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Yunnan Christians in need of Scripture resources

YUNNAN PROVINCE, China - Christians in Yunnan Province, in southwest China, are in widespread need of contemporary-language Bibles, commentaries, exegetical tools and other aids to learning and growth.
This was the finding by a UBS party which visited the region recently, accompanied by Jiang Zhu Lin, the General Secretary of the Yunnan Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the registered churches.
On a visit to the city of Baoshan they met organisers of training courses for pastors of the churches.
Each month the training centre holds a seven-day training course for pastors and church workers who pay for the training with grain, vegetables and, sometimes, money.
The party moved on to the county of Fugong, an area comprising a main town and many villages scattered throughout the mountains. There, unusually, Christians constitute a majority - some 80 per cent of the 79,000 population.
Last year classes began there to teach orphans to read and write Lisu and Chinese. More than 70 attended and when they first came some could not read a single word. After three months, however, they had begun to read the Bible.
This year, the party learned, more than 130 people have applied for the classes. Of more than 55,000 adult believers in Fugong some 30,000 cannot read or write, and the organisers now plan to hold the classes for three months every year. The visitors also learned of the need for Bible commentaries, resources for devotions, TCV Bibles, hymn books, audio cassettes and computers.


The next stage of their trip took them to the town of Liuku, the capital of Nujiang prefecture. Nujiang has a population of approximately 470,000, of whom 90,000 are Christians, and Liuku has a desperate shortage of pastors: among a local Christian community of some 3,400 believers in 28 churches there are just two, one tending 15 congregations, the other 13.
The Christian Training Centre in Liuku holds an intensive three-month training course every year. The complete course takes nine months in all and so far five classes of students have graduated and 283 preachers have been nurtured.
Mr Jiang told the party about the Dulong people group in the village of Dulong Jiang, in the Gangshan prefecture.
No roads
Until last year there were no roads to the village and even today they are open only from June to November. During the rest of the year heavy snow in the mountains prevents all forms of transport.
Despite such disadvantages, however, mission work amongst the Dulong has taken off in recent years. With nearly a thousand believers the church is well established, has its own preachers, and sends members to training courses in Liuku and Gangshan. By the end of the second term, they can read the Lisu Bible and preach in Lisu.
In Yingjiang Prefecture, on the other hand, the Christians are severely lacking in preachers. Three people groups live there: the Lisu, the Jingpo, and the Han. Believers total 20,000 out of a total population of the prefecture of approximately 200,000.
At a meeting with 14 church leaders and co-workers, the UBS visitors learned that they have only one version of the Jingpo Bible and there is no accompanying commentary, although translation work is in hand. Besides needing more copies of this Bible, they also need copies of the New Testament with Psalms and the Gospels and Scriptures in audio-cassette form for the many people who cannot read.
Joint services
Christians from the three people groups attend joint worship services and use their respective languages to praise, to pray and to read the Scriptures together. For this reason they want to publish a combined hymn book in Lisu, Jingpo and Han.
The tour ended with meetings in Wuding and Luquan, near the city of Kunming. Wuding is home to members of three people groups, the Miao, the East Lisu and the Dry Yi.
Governments officials, church representatives and Bible translators there reported a need for TCV Bibles and materials to aid Bible translation.
Bibles and hymn books
The peoples of Luquan, namely Black Yi, Han, East Lisu and Miao, also need TCV Bibles and hymn books. They were also eager to know about prospects for having the Old Testament translated into their languages.
Summing up the trip, Ms Li said it had inspired them to help those in need. "Although believers there live amid poverty and hardships and lack much materially," she said, "their wholehearted devotion to the Lord and love for others have touched our hearts deeply. This spurs us on. May we never neglect praying for them."


About Yunnan

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Wanding and the Dian-Burma Road

Flying Tigers and Yunnan

The Folk Dances in Yunnan

Nanzhao Kingdom - Dali and the Jinyong's Kungfu Novels

Travel in Yunnan

Yunnan Christians in need of Scripture resources

A Brief Introduction to Minority Nationalities in Yunnan

District of Yunnan







Li Jiang


Xi Shuang Ban Na