My Year in the UK
It took me several months to make the well-thought-out decision to come to the UK from China to learn from and work with Graham Nunn, who is a richly experienced children’s missioner. Time flies and it has been 8 months since I came here. So far I have really enjoyed what I am doing and I’d like to share with you some of the things that I’ve been doing and the different approaches in mission between the UK and China.
The first difference I’ve seen is with working in schools. Graham and I go to lots of schools where we lead collective worship. We use Bible stories, characters and magic tricks to share God’s love with the kids and the staff at the schools we visit. Recently, in one school, we were talking about how we are called by our names: how God calls ordinary people to do extraordinary things. In China, collective worship is not allowed and we’re not even allowed to talk about our beliefs with the kids. There is also no RE class at all in schools. The kids here are so blessed to have RE classes and people like Graham who go into schools to sow the gospel seeds and share the good news with them.
In my school visits, we have also done some Chinese activities, such as Chinese writing, learning numbers in Chinese, chopsticks competitions and making Chinese tea and sweets. The children really enjoyed these activities and I feel so honored to do this with them.
The second difference I’ve noticed relates to churches. I have been to different churches with Graham, where sometimes I have shared about the church in China. There are so many different services and events in churches in the UK: such as family services, breakfast services, traditional services, café church, messy church, holiday clubs and so on. Also, there are lots of different denominations in the UK, which confuses me. I go to underground church in China and there are over 1500 people in my church. We don’t have fancy church buildings like there are in the UK, and we are not allowed to gather together in groups of over 40 people – this is a new law which will be introduced in China after the new year. So we have eight networks and we worship on Sunday in different areas. Even though the space is limited and crowed with people, the Christian population in China is growing bigger and bigger.
Thirdly, there is a difference in available resources. Recently I attended the Hand in Hand children’s ministry conference. It was the first time I noticed how many materials and resources for children and families’ ministry there are in the UK. I have also been to the Christian magician’s conference, which was my first time seeing live magic shows and Gospel magic, which is the best part! I have also attended the Mission shaped Ministry course, which helped me to learn different ways to share the gospel with different people. In China there is a lack of resources and I hope that someday we can learn from all the resources that are available in the UK and use them in China.
I really appreciate all your support and your prayers for me. Thank you.