Missions Launch

Helping those who help the world

Lost in Translation

by Carol Grace |

China, Language Acquisition

Learning languages can be pretty difficult at times. Here are some real signs found in China with a few translation issues of their own:

chinglish
Photo by Augapfel

lost in translationg
Photo by Helga’s Lobster Stew

it's all chinese to me
Photo by Click Cluck

chinese english signs
Photo by Box of Badgers

chinese billboard
Photo by rheanna2

private vegetables
Photo by xiaming

 don't be edible
Photo by Augapfel

Passion for the Lost – Lottie Moon

by Stephanie Colman |

China, Famous Missionaries

“I would I had a thousand lives that I might give them to …    China!”

chinese girls

Do you have a passion for reaching the lost? Do you strive to take that extra step to reach your goals? Lottie Moon was just such a person who became a very influential figure in missionary history.Lottie Moon was born in 1840 and died in 1912. She was well educated receiving one of the first Master’s degrees awarded to a woman in the South. Edmonia Moon, Lottie’s sister, became a missionary to Tengchow, China in 1872 and the following year Lottie followed in her footsteps as a missionary to China also. During her life she spent almost 40 years on the mission field in China. She began her time in China as a teacher but soon this was not enough for Lottie. She had a heart for evangelism and for reaching the lost especially in China but also on other international mission fields. She wrote many letters urging Southern Baptists to give to missions or to become missionaries themselves.

“How many million more souls are to pass into eternity without having heard the name of Jesus?”

chinese dragonThis was the question Lottie Moon posed often in her writing especially when pressing for more giving of both money and self to the missionary cause in China. Lottie was so instrumental in organizing and urging for the collection of funds for international missions that in 1918 the Woman’s Missionary Union named their Christmas offering designated for international missions the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

We now know that Lottie’s question of “how many million more souls” was indeed a good question. Current estimates place the number of people in China alone that have no access to the gospel at almost 200 million. If Lottie Moon was still alive I am sure she would be asking you – wont you go, can’t you give to help save just one more soul?

3 girls Praziquantel
dragon by  Heather Bickle

China: Etiquette, Customs, Facts and Vital Information

by Melissa Chang |

Asia, China, Cultural Sensitivity

CHINA: FACTS & STATS

 Map of China
Photo by theogeo

Location: East Asia; Bounded by Mongolia in the North, Kazakhstan in the Northwest, Pakistan and India on the Southwest, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam in the South, and the East China Sea in the East.

little chinese lanternsCapital: Beijing

Climate: Ranges from Sub Artic in the North to tropical in the South.

Population: 1,321,851,888 according to July 1997 estimates. China is one of the fastest growing economies in the modern world. This is mainly due to rapid growth in industry and agriculture.

Baby in ChinaEthnic Make-up: There are about 55 recognized ethnic groups of which the Han make up about 93.3%. Minority groups such as the Zhaung, Uigur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, and Korean form the rest 7%. Religions: Major religions are Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, and Christianity. The Constitution grants freedom to practice religion within bounds of the law. Various Christian denominations make up about 1% of the population, of which 3 million are Catholics. Missionaries and missionary work are banned in China, but it is known to be carried out as private enterprises.

smiling old man in chinaLanguage: The major languages include Mandarin (Standard Chinese), Cantonese, Wu, Minbei, Minnan, Xiang, Gan, and Hakka dialects.

Government: Communist State

Travel Issues: A valid visa is required to travel to China. Your passport along with a completed application form, passport sized photos, and visa fees are to be submitted at the Chinese Embassy in your country. Yellow fever vaccination certificates are required if you are travelling from infected areas.

Health & Safety: Tetanus shots as well as immunization against Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, MMR, and Diphtheria are strongly recommended. Yellow fever shots are required if you are travelling from or through affected areas in Africa and the Americas. If you intend to spend time in rural areas and among animals, Japanese encephalitis, and Rabies shots are advised. Immunization for Malaria is recommended if you will be travelling to rural areas in warm weather. Meningococcal vaccinations are recommended for all travellers under 40 years of age. Avian flu is a serious concern in some provinces. Get up to date information from your embassy before travel.

 china mountains
Photo by Augapfel

SOCIETY & CULTURE

women in chinaThe People: Outside of the big cities, the society is agrarian and grows rice, tea or soy beans, and tends orchards. Rural people are very traditional in their lifestyle and are barely touched by modern advancements. A remarkable feature is the widespread use of bicycle as the favoured mode of transport. In cities, traditional norms have given way to speed dating, women entrepreneurs, and equal relationships.

The Religion
: The majority of the population follow Buddhism or Confucianism, with small minorities following Islam and Christianity.

little girl in chinaRole of Family: In rural areas, extended families of many generations live together under the patriarch. While this may not be the case in cities where nuclear families are the norm, there is a strong bond between elderly parents and children. They are always at hand to help and keep in touch even if they live apart. Modern families follow the government’s one-child policy.

Ancestors: Traditionally ancestors were considered powerful allies in the spirit world. Early societies held graveside feasting to appease the dead and bring about good fortune and help from the other side.

Recreational Activities: Physical exercise is an intrinsic part of daily life. Early mornings find people of all ages gathered in parks and other open spaces practising traditional exercises such as tai chi, qui gong, and other forms of martial arts. Badminton and table tennis are highly popular. Modern day sport such as basketball, football, and even cricket and baseball have huge takers.

Anything else important for this culture: Chinese believe in the principle of yin and yang, or opposites in nature. They also believe that qui (pronounced chi) is an all pervading energy which when free flowing brings about good health and wealth, but if obstructed causes disease and misfortune. Avoid getting into arguments or heated discussions that may cause your Chinese counterpart to lose face. The term means causing someone to be disgraced in public. Simply agree to disagree amicably and let it be. Punctuality is highly rated and being even 10 minutes late is considered an insult.

Chinese Marketplace
Photo by BenBenW 

ETIQUETTE & CUSTOMS

tiananmen square chinaMeetings & Greetings: The traditional form of greeting involves cupping palms in front of chest and bowing slightly, but this has been widely replaced by the ubiquitous hand shake. The stranger or the younger person is introduced first to the elder. Formal conversation begins with inconsequential topics such as weather and business and then progresses to the matter at hand.

Courtesy: Invitations to lunch or dinner should be returned. Gifts are not opened in the presence of the giver. It is considered bad manners to blow your nose at the dinner table; leave the table should the necessity arise. Pointing with the index finger is to be avoided; you may instead use your whole palm. Handing things over to someone should be done with the right hand or even both hands, even if it’s only a business card.

patriotic chinese boyGift Giving: It is considered common courtesy to carry a gift when attending parties, birthdays, and other special events. When visiting, it is appropriate to take along a gift in the form of wine, cigars, or chocolates. Food in the form of sweets and pastries are also acceptable. Do not offer alcohol to Muslims. Clocks are considered bad luck and should never be offered as gift however ornate. When presenting gifts to elders make sure it comes in pairs as odd numbers are thought to portend death. Gift wrapping is usually red as it is considered a lucky color; never black or white as both are thought to be unlucky. Gifts are to be exchanged without drawing too much attention to the scene and should not be too expensive.

Dress Code: China is a conservative society and so avoid low necklines and too much skin showing. Shoes strings and spaghetti straps are alright in the big cities, but may draw a lot of attention in the rural areas. Chinese men rarely wear shots even in summer and are content to roll up their pants in a bid to cool down. Tourists are often spotted in shorts and t-shirts. If appearing for a meeting, suit and tie is the way to go for men, while women can don suits with pants or skirts.

Noodles in ChinaDining Etiquette: There is a seating protocol in China, so it is best to be invited to sit down before taking your seat. Unless dining at an upmarket restaurant, chances are you will have to eat with chopsticks and spoon. When using chopsticks, make sure it is not pointing at anyone and do not wave it in the air while talking. You should not lick your chopsticks or let it get coated with sauce or dipping. Don’t let them stand vertical in a bowl of rice as this is considered bad luck. Order an even number of dishes rather than odd. When you’re done eating make sure there aren’t too many leftovers, for this conveys that you weren’t happy with the meal. But neither should you polish off your plate. Never turn a whole fish up side down when you’re done with one side; rather remove the entire bone and continue. Though you’re not expected to know all the dos and don’ts, your efforts in this direction will be appreciated and bring you honor.

 Great Wall of China
Photo by exfordy

Visiting a home: Always call before visiting someone at their home and fix an appointment. Be punctual. Bring along a token gift that is not too ostentatious. Greet all members present even if they’re not known to you. Your host will invite you in and ask you to be seated. You will be offered tea and snacks such as dim sum. Never refuse their offer of hospitality. Do not overstay but leave within an hour unless requested by your host to stay longer. Greet everyone before taking leave of them.

downtown chinaCommunication Style: Hand shakes are the accepted form of greeting, but take care that it is not a bear grip. This conveys aggression and is not appreciated. You will soon notice that their grip is firm yet leaning towards limp as this is considered acceptable. Eye contact should not be prolonged but fleeting and frequent. A nod while you are talking does not necessarily mean they are agreeing to everything that is said, but merely that you have their complete attention.

Dos and Don’ts: In the course of a conversation, take care to not hurt sentiments by raised voices, too much gesticulations, loud laughter, or private jokes in English. The Chinese do enjoy jokes but ensure that your jokes are not of a political or sexual nature. Do not make the mistake of writing in red ink as this means you want to terminate the relationship. Never gift pears to a couple.

girl between soldiers china

Baby Photo by Praziquantel
Photo of baby by Augapfel
Noodle Photo by BenBenW
smiling man by mknobil
girl with soldiers by
poeloq
tiananmen by * etoile
china girl by  babasteve
Downtown by JSolomon
women by PhotoFusion
Lanterns by Phillie Casablanca

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