My life is incomparably richer for knowing my Chinese sisters. I want you to know them, too. Around the globe, people will celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, while in the United States, the entire month of March is set aside to focus on women’s accomplishments and contributions. At China Partnership, this month we will focus on sharing the stories, challenges, joys, and specific experiences of Chinese women.
I am not Chinese; I no longer live in China. Since I last stepped foot there, the world has changed, and then changed again. But knowing, loving, praying for, serving, and being served by the women of China is one of the greatest privileges of my life. We hope that this month global Christians can join us in turning their eyes to Chinese sisters. We invite you to join us in learning about and praying for the more than 680 million women in China, a growing number of whom profess Christ. Know these sisters; learn from these sisters; pray for these sisters. Love our Chinese sisters.
This is not a one-way street. Some years ago, my family was preparing to leave China for good, after more than a decade of involvement in work in Mainland China. A few months before we left, an old friend, someone I used to disciple during her university years, traveled across the country to visit me from the city where she now lived. It had been several years since I had last seen her: in the interim, we had both married and become moms. My friend brought her two young daughters along, and I was home alone with my own small children while my husband traveled.
I had grand visions of how I would care for this friend and pour into her life, thinking I would make one last investment in the work in China. Instead, the day after she arrived, my infant came down with a high fever. A few hours later, I was also sick. My friend made us chicken soup, picked up take-out and went to the market, and cared for my toddler along with her own children while the baby and I recovered. She showed me how to gently teach my children when I was exasperated with their tantrums, and she shared with me her ideas about education and child-rearing. She showed me how she taught her children Scripture, and she gently encouraged me to thoughtfulness and joy in the trenches of early motherhood. I hope that I have blessed her life; I know that I am different because of her love, her thoughts, and her example. Our sisterhood is deeper than the boundaries of nation, culture, or even language. We are united by Christ himself, who “has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility… creat[ing] in himself one new man in place of the two.”
The world is small now, and no matter where you live or who you are, you can know and care and be changed by the stories of Chinese women, just as I have been and continually am. This month we bring you stories from Sister Shu, a regular person “raising her children in a small corner of Chengdu.” Yet this calendar year, she has already faced off with government authorities and prayerfully and intentionally decided to stand up to greater pressure to come. We will share this March the experiences of a woman who is bringing biblical counseling to Chinese women and churches, the story of a Chinese church planter’s wife, and personal accounts of Chinese women whose lives have been changed by prayer and impacted by persecution and suffering.
Would You Pray With Us Today?
Their lives are not richer or deeper or better than mine or than yours. But their experiences are different, and the challenges they face are not ones the Lord has laid before those of us in the free world. Learn from them. Know them. Support them. Most of all, pray for them. Love them.
They are my sisters, and they are yours. May your life, as mine, be deeper and richer for its intersection with China.