Chinese New Year is traditionally a time when family members gather to share blessings. For Chinese Christians in the United States, the season opens new opportunity for evangelism.
On Jan. 21, the Chinese community in San Francisco has kicked-off the three-week celebration, which would include Flower Market, Spring Festival, and a massive parade. All the activities will be closed on Feb. 12. Various Christian groups in the Bay Area have taken the golden opportunity to launch a series of evangelistic outreach activities, aiming to touch the lives of the grassroots in the Chinese community with the Gospel.
Two of the largest international Chinese Christian mission ministries based in the U.S.- Chinese Christian Herald Crusades (CCHC) and Chinese Christian Mission (CCM)- have set up booths at the Flower Market to distribute handouts with Gospel messages and promote their works with the Chinese community. There are around 120 booths in total selling all kinds of goods for celebrating the New Year.
According to the Chinese tradition, people long to receive many blessings at the beginning of the New Year. Through distributing handouts, Chinese Christian organizations bring the true blessings from God- the salvation of Christ and His unchanging love.
In Oakland, CCHC sent its volunteers and coworkers as a team to distribute the newspaper Herald Monthly at the Flower Market on Jan. 21. They have cleared 2,000 copies very quickly. Another 1,000 copies have to be transported from CHCC Center at once to meet the shortage.
The big Chinatown parade in San Francisco on Feb. 11 is expected to be the climax of the Chinese New Year celebration. CCHC will also set up a booth there to offer some entertainments with Gospel theme, such as drama performance, carol singing, games and gifts. CCHC aims to promote their service offered to the Chinese community in Bay Area.
In particular, CCHC has also printed 10,000 copies of Herald Monthly to make sure that the message of salvation is delivered to the hands of Chinese in Chinatowns during the Chinese New Year.
Another group that will hold larger scale evangelistic events is CCM. Its CCM Bookroom has published a series of red pockets and Chinese New Year decorations with words of blessings from the Bible. All the items are now under sales. CCM will also have a booth set up at the Flower Market in San Francisco Chinatown.
The renowned Chinese church in San Francisco the Cumberland Presbyterian Church will have information booth on around Feb. 11-12 where people can get handouts with Christian messages. The application for English classes and other social services offered by the Church will be opened at the same.
The Chinese community in San Francisco is probably one of the oldest ones across the United States since the Gold Rush era. New Year's celebrations, especially the massive Chinatown parade, have been going on in San Francisco for over 100 years. Every year, it has drawn over 10,000 participants.