We talked to an OMF worker who has been walking alongside those outcast by society in urban China for over 10 years. We hope that her story will cause you take pause to pray for her, the work she’s doing, and maybe even considering how you can be involved.
Q: What first led you to do the ministry you now do?
A: When I first came to China, almost 15 years ago, I assumed that, that after doing my language study, I would go into English teaching and work amongst students. But in my last year of language study, I started hearing about all the needs of the marginalized in the cities, those who were stigmatized and discriminated by the rest of society – the poor, the hurting – and God started to work in my heart…. I started to wonder:
How would they hear about His love and message of Hope? Would I be willing to go and be His Channel of Hope?
I prayed… and I said “Yes”.
Q: What have been some of the biggest struggles?
A: The work is sometimes slow… you need to persevere, sometimes for years, before seeing results. Only now, after working on this ministry for 12 years, are we starting to see the local churches finally catching the vision and getting involved in the ministry of reaching out to the marginalized. It’s really exciting…. but it took time.
Sometimes the work has been lonely, as there are not many co-workers involved in this ministry. Sometimes this has been a struggle.
Q: What is your hope for work amongst the marginalized people of urban China in the future?
A: My hope is that more Christian workers will come to China to work alongside the urban Chinese Church to reach out to the marginalized, so that more and more of them will have a chance to experience God’s love and have a chance to hear the message of salvation. My prayer is also that the local churches in urban China will rise up and realize that it is their task to see and love those in the margins of their cities, and reach out with His love and message of hope.
There will be over 1 billion people living in China’s cities by 2030. Over 250 million of these will have migrated from rural areas and come to the city with nothing but their hopes. They leave behind over 60 million children who are cared for by a grandparent or brought to the city where they are not allowed to attend school. 85 million disabled men, women and children have little social status or provisions in the cities. Over 6 million women feel they have no choice but to go into the sex industry. At least 1.2 million people live with HIV/AIDS. Local churches are still learning to grow a burden for these people. Find out how you can be involved: omf.org/theurbanbillion > opportunities.