Urbanization, IWMC, and China

Jesse Frame, Leadership Development Coordinator, YouthHOPE

According to a UN Issue Paper, “Urbanization is the engine that propels the world towards prosperity… and youth are the engineers.” The cities of the developing world account for over 90% of the world’s urban growth; youth account for a large percentage of those inhabitants. It is estimated that as many as 60% of all urban dwellers will be under the age of 18 by 2030. If we want to reach the world, we must reach the cities. If we want to reach the cities, we must reach youth.

Let’s set the weight of that information on the country of China. Just look at these statistics from a Stanford University presentation.

  • One quarter of world’s 500 largest urban areas are in China
  • 2050: China’s urban population will increase by 300-700 million
  • 2002 urbanization rate: 36%, 2050 urbanization rate: 70%

For the second year in a row, YouthHOPE has been invited to speak as an authority on holistic youth ministry and missions at the International Wholistic Missions Conference (www.wholisticmissions.com). This year it was hosted at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. on May 4-7. Our workshops included:

  1. Engaging Youth: Syrian Refugees

  2. Engaging Youth: Girls Education

  3. Engaging Youth: Urbanization and Immigration

  4. Engaging Youth: Technology and Communication

We asked the question, "How can we turn these challenges into opportunities for holistic transformation?"

During one of our workshops we met a wonderful Christian sister from a large city in China. She was so excited about the idea of reaching the youth of her city. Her underground church faces so many obstacles in trying to share Christ with the lost in their communities. In China, public proselytizing is prohibited, and even on a personal level, sharing Christ with someone often creates conflict with their non-Christian families and puts the church and Christians at great risk.

The Chinese constitute the largest single segment of the human race. The church in China is thriving and we’re excited about what the future holds. We have been praying for God to open up doors of opportunity for YouthHOPE to work where we are needed most. It is exciting to see how our prayers are being answered.

We have a great opportunity emerging to partner with an underground church network and holistic ministry organization in China. Please pray that God would continue to open up these doors of opportunity for YouthHOPE. Would you consider giving a special gift to make our work in China possible?