September 2015 will go down in history as a month where Missions work was greatly reshaped. Instead of the traditional sending of missionaries to unreached places, Mission agencies across the globe gathered in Nairobi to review ways and means of reaching out to the Chinese who are coming to Africa enmass.
According to a latest survey, 85% of Chinese people have religious beliefs or had some religious practices and only 15% of them are real atheists. (The real atheists here refer to those who do not have faith in any religions nor had any activities related to religions or folk customs.) 185 million people believe in Buddhism and 33 million have faith in Christianity and believes in the existence of God. Only 12 million people are Taoists, although more than one hundred million have taken part in Taoism activities before. Thus, it is obvious that the Buddhism has the widest influence. The other major religions are Taoism, Confucianism, Islam and Christianity.
It is against this background that CMS-Africa in partnership with local and global mission agencies gathered for 3 days to be exposed to missions targeting Chinese in Africa. The forum discussed strategies to reach the ever-increasing population of Chinese on the African continent with the good news of the gospel of Christ. We specially thank God for Tan Kang San from AsiaCMS who was the main speaker
“We do not need to go to china to reach a Chinese with the gospel of the Kingdom. God has in his own wisdom broght the Chinese to us so that we can evanglise them. No air and water travel costs. They are our next door neighbous. They are hear building roads and selling their Chinese wares? How c=should the church in Africa be positioned to reach out to the Chinese who is even with us for different reasons yet needs the Gospel?” Posed Rev. Dennis Tongoi who heads CMS-Africa.
Christianity was first introduced to China in Tang Dynasty, which was named as Nestorianism during that time. After 1840, they swept the country. Although they were suspended after 1949, it spread fast in recent years.
Now about 30 million Chinese people are Christians, who are organized in about 97 parishes. Most of Christians gather in the south part of the country. Christian Mission Tangencies in Africa have an even greater opportunity to impact the Chinese right from here in Africa where Chinese are to be found in every city and town across the continent.
God is a God of relationships
Today’s Church needs to enhance relations and its outreach campaigns Migration is a new paradigm. “The Holy Spirit is there already with the immigrants and the church is lagging behind,” Kang Sung, AsiaCMS Director.
The church in Africa was challenged to rethink missions as Missions work is not an addition to the work of the church as it is part of the nature of the church.
The head of CMS UK Paul MounStephen reminded the missioners gathered for the Chinese awareness Forum that it is not us doing missions but God building his own work here on the earth. “We just have to be sensitive to the leading of God. If he brings people to you, reach them, if he send you to reach people afar off heed the call,” said MounStephen
If Mission constitutes the church, then a church that is not engaged in missions is not a church.
For God so loved the church not that for God so loved the world?
Our theology must influence our practice.
China today has like 300 million people who are migrating internally and externally.
The 5 aspects of the church’s comprehensive mission… all that Jesus began to do and teach. Acts 1:1