Monthly Archives: October 2015

PhD application update

The past seven or eight weeks I’ve been preparing for the Miller Analogy Test [MAT] for my PhD application process. I bought a Kaplan book & am spending about 3 hrs/day consuming it.

The exam consists of just really obscure facts about all different things, including Greek & Roman mythology; what a group of foxes or other animals is called; philosophy, biology, history, economics, biology, chemistry, math, Roman numerals, units of measurement, musicians, & tons of random vocabulary.

Next week I will finally will take the exam in the closest testing site, which is Okinawa, Japan.

It’s been quite challenging. Need strength from the Lord.

Not my own strength but his within me: “But by the grace of God I am what I am and His grace to me is not without effect; no I worked harder than all of them — yet not I but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Cor. 15:10)

My 2nd Article on China Source

My second post on ChinaSource.org was put up a few days ago. It is titled: ‘Are Chinese Christians Particularly Suited to Reaching Muslims?’

You can view it here: http://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/from-the-west-courtyard/are-chinese-christians-particularly-suited-to-reaching-muslims

 

See the article below:

Open Doors?

As the Chinese economy develops and the government is opening many doors in much-needed cooperation with Muslim governments, is it time for the Chinese church to send workers to Muslim nations? There are several reasons why the answer to this question is a resounding yes.

First, the Chinese do not have white faces, which is a negative trait for most westerners who seek to serve among the Muslims. Many Muslims find it harder to trust anyone with a white face. It will be easier for Chinese to blend in with the local people—as Christians from South Korea have found out—than for westerners.

Second, most Muslims assume that Christianity is a religion for westerners. So when Chinese Christians are working in Muslim contexts and daily sharing their faith in Christ, Muslims will see that Christianity is not only a religion for westerners, but is actually a religion for all nations. This will add much legitimacy and weight to the gospel itself. The Muslim will think, “All westerners are supposedly Christians, but this non-westerner is claiming to be a Christian. There must be something more to this Christianity thing.”

Third, most Muslim nations have good relationships with China. For example, because of the oil market, the Saudi Arabian government has a great relationship with the Chinese government.

For the last two years the Chinese chairman Xi Jinping has promoted the “One Belt, One Road” (一带一路) policy, which essentially is a way for the Chinese government to promote trade with the [mostly Muslim] countries along the ancient Silk Road, covering Central Asia, the Middle East, and into Eastern Europe. Generally the Muslim governments are not suspicious of the Chinese. They do not suspect that the Chinese government is seeking to usurp authority of Muslim governments, like many Muslim governments suspect western governments of doing. This trust would make it much easier for Chinese Christians to gain the trust of the locals and effectively share the gospel with them.

Potential Opportunities for Chinese Christians in Muslim Countries

There are a few different options for business opportunities that may be effective for Chinese in the Muslim world.

One option is to open up a Chinese teashop. Many Muslims love to drink Chinese green tea. Muslims in general enjoy drinking tea and coffee. A place like a Chinese teashop could offer Chinese teas and also local teas and coffees. This would be relatively easy to run with the proper personnel, because teahouses are so common in China.

A second option is to open up a Chinese language-learning school. This option is reasonable, but not as good as the first option. This would work best in a large metropolitan city (i.e. Casablanca, Cairo, Alexandria), where there may be enough people who are interested in learning Chinese. Most likely Chinese language skills are not in high enough demand for a Chinese language-learning school to be profitable in smaller cities. Another language-related option could be for a Chinese teacher to teach in a larger language school that teaches multiple languages.

A third option is to open up a small Chinese restaurant. It would be easy to start up and would not necessarily need any specific expertise to open it up, other than being able to cook Chinese food. Another thing that makes this easier is because such restaurants are found all around China, so it is not a totally new idea for the Chinese workers to do this.

The Lord is opening many doors around the world for the Chinese Christians to be used to reach the least-reached areas of the world, the Muslim lands. May this continue to happen and may many well-qualified and godly Chinese believers be sent to these lands while the window of opportunity is still open.

To continue the conversation, contact Tabor Laughlin at  taborlaughlin@hushmail.com.

My recent article on China Source

Check out my first article published on ChinaSource.org titled ‘How Important is Education for Chinese Serving Cross-culturally?’

http://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/from-the-west-courtyard/how-important-is-education-for-chinese-serving-cross-culturally

 

See the article below:

In recent years Chinese cross-cultural workers have started to be sent out to other countries but there has not been a great amount of effectiveness in their work. One reason for their lack of effectiveness is that many who want to serve cross-culturally do not have formal education, often having not gone to high school, much less to college.

Most of the Chinese believers who have had a strong vision for the Back to Jerusalem Movement (B2J) are from very poor areas and have no education. Thus, not only do they not have the financial means to serve in a foreign country, but their lack of a college degree makes it impossible to find an appropriate job once they arrive in that country. Without a high school diploma, much less a college degree, they cannot find a job except for working in a factory often for sixty hours a week. Not only that, but because they are trying to support their family by working long hours in a factory, they have no time to learn the local language or reach out to the local people. Even if they had the time, they have no background in language learning nor do they have the study skills necessary to learn the language.

Comparing this situation to the western missionary movement from the past three hundred years, most western workers historically and currently have been better-educated people.[1]A formal education is even more important for cross-cultural work now than it was in the past. Back then, it was possible to go to many countries openly as a “missionary.” But now for most of the unreached parts of the world, this is no longer possible. One must have a work visa (or be a student) in most countries today to be able to stay there. This situation increases the importance of cross-cultural workers having a college degree to help them get a suitable job overseas.

On a similar note, the Lord gifts some people according to their training and background to be used in one way, while he uses other people with different trainings and backgrounds to be used in another way. We can see this in the New Testament. In Galatians 2:7-10, Paul talks about how God gave Peter, James and John the grace to preach the gospel to the Jews. On the other hand, God gave Paul and Barnabas the grace to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. Paul has an excellent education and is culturally savvy both in Greek and Jewish culture. This background makes him better equipped to preach the gospel to those of other backgrounds in a culturally relevant manner [see Acts 17:16-34].

Peter, James and John do not have as much formal education as Paul, or Paul’s culturally diverse background, so their calling is to reach the Jews. There is nothing in the text, however, that indicates that one task is more or less important than the other. Rather, each is to serve with joy according to the grace that God gives, according to how he has prepared each one. I can relate to this because once I became a believer in college I immediately had some interest in cross-cultural work, partly because I had pretty extensive world travelling experience as a nonbeliever. This was a grace that God gave me to prepare me to work overseas. Similarly, Chinese workers do not necessarily need to have high degrees and much world travelling experience, but they should have a college degree and some exposure to other cultures, perhaps simply that they have learned English competently and had friends from other countries. Those who lack the education but still have a great zeal for sharing the gospel may be more effective by staying in China to reach their neighbors and play a part in sending out better qualified folks to reach the nations.

To continue the conversation, contact Tabor Laughlin at  taborlaughlin@hushmail.com.