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Third-largest country in the world, China occupies almost on-fourth of the Asian landmass and shares its borders with 14 countries. It is the most populous place on earth with almost one-fifth of the world's total population. In 1883 Abram LaRue sought permission to represent the Church in China but was told that at 65 he was too old. He went on his own to sell books, got a Chinese acquaintance to translate a tract and a chapter from Steps to Christ, and sold them in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. Elder J N Anderson organized the first church on February 14, 1903--the same year that Dr Harry Miller began a medical ministry. The preaching, teaching and healing ministries have been prominent since those years, though growth was slow-to-nil between 1938-1950. During the following years, most of the 20,000 members abandoned their faith, but a comeback commenced about 1975 from the little pockets of laypersons, mostly, who still retained their belief in Jesus. Without an infrastructure or organized institutional church, membership has grown by about 235,000 in the last 25 years--almost 100 percent from lay evangelism. Adventist World Radio broadcasts daily two hours of dialects and 16 hours of Mandarin programs from the radio station in Guam. ADRA has recently been conducting humanitarian projects. Some of the most effective pastors are women, at least two with congregations in excess of 1,000 members. Some have baptized hundreds of new members at a time in this land where 70 percent of the members are women and half are beyond middle age. Youth and the middle-aged are once again coming into the congregations to number about 40 percent. Challenges continue to mount. Training lay leaders and expanding radio and video ministries are their immediate goals.
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Directory Entries: EDUCATION (2) MEDICAL (1) Publishing Houses (1)
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