China (MNN) — When Wendell Rovenstine and his Bibles for China team visited rural China on a recent trip, they were greeted with a pleasant surprise.
In many parts of China, churches are made up of older congregations and leaders who care for the “left-behind” children who stay home while their parents or older siblings work in cities. As a result, that middle generation is largely absent from the Chinese Church.
But not necessarily in rural China, an area where Rovenstine says “God’s spirit is moving and churches are really developing.”
At the prompting of local churches, Rovenstine’s team took a tour of churches in an area where many young people were receiving training and leadership positions.
“At each one of those locations, they had younger men and women that were the leaders of the churches, and it was amazing to see the difference in the makeup of each church compared to what we had been seeing a lot of in China,” Rovenstine says.
“Churches were meeting with younger pastors and younger individuals in the church. There were men in the church and young couples in the church who were becoming followers of Christ and being discipled.”
Though they were excited about the prospect of so many young leaders, the team was nervous about the prospect of immature theology. After all, these were pastors who had only received minimal training.
However, “I’m comfortable saying that the registered churches of rural China are preaching the Gospel, and people are coming to faith in Christ and being discipled.”
That being said, those leaders are hungry for more. In fact, the primary leader Rovenstine’s team worked with said he knew of 2,000 Church leaders with no access to libraries or Bibles.
So Bibles for China is going to help.
“We have designated that we are going to provide that leader with the necessary funds to provide all of his leaders with study Bibles,” Rovenstine says. “We just feel that it’s so important that we provide for them God’s Word so that they’re able to study and understand some of the words and some of the things that are in Scripture to help them be more effective leaders.”