Bible provision in China has had an immense impact on the rapidly growing church, with the number of Christians now estimated at just over 40 million – with 1 million coming to faith each year.
Over the years, many of you have been partners in this mission, allowing Chinese Christians to receive Bibles, some of them for the very first time.
However, there are others in China who are still waiting to receive their own Bible. And your support today can make that happen.
One thing a lot of Christians in China have in common is poverty.
In rural areas, many Chinese people live a simple life based on subsistence farming that has been unchanged for centuries. Others migrate to the cities for work where they live in cramped, miserable conditions surviving on low wages, most of which they send home to their families.
This means that the Bible is a precious gift, something they could not otherwise afford.
So once again we ask you to partner with us to provide Bibles to Chinese Christians so that they can grow their relationship with God through His Word.
The year was 1983 and Yin Jianhui had just graduated from high school.
She was asked by a group of about eight elderly people in her neighbourhood to read the Bible to them because they were illiterate.
At that time, the churches had yet to re-open in the area after the Cultural Revolution.
Thinking it was a good thing to help people, she agreed and soon she came to really enjoy her Bible reading sessions with them.
“I would read a passage of the Bible to them and they would discuss and explain it. One elderly lady, the one who owned the Bible and had been a Christian for many years before the Cultural Revolution, would explain what we’d just heard. I would sit and listen to the explanations, then read for them another passage and so on,” recalled Yin.
“After six months of reading God’s Word to these believers, I became a Christian.” The change was dramatic, and she dedicated her life to serve God and study for ordination.
Now ordained, the Rev. Yin is the Chairman of the Yiyang Christian Council in Hunan Province, overseeing the work of 265 churches and continuing to read and teach the Bible to believers in China.
The Bible changes lives.
At 15, Zhang Tao fell into bad company and drugs. Once hooked, this destructive habit of substance abuse was to plague him for the next 16 years.
“During those 16 years, I suffered tremendous physical and mental torture. Countless times, when the hope of overcoming the addiction diminished, my despair would become unbearable,” Zhang recounted.
Then he received his first Bible at a drug rehabilitation centre. “I held it so carefully in my hands because it felt like I had just received a sacred gift. My heart was filled with joy and I was very touched.
“Reading the Bible moved me to repentance,” he explained. “Now, I have a truly joyful life in Christ. The Word of God has strengthened me to face the challenges of life. Because of His Word, I can press on courageously.”
There are millions more who are desperately waiting for a Bible. You can be part of their story. Your gift will help give the Bible to people longing to receive God’s Word. They are waiting now for their own Bible.