FREE KINDLE BOOK: “A THOUSAND LIVES” by Vision For China is available for free download from June 28 – July 2 (just five days)! Download your free copy today and be challenged to get involved in China missions!
I start the book off in Chapter 1 writing about SURRENDER. I ask the question: What if we were willing to risk everything? Not only is that a hard question to answer, but the answer will fundamentally change the way you live, serve God and do ministry. I try to show that there IS risk in serving Jesus, especially in China, but that it is worth it and Jesus is worth us risking everything. There is an urgent need for us to get the gospel to China. This book is written for such a time as this.
The book is available in three different formats (print, ebook, audiobook):
After you read or listen to the book, I would love to hear from you!
Missions is inherit in the nature of Christianity:
There are, then, four words – Commission, Compassion, Community, Continuity – each of them representing at some period of the Church’s life a major element in missionary endeavor. But none of these, nor all of them taken together, can constitute the basic argument. ment. None of them touches the true profundity of this matter. In the last resort, the one reason for missions is Christ. He only is the motive. God’s presence in Him is the only sufficient cause.
The fact is, belief in missions and belief in Christ stand and fall together. To say “I believe that God so loved the world, that in Christ He gave everything He had, gave His very self,” to use such words not lightly or conventionally but in spirit and in truth, means that the one who uses them binds himself irrevocably to make self-giving giving the controlling principle of life; and this is the very essence of missions. To put it otherwise, the concern for world evangelization tion is not something tacked on to a man’s personal Christianity, which he may take or leave as he chooses; it is rooted indefeasibly in the character of the God who has come to us in Christ Jesus. Thus it can never be the province of a few enthusiasts, a sideline or a speciality of those who happen to have a bent that way. It is the distinctive mark of being a Christian. To accept Christ is to enlist under a missionary banner. It is quite impossible to be (in the Pauline phrase) “in Christ” and not participate in Christ’s mission in the world. In fact, here is the surest test whether we have truly grasped what Christ was doing by His life and death and resurrection, tion, or whether we have failed even to begin to understand the Gospel that He brought. James Denney once heard a distinguished missionary say – “Some people do not believe in missions. They have no right to believe in missions: they do not believe in Christ.” That stringent comment is a salutary reminder that a missionary outlook is a direct inevitable deduction from a saving knowledge of Jesus. The sole ground of missionary endeavor is Christ.’
Dr. James S. Stewart quoted in George Peters. A Biblical Theology of Missions (pp. 348-349). Kindle Edition.
We have really enjoyed hosting Kanon as an intern for 6 months last year. God really used Him during his time here and we still have fruit in the church for his internship. I asked him to write a testimonial about his time here. Hopefully it will give you some insight to what an internship in China is like and encouragement for more of you to come intern with us!
I had the opportunity in 2015 to do a six-month internship in China with missionary Mark. I learned a lot about ministry in China, enjoyed my experience, and grew greatly in my walk with the Lord during this time. If you are someone that is considering being a missionary to China or Asia, I would highly recommend doing an internship with someone from the China team. Here are a few reasons why I think it would be beneficial to you.
You get to be involved in an actual church plant. This was one of the things that I enjoyed most about my internship. I got to help and see firsthand the process of planting a church. I didn’t just get to hear a class about how church planting is done rather I got to watch and be involved in it happening. I think having this practical experience is what someone that wants to be a missionary desperately needs to have. The internship provides you with this opportunity.
You get to be immersed in Chinese culture. While doing the internship, I spent time each week learning Chinese, getting to know Chinese people, and learning the culture. This was an experience I needed. From books and TV shows, you cannot really grasp what the language and culture are like, but when you live in China each day you get to learn what it is really like.
Relationship with the missionaries:
You get mentorship in many different aspects of a missionary’s life. My missionary friend Mark and I talked about many different topics during my six months I spent in China. I was able to get advise and counsel about things like deputation, writing sermons, how to set up a house in China, how to do banking in China, different outreach ideas, and many other areas of life that a missionary needs to learn more about.
You get to see God use you to make a difference in people’s lives! I got to make new contacts, invite people to church, and witness to people during my time in China. I got to experience telling people the Gospel and then realize that I was the very first person that had explained it to them. I was able to see God use me in many different ways to reach people for Christ. These are opportunities that are very special. You can get these kind of opportunities on an internship to China!
We have really enjoyed hosting Megan as an intern for the past 10-weeks. She has been a blessing to our family and ministry while she was here and I asked her to write a testimonial about her time here. Hopefully, it will give you some insight to what an internship in China is like and encouragement for more of you to come intern with us!
Direction for the mission:
New culture, new foods, new friends, new language, new opportunities, new customs (endless etc.) are what you will experience if you come spend your summer in China…but that is not truly the best part about coming and working here. Getting the opportunity to share the Gospel message with someone who has potentially never even heard it before—now that’s rewarding! I would like to share with you some of the things that I have learned and experienced during my 10 week internship here in China and hopefully encourage you to consider if the Lord might be leading you to come serve here too!
Being a Missions-Internship major at the Bible college I attend, I was required to do an internship as part of the completion of my degree. As I was searching for different opportunities and looking at my options, China continued to be in the back of my mind. For many years I have thought I might end up serving in China, because God had burdened my heart many years ago for this country. Little did I know that He was preparing my heart for this summer! As I was making my decision for the summer, I could not get China out of my mind, so I was pretty sure that it was where God wanted me to pursue going. I began doing what I needed to do to get there, and the missionaries helped guide me through the process. God blessed me tremendously through many generous supporters (which was just another confirmation that God was opening the door for me to go!). Before I knew it, I was on my way!
Opportunities during the internship:
I have had so many opportunities here. I have been able to have Bible studies with ladies that I have met at English corners, some of which I have seen grow in their understanding of God’s Word! I have had the privilege of helping with the kids’ club and teaching an English Sunday school class at the church. Also, I have had the opportunity to host a couple of ladies’ activities. During my time here, I have also done some English tutoring for children, which the church provides for free as an outreach. There are so many people here, so there is always more need for servants to come help with the ministry! Because of the incredible amount of people in the city, it is hard to even put into words the amount of need. As I have experienced ministering here, God has continued to give me peace that this is where He wanted me this summer. Not only that, but as of right now, I am strongly thinking that China is where I will plan to serve long-term (unless God redirects me). My heart has been so full here.
Relationship with the missionaries:
I have learned a lot from the missionaries! Because I hope to be on the field full-time someday, it was incredibly practical to see firsthand a family that is already in ministry. I have spent so much time in their home and have been able to serve alongside them. It has given me a real picture of what it is like to serve with a missionary team. The countless hours I have spent with the missionary wife are something I will treasure for…well, probably ever! We have had many good conversations and I have been able to ask her a lot of questions. From the times we have gone out to discuss plans for the week, to the times I have helped her cook dinner, and everything in between – I have really been blessed by the time spent with her.
I have been able to experience firsthand what ministry is like in another country. No place is exactly the same; but now that I have served in a culture that is different from my own, I feel more prepared for future ministry. Another benefit I have experienced is learning about the missionaries’ ministry philosophy and their perspective on how missions should be done. They have accomplished much and have a desire to be good stewards of the time that God has given them!
Another thing I was able to experience during this internship is language school. I actually attended classes and had a tutor to help me learn the Chinese language. I cannot overemphasize how practical this part of the internship was. The first several years on the field are focused on language school, so learning Chinese helped me to see another part of missionary life – and a very difficult part it is! I have learned a lot from my classes and I hope to continue studying on my own when I am back in the States.
I have also grown a lot spiritually during this internship. Because the missionaries hold me accountable by checking in on my personal devotions, and because they have other weekly requirements for spiritual growth, I can say that I have grown in that way over the summer. In ministry, it is very easy to face burnout; but because of the focus on making sure to be fed spiritually, I have been edified so that I can serve more effectively. I have also just grown in general, as there have been many things that have stretched me and taken me out of my comfort zone. There were many times when I was reminded of my desperate need for God. Time and time again over the summer I was reminded of my pride and my need to let go of it so that I can be used by God!
These are just only a few of the many things I have learned and experienced during my time here. Would I encourage you to go serve alongside Mark and Natasha China? If you are looking for the opportunity to learn from missionaries on the field, while they are on the field, and engage in ministry yourself, all while experiencing a new culture and language, then yes – I would highly encourage you to pray about and consider coming to this city with so much opportunity and need for evangelism and discipleship! “…The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37).
We don’t know the outcome from the recent events yet, but if our American missionary friends were forced to leave the country over the next few days, who would take their place? Would you?
Would you be willing to say, I will go in their place? If these missionaries are banned from reentering the country, would you be willing to leave all, like they did, to go and continue the work they started?
These men don’t live like other men. They are living their dreams, that of taking the gospel to those who have never heard. They aren’t simply dreaming about doing something great for God, but God is doing something great through them. They were born for this. Even through persecution, they are living the dream.
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” (T. E. Lawrence)
Which kind of dreamer are you? Are you living out your life to the fullest for the glory of God? Are you taking dangerous steps to do what it takes to get the gospel to those who have never heard? Are you willing to fill the shoes of those who have treaded the path before you and continue towards a bold ministry that will shake China to the core and possibly get you kicked out?
Who will take their place?
Have you seen these events over the past few days and wondered why would one be willing to do this. Or maybe you are like the Chinese man I talk with a few days ago who was wondering why I was wasting my life with this religion.
“People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives … and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.” (Nate Saint, Missionary Martyr)
What if our American missionary friends aren’t forced to leave, but continue to work within China… who will be awakened to the great need in China and take the message to parts where there is yet a witness of the gospel. Who will make commitments like these men have to put it all on the line for the sake of the gospel?
“Lord, I give up
All my own plans and purposes,
All my own desires and hopes
And accept Thy will for my life.
I give myself, my life, my all,
Utterly to Thee
To be Thine forever.
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.
Use me as Thou wilt,
Send me where Thou wilt,
Work out Thy whole will in my life
At any cost,
Now and forever.
(Betty Scott Stam, Martyred in China in the 1930s)
This post isn’t very popular and inside you are screaming, but what about our lives? what about our rights? what about our freedom? what about our family? what about the persecution? what about…
And like those who have gone on before us we simple say:
“We died before we came here.” (J.Calvert)
Will you die? Will you go? Will you start living the dream?
Here are some practical thoughts about missionary potential:
Potential demands that you never settle for what you have accomplished.
A lot of us dream about doing GREAT things for God! And we can! But we can’t settle for the great victories of the past. Allow your dreams to grow. We need to be careful to not allow the small successes destroy the great possibilities of the future.
One of the greatest enemies of your potential is success.
In order to realize your full potential you must never be satisfied with your last accomplishment. Success is dangerous because (1) it allows us to be comfortable and feel like victors, thus causing us to feel accomplished (2) builds up the pride that comes before destruction.
Never let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
Potential in not necessary doing the impossible. It isn’t focusing on what you can’t do. All of us have limits. But we don’t need to focus on what we can’t do and but focus on what God CAN do through us.
A great tragedy in life is a life that never realized its full potential.
Graveyards all around the world are full of unused and unusable potential. Don’t let this be the story of your life. Spend and be spent for the cause of Christ.
Potential is the “possible”, as opposed to actual. It means “capable of being or becoming”. Within the gospel itself, we find missionary potential. That is, the potential to transform a life from sinner to saint and send them around the world declaring it’s transforming power. Therefore, wherever the gospel is there is great missionary potential.
The local assembly where the gospel is constantly proclaimed is one of the wealthiest places on earth for missionary potential. The local church has unspeakable potential to turn the world upside down.
All through the Bible, God has used men to carry forth His will. Today, God is still using men to accomplish His purposes.
Jesus when He saw the multitudes was moved with compassion (Matthew 9:36-38; Luke 10:1-2). His compassion caused an action (whereas a reaction would simply caused guilt).
Then he tells us the harvest is plenteous. There are plenty of souls to be saved. The harvest field is the world (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:18-20).
But there is a problem: “laborers are few”! Where are all the workers? Where are all the “living sacrifices”…the blood bought, born again, Holy Spirit filled young men who are willing to serve the King of Kings with their lives?
Then Jesus gives the solution: “pray”! Are we asking God for laborers? This is the prayer request of God! He will not command you to pray what He won’t answer. Ask God to make you a laborer. When you pray for laborers, pray: “God does that mean me? Do you want me to go?”
With 96% of that task outside the U.S.A., every Christians needs to seek God and ask “Do you want me to be a foreign missionary!”
Where the gospel is proclaimed and prayer for laborers is made, missionary potential is great!
How can I leave my family?
My parents will never get to see their grandkids.
I can’t take my wife and kids to such a dangerous place.
They don’t have good medical care there.
I don’t want my child to marry one of “them”.
I don’t want to leave my friends.
I’m not good at making new friends.
All my friends are in America.
“Out of sight, out of mind.” I know they will forget about me and move on.
How can I just get up and leave everyone I know?
Luke 14:26 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
You have a great job opportunity.
There is money, prestige, or a position awaiting me.
What about the family business?
I have always wanted to be…
God gave me this talent, so I should be a…
I can just make lots of money and send it to the mission field.
I can do both.
Maybe everything He gave you was so that you could choose Him over it, including your talents and abilities.
Maybe it’s not your time, talent and treasure He wants. Maybe He just wants a vessel He can fill and send to the other side of the world.