Out of touch for awhile…after arriving in China I didn’t have access to the internet and when I did get it, I soon realized all international site access is very slow and Facebook is completely blocked in this country. Nice.
I’ve spent the last two days with our friends in China, Martyn and Linda. They’re here in the city of Chengdu, a medium sized city of over 10 million residents 🙂 working diligently to be the hands, feet, and reflection of Christ within this intriguing culture.
This country is undergoing enormous change in so many ways as the economy continues to accelerate. One aspect of the ever growing middle class is an intense migration of the population to urban areas. For the first time ever, in 2012 there are officially more people living in urban areas in China than the rural countryside
In Chengdu, there are over 1000 people moving to the city each day. That’s like the entire population of Chatham, Bryan and Effingham counties being added each year!
I had a chance to see an interesting reality here…the city is mass constructing communities of high rise apartment buildings, maybe 5 or 6 buildings in each complex, with the end result of about 4000 people moving into close proximity in these pre-fab “neighborhoods” over a short period of time. With a pervasive feeling of of distrust common in the culture, families don’t know any of the folks living close by.
In response, Martyn is owner and director of a kindergarten on the west side of town, smack in the middle of one of these high-rise communities. Currently they have 31 children enrolled and the school is beginning to open many doors (literally and figuratively) in the area as young parents interact and are attracted to having an American influence along with the Chinese staff at their children’s school.The little ones are taught with a not so subtle slant to biblical principles and many of the parents have become interested. The children even had a Christmas party in December!
One important note – Martyn would love to have one or two American interns come over for a year and teach in the kindergarten
In addition to the kindergarten strategy, there is an exciting plan in the works to begin to add community centers in each of the neighborhoods. I met a young Chinese man who is in a community relations position with an international Fortune 500 company and (did I mention, he’s a follower of Jesus?) he wants to develop these centers as a way of building good will and community in the buildings with an eventual plan of bible studies leading to house churches! An amazing connection of passion, connections, and resources that only the Lord could bring together. I can’t wait to see how He uses this to His glory!
The work may be slow but it is so encouraging as we see the gospel become a beacon to human hearts in China through avenues we never could have predicted.
Pray for this team as they work tirelessly in preparing the harvest the Lord has provided in Chengdu.