New Revival Podcast

My wife and I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed on the New Revival Podcast and had a great time of fellowship and talking about China and God’s call on our lives. Please check out the audio below.

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A Better Way

The email read, “A call to carefulness,” followed by a link. “I love you!” it concluded. That was it. My dad signed his name. It was May 2014, and I was in my fourth year of teaching English and serving churches in Southeast China. The link my dad sent me directed me to a blog article written by a missionary who had just been deported from the country a couple of weeks previous. The churches that he started in Northeast China had been raided by police on Easter Sunday.

I poured over the article. Why was he kicked out? What did he do? What line was crossed? Was I doing the same things? How was he discovered? What sort of punishment were the Chinese believers he left behind met with? If I continued leading small groups at church and took opportunities to preach, would I face similar consequences?

These questions and many more kept me coming back to the missionary’s website day after day reading his previous entries and scouring it for links to other related websites. I wanted answers, yes. But more than answers, I wanted to read about how there were others in China doing what I could only dream of doing—boldly being used by the Lord to turn China upside down.

Through that blog post I discovered a band of dedicated men. I learned that each of them had their own ministries. Some were already in China, while others were still raising support stateside. I learned that while two of those men were deported, one was still in another city faithfully continuing with a church plant. The fear had not gotten to him—but neither had the police!

I read that though those two were not allowed back for many years, they were not giving up. They relocated to Taiwan where they continued to start churches and keep in touch with those they had started in the mainland. Those churches in the mainland continued on even when their foreign leadership was removed, and the missionaries were able to provide remote support, discipleship, and ministry training via the internet. “Surely the other man will be shut down,” I thought. “It’s only a matter of time.”

Yet day after day and week after week, updates were coming through indicating that the government authorities were not aware of the church. He and the Chinese believers were continuing to boldly proclaim the gospel. Jesus was faithfully building His church in China! And He was allowing the building of churches in Northeast China to be accomplished through the bold efforts of American missionaries—something I had not realized was possible!

Still in disbelief, I watched online silently for a year. An entire year. I saw the persistence of those kicked out as they continued serving in Taiwan. I read of the continued boldness in the mainland. I learned that the Lord was adding to the ranks of these missionaries those who were not swayed by the threat of persecution, but instead were willing to count the cost and live to give maximum glory to Jesus Christ in China. Quietly, secretly, I yearned to join that band of men.

I could not help but compare what I was doing in China to what these missionaries were doing. We seemed to be in China for the same reason—to impact China with the gospel of Christ. We were all serving our Lord on the front lines, but my strategy seemed radically different from theirs. While I was leading a Bible study here and there through a local church, they were planting churches. While I was spending twenty or so hours of my week at a school teaching children basic English vocabulary, they were spending as much or more time each week training young men in pastoral ministry.

The only fruit I had to show for my job as a teacher was supporting myself and ensuring that these Chinese students finished class with their English level slightly higher than before. But what good was it to teach Chinese children the rudiments of English if they would pass through my class without even gaining a rudimentary knowledge of the gospel? What good was it that they would be able to arrive in hell with better English than their friends?

I came to realize that something about my missions strategy needed to change. Something had to give. I had come to China wanting to do great things for Christ and the gospel, but after years in China I did not have much of eternal value to show for it. It was not that teaching English was wrong or sinful. I even had opportunities to lead others to Christ. But I was realizing that there was a better way. A way to reach the multitude and not just a few. A way that would bring more glory to Jesus Christ.

The above is an excerpt taken from the chapter I wrote for Vision For China‘s book, A Thousand Lives. To read the rest of the chapter and learn about the “better way” of doing missions in China that I was to learn, please visit www.visionforchina.org or go directly to Amazon to purchase a copy.

“If I had a thousand pounds, China should have it.
If I had a thousand lives, China should have them.

No! Not China, but Christ.
Can we do too much for Him?
Can we do enough for such a precious Saviour?”
– Hudson Taylor, Missionary to China –

Coming Soon! “A Thousand Lives” Book Launch

The Vision For China team is excited to announce the publication of our first book, A Thousand Lives. This has been a major project for our team over the past few months as we have been collaborating from our various locations in America and China to pull the book together in time for publication. Each member of our team wrote  one chapter, with our pastors and mission director making contributions as well. The book is a passionate plea for a pipeline of unashamed believers boldly advancing the gospel in China.

We have officially sent everything off to be published, and we intend to launch the book on December 28, 2018, at the Our Generation Summit. Lord willing, it will be also be available in ebook and audiobook formats in the near future. 

Included below is the preface of the book:

In 1885, Dr. Randal of the China Inland Mission was passing through Canada and gave a copy of China’s Spiritual Need and Claims, written by Hudson Taylor, to a certain young man by the name of Jonathan Goforth. Though Jonathan had previously surrendered to be a missionary to China, this book opened his eyes to the greatness of the need and the importance of a mission board. Won over to the cause of the China Inland Mission, Jonathan bought hundreds of copies of the book at his own personal expense and mailed them to pastors. This practice eventually developed into the practice of mailing out packets of books and pamphlets on China and the great need.

“We cannot doubt but this work was an important agency in forwarding and feeding the remarkable tide of interest in foreign missions of this period and also that it paved the way for the visit of Dr. Hudson Taylor to Canada in 1888.” – Rosalind Goforth, wife of missionary Jonathan Goforth

Jonathan Goforth was to become the first North American Missionary with the China Inland Mission and was used greatly of the Lord in China for decades, bringing countless hundreds to a saving knowledge of Christ.

It is in this spirit and with this history in mind that the idea for our own book project, A Thousand Lives, was birthed. Like in the days of Taylor and Goforth, we too live in a day in which many are desirous to be used of the Lord in China and around the world, but few know how to get from where they are to where they would like to be–being used greatly of the Lord on the mission field.

It is our prayer that this book, like China’s Spiritual Need and Claims will stir to action the hearts of a thousand lives that will surrender to the Lord’s service and motivate them to join our cause to both raise up more laborers and become laborers themselves in the great harvest field of China and the many other harvest fields around the world.

“If I had a thousand pounds China should have it.
If I had a thousand lives, China should have them.
No! Not China, but Christ.
Can we do too much for Him?
Can we do enough for such a precious Saviour?”
– Hudson Taylor, Missionary to China –

Please join us in praying for the publication of this book. Please pray that this book would be used of the Lord in mighty ways to raise up an army of both goers and senders to reach China with the gospel message. To learn more about A Thousand Lives, please visit www.visionforchina.org/a-thousand-lives-book-project. To preorder a copy, please email us at info@visionforchina.org.