The Bible Institutes and Missionary Training Centers of China

August 10, 2011

When the Communists gained control over all of China in 1949, they rounded up most of the ordained ministers and sent them to labor camps. Church buildings were converted to public use as store-houses or Maoist indoctrination centers. Without clergy or buildings, Protestants could no longer hold “church services”. As a result, many of them began to flow into the house churches, even though most of the foreign missionaries had been sharply critical of these nonconformist bodies of believers.

The Communists took China in 1949 largely by propaganda which promised an economic utopia for the population. When it failed to materialize, the rising generation sought other alternatives to give meaning and purpose to their lives. Faith in Christ and identification with His heavenly family suddenly appealed to millions, especially young people who were disillusioned with political socialism. Beginning around 1990, an explosion of growth began among the house churches all over China. Suddenly, their greatest need was for teachers who believed and understood the Bible.

And God had a plan It began with an 18 year old girl named Dorothy Chang. Her father was a church pastor who had studied in the USA. The Communists put her in prison and demanded that Dorothy accuse him of being a spy working for the CIA. She refused, and was put into slave labor prisons for 20 years. When released, she married Dr. Freddie Sun, a university professor who had been imprisoned for 10 years following his involvement with house churches in Shanghai and Beijing.

Dorothy came to the USA as a foreign student in 1984, and was miraculously introduced to Christian Aid. She joined the staff in 1987 and her husband came a year later. Christian Aid sent them back to China in 1990 to find out how we could best help the house church movement. They found the answer, and thus began a new chapter in the history of the kingdom of God in China.

While visiting house churches throughout China, Freddie and Dorothy realized that the greatest need was for Bible institutes where the rising generation of house church leaders could be taught the Word of God. Christian Aid responded by sharing the need with God´s people in America. Contributions were received to cover costs of facilities, teacher support and food for the students enrolled away from their homes. Hundred of thousands of dollars were collected by Christian Aid and sent to China to make more and more Bible institutes possible.

All told, the Bible institutes initiated and supported by Christian Aid have trained and sent out over 60,000 native missionaries, some to every province of China, including Tibet. God has used them to plant hundreds of thousands of new house churches through which millions of souls have come to Christ. The total number of Christians in China is now said to be over 100 million, almost 10 percent of the population.