China (MNN) — It's a time of leadership transition in China. It happens every five years. It's set to happen again in November. How will this transition time affect ministry in China?
President of Voice of China and Asia Jonathan Brooks says Chinese officials want harmony during this time. "Pressures are put on everybody just to try to maintain the status quo, so we're seeing a little pressure on everybody inside China just to kind of hold things steady to allow the new government to come in, to have a nice smooth transition."
While transition can be good, nobody's certain what will happen with this transition, especially now, says Brooks. "Right now there's not much outside political pressure on China to do much of anything. So, we're concerned. We feel like now is a time to really be touching China for Jesus Christ in every way we can because with the transitions coming up, we just don't know which way things will go for China and it's believers."
Despite these uncertainties, VOCA continues their work to train rural pastors. Brooks says, "The Voice of China and Asia is taking on the task of providing rural pastors with training that they never thought they would have before. We go into rural areas and gather rural pastors. We bring them in for a two-day seminar, and we give them a pastor's study Bible and teach them how to use it."
The Bibles have notes, pictures, charts, cross references, and commentary to help them in their work. "These pastors have never seen anything like this," says Brooks. "I've even talked to some who have had up to a year of training, and they've said they've never seen a pastor's study Bible like this. They're so overwhelmed that they would be included in something like this because they're rural pastors. They don't have money for training."
VOCA has a goal. "If we could train up to 7,000 this next year, oh, our hearts would be so fulfilled. We just need the resources to do it. If you train one pastor and give him a pastor's study Bible, he's going to touch 150 people a week with that."
Your financial support is needed for this work, which is being done legally inside China. VOCA purchases the study Bibles in China, then they're distributed to ministry partners inside the country who verify the distribution. Your $100 gift to VOCA will help four pastors shepherd, on average, 600 people.
If you'd like to help VOCA help train a pastor, click here.