CCCOWE USA has launched an evangelistic campaign for the growing number of Chinese restaurant workers in South America, as part of its overall goals to touch the lives of grassroots.
On March 21-29, Peru Restaurant Ministry Evangelistic Conference will be held at the capital Lima. Led by CCCOWE USA, it is co-organized by Chinese Christian Herald Crusades (CCHC) Restaurant Ministry and other Christian fellowships for restaurant workers across the world, including those from South America, North America, Europe and Hong Kong.
The conference not only aims to equip and train Chinese Christians in the catering trade for evangelism at their workplace, but also allows them to share experiences about their work.
It is significant that the conference is set to be held at Lima, Peru, where there is a 300,000-strong Chinese population with over 5,000 Chinese restaurants. Such demographic has created an ideal environment to open up a great restaurant ministry.
Sources say the need for developing restaurant ministry is growing globally, especially in the United States and Europe. According to the latest edition of the magazine published by the Gospel Operational International (GoIntl’) for Chinese Christians, the migration of Chinese to South America has already got a long-standing history of 80 years. Even till today, many more Chinese people from Mainland China are going there.
In Peru, almost all immigrants engage in catering services or open their own restaurants. As catering industry requires long working hours and heavy physical consumption, many workers barely have time for physical and spiritual rest. Some of them have even addicted to unhealthy entertainments such as gambling and watching pornography materials, according to GoIntl’. Thus there is an urgent need to bring the Gospel to them and to save these empty souls.
In addition, evangelism among the second generations of this Chinese working class is very important. As most of them only speak the native languages of where they are born and grow up in a foreign culture, the intergeneration gap between the children and parents is very serious due to language barrier and cultural differences. Even in the local Chinese churches, very few senior Chinese ministers are able to communicate well with young people. Therefore, more and more young people leave the church and it is an emerging crisis.
In some cities in North America where there are big Chinese communities, restaurant ministry has been flourishing as well. CCHC, an active international Chinese Christian ministry, has established the Restaurant Workers Ministry Crusades, which is the main focus of CCHC this year. To reach the busy restaurant workers strategically, it will first target on converting 400 restaurant owners and have them open their restaurants as meeting places to hold evangelical meetings in a regular basis.
Apart from the United States, Europe is also a big harvest field for restaurant ministry. According to the U.K.-based Chinese Overseas Christian Mission (COCM), about 80 percent of the Chinese in Europe are involved in the catering trade. Since 1969, COCM has been actively involved in outreach work among the restaurant workers. The Christian fellowships of restaurant workers across the whole Europe have been trying to form a vast network for evangelism.
In fact, many Chinese around the world are at the grassroots, whose culture and life are very different from white-collars and their needs are often neglected. Chinese grassroots evangelism thus plays a very crucial part in achieving the goal of preaching the gospel to all nations. That is why CCCOWE has placed emphasis on restaurant ministry this year to coincide with the 7th Chinese Congress on World Evangelization (CCOWE) that highlights the vision of Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism (CCCOWE) movement- "Chinese Churches in One Accord, Proclaiming the Gospel until Christ's Return."
The Peru’s Conference is just the very first step of all evangelistic efforts this year and beyond for CCCOWE to ignite the fire of gospel among Chinese restaurant workers worldwide, according to CCCOWE District General Secretary for U.S.A. Rev. David Chi.
The enrolment for the Conference in the US region has been very active. Currently, the number of participants registered has reached 200, exceeding the original quota of 150.