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From radio waves to adoption papers, members find ways to reach China

Many church members in the Western world want to help the people of China come to know Christ. “But there are still many limitations,” Hong Kong church member Eric Yip said. Restrictions on religious activities exist, in varying degrees, throughout the country.Photo caption: Charles and Rebecca Dorris with daughters Zara, Zola and Zena at the Brentwood Hills church. 
The communist nation may have as many as 80 million people who profess the Christian faith, according to journalist David Aikman, author of Jesus in Bejing. Some are members of government-approved Catholic or Protestant organizations. Many more meet in small house churches, Aikman wrote.
Some churches send workers to China to quietly witness to those who will listen, but Chinese Christians themselves are doing the most effective work, Yip said.
“The Chinese Christians can study the Bible for hours,” he said, but mission work “should be done with discernment.”
Workers with World Christian Broadcasting spread the message of Christ to China from their studio in Franklin, Tenn. The radio ministry broadcasts 10 hours of programming daily in Mandarin Chinese from KNLS, its station in Anchor Point, Alaska. The broadcasts include Bible reading, spiritual stories, English instruction and segments on health and parent-child relationships.
“Mainly, we just want to make God known, to share that Jesus gives them the option to live a different kind of life,” said Edward Ho, Chinese service host for KNLS.
World Christian regularly receives letters and e-mail from Chinese listeners, Ho said. Many are curious about Christianity and ask for a Bible. Others are enduring hardships and looking for comfort.
Church members in the West must become good listeners to understand the needs of people in China, said Edward Short, producer of the Chinese-language service for World Christian. They also should research the country thoroughly.
“In Churches of Christ we need some eggheads who will make China their priority,” Short said.
For several churches in the United States, official visits to China helped pave the way to show compassion to its children.
After a recent visit to Bejing with fellow church leaders, Rick Atchley and members of the Richland Hills church in North Richland Hills, Texas, agreed to support Harmony House, a home for abandoned, orphaned and special-needs children in Langfang, near Bejing.
The facility houses 12 children, and administrators hope to expand to other areas with help from other churches and religious groups.
Churches of Christ also sponsor and oversee children’s homes in China. China Mission operates an orphanage and finds sponsors for its children. The ministry, overseen by the Peachtree City, Ga., church, also sends medical mission teams to rural China.
Still other church members have traveled to China to adopt children. Charles and Rebecca Dorris, members of the Brentwood Hills church in Nashville, Tenn., have adopted three girls from China — Zara, Zena and most recently Zola, now 20 months old.
Rebecca Dorris said she’s met Christians in China during the adoption process and learned about their lives and struggles. “It’s been such a blessing for us to hear from these spiritual people,” she said.
Of all the opportunities and open doors, the Dorrises believe that the best way they can minister to the people of China is to raise their daughters in a Christian home.
“Our prayer for them is that they’ll be able to make an impact on people — whether here or in China,” Rebecca Dorris said. “We pray that, wherever they go, their lives will point people to Jesus.”
Nov. 1, 2006

Filed under: International

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