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China tourists: 1 million Bibles in 10 years

SOUTHEAST ASIA (BP)–Since the Southern Cross project began distributing Bibles to Chinese tourists 10 years ago, close to a million Bible packets have been given away — and countless lives have been changed for eternity.

Bibles are difficult to obtain in China, but Chinese citizens are allowed to bring a Chinese Bible home with them from a trip abroad. So in 2001 Southern Baptists began handing out packets of Christian literature to Chinese tourists at three top vacation spots in Asia.

During the next Southern Cross project, set for Jan. 30 to Feb. 6, mission volunteers from five states — Georgia, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia — will engage Chinese tourists during Chinese New Year celebrations in Southeast Asia.

Supporters will have an opportunity this time to follow the volunteers as they introduce God’s written Word to thousands of unsaved Chinese by logging onto a live, daily coverage at www.mReport.org. From Jan. 30 to Feb. 6, www.mreport.org will carry first-hand accounts of those who receive Bibles for the first time, as well as the impact this ministry has on the volunteers.

Southern Cross worker Greg Thomas* estimates these packets, which contain a Bible, the “JESUS” film, various tracts and Christian DVDs, have reached about 8 million Chinese. Most of the Bibles taken back to China are pulled apart and passed around underground churches as chapter passages. The tracts and DVDs are also passed from one person to the next, often reaching as many as 10 Chinese from one tract.

Thomas says Southern Cross supporters around the world can be involved in three ways:

Praying: Pray alongside volunteers during the largest mass Chinese vacation of the year — Chinese New Year — at www.mreport.org. Southern Cross workers say there is a direct correlation between the amount of prayer and the number of packets given away.

Giving: Supporters can be involved in getting Bibles to China without even traveling to Asia. Each packet of Bibles costs about $3.45. Gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Cooperative Program help support Southern Cross.

Going: Southern Cross needs 36 new teams to come work three different popular Chinese vacation spots in Asia. For more information, e-mail [email protected].
*Name changed. The next Southern Cross project, Jan. 30 to Feb. 6, will be live-blogged at www.mreport.org. You can join six volunteer teams as they pray and distribute packets of Christian literature. To learn how to get involved in the Southern Cross Project, e-mail [email protected]. Sue Sprenkle has been travelling the globe for more than a decade as a writer and photographer for the International Mission Board. She currently resides in Southeast Asia.