By Jennifer HarrisWord&Way News Writer
Leaders representing The Baptist Home, Baptist General Convention of Missouri and the Missouri Baptist Foundation traveled with retired missionary Harlan Spurgeon to China Aug. 22 – Sept. 6.
BGCM executive director Jim Hill, Foundation president James Smith and Baptist Home president Steven Jones participated in the tour.
The purpose of the trip, said Spurgeon, was “to see what the Chinese Christians were doing and to see how we could encourage and assist them.”
The four visited the headquarters of Amity Foundation, an independent organization founded by the China Christian Council “to promote education, social services, health and rural development.”
According to Spurgeon, Amity is involved in over 43 projects, including the printing of Bibles, schooling for the disabled, clean water projects and medical treatment.
“This is my second trip to China,” said Jones. “My last trip was 10 years ago. I was overwhelmed with the positive changes in the last 10 years, pleased to see what God was doing in China and how Jesus was being lifted up there.”
“The work we have encouraged in the past is in a rural area where there was very little Christian work until a layman saw the need and dedicated himself to it,” said Spurgeon.
The area started with four believers, but with the missions efforts of the layman, there are now hundreds of believers meeting in three churches and one meeting point.
The layman has sent more than 40 young people to short-term Bible schools to assist in the work.
“The local work that we hope to assist at this time includes a new church building that will be dedicated this month,” Spurgeon said. “They have run out of money and have not been able to install heating for the winter.”
The church is located in the northern part of China and experiences severe winters.
The church is also hoping to complete the renovation of their former building into 10 rooms for elderly pastors who have no families to care for them.
The total for both projects is $15,000.
Spurgeon invites individuals, churches and Bible study groups to assist with the project through prayer and financial gifts.
Donations can be sent to the Baptist General Convention of Missouri, 1900 N. Providence, Suite 301, Columbia, MO 65202. Gifts should be marked for the China Project.