Introducing Our Second Special Mission Project: Building Healthy Churches in East Asia
Thank you, faith family. Because of your generosity last week on our Roots & Reach Giving Day and your faithful giving to the Roots & Reach Initiative in the months leading up, we now have a strong foundation for our campus development project, and we have fully funded our first special mission project: Bible for the Baloch.
We will soon release those funds so this phase of Scripture translation for the Baloch people can continue. Please continue to pray for those who will be directly involved in this project, for our members we have serving among the Baloch, and for the Baloch people themselves, for them to have ears to hear and hearts to respond to the gospel and the Scriptures they’ll now be able to read in their own language.
With the completion of this first special mission project, we now have the exciting opportunity to begin a new one we are calling “Building Healthy Churches in East Asia.”
This project is going to allow us to strengthen the local church in East Asia by legally printing in Mandarin 3,000 copies of the Building Healthy Churches series from 9Marks (12 books each) to freely distribute to local pastors, which will help them equip, disciple, and mobilize their church members for evangelism and mission.
While Christianity is rapidly growing on the mainland in East Asia among the majority Han people, there are few good examples of healthy biblical churches. Often leaders excel in evangelism but don’t have much experience in discipleship, and as a result, their churches are not always the most healthy. Many pastors and leaders recognize there needs to be a fundamental shift in how they approach the church and shepherd their people, especially as the cultural climate continues to become more hostile toward Christianity and restrictive toward the church’s work. Imminent government intervention against churches in East Asia has heightened the urgency to make sure quality resources are available to pastors there as they continue to grow and lead their churches while the legal window for printing these resources is still open.
The Building Healthy Churches series from our friends at 9Marks is designed to do just that, to equip pastors and leaders to develop a healthy community of Christ followers mobilized to care for one another well and reach their neighbors with the gospel. Titles in this twelve-book series include: The Gospel, Evangelism, Conversion, Discipling, Missions, Expositional Preaching, Church Membership, Church Elders, Church Discipline, Biblical Theology, Sound Doctrine, and Prayer. Based upon feedback from pastors in East Asia, this series is a top priority for them to have as it addresses so many principles they and their churches need. And currently, there is a window of time in which these books can be legally printed and freely distributed to these pastors through partners in the field before government regulations become even more restrictive.
Many of our own pastors have also found this particular set of books to be extremely beneficial for shepherding our faith family here at Brook Hills. So, we are thrilled to be able to provide them to these pastors in East Asia. However, what excites us most is the potential fruit we could see from this effort.
We have been engaged in this area of the world for nearly a decade, though it hasn’t been among the Han people but rather the Hui, a Muslim minority people group of over 15 million. As we’ve shared in previous months, due to the recent government restrictions on foreign workers, our efforts have shifted elsewhere. This means we no longer have an in-country presence among the Hui but have passed the task of Hui work completely to the churches among the majority Han people. Our prayer is for God to use resources like these we are providing to strengthen the church there in East Asia, and that as they grow in their faith and knowledge of Christ and capture a vision of the mission to which He has called them along with us, that He will also give them a heart for the Hui and a burning desire to reach their countrymen with the gospel. The reality is this: the Han church there is uniquely positioned to reach the Hui, and we are praying that this project will help equip pastors and their churches to do just that.
The total cost of this project is $90,000. To ensure it’s funding, we’ll need to give an additional $450,000 to the Roots & Reach Initiative, but because of how generous you’ve been already, we are currently a little over 25% toward this goal. If you add this amount to our initial goal of $350,000 for our Bible for the Baloch project, we as a faith family will fully fund this second special mission project once we hit a total of $800,000 given to Roots & Reach.
So, what can you do? First of all, pray. Pray for churches in East Asia, especially as they experience increased persecution from the government. Pray for the pastors of these churches to shepherd their people well. Pray for our friends at 9Marks as they prepare to freely distribute these resources through local partners. And pray for the Hui, and ask God to raise up from among the Han church brothers and sisters to carry the gospel to their unreached countrymen. Then, give. Give to the Roots & Reach Initiative, and together, let’s help build healthy churches in East Asia by equipping their pastors.