China (MNN) — As 2011 draws to a close, many ministries are taking a moment to reflect on what God has done over the past year and look ahead to what's to come.
As China Partner reflects, the ministry is able to look back with nothing but joy and wonder over all God has done.
"If I had to wrap up 2011 in one word, I would say ‘marvelous.' As we remember the verse in Psalm 118: ‘For the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our sight,'" says China Partner director Erik Burklin, "I think that's how I feel, honestly. I just am always amazed in what God is doing and how He's allowing us to participate in His mission there."
China Partner has seen strides in church leadership, training, and equipping throughout 2011. Burklin says it's been "a continuation of what we know is a tremendous need in China, and that is the development and training of emerging Christian leaders that are coming up throughout all the provinces in China today."
One exciting new aspect popping up throughout church leadership growth in China has actually been age, though. Burklin says while the leaders China Partner used to train were typically in their 40's, over the last year, trainees have been younger and younger.
"Many times this year, when I was either invited to preach in a local church or conduct some trainings with our training teams that we were invited to do all over China, I noticed that the average age of those attending churches even has come down."
Burklin says this factor alone is evidence that the type of work China Partner does is breaking the barriers they had hoped.
"Our whole emphasis is to serve the church in China by providing much-needed training and equipping of leaders and young emerging pastors," explains Burklin. "So as we're doing this in partnership with the local Chinese churches, we see that the fruit of that labor is now coming to fruition, and many of the young people of China are being reached with the Gospel."
The ministry has found that Chinese young people are passionate for social justice and reaching other young people with the truth. As China Partner looks to 2012, they hope to continue to train young people to train other young people in ministry. This is especially vital in rural areas where seminaries and Bible schools are far and few between.
In the year ahead, China Partner is confident that God will continue building His Kingdom in China. It seems that although times are changing, the window of opportunity in China is far from shutting, and China Partner is excited to see how the Lord will have them climb through it next.
Pray for the Chinese church, Chinese leadership, and China Partner in 2012. Click here to learn more about China Partner's ministry.