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Three Strategies for China, Four Ways You Can Help

March 27, 2013 by Open Doors in General

China

Open Doors’ strategy for China has been evolving for many years. It started with book distribution, then adding training and, later, small-scale social development help. The current needs of Christians have always been the focus of our work in strengthening the persecuted church. In collaboration with the Chinese church, we have developed three strategic focuses in 2013.

1. Helping the persecuted Christians in China’s most oppressed minority groups, who are standing strong, to grow and become mission-minded in the face of extreme persecution. Research has shown that the most persecuted Christians in China today are the secret believers among the Tibetan and Muslim minorities. Open Doors plan is to focus more on these Christians by providing Bibles and discipleship materials, as well as Bible and leadership education. In order to accomplish our goal of building up the Church spiritually, it is very important that believers have the means to remain in their communities to be salt and light. Socio-economic help in the form of training, microcredits and other means is, therefore, the third pillar of our work. Open Doors also organizes prayer trips to the areas where these Christians live. We can only reach a few hundred of these Christians directly, but these projects have the potential for substantial impact. Through our extended networks, we can strengthen all of the Tibetan and Muslim background churches in China.

2. Training Chinese Christians to impact their society by embedding Christian values through contextualization and community engagement.  Most Chinese Christians, no longer fiercely persecuted, are accepted by the society. The government now uses softer techniques and pressures to control the church. This new, more open society offers opportunities for the church to influence the country as a whole. Christians need to be encouraged to live out biblical values and show people what it looks like to be followers of Christ. In 2013 Open Doors will work with Christian media partners and educators to help them realize the importance of their roles. We will organize awareness seminars designed to equip them to make a positive impact on Chinese society. Open Doors will also foster connections between media workers and educators to encourage better collaboration in producing books and educational materials that effectively communicate Christian values within a Chinese cultural context.

3. Encouraging Chinese Christians to serve persecuted Christians within China and worldwide.
Another important strategic direction is collaboration with the Chinese Church in serving persecuted Christians, not only among the Chinese minorities, such as Tibetan believers or Muslim background believers, but also those abroad. The experience and wisdom of Chinese Christians could be an invaluable asset to persecuted Christians around the world. Enlisting their aid in helping the persecuted church would create a whole new Chinese army of light ready to “strengthen what remains” (Rev. 3:2). There is much work to do in engaging them in this effort. Most Chinese Christians are not involved in helping the Persecuted Church at all and are unaware that Christians exist among the Chinese minorities. Open Doors will, therefore, conduct awareness seminars to open their eyes both to the great need and to the many ways God has uniquely equipped them for this work. Open Doors will also provide cross-cultural training to help them relate to others in compassionate and effective ways.

Following are four ways you partner with Open Doors in our 2013 strategies for China:

1. Pray. Open Doors’ work in China has always been covered in prayer. Without the blessing of the Lord, we could not have achieved these great things. As God moves among the Christian minorities in China, we covet your continuing prayers.

2. Advocate. Become an ambassador for the Persecuted Church in China and other countries. Write about them in your church magazine or post on your blog, Facebook, Twitter or other social media account, or host a prayer event.

3. Give. Costs are sometimes high for just getting to persecuted Christians among the minority populations in order to provide materials, training and follow-up. Your financial support could provide a believer with his first Bible or training to help her grow in faith. Your gift may help provide income enabling a Christian family to stay in their home region. Consider giving a gift today.

4. Pray Beyond China. We need your continuous prayer for Open Doors work in China, and also in other countries. Pray for safety, wisdom and cultural discretion for our teams abroad and, for Chinese believers as they begin to reach out to persecuted Christians in foreign lands.

Father, we stand in awe as we consider the work You have accomplished in the vast land of China. Your church has grown stronger in recent years with much to teach those in other countries who are persecuted for their faith. Give them eyes to see the persecution taking place in other places, and stir up in their hearts compassion for the persecuted, for minority Christians in their own country as well as those in other nations. We pray that You will teach them how to relate with other cultures in compassionate and effective ways. And we consider Christians in remote areas of China who are in desperate need of Bibles, training, and encouragement. We call on You to provide the resources to meet these needs, to show us how You might use our own resources in this ministry. Increase our faithfulness to pray for those who suffer persecution in China and elsewhere, that Your work there might be immersed in prayer. In the name of Jesus who strengthens His church, Amen.

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