Rekindled relationships in China
A 125 year-old partnership in Qingzhou, China, is flourishing
“Our work in the city is carried on continually and quickly,” wrote BMS missionary Dr James Russell Watson, in a letter from China in 1888. “Four days a week we see patients, and any urgent case at any hour, and in addition I am usually out in the country on Sundays. My wife in her work amongst women is feeling the need of a small hospital very much.”
Dr Watson was writing this letter from Qingzhou, Shandong Province, China. There, he and his wife started a hospital, and later, together with a nurse called Margaret Falconer Logan, he started a nursing college.
125 years on, another BMS husband and wife are serving in Qingzhou. This time they’re meeting the needs of their community through teaching English at Weifang Nursing Vocational College, the institution that Watson and Logan started over a century ago.
In September, BMS signed a historic agreement with Weifang Nursing Vocational College to renew our partnership for another four years, when the initial agreement ends in late 2015.
BMS Regional Team Leader for East Asia Jeanie Herbert and Director for Mission, Peter Dunn, paid a visit to the college to sign the agreement. They greatly appreciated the warm welcome they received and were very impressed with the college itself; it has great facilities and strives for excellence in its teaching.
The institution has grown hugely from its small beginnings. There are now 15,000 students studying there.
“It was great to visit,” says Jeanie. “The directors and staff were so hospitable, and thoughtful as they hosted us. It was clear that they take such good care of our workers and I am glad that the relationship will continue and grow.”
David and Jenny Mewes are the first long-term BMS workers in China for over 60 years. They arrived in 2011 and have just extended their contracts at the college, agreeing to remain there for at least another five years. We are also looking to send another couple to join them, teaching English to the nursing students and their teachers.
BMS has been able to rekindle an old and valued partnership in Qingzhou through Weifang Nursing Vocational College, and we are pleased to report that the relationship is thriving.
“It’s a privilege for BMS to be once again partnered with this college, with which we have such a rich history,” says Jeanie.
Please pray for David and Jenny as they serve at Weifang Nursing Vocational College. Pray that they would have good relationships with their students, and that they would be effective in their work teaching English.
Jeanie and Peter also visited Yidu Central Hospital, the hospital started by the Watsons in the late 1800s. While there, they signed an agreement to renew the relationship between BMS and the hospital. It is wonderful that BMS once again has good relationships with both of the institutions founded by Dr Watson.
This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission