China (MNN) — If anyone knows how to throw a party, Wendell Rovenstine of Bibles for China would say that it’s China. He says, “China is a country of festivals. It seems like every time I’m there — whether it’s spring, winter, summer — for those of you who visited China, they’re always firing fireworks.”
However, there is one festival the Chinese anticipate more than any other: the New Year. “The Chinese culture really looks forward to this time for everybody, all families to come home.
“When I’m there and see what transpires and takes place, I’m just overwhelmed at the family unit, the way the Chinese respect their family, the way the children care for the elderly,” says Rovenstine.
All the excitement makes it extremely difficult for organizations like Bibles for China to reach those homes, since the usual volunteers are too busy catching up with their families. “They don’t really have time to be available to assist us and provide Bibles as we do throughout the rest of the year.”
However, things are changing. As Rovenstine looks back at the previous year, he thinks that the impact Bibles for China and other organizations have had will bring them into the New Year in an unusually prepared fashion. “Bibles for China is really happy this year because we believe there’s a lot of homes where families will be together that, for the first time, these homes have a Bible.”
He goes on to say, “There will be families that come home this year during the Chinese New Year, and as they all get together to make dumplings and serve dumplings at the end of the festival, before the children and the families leave to go home, that God’s Word will have been there.”
Even though there have been recent changes to the policies of the Chinese government regarding missions organizations in the past year, Rovenstine is confident “that we can work legally, openly, and when we’re in the presence of our Chinese brothers and sisters, we’re there as observers and as friends.”
Bibles for China has several new strategies they want to enact in the coming year. For example, “One of the things we’re going to be doing in 2017 is we hear from the Chinese leaders that we work with, ‘We have a great need for leadership training materials.’” As a result, Bibles for China will partner with groups like EQUIP to create new materials to better prepare young leaders in the Church in China.
And EQUIP isn’t the only partner Bibles for China is approaching. Rovenstine says anyone can help. “For every $5 given online or given through the mail, every $5 reaches a person for Jesus Christ.”
We’ll connect you right here so you can be a part of the coming year’s program, and as always, remember the organization in prayer as they prepare for new obstacles and new victories to come.