A Lunar New Year Greeting
from the President
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This Lunar New Year will be very hard for Chinese people. While many people across China are jubilant at the end of the incredibly harsh Covid-Zero restrictions, millions of others are mourning the sudden loss of loved ones. The lifting of the restrictions happened too quickly, with no safeguards. Now it is estimated that 1.5 million people in China may die in the next 2-3 months. The death toll is heartbreaking.
I myself have already been impacted by this surge of death. Many of my friends and relatives in China have lost loved ones quite suddenly in these last few weeks. My wife is a medical doctor, and we have spent many nights on the phone, talking with people back in China, trying to help them in any way we can. At the very least, we want to be able to share their burden. To grieve with them.
It is this call, perhaps, that I feel the most strongly as we enter 2023. Chinese society is stretched between those who are celebrating and those who are heavy hearted. Do we have the ability to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn?
I long for the church to lead the way in this. The last three years of pandemic and the Covid-Zero policy has taken a great social, economic toll on all of China. Combined now with this sudden loss of life, these devastating experiences and hurtful memories will shape Chinese society in the decades to come. My hope is that, in that time, Chinese Christians can lead the way in modeling empathy and grace. That they will be an example of Christ to a hurting people.
Will you pray for them as we start the year? Will you cry for them? Will you hold the church in China in your heart? To enter into the joys and sorrows of another person is to model the life of Jesus, who “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but rather he made himself nothing” for our sake (Phil. 2:6-7). Perhaps this is our call in 2023. Let us show the world what Jesus is like in the way that we treat each other. Let us rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.
Grace and peace,
-The President of China Partnership
Lunar New Year 2023