PCI has a long history of involvement in China. Between 1869 and 1951, a total of 91 Irish Presbyterian missionaries worked in Manchuria, in the Northeast, close to China's borders with Mongolia, Russia and Korea.
Facing the challenge of an inhospitable climate and difficult language, the Irish missionaries perservered to establish nine main mission stations, each with 20 to 30 outstations.
Through wars, famines and pestilience they built churches, hospitals and schools, transforming this northeastern region. A triple strategy of interlinking church, hopsital and school, served the PCI mission well with dedicated ministers, doctors, nurses and teachers all playing a vital role in building up the Church in Manchuria.
Despite the expulsion of all foreign missionaries in the early 1950's, the theological college founded by PCI in Manchuria kept going throughout the Cultural Revolution. In the years since, the Church in China has continued to grow and, in Manchuria, many of the congregations started by PCI missionaries are now flourishing with, in some cases, membership numbering several thousands.
For more on the story of PCI's involvement in Manchuria, read "Made in China" by Rev. Dr. Lawrence Kirkpatrick, Professor of Church History and Principal of Union Theological College in Belfast.