Guangen lives high in China’s Cloudy Mountains, where the air is thin, where the mist rolls in thick and where he says he feels close to God. “One of my favourite passages is the one that says that God is the creator of heaven and earth,” says Guangen. “We feel that in this area, God speaks Black Yi—one of China’s minority languages.” China’s national language is Mandarin Chinese, but China’s Education Ministry reports that approximately four hundred million people—or 30% of the population—don’t speak it. For people like Guangen from China’s ethnic minority groups, having a Bible in Mandarin won’t cut it. For years, Guangen longed to hear from God in his heart language: the same language he prays in, barters in, and uses to coax his chickens out to eat. Finally, one day, Guangen heard a beautiful rumour that the town’s pastor was going to deliver the Word of Life in Black Yi. Could it be that God would meet us here, all the way up in the mountain, 9,000 feet above sea level?
A lot has changed in China since the Cultural Revolution. But one thing hasn’t: Bibles are still as precious as ever. It might sound small to you, but a shipment of 20 Bibles to the Cloudy Mountains of China made a big difference to the residents there. Can you envision those believers waiting up at midnight? They were huddled in churches, watching the door, waiting for Pastor Wenfu to arrive with the Bibles that had been translated into their native tongue, Black Yi. There weren’t enough Bibles for everyone that night. But that put no damper on their enthusiasm. The community was happy to share copies, just to read what God had to say to them in their tongue. “Everyone wanted to read it,” Guangen reports. “We were all very excited to have our own copies of the Bible.” Community members held out their hands, tears streaming down their cheeks, eager to receive their treasure, their 20 Bibles. Your prayers and gifts translated, printed, and distributed these Black Yi Bibles—and 10,000 more! Guangen was among the ﬁrst to be given a Bible. “When the pastor brought the box of 20 Bibles in the village, I was so happy,” Guangen says. Guangen was ‘so happy’ because he had waited a lifetime for his Bible. He was only 18, still a teenager, when religion was outlawed in China. By the time the worst of the restrictions had been lifted, he was nearly 30, an adult. When he was 41, he met Jesus and believed. Guangen waited and prayed for a Bible for the next 28 years. Then, when he was 69 years old, you answered his prayers and provided a Bible for him. He ﬁnally held his ﬁrst Black Yi Bible. You made Guangen ‘so happy’