Urbanization in China is happening rapidly. Nationwide, there are 150 cities with over 1 million in urban population; in the next ten years, it is predicted that over 100 million people will migrate to the cities. During the 1950s, the ratio of those living in rural areas compared to in urban areas in China was 87.5 to 12.5, now the ratio has changed to 70 to 30. In year 2010, to meet the demands of modernization, the comparison of the two would become 50:50. Right now in China's urban areas, a new middle class is forming: about 150 million people. Yet few in the group work in church ministries.
A ministry that is not supported by any church or organization was formed through a movement by the common believers of China and has been quietly rising from city to city. Last month, Dr. Chan from Hong Kong Christian Industrial Employer's Fellowship went throughout the major cities of United States introducing their factories and companies in China, which they utilize as points for gospel ministries.
The ministry was established 5 years ago. Since then, the fellowship has expanded to over 40 industries and companies in China. Over tens of millions of urban employees who came from rural areas were introduced to Christ.
Dr. Chan pointed out that as China urbanizes, more and more youths from rural areas migrate to urban areas. "Go to China's rural areas and take a look. If there are young people there, most likely they are ethnic minorities; otherwise there are only children and seniors who are left." Youths from 16 to 30 of age continuously migrate to small and mid-size towns. Yet the government established three-self churches are concentrated in metropolis, while house churches are concentrated in rural areas. These youths who entered the cities to work has to adapt to a new environment and in the process were not able to receive the guidance from churches or shepherding ministries, therefore it has also caused many problems. Some Christian industrial employers would bring the church to their workplace and establish fellowships in their factories or companies, cultural and recreational facilities, and even Bible schools. One Christmas, they invited an overseas gospel band to perform in five factories, one of them which was crowded with over 1,500 attendants. That night, over 800 people were moved and made their decision to Christ.
The purpose of Dr. Chan's tour of U.S. this time is to call upon more overseas Chinese to participate in this movement. He encouraged Chinese believers in America to re-ignite their passion for China: "Although we are far away in America, yet now is China's era. International commerce is developing, and many top executives who run international corporations in China are Chinese from overseas. No matter what your next generation does, all is possible that they may find themselves one day in China. The Lord will utilize these opportunities to send us to mainland [to preach]."