Friday, May 02, 2008

Cal's report from China!

"It was nineteen years ago when I first went to China with Bibles. Five of us successfully got 1,300 lbs. of Bibles to northern China. "Charles" met us and got our load safely to the Christians. Feeling like a hero of the Cross after a long, hot, dirty train ride, I asked him about who all was receiving this shipment of Bibles. "It sure was a lot of work to get them here. I sure hope that they appreceiate them."

Charles told us that our load was slotted for 50 house-Church pastors who were currently students at a big university in the city. It was the middle of June. They were to graduate at the end of June and return to their home cities with Bibles. Charles had give one of them a Bible and a couple of Gospel tracts in early March. As a student, this pastor got the equivalent of $.50 per day for food. For $.20 daily, this pastor could buy one scoop of steamed white rice. At the end of every week he saved enough money from not eating to purchase a postage stamp and an envelope. For three and one-half months he tore a couple of pages out of his Bible and weekly sent them home to his city in southwest China. Charles had just visited him the night before our arrival. He was having dizzy spells, had blacked-out once, and had some internal bleeding. Out of three stages of malnutrition, this guy was in number two! Charles lovingly advised him to not send any pages home that week but to buy and eat some vegetables, fruit, and meat. After all, he would be back home in two weeks. The young pastor/student replied, "Brother, you hurt me."

"I'm sorry. What is it?" asked Charles.

This humble Christian went on, "Brother, you offend me. You don't know what you are talking about. In my home city, we have a church of over 200 Christians ready to die for Jesus. Many more people are hungry to know about God also. In our church, we only had two pages of the Bible. When you become a new believer, and are ready to die for Jesus, and get baptized, then you get to look at one of page of the Bible. You do nothing else until you have that page memorized. Then, you give it back to the church and the next person starts memorizing it so the pages are always being memorized. We pray and take turns fasting, asking God to give our church one Bible. How can I sin against God? How can I sin against my brothers and sisters in my home church by living here in luxury with a Bible and not sharing it with them?"

I didn't feel like a hero of the Cross anymore. I repented and asked God to teach me to love and to give like that. Thus, I keep taking teams back to China to bless our persecuted brothers and sisters.

In my next column, I'll describe how you can help get Bibles into China through the mail, financial donations, and taking them in yourself.

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