by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
Can you count the number of printed Bibles and Bible portions you have in your home? No doubt you have more than the number of people in your family. Even young children have their own versions. Include multiple, different translations and paraphrases and Scriptures in various formats for devotional reading. Perhaps someone has a copy of the New Testament in Greek or the Old Testament in Hebrew. If you make this a family adventure and get everyone involved, you might be amazed at how rich your access to God’s Word is. What a blessing!
The fact remains, however, that millions of Christians worldwide do not own even one printed copy of the Bible. One place where this is true is China. I wrote a story for kids about this that is published on Amazon in a collection of tales focusing on children in unchurched areas of the globe – Kids’ THUMB Adventures. I also have a presentation based on a story published by FEBC that follows the adventures of one Chinese Bible until it’s literally worn to pieces. Contact me to receive this.
Once you’ve alerted family members of this situation, you’ll want to do something about it, right? Good! Because that brings me to the main point of this blog entry. I recently received my copy of the August 2016 issue of Asia Harvest with an exciting report. It begins in the 1980’s with examples of Bible smuggling; you’ve no doubt heard about this. The account then relates a dramatic turn in the year 2000 when God enabled Asia Harvest to begin printing and distributing Bibles inside China. Since 2000, a little over 15 years ago, the number has jumped to more than ten million! The article continues:
That seems like a huge, miraculous number, but still the need remains. The rural churches of China continue to experience a massive famine of God’s Word today. An extensive survey by many house church networks revealed a shortage of 34 million Bibles, just for each member of their fellowships to personally own a copy of God’s Word.
This has not been an easy task. China has crafted one of the most sophisticated and intrusive security mechanisms of any country on earth. They are determined to control the population, and they don’t hesitate to crush any perceived threats to their authority. Printing or distributing Bibles this way inside China carries the risk of a three-year prison sentence without trial for those involved. Many have been willing to count the cost.
Against all odds, the Lord has taken a small ministry and has provided ten million Bibles to his Church in China. Perhaps one day in the future, things will change and God’s Word will be freely available in this vast land. Until that time, as long as the Lord Jesus enables us, we will continue to supply as many Bibles as possible, at the cost of just $1.80 per full Bible. All glory to the Lamb of God!
Here are suggestions for action after you share this information with your family:
- Bring as many of your Bibles and Bible portions as you can; stack them up on the dining room table, or in the family room. Join hands to circle them and spend some time thanking the Father for this bounty, asking for wisdom to spend time reading and applying God’s Word to your lives.
- Consider challenging family members to earn $1.80 for each of the Bibles or Bible portions they own. Set a date to collect these funds, and send this to Asia Harvest. You can request a copy of the August issue and enjoy the full story with graphs and illustrations – great reading material.
(God’s) Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105