Tuesday, 11 October 2011 17:55

New Global Mission Challenges for Chinese Canadians

Written by  Rev. Simon Wong
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New Global Mission Challenges for Chinese Canadians

Rev. Simon Wong
Former ACEM General Director

Since the 1980s there were waves of Chinese migration to North America. Many Christians moved to Canada, settled down, grew up and nurtured the next generation. We are now into the second decade of the 21st century; the world’s political landscape has changed. China has emerged as an economic power. There are frequent natural disasters, threats of economic recessions and different stages of democratic movements in the world. With the advancement of electronic communication, places around the globe are easily accessed and connected, providing opportunities as well as risks everywhere.

How can the Chinese Christians in Canada bear the cross of Jesus Christ in this fast-changing and multicultural society? I believe, under the guidance of our loving God, Chinese Christian churches would play a very important role in world-wide evangelism. With increasing status of Chinese in the world, missionary outreach can take big strides for major breakthrough.

Opportunities in Africa

For many years Rev. Philip Leung has been promoting cross-cultural evangelism in Africa. In one of the ACEM Annual Mission Conferences he has expressed that Chinese people are very welcomed there. It is because the Chinese government has physically and financially build cities, expand infrastructures, repair and construct bridges, lay highways, develop hydroelectric power stations and oil refineries thus promoting and enhancing friendly diplomatic relationship between China and African countries.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup was held in South Africa. Their soccer stadiums were built many years ago with the help of China. It indirectly promoted and raised the soccer skill levels in many African countries. These projects are generally welcomed by the African people. As a result, Chinese missionaries and caring teams are highly respected and granted with special treatment. The current favorable Sino-African relationship is really the miraculous work of our gracious God.

On the other hand, many Chinese entrepreneurs in Africa have been investing in various businesses such as garment manufacturing and shoemaking resulting in a lot of job opportunities for the local people. However their management styles of some are tainted with racism. These not only create criticism but also increase racial tension. Due to safety reasons our short term mission teams and missionaries have to shorten their stay and cancel visitations in the evening. There are also merchants who sell fake or pirated goods for quick profit. In addition, some companies moved their factories to China to take advantage of cheaper labour costs. The loss of these production lines gives the impression that Chinese people take away local jobs. As a result, if we go there to serve, we should be very careful to keep a low profile and not to be boastful to avoid bad feeling.

The Opening of Asia

In recent years, there is a general growth in Asian churches especially in China, Korea and Indonesia. The number of Christians there committed to evangelism is also increasing. They have gone through poor and deprived situations but still persevered. Here, Chinese Christians in North America have stepped into overseas missions a little earlier. As a result, they have a more developed organizational structure and planning system. It will be beneficial if they can work together with the Asian Christians and complement each other.

Beside the growth of churches, changes in Asian societies and economies also bring new missions opportunities. Previous gospel hard lands like Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myamar and Mongolia have become more open to the outside world. In following their governments’ new policy, many of their people have taken a more open attitude towards the gospel. In recent years, North American Chinese Christians have broadened their horizon to participate in missions from monetary support to personal commitment. Some Christians take early retirement to serve in the mission field. It is more meaningful to serve our Lord in underdeveloped areas than being idle at home. They can use their North American retirement pensions for self support in the mission fields or anywhere in the third world countries and live comfortably.

New Generation, New Focus

Nowadays many Christian organizations and churches have expressed the need to train our next generation in evangelism and social concern. They recruit students to join summer short term missions and community services. There are lots of articles encouraging our youths to be involved in missions. Dr. Luis Bush has shared his “414 Windows” concept in which 414 refers to the important age window from ages 4 to 14. This is the age period when   most people accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour. We need to evangelize these young generation to help them grow in the Lord so that they may become future leaders in reshaping our world.

The focus that people watch for on what affects this world should not only include politics or the economy but also environmental issues, climate changes, natural resources, education, poverty, culture, social injustice, medical services and public health. Therefore, the missionary work of today should not remain in just proclaiming the gospel and saving souls, we must strengthen our community and social services to serve the people in parallel.

In the past few years, many serious natural disasters happened one after the other around the globe. Providing relief in the disastrous zones is an important starting point for evangelism. It is a great opportunity for Christians to demonstrate Jesus’ love in action. The earthquake and tsunami in Sendai, Japan caused great loss of lives. Beside the relief organizations, local missionaries did all they could and played an important part in helping those in need.  Christians around the world offered generous monetary support or joined directly in relief work. They have become a big force behind the scene letting the Japanese people experience the true love of Christ and fulfilling this opportunity for evangelism.

The Calls from Central and South America

In May this year, I represented ACEM to attend a Thanksgiving and Dedication Service of a Chinese church in Jamaica. ACEM has been sending short term mission teams to Jamaica for many years. The establishment of this church can be dated back to 20 years ago when Rev. John Kao was seeking new missions opportunities. He heard the calls from the 20,000 Chinese in Jamaica, observed the “cage” life style in the city and felt their helplessness. Rev. Kao brought his vision of evangelism to the Missions Department at ACEM, and then to the Toronto Chinese Community Church. Now 20 years later, a Chinese church with its own building has been established in Jamaica. What a wonderful and graceful work of God!

“God so love the world (John 3:16)”, “He does not want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)”. This world is a mission field for you and I. Let us seize the time and opportunities to work faithfully and diligently to amplify God’s mercy and love.

* Translated by Anthony S D Pang

Last modified on Friday, 03 July 2020 09:10

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