CLICK ON "DONATE" IN THE MAIN NAVIGATION AND "RUSTY BIRKELAND"
GATEWAY TO CHINA MINISTRIES
P.O. BOX 711855
SAN DIEGO, CA 92171-1855
John R. Birkeland otherwise known as Rusty, came to Asia as a missionary from 1979. Pastor Ray was one of my teachers at the Calvary Chapel San Diego School of Evangelism (now known as Horizon School of Evangelism).
I first went to Singapore and then in March of 1980 came to Macau to help a medical mission and start a drug rehabilitation program. At the time Macau as a small out of the way place relatively unknown to most of the world. Macau was still a Portuguese colony on the southern cost of China near Hong Kong. Macau has been known as the ‘Gateway to China’ for nearly 500 years. Up until recently Macau has been economically poor and backward.
After Macau’s return to Chinese rule in 1999 Macau has had a lot of changes. One of the major changes is that, although Macau has had legalized gambling and casino’s for close to 100 years, these casinos were small and under the monopoly of a local owner, Stanley Ho. Macau broke up this monopoly in 2000 and in the past 13 years Macau has risen to be the gambling capitol of the world.
Rusty came to Macau as a single missionary. In the early years helped start; drug rehabilitation ministries like “the House of Promise” (connected with a ministry in Hong Kong under Jackie Pulinger), Teen Challenge, and a local ministry called New Life Christian Fellowship. He also pioneered and helped to establish the “Macau Christian Prison Ministries”. In the early years also helped pioneer and establish various local churches and the Macau Bible Institute. In 1989 after attending a Calvary Chapel senior pastors conference the Lord called Rusty to start a Calvary Chapel in Macau to be a role model and a place where ex-drug addicts and ex-prison inmates could come and worship the Lord.
Horizon Christian Fellowship Macau started in November of 1989 by faith. Now we have over 100 people attending this fellowship and we have 3 home fellowships in China. We have sent a missionary to Taiwan who is working full time in prison ministry there and another missionary into FuJian, China serving alongside a local church there. Horizon Macau continues to grow slowly as God continues to grant us freedom to serve Him here in Macau. Much of our ministry is with families suffering from the effects of gambling.
Rusty and Kitty were married July 1990. Kitty, Leung Pui Ling, is from Hong Kong. She came to study in the Macau Bible Institute. After 2 years of ministering together Rusty and Kitty decided to marry. They now have 4 children. Robert Birkeland is 20 and studying a translation degree in Beijing China. He is in his third year and will graduate next year. After graduating he is thinking of going to seminary in the USA to prepare to be a missionary back to China. Rachel Birkeland is 19 and is currently studying in San Diego Horizon School of Evangelism. Rachel will be starting full time study at Horizon University this coming August. She is interested in children’s ministry and wants to serve God. Heather Birkeland is in her Junior year of High School. She is praying about attending Biola University when she finishes High school. Samuel Birkeland is 15 and is a Freshmen in High school.
In 2008, we saw the need to bring more missionaries to Macau and China. With God’s help we were able to establish Gateway to China. Our vision at G2C is to be a help to others who want to serve God in China. God has given us many contacts and opportunities throughout China to help place people into strategic areas of ministry.
Currently G2C has 3 missionaries, Rusty Birkeland, Kyle Younes (serving in Macau with Macau prison ministries and Horizon Macau), and Dawn Souder (serving in Hong Kong with Mother’s Choice). another missionary was in Hainan China for 2 years but is currently in the USA and may be taking a pastoral position in a Chinese Church in New York City! Serving alongside of Rusty at Horizon is Peter White from Calvary Chapel Little Rock, NC. Peter has been here in Macau with us for the past 6 years with his wife and 4 children.