It was the last evening our team was together in China after a busy two weeks in Asia. We leaned against the fence long after dark, staring at Tiananmen Square. My mind tried to connect the smooth, humming bustle of present Beijing with the unrelenting oppression experienced by those peaceful student activists 24 years ago. It’s startling how so many things change while others stay the same.
Economically, China may be the strongest country in the world now, with more cash on hand than any other country. Imports and exports exceed the USA’s for the first time ever, low wages are available for the working class, and the thriving middle class is eating Big Macs and drinking Starbucks like the rest of us. There is a country of wealth inside of a country still impoverished, but it has become a self-sustaining economic engine, changing Chinese culture.
Other things remain much the same. The heavy communist rule still legislates that churches cannot preach the gifts of the Holy Spirit or that Jesus is the only way to heaven. These constraints caused the explosion of house churches decades ago, and the proliferation of Christianity throughout China continues to thrive today. Currently, there are an estimated 110 million believers in China. They are much different than “ethnic Christians” or casual Jesus seekers in America. These are primarily hard-core disciples of Christ. They study the word and gather in house churches for hours on end. They risk imprisonment for their beliefs and practices. They trust God and preach the word. It is powerful to experience and witness first hand.
ABC Bible training curriculum has become a major Christian training resource over the past few years in China. It is being utilized by churches in 88 Chinese cities, with over 2,000 Christian students participating in the two-year program. World Compassion is just getting started. CMS, our missions training curriculum, is kicking off with 286 students now enrolling. Those who have completed ABC and have a heart for missions in their home country of China are now taking the next step with full ministry training.
As we traveled from town to town preaching in house churches and speaking at ABC graduations, the determination to change China was palpable. These Chinese believers aren’t playing church. They are hungry to change their nation for Christ. They may carry a cup of Starbucks coffee in their hand, but they carry Tienanmen Square in their hearts.
To learn more about how ABC Bible Training Curriculum works in China, watch Kim’s story! You can also help provide ABC to a student in China by giving a gift below.