In spite of the many hurdles, the amazing power of God’s Word is clearly evident in China, and the number of Christians in China is growing rapidly. In many parts of China, however, there are not nearly enough trained pastors and lay leaders to adequately shepherd and disciple these new believers, which can lead to the spread of false teachings and even the formation of cults.
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod seeks to assist the local Chinese church in meeting these challenges. Through partnerships at both the national and provincial level, the LCMS works with the China Christian Council (CCC), an umbrella organization representing all government-registered Protestant churches in China. The CCC focuses on providing biblically-sound theological education and evangelistic training to the growing population of Christian church leaders in China. The CCC is also active in the publication of Bibles, hymnals, training materials and other Christian literature.
In an effort to respond to the human needs associated with the rapid changes in China, the LCMS also partners with various relief organizations, including Lutheran Social Services in Hong Kong and Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation (CWEF), a Hong Kong-based non-governmental organization. CWEF coordinates and administers a myriad of human care and education projects in China, including scholarships, clean water projects, micro-credit loan programs and English-as-a-Foreign-Language workshops.
The LCMS has also been integrally involved in the founding and development of Concordia International School Shanghai (CISS), which provides quality education (preschool through high school) to Shanghai’s rapidly increasing expatriate population and equips its students for serving others in China and around the world. CISS celebrated their 10th anniversary during the 2008-2009 school year. With a current enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the school has rapidly grown into a world-class institution with a distinct Christian atmosphere, providing wonderful opportunities for service in the greater Shanghai community and beyond.
The LCMS first provided grants for mercy work in China in 1991—specifically funding flood relief. Other mercy work funded by the LCMS includes expanding hospital services, caring for the aged, providing educational materials for children, clean water projects, health clinics, women’s education, building a school and learning center, micro-credit agriculture projects, scholarships, constructing irrigation system, flood and earthquake relief, providing transportation for medical patients, pig micro-credit programs, and health clinics.