Looking at the Nature of Evangelism from the Population Census       

 

A few months ago, Statistics Canada released the census report for 2006. The part in it that dealt with the ethnic Chinese population in Canada shows that this segment was the single largest ethnic group of non-European descent and numbered some 1,010,000,. As compared to the information in the 2001 census, the ethnic Chinese population grew at a rate far in excess of the Canadian population as a whole. Its characteristic is that it is of relatively young age, mostly without religious belief, and has a higher percentage at the post-secondary educational level. On the other hand, its employment level is relatively low, joblessness is high, and average income is lower than the average Canadian・s. One out of 4 ethnic Chinese is considered low income, a ratio much higher than the national average. Among these 1,010,000, 72% were born outside of Canada, of which almost 45% originated from China, 30% from Hong Kong, and 10% from Taiwan. The survey also shows that the vast majority, i.e. almost 82% of ethnic Chinese, live in Ontario and B.C., with Ontario accounting for around 510,000, or 47.4% of the total and B.C. around 370,000, or 34.1%. Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver are the 2 metropolitan areas with the most ethnic Chinese. Greater Toronto claims some 436,000, and Greater Vancouver 348,000, that respectively account for 9% and 18% of their total populations.

 

Another survey indicates that among new immigrants, some 40% idle at home unemployed, 8% go to school, 22% have full time professional jobs, 10% have full time non-professional jobs, 3% have part time professional jobs, 4% have part time non-professional jobs, and 14% have their own businesses. Before coming to Canada, many of them may have had ambitious plans, but once here, they found that it・s not the promised land, so they are not at peace inside.

 

These numbers give me much room for thought. The arena for evangelism is right in front of us. Our compatriots are confronting the emptiness and resignation of life. What they thought was the promised land still could not bring them peace. True satisfaction can only be found in Jesus Christ.

 

Mark 6:34 says, :When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He began teaching them many things.; This nature of love for people of Jesus Christ is truly touching.

 

When Jesus Christ saw the people, He immediately recognized their real need, understood that they were suffering and without direction, and took pity that they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He disregarded His own needs to first satisfy these people・s needs, put response into action and used Himself to supply others.

 

This nature of compassion is an important foundation and motivating force in our service. No matter how much academic knowledge and energy we possess, if we・ve lost our nature of compassion and putting the things of the Lord foremost in our minds, we will only be working for the sake of work, and no longer be like Jesus Christ. There will always be diverse reasons for someone not to participate in preaching the Gospel or to serve, and the most common reason given is :busy; or :no time;. Of course, the real question may not be lack of time, but lack of a :Gospel preaching heart・ or :serving heart;. There is a saying in English, :Where there is a will, there is a way;. If we have the heart to preach the Gospel, we will place it in priority, and find time for it.

 

I hope we will all have insight into Christ・s nature, observe the needs of others, put ourselves forward to be used by the Lord, and respond to the needs of others with the nature of Christ.

 

By: Esther Hung