Ying and Grace Kai

Within a decade, more than 1.7 million people became Christians, and more than 150,000 churches were started.

Within a decade, more than 1.7 million people became Christians, and more than 150,000 churches were started.

Within weeks of arriving in an East Asian city, Ying and Grace Kai saw jaw-dropping numbers of people commit their lives to Christ, start churches, and train others to do the same. Their city was home to an interesting combination of illiterate villagers and highly educated professionals who moved to the city to work. The churches the Kais started reached across the city’s demographics.

After three months on the mission field, the Kais had already reached their initial ministry goal to start 200 churches. Ying excitedly wrote his supervisor with the news and asked, “What do I do next?” Ying’s supervisor encouraged him to keep sharing the gospel and training others. The Kais continued to see new growth as churches started in restaurants, apartments, factories and parks.

Ying and Grace knew IMB missionaries could reach only so many people on their own, but they knew thousands of people in East Asia were dying every day before the gospel could reach them. That fact could have been crushing and overwhelming, but for the Kais, it was an impetus to develop a means of beating the clock.

The Kais developed the Training for Trainers (T4T) church-planting program to address the massive need to share the gospel with tens of millions of people in East Asia. Their program trained Christians to start churches whose members would train other Christians to start churches. The result: churches that multiplied far past what IMB missionaries were able to accomplish on their own. One house church network Ying and Grace started reported eighteen generations of Christians who were all using the T4T method — and this was just in a four- to five-year time period.

Ying and Grace saw unprecedented growth in the number of churches and Christians in East Asia. It exceeded any church growth the IMB has seen in its 175-year history, and it still continues today.

And the growth is not limited to East Asia. T4T is now used globally — from the Middle East to Europe, and from Africa to South America. Millions of missionaries and local Christians have been trained in T4T to start churches that start more churches. The Kais’ legacy of faithful evangelism and diligent discipleship continues as churches multiply across languages and national borders.

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