Church formalizes status of workers in China

The family of Ruoxia Li and Eric Miller. Photo courtesy of Eric Miller

Ruoxia Li and Eric Miller have signed a service agreement with the Church of the Brethren regarding their continuing work in China. The married couple have been serving in Pingding, China, since August 2012, when they were invited to work with You’ai Hospital. The hospital takes its name from the original hospital founded by Church of the Brethren missionaries in Pingding in 1911, which in turn shared its name with the Church of the Brethren in China, You’ai Hui.

Li was appointed in 2019 as a mission worker connected with Global Mission and Service, but without stipend. Under the new arrangement, Li and Miller continue to report to local leadership in China but also will report to the Global Mission office and will receive a monthly stipend.

Currently, work has been curtailed by strict quarantine-like measures that have been implemented due to the spread of COVID-19. Shanxi is far from Wuhan, the center of the outbreak, and as of early last week only a few cases had been confirmed in Pingding County.

Miller says they are grateful for the continued prayers and support of the church. “This work is greater than us, and I hope that it will be to the glory of God and the benefit of our Chinese neighbors,” he said. “We also pray that it will grow beyond our abilities and continue to outlast our time of service here.” 

Miller grew up in York (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren while Li grew up in Shouyang, the location of another nearby past Brethren mission post in Shanxi Province. They previously were members of Good Shepherd Church of the Brethren in Blacksburg, Va., and currently worship with Living Stream Church of the Brethren online.
Li, who received a master’s degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Iowa, has established a hospice program at You’ai Hospital. Miller has focused on improving management and developing international partnerships for the hospital. During their time in China, Li and Miller have sought to continue the friendship established by the first American Brethren missionaries and continue the work of the first Brethren in China through service and ministry under the leadership of the local hospital and church.

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