KBM Launches China Partnership

post date: September 30, 2011

“I think you should consider a partnership with Trans World Radio.”

That simple comment, made a year ago by someone we met at a Bible conference in Michigan, started a discussion that led to a major decision.

Chinese house church meets for worship.
Last Saturday the Keep Believing board voted to enter a strategic partnership with Trans World Radio (TWR) to do ministry in China. The first step involves developing an entirely new Mandarin language website for housing our sermons and podcasts. We will also develop apps for iPhone and Android-based smartphones so that the Mandarin content will be available 24/7. Then starting in the spring of 2012, we will broadcast three times per week from the TWR transmitters in Guam to mainland China. Those broadcasts will provide basic biblical content plus a special 28-part podcast of the Mandarin version of An Anchor for the Soul. A Mandarin speaking Chinese national will be the voice of Keep Believing China.

The third part of our strategy involves direct personal ministry to Chinese pastors and church leaders. We want to provide high-quality resources using flash drives (and other media) loaded with written and audio resources so the Bible studies and sermons can be used and easily reproduced by local Chinese pastors. We also want to send teams into China to provide Bible teaching and training for local church leaders. Further down the road we would like to bring 5-10 Chinese pastors to the States for a week or two of intensive training and encouragement.

We estimate this new partnership will cost around $300,000 over the next two years. That’s a huge commitment for a ministry like ours. I told the board before we voted that if we didn’t feel nervous about this decision, we probably weren’t dreaming big enough.

I think we all felt plenty nervous.
And excited.

China has been on our hearts from the very beginning of Keep Believing Ministries. All three of our sons taught English in China. Leah and Vanessa taught English there as well. Four of my books have been translated into Mandarin. And we’ve done a lot of work with a house church pastor in China.

So we regard this partnership as a logical step forward (a very big step, to be sure). Consider this:

    22% of the world’s population lives in China.
    1/3 of the world’s non-Christians reside in China.
    The ratio of pastors to church members is at least 1:7000 and may be as high as 1:20,000.
We have a vision of helping that one pastor who is young, who probably works at a secular job to care for his family, who is eager to serve the Lord, who knows that the government watches his every move, and who has little Bible or pastoral training. He can’t care adequately for the people he already has, much less those he wants to reach for Christ.

That’s our man.
We want to go to bat for him.

We’ve got the resources. And through this partnership with TWR, we have a way to get those resources to pastors and Christian workers across China. We’ll do it through the Internet, radio, smartphones, podcasts, books, flash drives, and through face-to-face ministry.

This is huge for us.
Without God’s help, it’s beyond us.

So we need your prayers.

Pray for us as we take the first steps. We hope to have the new Mandarin language website up and running by the end of the year. We plan to begin broadcasting in the spring. I will be traveling with our son Mark to China in late October.

The financial needs certainly bring us to our knees.

But for those who know us, this new partnership is no surprise. You’ll hear more about this in the next few weeks. For the moment we ask for your prayers.

Thanks for being there whenever we have needed you. We hope you’ll be with us as we take this step of faith.


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