then China Liaison between American Southern Baptists and the China
Christian Council leadership, kneels beside the cornerstone of the former Baptist Church of Harbin, China,
The church was built in the 1930s and closed during the 1960s Cultural
Revolution. It was re-opened in 1988. The whited-out letters on the
marble stone are the words Jin Xin,
Chinese for "Baptists". Protestant churches in China no longer carry
Western denominational names, but are known merely as Christians. Their
attempts to work together and no longer be divided by foreign
denominational bias is very difficult but something that the Lord Jesus
prayed for in John 17:21, that his followers "may be one."
Beside the Chinese greeting, a 1990 photo of Jody and Britt Towery,
taken on the Kowloon waterfront in Hong Kong. The Towerys first went to
Taiwan as missionaries in 1957. Transferred to Hong Kong in 1966 and
gave most of the following years to China -related causes.
The Tao Foundation desires integrity in Christian missions and in the lives and efforts of any Christian institution sending missionaries abroad.
the real story of the China mainland Protestant churches. Bible
smuggling and covert mission work do more harm than good. But too many
American Christians do not realize this. We try to show a better way. A
way of respect for colleagues and followers where the missionary is a
The Foundation has published information on China and Asian Christian communities in brochure and book form; produced an audio cassette of hymns by China mainland Christians; supported a spiritual ministry to urban youth in Hong Kong; given English
Bibles, English and Chinese library books and an audio New Testament to
the Jinling Theological Seminary in Nanjing; and made a 15-minute documentary about the Chinese junk, "The Huan."
The Tao Foundation
was organized April 1, 1978, by Jody and Britt Towery, and certified as
a non-profit corporation by the Secretary of State of Texas, April 24,
1978 [Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c) (3)] The year 2003 marks
the 25th anniversary of the foundation's beginning.
Its work is: (1) To give serious consideration to the Christian's priorities regarding mission and integrity; (2) To research and write history and biographies of Christians in China and other areas of Asia; (3) To
inform and encourage non-Asians (and Asians who have lost touch with
their roots) regarding "Things Chinese," heritage, history and culture
The Foundation's challenge of recording
missionary biographies and mission history wants to keep Baptist
heritage alive for the new century. This also helps insure that some
will learn from the past and do a better job in future mission
endeavors. This history has many grand and high points but the low
points must not be forgotten. Here is some of the history of recent
years that will not be remembered or taught in most Southern Baptist
churches or schools. Why, you say? Because it is not completely
Three of my articles (first printed in Baptists Today)
about the way Southern Baptist (SBC) International Mission Board (IMB)
policy-makers have thrown ethics and integrity to the wind are: "Southern Baptist Losing Credibility in China," "Approach That Brings Reproach," and "Southern Baptists should be held accountable for clandestine mission work in China."
these will help any thinking person understand China Christian
Council's former President Dr. Han and his letter regarding IMB
activities. His letter was taken by Ecumenical News International and
released as "China's Protestant leader dismayed over US Baptist mission plans."
two articles were translated in the People's Republic of China into the
Chinese language in September, 1997. Hopefully this has helped pastors
and people there to know they still have friends among the Baptists of
America -- and help others understand that foreign missionary and
church groups, regardless of their agendas, will not direct nor control
God's churches in China now or in the future.
churches run their own programs in America the way they see best --
such should be the case for Chinese churches in China. Great problems
emerge when the American missionaries, with their passports and money,
take center stage; unwilling to work with, and in a supportive, not
leadership mode, under the local national Christian leadership. They
too often forget they are guests in the land they wish to evangelize.
American churches got their theology and start from Europe. So we have American theology and American church practice.
Chinese churches first heard of Christ from the Syrians in the Seventh
century and again each century thereafter by missionaries from the
West. Today, the Chinese are developing their own theology and
practice. But this takes time. It does not evolve from a book or a even
a few years, but through many years of suffering and experience. They
must walk their own path to discover the riches that lie ahead for
We in the West should pray with
them for this and cease pushing our own Western denominational bias and
agenda when it has not been requested and often not needed.
Here is a good place to research Bible-things: www.amazingbible.org
China's Amity Foundation:
Take a look at some of the websites that helped us made this possible:
Check out the books section: Lao She's life and literature -- Christianity in Today's China -- Carey Daniel's China Jewell
Mainland China churches from every province -- Protestant seminaries -- photos, facts and insights
Other sites: Sri Lanka -- Burma -- Taiwan -- Tibet -- More added all the time
And a few "Along the way" newspaper columns.
Plus the up-dated mosaic art section. The work of Mexican mosaic artist, Francisco "Pancho" Borboa.