China (MNN) – With 1.4 billion people, China is the most populated country in the world. This has made Bible accessibility and availability limited, if you live in rural China.
Around four million Bibles are legally printed by Amity Press for Chinese Christians per year. This has made a deep impact and is inviting believers and unreached people to learn more about Christ.
Rarity of the Bible
Yet, even four million Bibles in China is not enough. God’s Word is still rare and hard to receive in the nation.
“The opportunity for someone to just walk into Barnes and Noble or walk into their local bookstore and buy a Bible is non-existent in China… Nowhere in China can you just buy a Bible,” Bibles for China’s Wendell Rovenstine says.
He shares that many come to Christ in China, but they don’t have access to God’s Word, making it harder to learn more about Him and grow in their relationship with Him.
“There is a great need. That need exists to be able to provide Bibles in China that cannot be purchased anywhere or available anywhere except through a Christian community, and individuals, and ministries, and persons that are able to get Bibles and provide Bibles for those people.”
Rovenstine says that even purchasing a Bible online from inside China is difficult and often, not possible. This tends to be because of inaccessibility to the internet. Those who have been able to purchase Bibles online are few and a majority are in larger cities. In rural towns or villages, it’s virtually impossible to order from or even connect to the internet.
There’s also a lack of legal Bibles from Government approved organizations.
“There’s not a lot of organizations that are able to legally present Bibles in areas where they’re willing to express their need for a Bible,” Rovenstine says.
Bibles for China legally gives Bibles to believers and unreached people, but are still cautious.
“We go to one sensitive area that we’ll only send two foreigners into that area and… we’re not even there to observe, to watch, and be a part of a Bible distribution because it’s so sensitive. So, there’s not going to be a lot of organizations or individuals or persons that are able to smuggle Bibles in or to get Bibles in because they are guarded in their openness and willingness to provide numbers of Bibles.”
Rovenstine says the Chinese Government keeps track of who enters the country, where they’re staying, and other details. This has made it difficult for ministries smuggling Bibles into the country and can sometimes limit their reach and the number of Bibles brought in.
Yet of the ministries working in China that Rovenstine has talked to, “all of them express there’s a great need and there needs to be more people doing this.”
Bibles for China needs people like you to help provide Bibles.
“Our contention is if we all have a passion for the Bible and we’re reading God’s Word and we understand as we read God’s Word, it’s happening right now. That passion, we want to make sure those people [who go] with us to China, has that passion. And secondly, that they have a heart for China.”
Rovenstine says that the ministry’s passion is for the Bible and they see that, “every community is crying out for some sort of redemption.”
He admits that, due to the sheer numbers, many people think providing so many Bibles in China is impossible.
“I’ll be real honest, it’s impossible,” he says.
“There is no way what we do can be done. [It‘s] just God’s Word, God’s move. I feel so humbled and our staff feels so humbled. [God] has given us opportunity to join what He’s doing and we are able to sense and be a part and see the miraculous way in which God is moving through prayers and through our partners to reach individuals with the Bible.”
Is God encouraging you to help make the impossible possible? Get connected to Bibles for China’s trips and help give the Word of God to believers and unreached people.
You can also help provide a Bible for just $5 or pray for God’s provision of Bibles and movement of His Holy Spirit in China.
“We need more Bibles. And so, we’re trusting the Lord at this point. We’re not sure what the future holds, but we’re trusting the Lord at this point that we have developed the networks and relationships to serve them.”