China (MNN) ― Chinese believers were dubious when new leaders took the helm at the end of 2012.
But, "China is moving forward, and the Chinese Christians are continuing to reach their people for Jesus Christ," says Erik Burklin of China Partner.
According to recent reports, China's economy is expected to grow by 8.2 percent in 2013. Reuters says business optimism in the four countries known as the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) increased to nearly 40% in 2012.
Burklin says China's growth is a two-sided coin.
"It's a 'both/and' in China right now," he states. "A lot of us [are] obviously concerned about the tremendous economic growth and what that will do to their people. But on the good side...it is wonderful to see how the economy is actually also helping the spread of the Gospel."
Economic growth means more money in the pockets of believers, and in-turn, they're giving more of that income to the Church.
"The good thing of the economy growing as strongly as it is," a Chinese pastor told Burklin, "is that more money is being given to the Lord's work."
Burklin says over 100-million copies of God's Word have been printed within China, and roughly a quarter of them are sent into neighboring nations. It's an indication that China's headed "in the right direction."
"The Chinese church leadership, and also Christians, have a real sense of calling to what Jesus commanded us before He ascended into heaven…to go make disciples of all nations," says Burklin. "That will continue no matter who is in power."
In March, China Partner will conduct another pastoral training conference in Sichuan province. Pastors from surrounding rural areas are invited into the city for a week of intensive training. See what the leaders will learn.
"That tells me that they want to continue with what they feel God has called them to do, and that's to equip the saints with the Gospel," says Burklin.
Keep praying for God's will to be done in China. "We know that...hundreds are praying, and that's really one of the reasons why the Gospel is going forth around the world, including China."
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