Since the early 2010s, increasing numbers of Chinese students have studied abroad, mostly in English-speaking countries; a majority of them studied in universities in the North America. Sharing Jesus Christ with students from China who will return there is truly a new front in the mission to China. We praise God as many Chinese churches had reached out to Chinese students and had witnessed many conversions and baptisms.
The demographics of Chinese students who study abroad have changed much. In the past, they were mostly graduate students, but now they are predominantly undergraduates who are 18-19 years old and very affluent. Churches once attract them by providing transportation and meals, but now they eat in restaurants and drive fancy cars. We pray for wisdom and new avenues to reach out Chinese students who flock to colleges near their churches.
Among the 300,000 plus Chinese students who came to study in America every year, as many as tens of thousands were converted to the Christian faith while they are overseas. However, It is estimated that 80 percent of converts give up their faith after returning to China. This is an unique opportunity in China mission and especially in reaching the young people. We pray for a plentiful harvest and good fruits.
We must acknowledge the high number of new converts who are lost to follow up or simply give up their faith once they return to China. This is a terrible loss! We pray that God give churches abroad and in China wisdom in finding ways to close this spiritual gap and improve this sad outcome. The Lord give these new converts a hunger for His words and know how to pray and read the Bible on their own.
In China, young people grow up in atheistic environment and education based on socialism. It is only in college where they are usually first exposed to Gospel. College student ministry is an important piece of China mission effort. We praise the Lord for all who work with or target college students. We pray for wisdom and opportunity in reaching and discipling the young believers.
The numbers of Chinese students in North America have shot up in recent years, so are the numbers who return after their graduation, instead of staying to work. It is our prayer that churches abroad and in China will catch the vision of evangelizing young Chinese who come near them and will be the future of intellectuals back in China. We pray that more churches will be the sower of seeds of gospel on the fertile soils He has prepared.
Young people in China grew up under the atheistic education, it is not till colleges that many of them are exposed to Christianity. However, all kinds of cults, domestic and foreign alike also actively proselyte college students. We lift up our prayers for all the Bible study groups for college students in China. The Lord gives them great opportunities to lead young people to Christ, to be a fisher of men and able to help disciple them in the short 3-4 years of college