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A Few Final Thoughts

November 8, 2010

I hope that so far you have found these articles interesting.  I have just a few final thoughts for you on the Amity Foundation.

First, I want you to think about our mission history as a church. In the late 1800’s China was a major mission field, with thousands of souls who had never heard the name of Jesus. Missionaries contributed to the foundation of China’s modern society. It was Christians that led the fight against foot binding, and opened schools for women for the first time. Missionaries brought western hospitals and began lifting up the poor. The missionaries stayed through the fall of the Imperial system, through civil wars, and the Japanese invasion of WWII. It was not until the early 1950’s when the government asked all foreigners to leave, that the mission field closed.

This level of commitment was never forgotten. As Rev. Cao recounted in her sermon, during the Cultural Revolution, Bibles were destroyed and the churches were closed. It was at this moment Chinese Christians hungered most for the Word. With the 1980’s came reform and opening up, and the Church was eager to re-open, in 1984 the Amity foundation began to print Bibles for domestic use.

Now the Amity printing press is large enough that it has been able to export more than 20 million Bibles to other countries. Even though Christians make up only a small portion of the population, through the press Chinese Christians are able to make a contribution to the spread of Christianity globally.
 
Secondly, I want us to look at two verses that stuck out in my mind during this conference. 

Luke 6:20-21 “Then he looked up at his disciples and said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.’”

Matthew 5:3, 6 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

Even though these two verses are similar in many ways, they offer us two very different challenges in mission. In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes we are challenged by physical needs, while Matthew’s version addresses our spiritual needs. With Amity’s broad vision of social justice and rural development, we would only be able to address one of the challenges. Through the printing of Bible’s and Christian materials, Amity tries to address both.
 
Finally, I like to thank you for taking the time to read these pieces, and I hope that you will share some of what you’ve learned with friends and co-workers.

Tom Morse

Tom Morse serves with the Amity Foundation of China as an English teacher.   

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