My wife and I lived in Nepal for nearly 10 years. During that time we obtained different types of visas at various times in order to stay in the country. One that we had was a journalism visa. We were given press credentials by small local newspapers and we contributed articles to a number of different publications. As a journalist, I was invited to a number of government functions, which were quasi-press conferences. On these occasions, I met many of the international reporters. I learned a lot at these events.
One of the things that I learned was that many of the international reporters did not have the credentials to do this type of work, much like me. They would file reports with minimal research or verification of the facts. They had not stayed in the country long enough to understand the nuances of the culture and world views of the people.
Additionally, my wife and I would watch many of these reports on television and could easily see how erred these reports became. Particularly galling was when a reporter would say something like, “The Nepali people believe . . . .” The reporter hadn’t been in the country long enough, nor talked to enough people, to be able to accurately ascertain this.
In the American church we have access to a lot of reports on the Chinese church. We see many reports on the persecution of the Chinese church while also reading about the rapid growth of this church. Having personally been to many parts of China several times, I can tell you that most of these reports are based upon truth. However, not surprisingly, many of them have gone beyond the truth to exaggerate a point of view.
China is a very complicated society and culture. What is true in one place, at a particular time, is not true in another place, or at a different time. You often hear the saying, “If you come to China for two weeks, you will think that you learned something about China. If you come for two months, you will think that you know some things about China. If you come for two years, you will be certain that you know nothing about China.”
I say all this to say, that Faith Comes By Hearing is able to do amazing works in China, by the grace of God. It is not easy by any means. We have to do this type of work in the right way and with the right people. Most of what we have done has been at the invitation or request of the right people. In the last four years, we have been able to send 4,400 Audio Bibles to our partners in China. These Audio Bibles are used daily in each location and each reaches as many as 800 people with God’s Word.
You may ask, “Are these Audio Bibles making any difference in the lives of the listeners and their community?” Listen to Hou Xiao Hua’s story: I live away from home to go to school. I have many non-Christian classmates. They give me trouble all the time about my faith. I was afraid of them. Now I want to serve Jesus and be strong and courageous. I am always telling others about Jesus and what He has done for me.
This is what Li Xin Hua has to say: I love Matthew 5:44. It tells me to love my enemies and pray for them. I used to hate them. If they gave me problems or hurt me, I would get back at them. Now I now that God loves these people and I want to love them, also.
While these two stories do not apply to all Audio Bible listeners, the stories are typical of what I hear from them. Lives are being changed through Bible listening in China. They listen more regularly and more fervently than in many other parts of the world. While a lot has been done already, there is much more to do.
We have requests for an additional 22,600 Audio Bibles from this one partner alone, as they have so many “meeting points” that don’t have Audio Bibles yet. To reach the people in these meeting places, more Audio Bibles need to be available. Won’t you help us out?
Image 1: A large church listening group in China.
Images 2 & 3: Hou Xiao Hua and Li Xin Hua in their listening group at church.