Chinese Christian reading the Bible
Officials for the Bibles Unbound outreach say while there actually are some Bibles printed in China, the numbers are controlled and never approach the demand. One expert estimate said at a publication rate of a million Bibles a year, it would take more than 100 years to meet the requests from the current population.
Shipments of the Bible into China also are limited, but VOM, an aid organization that helps persecuted Christians worldwide, said the new effort coordinates the names and addresses of those in China who are asking for Bibles with volunteers in the free world who are willing to buy a few each month, remailing them directly to homes and offices in China and other nations with Bible import restrictions.
The program counts on the fact that not even government efforts can catch every New Testament as they move through the mail system one at a time.
“Even as you read this, persecuted Christians are gathering names and addresses from their communities with a single request, ‘Please send Bibles,’” a description of the program announces. “Names and addresses are being collected from China to Colombia, and from Cuba to the Middle East and are being submitted to The Voice of the Martyrs to be included.”
The program works this way: volunteers in free nations sign up to receive five or more New Testaments per month, in the appropriate language, with all the needed packing and postage to mail them directly to a Christian in a restricted nation.
Right now the program is set up to mail Bibles into China or Egypt, but the procedures are being assembled for sending the Word into additional nations, VOM said.
Senders then will get an e-mail notification as those Bibles leave the United States.
“Watch your list grow each month as you view the Bibles Unbound website, reviewing all the people who have sent Bibles to and see a cross placed on the map for each country you have mailed Bibles to,” VOM said.
“This is an incredible opportunity to partner with today’s persecuted church in sharing the gospel in today’s highly restricted nations,” VOM said.
Costs are covered by monthly contributions from volunteers, officials said.
The name of the outreach comes from the New Testament message from Paul to Timothy, that, “Wherein I suffer trouble as an evil-doer, even unto bonds, but the Word of God is not bound.”
Ministry CEO Tom White said persecuted Christians even today are willing to risk being beaten and imprisoned for their faith, and VOM supports them in many ways.
“When they asked us to begin mailing individual Bibles into their communities, we immediately knew that was an incredible way to join forces with them,” he said.