Each Wednesday, TWR Canada provides a brief update on a project or ministry from around the world. Learn about many different aspects of our global ministry, and be encouraged by stories of lives that have been transformed by the power of the gospel.
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“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8, ESV)
Since 2012, TWR Canada’s Chinese ministry team has worked to train and equip believers for leadership in the Chinese Church. Seminary on the Air (SOTA) is a systematic theological training program.
As students work through SOTA courses, they are being prepared for leadership in their own local churches. Through this, many are also showing interest in serving as full or part-time missionaries within China and abroad. There are three SOTA courses that focus on missions, and currently seven SOTA families from China have committed to serve as overseas missionaries in Pakistan and Nepal. As well there are others who are serving within minority groups in China.
Each of the SOTA students who have entered the mission field have done so as full-time missionaries. Some are supported by their local church or Western mission agencies while others are working independently and finding support on their own.
One SOTA student is serving as a missionary in Nepal with his wife and their two-year-old daughter. He is working to establish a “missions’ ministry” within Chinese churches in Nepal. During his service, he has encountered many challenges, but he has found SOTA courses to be most valuable. The theological training he has received through SOTA, combined with the missionary training he has received from another missions agency, has helped him to develop the character and knowledge required to do his work. He said that there is still a big gap that exists in the Chinese churches in terms of the mindset about and involvement in cross-cultural missionary work. God has given him a vision to involve more Chinese churches in cross-cultural missions in Nepal.
In a recent report, TWR Canada missionaries in China told us about their meeting with a young man. “While we were in Guangzhou, we met a young man on the street. He introduced us to his church. Currently this church has six brothers, including the pastor, who have entered SOTA to study theology. His vision is to finish his studies and go on missions in his hometown of Guangxi.”
Another Chinese missionary in Nepal, began to study SOTA after beginning his work. He recognized the need for theological training. When he first arrived, he helped with earthquake relief, and he worked in orphanages and in poverty-stricken areas. A local pastor helped him to settle in by connecting him with the local church. Soon he began to bring short-term mission teams from China to work with the local churches. As a missionary, he recognizes the need for systematic theological training, so he is now studying SOTA and preparing to move from the certificate program to the new degree program. There are many Chinese believers who go to the country to teach Chinese and are interested in SOTA so they can be prepared for mission work also.
In the past year, there have been several students who have reported a call from God to serve in missions. This is just one area where we are seeing the impact of SOTA. Many are also requesting we hold preaching camps and bible study camps in their areas.
Please pray for those who are committing their lives to the mission field. Some of the areas where they are choosing to serve are very challenging, and there is little support for their work.