Kuala Lumpur — A United Kingdom-based Chinese Christian ministry is tapping into a potential harvest field, says a mission director with the Methodist Church in England.
"In the recent years, Chinese coming to the United Kingdom are mostly from Hong Kong and China. Around 10,000-20,000 are students, but the number of immigrant workers is hard to estimate," stated Rev. David Fu, who is Malaysian of Chinese-descent, and now serves in England.
Though England was the birthplace of the world’s Chinese Methodist movement, the development of the local Chinese church is not as strong compared to those in other countries, Rev. Fu pointed out, adding that he is dedicated in trying to bring revival to Chinese missions in England.
"The biggest challenge for me is that all church members come from different culture, countries and backgrounds, that’s why I have to be very patient in understanding them, so I can minister them well," he said.
Most mission experts agree that successful mission strategies vary when ministering to different groups of people.
For scholars, Rev. Fu says, many of them come to the church out of curiosity.
"At the beginning, they may just want to study about Christianity, however as you befriend with them, they often become much opened to accept Christian faith," the Malaysian-Chinese reverend said about his experience.
For campus missions, the methodist church has often taken the opportunity for outreach as the semester starts. To reach out to workers, several family cell groups were formed. Through the cell groups, the church expressed care and concern for the workers.
Evangelistic gatherings and spiritual development courses are offered as well, according to Rev. Fu.
Unlike other those of other countries, the mission department of the Methodist Church in England is now self-reliant in terms of finances. However, church membership has grown from 8 to over 200, and the number of churches has also increased from 1 to 13 in the past 11 years.
Most church members admitted they were non-believers in the past, evidently showing the effectiveness of mission initiatives, according to church figures. Rev. Fu says that as he analyzed key church growth, he found that evangelism and training must go hand-in-hand.
"Everything is the work of the Lord. I have one conviction, it is that God can fulfill. Even though I am small, God is great," Rev. Fu concluded.
[Editor’s note: Claudia Cheng from San Francisco translated this article, which was originally posted on the Malaysian-edition of The Gospel Herald.]