distance they threaten darkness, with the sound of thunder and bolts of...

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Missionary Spotlight – Change in Mongolia
October 2002
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight – Change in Mongolia

Mongolia experienced colossal political changes between 1990 and 1993.   The 1990 elections initiated two years of democratic reform. The Soviets left, the constitution was rewritten, and there was talk of Mongolia becoming another Asian economic tiger. Democracy and market reform had come to stay. From a missionary perspective, Mongolia was then a clean slate. She had no recent history of missions, no western colonial history, no established church. So this period was characterised by a flurry of evangelistic activity aimed at a new generation of Mongolian youth, who had witnessed the collapse of Communism, and for whom the Tibetan-Buddhism of their parents, and the...

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Missionary Spotlight-Building in Mongolia
July 2002
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight-Building in Mongolia

The words ‘Oh you of little faith’ aptly described us four years ago when we first saw the tiny village of Red Mouth, in Mongolia. We witnessed a meeting there to organise herders into a co-operative, so that they would have better buying and marketing leverage. A left-wing government was in power and, interestingly, a political rally was scheduled at the same place, same time, same date! What developed was a shouting contest that lasted for hours. What a pitiful place – this small community with no jobs, lots of poverty, and poor education. The little school met in two, stale, crowded gers. Twenty children...

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July 2002
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight-Facts

Area: 604,250 square miles. Neighbouring countries: China and Russia. Environment: Landlocked, with a harsh, continental climate, desert plains (especially the Gobi Desert), grassy steppes and forests. The west is mountainous. There are frequent dust (or snow) storms, grassland fires and drought. Water for irrigation or drinking is scarce. Natural resources: Oil and coal; minerals, especially copper, iron, molybdenum, tungsten, tin and gold. Population: 2.8 million. Life expectancy: 64 years. Infant mortality: 53 deaths/1,000 live births. Ethnic groups: Mongol (mainly Khalkha) 90%, Turkic (mainly Kazakh) 7%, others (including Chinese and Russian) 3%. Languages: Mongolian (official), Turkic, Russian. Literacy: 87%. Capital: Ulaanbaatar (774,000).Urbanisation: 62%. Economy: The economy...

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Missionary Spotlight-A cautionary tale
July 2002
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight-A cautionary tale

My wife and I came to Mongolia three years ago, to work in rural areas. We knew that much had happened in the country since the end of communism more than ten years ago. A fast-growing church was emerging. Mongolians were reaching out to neighbours at home and to people beyond Mongolia. We heard from some missionaries that we would soon no longer be needed! Having completed two years of language study we moved from the capital, Ulaanbaatar (UB), to a remote provincial town several hundred miles west. Expectations Understandably, we went with certain expectations. We envisaged that we would be strengthening a local church...

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Missionary Spotlight-Mongolia – land of contradictions
July 2002
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight-Mongolia – land of contradictions

The Gobi desert paid me a visit today: icy wind, sand, rain and snow all arrived together, screaming off the steppe, lashing around me, boring sand into eyes, nose, ears and mouth. I am getting warm again in our apartment on the top floor of a building in the eastern sector of Ulaanbaatar. The sky is now deep blue and crystal clear, except for the trail of an international jet. The trees’ buds are a promising green, poised to make the sudden growth we’ve longed for all winter. That startling, vivid, clear blue Mongolian sky! The Mongols of old worshipped the sky as god above...

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January 2002
China

Chinese puzzle

It can be difficult to grasp the true state of a church from a distance. This is particularly true when we live many thousands of miles away and speak a different language! In recent years there have been reports of great movements of God in China. We hear of large numbers of converts to Christianity and frequent periods of persecution. It is therefore helpful when the situation is assessed by someone who has researched it first hand and can provide a biblical perspective. We reproduce below an edited version of a letter received from Phoebe Ma, former chief editor of the Chinese Reformed magazine Faith...

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