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Distributing Bibles in China

China is not the first place churches think of when considering sending a team overseas. However, there is an exciting opportunity for British Christians there. By Philip Bamber


GB4A 1

The problem

It’s a world away from the Chinese Cultural Revolution, one of the bloodiest eras in the country's history which had profound implications for Christian witness. That movement saw churches closed, missionaries expelled and Bibles burned.
Now, however, the church is growing at a phenomenal rate. Various estimates suggest there are between 15 and 100 million Christian believers in China (from a population of more than 1.5 billion people.) Many China watchers believe the church in China is growing faster than anywhere in the world. 
China has become home to the world’s largest Bible printing press, which produces approximately five Bibles per minute, for both the world market and Chinese believers.

However, there is a problem! There are only 85 government-sanctioned, Bible distribution points across the whole of China where people can freely purchase their own Bible. Each year, typically only three million Chinese Bibles are approved for supply within the mainland.

GB4A 2

It doesn’t take a comprehensive knowledge of China to realise that the need for Bibles always far outweighs the supply. 
For believers living in poor rural communities, these Bible bookshops are simply too far away. Even if people had the money to afford a Bible (which they don’t) it would be impossible for them to get to the nearest location, often hundreds of miles from home. Hundreds of thousands of believers therefore don’t have their own copy of God’s Word. 

One solution

This is where GB4A (Good Books For Asia) comes in. We have a vision to help satisfy the hunger for Chinese Bibles, and are an organisation responsible for legally and openly distributing thousands of Bibles in China each year. 
Working in partnership with pastors from the China Christian Council, GB4A organises short term visits for people from the UK. We join with Chinese believers in distributing thousands of Bibles to economically poor rural communities. 
Many pastors have told us of villages where there may only be one Bible for the whole community. Christians are desperate to own their own copy of God’s Word so that they can read it for themselves, and share it with family and friends.

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Baptist involvement - and an invitation for more

Former President of the Baptist Union, Stephen Gaukroger, is Honorary President of GB4A.
He travels regularly with GB4A and encourages anyone with a heart for sustainable overseas ministry to get involved.
‘There is a huge opportunity for the Church in China today,' Stephen said. 'It is encouraging and challenging to see such passion for the Word of God and the opportunities that currently exist to work with key leaders in the Registered Church.

'I am delighted to be working with GB4A in China to make God’s word available in rural areas.’
Stephen will be leading a study tour to China in June this year. During this trip we expect to place around 10,000 Bibles directly into the hands of church members.

GB4A Gaukroger
Stephen will also be teaching at a Conference for Senior leaders. The conferences, funded by GB4A, are designed to provide advanced teaching and practical training for leaders from rural communities. 

He added, 'I am delighted to be involved in shaping the lives of Senior Leaders in China today using Biblical principles, it is a great honour.

'China has a rich heritage yet is changing fast. Biblical leadership principles apply across all cultures and underpin strong and healthy societies.'

Why not consider coming to see for yourself what God is doing in the great nation of China?  There are still spaces available on a team travelling to China later this year. For more information e-mail pbamber@gb4a.org
If you feel that going to China is not possible for you then why not make a donation towards the cost of the Bibles? Each Bible costs around £3 and you can make donations for Bibles via our Stewardship account: https://my.give.net/BiblesForChina
The Leadership conferences costs GB4A £250 per delegate for travel, food, accommodation and study materials. If your Church would like to cover the costs for one Pastor, please get in touch for more details.

Philip Bamber is National Director GB4A. For more visit: http://www.gb4a.org/

Baptist Times, 02/05/2017
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