Every few years, the regional leaders of the Columban Missionaries meet with our
central leadership team to review our worldwide mission. I have just returned from
one such meeting in Hong Kong.
The location of our meeting in Hong Kong, which is now part of China, recalled the
fact that we were founded as a Missionary Society in 1916 for the purpose of bringing
the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people of that vast country. Many Columbans
endured great hardships and spent their lives working for that cause. Eventually,
the last Columbans in China were expelled in the early 1950’s. It seemed our outreach
to China had ended in failure.
However, China and its people always remained dear to our Columban heart. Over the
last couple of decades, the opportunity of going back to China has opened up for
us, particularly as teachers of English. We are also facilitating lay men and women
in going to China for that purpose. Our hope is that we can again contribute in some
positive way to the life and well-being of the people there.
Columbans in China today speak of people whose Christian faith has remained strong.
They have met people who can still remember and even name Columbans of earlier times.
The church in China continues to grow and bear witness to the values of Jesus. So,
the former work of Columbans and others in China has not been in vain.
The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost empowered the disciples to reach out to
others with the Good News of Jesus. In doing this, they met many setbacks and it
often seemed that their mission was a failure. But they learned to trust the Spirit
who was guiding them through difficult times, often in surprising and unexpected
In response to the call of Jesus, Columbans continue to reach out to the needy in
many places today. We know that the Spirit is supporting us greatly through your
ongoing generosity and encouragement.
We are most thankful for all you do to enable our mission to continue and we pray
that the same Spirit will be a source of new life and energy in the ups and downs
of your life.