China (MNN) — The Great Commission ranks among the best-known Scripture passages for Christians.
In Matthew 28, Jesus gave this command to the apostles shortly before He ascended into heaven, and it essentially outlines what Jesus expected the apostles–and those who followed them–to do in His absence.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The best estimates are that this was said roughly 2000 years ago. Those who follow Christ are still doing it today. Bibles For China says the best way to make disciples is through God’s Word. In the China of 50 years ago, that was tough to do. In the China of today, though, it’s a totally different story, says President Wendell Rovenstine. Amity Printing prints millions of Bibles in Nanjing, China. ”They only produce 4 million Bibles a year. There are people that are coming to Christ that could fulfill that need itself…. There is always a tremendous need for Bibles and will be for a long time.”
What it means, explains Rovenstine, is that the Gospel is still changing hearts in rural China. In fact, teams that are heading over in October and November have a big job. “We’re going to a Christian factory where the owners are Christians, the people that work in the factory are Christians, and it’s recognized by the government as a Christian business. We’re taking a large number of Bibles to that factory, and we’re going to be an encouragement to the factory workers.” Rovenstine says they’ll leave extra Bibles so the factory workers can leave them in factories, shops, or other businesses, in a move similar to the Gideons.
The eagerness for God’s Word isn’t only in possessing it. It is also in understanding it. Many of the new believers have grown up in an atheistic society. The learning curve on understanding life’s manual is pretty big. That’s why church leadership asked Bibles For China, “Would you be able to spend a day with us and just share the Bible with us: how to study it, how to work through it, and be an encouragement to the leaders that are coming to faith in Christ?”
One thing led to another, and now the plan is to meet with 200 believers after the last distribution in November 2015. ”We’re just going and following up after the distribution of Bibles for a day of training individuals to be leaders, to know what the Word of God says, understand the Trinity, understand the Creation, understand the basic things that we take for granted that everybody knows.”
The cost is surprisingly minimal. “$5 purchases a Bible from Amity Press. Amity Press drop ships or sends those Bibles to where we’re going to be with the partners that we’re working with within China,” says Rovenstine. However, they’re talking big numbers. “Our minimum for next year will be 10,000 Bibles per trip that we take into China, and we’re trusting the Lord next year to do at least 8 trips.”
The impact? From the Bibles For China Web site:
Over the years, Bibles for China has worked with several in-country partners. One of those partners conducted an informal survey one year after a Bible distribution. Their findings were that many of the Bibles had been read cover-to-cover in 6 weeks, most Bibles were shared with 5 others (both friends and family), and 3 of those 5 committed their life to Christ after reading the Bible. Isaiah 55:11 tells us that God’s Word will “achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Do you think you could help place a few Bibles in rural China? Click here for details.