China (MNN) — All around the world, ethnic minorities face quite a few hurdles. One of these not often talked about is the fact that they have little exposure to the Gospel. China Partner is working with a Bible school in West China, the province of Guizhou, to change this.
Erik Burklin of China Partner gave us some background about the project.
“When we think of China,” he says, “we don’t even think about the Chinese having many different ethnic groups that they are made up of.”
Han Chinese are the majority ethnic group of China. But at the Bible school, 90% of the student body is made up of ethnic minorities including the Yi and Zhuang people.
A heart for ethnic minorities
Burklin says many of the young students come to the school with little-to-no education, so the education they receive at the Bible school is attainable and includes basic courses such as history.
When they graduate, the students go on to other seminaries for additional training until they are at last ordained.
“The joy that we have as China Partner is […] the privilege of investing in the future leadership of minority leaders that once they get their full theological training, have a desire to go back to their villages and their townships where they come from […] to make Jesus Christ known,” Burklin says.
China Partner is seeing the Chinese Church growing, even among minorities. And this partnership with the Bible school is part of that trend. “We have a sense that there are so many more unreached people groups in China that have never heard the Gospel. Well, this is a direct response to that need: equipping leaders that share Christ with those different minority groups.”
The students have requested that China Partner encourage them with their personal, individual relationships with Jesus, their study in the Bible, and their worship.
The students know they want to share the faith they’ve found with their people at home, but they have a lot to learn.
“You would assume that these Bible school students would have already a thriving relationship with God, with Jesus. And yet some of the things that we were able to share with them [were] very meaningful to them because it stretched them in their own personal walk.”
China Partner will also be helping provide specific ministry tools for the students including Bible teaching methods, homiletics, and youth ministry strategies.
Prayer and other opportunities
Burklin asks, “Pray for us as we share these truths with them, but also pray for these young leaders who are going to this particular Bible school that God would anoint them, that God would encourage them, [and] especially after they graduate that God would use them to spread the Gospel in their area.”
You can also get involved with China Partner through mission trips or financial support. Check it out here.