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Story from China

April 17, 2024 |  By Sue Morris

Many years ago, China Harvest, China Reach, and Cornerstone Ministry partnered with other groups to organize the Church Planting Campaign. One house church leader asked for a large-print Bible. One year after he received the Bible, he reported that 10,000 people had come to know the Lord from that one large-print Bible. That is a tremendous impact! However, with the elderly population in China being so large, there is still a vast need for large-print Bibles. If each Bible sent reached 10,000 people with salvation, the need is still to send 29,700 Bibles at the cost of $891,000.00!

The Elderly are Hungry for God

Dennis Layman, Regional Director for East Asia at Advancing Native Missions, shared exciting news about China: “God is really moving to create a spiritual hunger among the old people. These people are at the end of their lives, and there is a real spiritual hunger.” A recent report from the Church Planting Campaign stated that they have been spreading the Gospel in China among people who are 60 years old and older.

The number of older people in China is about 297 million, which is the combined population of Russia and Japan. Many of these elderly Chinese citizens have poor vision, and most have no money to purchase glasses. Consequently, they can’t read regular print Bibles. The need for large-print Bibles for them to be able to read and study is tremendous and ongoing. Having a Bible of their own impacts them and gives them joy.

Bible Campaign Supplies Three Needs

Dennis told me that ANM just ended a campaign on January 31 in cooperation with China Harvest, China Reach, and Cornerstone Ministry to send $63,400 for three types of Bibles to be distributed in China. That money will purchase about 2,110 Bibles total. Only one-third of them will be large-print Bibles for the elderly. One-third of the Bibles will be pastor’s study Bibles. Not many materials are available for pastors to study and prepare sermons and lessons. Having a study Bible is a profoundly beneficial resource for the pastor. The final third of the money will be spent to purchase Children’s Illustrated Bible Storybooks. The children love the colors and illustrations. Many are given to children who can’t read. Their parents read the Bible to them, consequently leading the parents as well as the children to accept Jesus as their Savior.

One ANM partner shared that a kindergarten student was given an Illustrated Bible. Two weeks later, the child and his parents began attending the church that distributed the Bibles. The entire family accepted Jesus as their Savior. Soon, the parents reported that they had received permission to read the Illustrated Bible to their child’s kindergarten class. How many will that one Bible reach with the Gospel? Only in heaven will we find out!

Furthermore, one exciting story from the Church Planting Campaign was about a man in his 60s who accepted Jesus as his Savior. With the desire to share his joy, he invited his neighbors to his home so he could tell them about Jesus. The four neighbors who attended received salvation that day. Their decisions motivated the man to start a church in his home. The Church Planting Campaign provided him with study materials, Bibles, and training books covering Christian theology and practical Christian living. What an inspiring story. Those new believers need Bibles.

Strategy to Reach the Countryside

Also, another strategy churches use is to have members conduct door-to-door evangelism in the countryside during the winter months when farmers can’t work the frozen ground. Church members have seen this strategy multiply the reach of the evangelists. As people are saved, they share the Gospel with their friends and family, leading to more conversions. Thankfully, the evangelists in the northeast of China are facing little opposition. Many are saying yes to Jesus. Where will they get Bibles?

The Need for More Bibles is Great

As the stories of the three types of Bibles illustrate, and as Dennis stated, “The need [for Bibles] is ongoing and never-ending. It’s just the need. It’s always there. They can’t supply it.” You can help ensure that the pastors, children, and elderly of China are supplied with a Bible to bless them and others they will reach.

You can download the 7 Days of Prayer for Missionaries Guide to learn specific ways to pray for those working to reach the unreached with the Gospel.