NEW YORK- A Lutheran-backed discipleship training center for Chinese Christians has recently established a training network for house churches in Xiamen, China.
Rev. Frank Huang, general secretary of the New York-based Gideon Training Center, last month traveled to Xiamen, a coastal city located in Southeast China, for the first time.
"These loving brothers and sisters in Xiamen love the Lord very deeply, and they have a great passion to serve Him. Their longing for the truth has impressed me the most," shared Rev. Huang. Just like most of the overseas Chinese Christians, Rev. Huang had only heard of how Mainland Chinese Christians are spiritually active, but this time, he has personally witnessed and experienced it.
Rev. Huang hosted five intensive gathering in Xiamen. Each time, thirsty souls filled the entire hall. They listened to the word of God very well and asked many questions about Christian faith.
According to Rev. Huang, around 70% of the participants are young people and well-educated group. Many Christian college students have sacrificed their summer vocation to join the training.
"This allows me to see the bright future of China," Rev. Huang said.
Following the success of this mission trip, Gideon Training Center has planned to organize regular short-term training program in Xiamen every year. The program will include bible study, discipleship training and worship training taught by overseas Chinese Christians.
When asked whether security would be a concern for such house church training network, Rev. Huang suggested that many coastal cities in China, including Xiamen, has much opened religious policy than foreigners might have imagined.
Many house churches in Xiamen have good relationship with the official churches, and they interact with one another very well. Therefore, the potential for establishing leadership training network in China’s coastal cities is very huge.
Lastly, Rev. Huang testified about house church missionaries in Xiamen. "Rather we think that we are helping them, I think that they have taught us many precious thing- longing for the truth and the complete devotion to the Lord," said Rev. Huang.
"I wish we can bring this to the overseas Chinese Churches," said Rev. Huang.
Gideon Training Center is supported by Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Atlantic District mission and church-planting department. Currently, Rev. Huang also serves at the Chinese Mission Field Developer of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Atlantic District and the pastor of the New York Lutheran Church of Our Savior.
[Editor's note: Claudia Cheng in San Francisco has translated this article.]