China (MNN) — This November marked 30 years of ministry for China Partner. That means for three decades, their ministry has equipped local Church leaders to better serve the local body of believers.
To celebrate the occasion, China Partner hosted an anniversary banquet in Florida. But it’s not just about 30 years of China Partner, President Erik Burklin says; it’s about 30 years of trusting God. “We don’t want to just celebrate 30 years of China Partner, but we want to celebrate 30 years of God’s faithfulness and His work in China,” Burklin says.
Erik Burklin may be the current President of China Partner, but he’s part of a longer legacy. His father founded China Partner 30 years ago, and his grandparents spent much of their lives as missionaries in China in some of the same places China Partner still serves.
“For me as his son, and as a grandson of my grandparents, it was a great honor to celebrate 30 years of God’s faithfulness,” he says.
With so many generations of ministry, the Burklin family has seen the Chinese context change in drastic ways, “but what is constant is the word of God. What is constant is the love of God. What is constant is that Jesus Christ is still on the throne, no matter what happens.”
To China Partner, that’s what matters. After all, their work has never been about themselves; it’s all about furthering God’s kingdom. “That’s what we put our hope in, because we trust Him to be the head of the Church, and that’s exactly what we seeing in China.”
So where do they go from here? Burklin says he hopes China Partner continues to build a legacy of faithfulness to God and to their on-the-ground partners. If you’ve been following the news, you know China is shaky ground for some ministries; that’s why Burklin and others have learned to practice trust and patience.
“We don’t know what the next 30 years will bring,” he says. “It’s up to God to guide and direct us there. We have no real huge goals in mind. We understand that we could be gone tomorrow. But yet, when all is said and done, I would hope and pray that believers in China would be stronger, that there would be more pastors trained and equipped to pastor their local churches wherever they are found, and that as a result of our mission, more people would come to faith in Jesus Christ.”
You can also pray. Since “the current political climate being very tense and with restrictions that have come down the pipe all over the place,” China Partner is going to need wisdom and faith as they decide how to respond. That’s what makes prayer so crucial for the next few decades of China Partner.
“We, as an organization, want to let the Chinese Christian Leadership know that we’re behind you. We stand with you. We believe in you, and we want to pray for you and we want to bless you. And so that’s going to be our focus over the next year and a half for sure, that as they’re going through these changes, they know they can rely on a ministry like China Partner to stand with them and to stand behind them, and to stay in the gap, so to speak with them.”
Header photo courtesy of China Partner.