China

  • 20 Jun
    Two Dollars

    Two Dollars

    马文凯, MaWenKai came home last night. He’s been my husband for seven years, and in all that time he’s never held down a job for more than six months.

    He travelled to the north-east for work. He was supposed to come back with a bank card full of money. Lots of people from our area travel for work, and they usually get paid a reasonable wage. But MaWenKai came back empty-handed.

    He had to ask for the 两元 (2 dollars) for the local bus fare to our home from a stranger on the street. He didn’t even have two dollars left.

    Will WenKai ever stick to a steady job? Will we ever have enough to do more than just scrape by?

    MaWenKai went to the north-east because his friend told him a factory there would pay five thousand a month for skilled machine work. They’re rushing to complete an order, he said. The work is tiring, but the pay is good. That’s what he said.

    WenKai was going to work for four months, to earn 两万, twenty thousand dollars. When he came back, we were going to pay back the friends and family we have borrowed from. Then we would still have enough to pay for his mother’s operation. Her eyesight has been failing for several years, but we never have the money on hand to pay for treatment. With WenKai’s windfall salary, we were going to send our son to a good kindergarten, so he could get into a better elementary school. WenKai said I could get some new clothes and a nice pair of shoes I’ve had my eye on for a while.

    Instead, my husband came home empty-handed, bringing only stories about broken promises and a manager whose expectations bordered on insanity.

    I wasn’t shocked. I’ve heard these stories before.

    WenKai is a good man, and a kind father. But he’s too proud to take a regular job that earns a regular wage. He’s always searching for a way to beat the system, and make a lot of money really fast.

    I don’t have an education, I’ve never been to school. I’ll never earn much. Our whole family is relying on WenKai, and he’s still holding out for his lucky break.

    Can he ever change? Is there any way that things could ever be different?

    Pray for fathers on the Silk Road who are tempted by offers to get rich quick. Pray that they will pursue steady jobs instead, and provide for their families.

    Pray for parents on the Silk Road who have low education levels. Pray that God will give them the confidence and the opportunity to find paid work when they need it.

    By Silk Road Editor ~ KR China Hui Silk Road People
  • 04 Jun
    Marking the End of Ramadan: Happy Eid

    Marking the End of Ramadan: Happy Eid

    “Eid-al-Fitr is the three-day festival that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan for my family and thousands of other Muslim families in China.

    The Best Clothes

    Early on the first day of Eid-al-Fitr I will lead the family in ceremonial washing, after which, for this very special day, we put on our best clothes. Soon it will be time to go to the mosque for communal prayers. I will be taking my eldest son XiangRong as I did last year. But this year XiangJun, who turned 12 a few months ago, will be joining us as well since he has been fasting for the first time this Ramadan.

    Giving Earns Rewards

    After the prayers and talk from the imam of the mosque we’ll head home, greeting everyone with ‘Mubarak’ (blessings) and ‘Assallamalaikum’ (Peace be with you). On the way, I’ll also give money to the poor who are lined up on the streets outside the mosque. This is my ‘zakat al-fitr’, giving alms, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. The five pillars are the required practices of my religion. My giving shows gratitude to Allah for his provision last year and, I trust, for the coming year also. I believe my giving earns spiritual rewards too, that will enable me to reach paradise.

    The Best Food

    While my sons and I are at the mosque, my wife, LiJuan, will have prepared some of our traditional and favourite dishes. Ones like Nao Nao, flour powder cooked with bean curd, some vegetables and beef, Shou zhua rou, which are large pieces of boiled mutton that we eat with our hands, and momo, a big round bread baked in our oven. After our delicious meal, I will bless the family. First blessing my own grandparents and parents, then my children. The children get small gifts of money from my wife and I and their grandparents.

    Setting an Example

    By observing Eid-al-Fitr I am setting an example for my sons to follow after me, so their sons can follow their fathers’ examples. For the second and third days of Eid-al-Fitr the whole family will visit our relatives’ homes for meals. After each meal we also give some cash gifts to their children. There is always lots of laughter at this time! Before I have to go back to work, I will go round to our non-Muslim neighbours, who we know well, and give them some of my wife’s cooked Nao Nao and mutton to bless them and wish them a happy Eid-al-Fitr.”

     

    This originally appeared in OMF UK’s Billions magazine ‘Meeting Our Muslims Neighbours’ May-August 2019.

    Will you pray for East Asia’s Muslims?

    • Celebrating Eid-al-Fitr is an important family time. Pray for God to bless family relationships.
    • Pray for Muslims who may have learned more about Jesus during Ramadan to have more opportunities to learn of his love.
    • Many Muslims will try and keep up habits formed in the fasting month. How could you pray for God’s blessing on East and Southeast Asia’s Muslims beyond Ramadan?

    Pray

    Pray for God’s blessing on East Asia’s Muslims

    Learn

    Learn more about East Asia’s Muslims

    Serve

    Find opportunities to love and serve East Asia’s Muslims

    By reubeng Islam Silk Road People
  • 23 May
    China’s Silk Road

    China’s Silk Road

    Meet some of the people who call this region home

    along the Silk Road

    China’s impressive Belt and Road Initiative

    China road

    How could your skills be used to bless this region?

    Learning Chinese calligraphy

    Have you ever wondered how you could bless people at the “Ends of the Earth”? Parts of China’s Silk Road regions are further from the sea than anywhere else on earth. We believe prayer is one of the greatest ways we can bless people in our world. And that’s especially true for those who are furthest away from us.

    Can you take our five day prayer challenge, and see how God answers as you engage with Him in prayer?

    Five days of prayer for the Silk Road

    Stories from the Silk Road

  • 13 Feb
    A Journey Through the Silk Road

    A Journey Through the Silk Road

    Join Cat on her journey along China’s Silk Road exploring three very different cities and learning more about the people who call this region home.

    Want to explore the area yourself? Take a look at our Silk Road prayer journeys to find out more: opportunities.omf.org/opportunities?search=hui%20and%20journey

    By commsassist China Silk Road People
  • 13 Feb
    Exploring the Silk Road in 60 Seconds

    Exploring the Silk Road in 60 Seconds

    A very quick trip along the Silk Road, which has been a highway of trade, commerce and cultural exchange for over 20 centuries.

    Want to explore the area yourself at a slower pace? Take a look at our Silk Road prayer journeys to find out more: opportunities.omf.org/opportunities?search=hui%20and%20journey

    By commsassist China Silk Road People
  • 13 Feb
    Yellow River Review

    Yellow River Review

    After reviewing local foods in a series of other videos, Greg takes a look at the mighty Yellow River!

    By commsassist China Silk Road People
  • 24 Nov
    China’s Belt and Road Initiative

    China’s Belt and Road Initiative

    Overview

    China’s Belt and Road Initiative began in 2013. It is an international project that focuses on improving infrastructure and international trade along the old Silk Road trade routes.

    As well as the Silk Road regions, the Belt and Road Initiative also includes a “belt” of countries linked by ancient sea trade routes. Hence the name, “The Belt and Road”.

    Scope

    As of 2017, the Belt and Road initiative stretched from China through central Asia to Europe and Africa to include 68 countries. These countries represent 65% of the world’s population. At this point, The Belt and Road Initiative is probably the largest investment project in history (statistics from Wikipedia).

    Unprecedented Development

    China describes The Belt and Road Initiative as a “brand of cooperation”, characterised by peace, openness, inclusiveness and shared development.

    The Belt and Road Initiative is bringing unprecedented development to large sections of China, as well as trade, improved infrastructure and cultural exchange which are unfolding beyond China’s borders.

    By Silk Road Editor ~ KR China Silk Road People
  • 24 Nov

    China’s Silk Road People

    Meet some of the people groups who live along China’s Silk Road

    You may know that China is Atheist, Buddhist and Christian.
    But did you know that 10 different Muslim people groups also call China their home?
    We long to see China's Silk Road people blessed by the abundant love of God.

    Han man and son

    Han

    China’s majority ethnic group, and the world’s largest ethnic group. They comprise around 92% of the population of China.

    Population: 1.2 billion

    Language: Mandarin Chinese

    Young couple in a park, China's Silk Road

    Hui

    A diverse people group, skilled in trade. They live scattered all across China.

    Population: 10.6 million

    Language: Mandarin Chinese

    Young Uyghur boys on the Silk Road

    Uyghur (Uigur)

    An ethnically Turkic people who take great pride in their traditional lifestyle, music & dance.

    Population: 10.1 million

    Language: Uyghur, related to Turkish

    kazak-horse-rider

    Kazak (Kazakh)

    Originally nomadic herders, influenced by shamanism. Even today, they identify themselves according to their horde (tribe).

    Population: 1.5 million

    Language: Kazak, a Turkic language

    dongxiang-mum-and-daughter

    Dongxiang (Sarta)

    A mixed group of Mongolians, Han and Tibetans who intermarried after converting to Islam around 800 years ago.

    Population: 622,000

    Language: Dongxiang, related to Mongolian

    Kyrgyz men

    Kyrgyz (Kirgiz)

    Semi-nomadic herders who settled in the mountains of northwest China. They affirm their heritage through the long traditional poem, “The Epic of Manas”.

    Population: 187,000

    Language: Kyrgyz, a Turkic language

    salar-girl

    Salar

    The Salar are 14th century migrants from Central Asia who have retained the language and some of the traditions of their previous home.

    Population: 131,000

    Language: Salar, related to Turkmen

    Each person is an exquisite detail in this living tapestry of cultures

    along the Silk Road, carpet factory merchant
    tajik-baby

    Tajik

    Although they call themselves Tajik, they are an extension of the Shi’a Muslim Pamiris found in eastern Tajikistan. They find inspiration in the strength and beauty of eagles.

    Population: 51,000

    Languages: Sarikoli and Wakhi

    baoan-family

    Bonan (Bao’an)

    Ethnically Mongolian Muslims who live in Gansu province. They are famous for their hand-made knives.

    Population: 20,000

    Language: Bonan, related to Mongolian

    Uzbek man selling snacks

    Uzbek

    Silk road traders who settled in China around 500 years ago. Traditionally they wear long embroidered robes and leather boots.

    Population: 10,500

    Language: Uzbek

    along the Silk Road, boys herding sheep down tree-lined road

    Tatar

    A group of mixed Russian and Mongolian ancestry. They enjoy sports competitions at their “Plough Head Festival” each spring.

    Population: 3,500

    Language: Tatar, a Turkic language

    By Silk Road Editor ~ KR Silk Road People
  • 09 Oct
    So Thankful for Noodles

    So Thankful for Noodles

    I have never been so thankful for noodles.

    I lift some lamb into my mouth and look at the smiling people around me. It is the end of a local festival. There are ten of us in total sitting in the closed noodle-shop; the women on one side, the men on the other. It is a feast of good food, kindness, and opportunity for George and I to get to know an entirely new people group.

    ‘What do you recommend we do with our free time?’ One lady asks me across the table. She is speaking in Putonghua (Mandarin Chinese), translating from their usual language, Salaryu. Another kindness. I remember that this is a rare day off in their usual seven day working week, so I suggest that they go to the wen quan, the hot springs. But it is met with a spread of sweet laughter.

    Of course, they wash at home, I blush. It is another reminder that I am a newcomer in the midst of a people group I know hardly anything about.

    I think back to the moments that got us here, from the moment that we first walked into the noodle place because it just happened to be the nearest to George’s office. We had befriended the youngest member of the family first: an adorable three-year-old boy with slight cerebral palsy. We ended up coming almost every day to play with him or read him a story. And from there, George had met the grandfather and I had met the women, who were initially reserved but incredibly sweet.

    Within a few weeks, we had the beginnings of a great friendship with these new people. And now here we are, eating together.

    All because of noodles.

    I feel a tug on my top and our three-year-old friend beams up at me. In his hands is the bubble machine I had just given him.

    ‘Would you like me to show you how to use it?’ I say. His mother translates for me, and he nods, his hair falling over his eyes. I take it from him.

    Soon we are all watching the glassy bubbles soar from his hands and fill the room. I catch George’s eye and smile. I know we are thinking the same thing. That there are some things that go beyond language and culture that bind people together. Things like bubbles, and things like noodles.

    Thank God for opportunities newcomers to China have to enjoy God’s loving kindness as they make friends with local people.

  • 06 Sep
    A short history of sharing the gospel through medical mission

    A short history of sharing the gospel through medical mission

    In the 1970s David, a former Malay soldier with leprosy, received care from an OMF nurse in Thailand: ‘when Minka put my stinking foot on her lap to treat my ulcer, then I knew what the love of God was.’[1]

    Medical mission like this has always been part of OMF’s work. Our founder, James Hudson Taylor, grew up working in his father’s chemist’s shop and later took medical training in preparation for service in China. There he found treating people physically also brought opportunities to share about Jesus, the healer of souls.

    So in 1866 when the Lammermuir set sail, Hudson Taylor and the first China Inland Mission workers carried with them medicines and equipment so they could set up a hospital and dispensary.[2]

    Jesse McDonald: the CIM’s first female doctor

    In 1913 Canadian Jessie McDonald became the CIM’s first female doctor. She joined the veteran missionary doctor Whitfield Guinness at Keifeng hospital and served there for 26 years. The CIM hospital was the only medical facility in the area and patients travelled far to be treated. McDonald made a point of treating all patients equally, including in 1939 Japanese soldiers wounded when invading the city. McDonald’s medical skill and her capacity for developing the medical facilities and training Chinese staff won her a great deal of respect. Yet she also sought to ‘point to the Healer of souls. Her great joy was when a patient or someone else she met came to faith in the Lord Jesus.’[3]

    Treating leprosy, building a church

    In 1951-2 McDonald reluctantly left China with her colleagues who moved into the surrounding countries. In 1956 the CIM opened Manorom Hospital, the first medical facility in Central Thailand. The hospital developed particular expertise in treating leprosy. This was widespread in the area and meant social isolation for the patients. However the hospital and its remote clinics welcomed them, even with their sores that no-one else would touch, and so they began to feel valued and loved. Through the work the leprosy patients also heard about Jesus and soon a church was formed. In fact, this church was the very first in Central Thailand. Shortly after another church whose members were physically healthy developed. Despite fear of the disease initially separating the members, within a generation the two churches united, showing the reality of the gospel in their lives. Today several leaders of the united church are former leprosy patients.[4]

    Today there are around 100 OMF workers serving across East Asia as doctors, surgeons, dentists and in a whole range of other medical roles. Join us in September as we hear some of their stories of demonstrating love in action.

    Praise God for the witness of medical mission past and present!

    [1] Rose Dowsett and Chad Berry, God’s Faithfulness: Stories from the China Inland Mission and OMF International (Singapore, 2014) p.88.

    [2] Roger Steer, J Hudson Taylor: A Man In Christ (Bletchley, 2001) p.187.

    [3] God’s Faithfulness p.300.

    [4] God’s Faithfulness pp.90-95.

    Will you pray for with us?

    • Give thanks for all the medical professionals who have served with CIM and OMF and the work God has done through them.
    • Pray for the medical professionals currently serving with OMF. Pray for them to know God’s encouragement today and for him to make them fruitful in their ministry.
    • Pray for more medical professionals to consider taking their career and using it cross-culturally in missions.

    Opportunities

    Explore the variety of ways you could serve in medical missions.

    The Task Unfinished

    Be a part of helping bring the gospel to the unreached in Asia.

    Medical Missions

    Learn more about how medical missions demonstrate God’s love.

1 2 3 4 15