Over 140 years ago, Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission (now OMF International), wrote a small book entitled China, Its Spiritual Needs and Claims. The book introduced the Chinese people to the Western world and sought to mobilize more prayer and workers to reach this populous nation.
“They are perishing, a thousand every hour, a million every month,” Taylor wrote, “while to me and to every believer is given to ask in prayer whatsoever we will; to ask without limit in the name of Jesus.” Following in Taylor’s footsteps, OMF has recently produced a new media project focused on China. This project, called the China Resource Pack, includes a book, four videos, six PowerPoint presentations, a brochure, a 30-day prayer guide and the interactive website http://www.chinasmillions.org/.
At OMF we are proud of our legacy. Taylor is known as a mission pioneer and key figure in the “faith mission” movement. But few may know of his innovative approach toward media and communication. Early on, the China Inland Mission published periodicals that included articles about God’s work in China and, gasp, color maps! This was revolutionary back in 1870. The name of this periodical was “China’s Millions.”
Background of China’s Millions Website
You may have seen many headlines on China such as: “Special Report: China” or “The New China” or “China’s Sleeping Dragon Awakens.” In recent years China has been the focus of much international media attention. With 1.3 billion people and a surging economy, there is reason for this. Christians, too, are taking an interest in China. Reports of a great work of God in a communist nation have caught our attention. Stories of persecution of house churches have moved our hearts. And yet, even with the most generous estimates of the number of Christians in China, there are still more than 1.2 billion Chinese people—nearly one-fifth of the world’s population—without Christ!
In light of this, OMF wanted to produce a new resource about China. In the fall of 2004, we decided now was the time. The purpose of the China’s Millions website and the China Resource Pack is similar to Taylor’s purpose in 1865. We hope this site will raise awareness of China and serve as an educational tool for those with an interest in this great nation.
Ultimately, however, we hope such knowledge leads to intentional involvement with God’s purposes in China. Our desire is that God will use the China’s Millions site to mobilize people for his glory. The global Church must be mobilized to minister to China, whether that means going to China, praying for China, giving to God’s work in China or welcoming Chinese living abroad. These and other options for involvement are covered under the “Get Involved” section of the website.
The China’s Millions website is arranged into five sections (in addition to the “Get Involved” section): History, Religion, People, Culture and Issues.
- History—an interactive timeline; stories about key figures from China’s past; an article tracing evidence of God’s grace toward China throughout its history
- Religion—overviews of the major religions in China—Daoism, Buddhism, Atheism, etc.; an inside look at Christianity’s presence in the Middle Kingdom, both in the Three-Self (official) churches and the house churches; testimonies of house church Christians
- People—a breakdown (by region) of China’s provinces; ethnic group profiles (Tibetans, Uyghurs, etc.)
- Culture—explores China’s rich cultural tradition in the arts and Chinese holidays; looks at the effects of globalization and urbanization; overview of Chinese government and the growing economy
- Issues—stories about current events shaping China: 2008 Olympics, territorial issues with Taiwan and Tibet, construction of the Three Gorges Dam
Mission of the China’s Millions Website
OMF’s mission statement reads, “To glorify God by the urgent evangelization of East Asia’s peoples.” Of East Asia’s more than two billion people, more than 1.3 billion reside in China. The end goal of the China’s Millions website coincides with OMF’s larger vision. We want to see Chinese people come to Christ! But more workers for the harvest are needed (Luke 10:2), workers who will not only go to China, but who will be active in praying, giving and/or mobilizing others to share the gospel with those in this great nation.