While a U.S. Marine, stationed in Washington D.C. I made the acquaintance of numerous university students from China, most of whom were Christians. I also met U.S. citizens of several generations who were of Chinese ancestry, and I was impressed by the people, their nation, culture, and history.
That was in the year 1960. For almost half a century, I have continued being drawn to China; especially because of what God is doing in the churches there. I’ve also learned to like Chinese cuisine and to eat it properly with chop sticks. Some of my reading since then has been concerning China and in particular, about Christianity in that far away, ancient and mysterious land.
My interest, and my Lord, led me to a ministry with students from many nations of the world, but the Chinese were always my favorites. My wife and I had the marvelous opportunity of starting a Bible study for Chinese university students that a few years later became the first Chinese Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Many years later, my interest and burden for China has never abated. The Lord even gave me opportunity to travel in China with my son David and we were not tourists; we were Bible smugglers. Praise God.
Many years later, when preaching in Siberia I believed God was leading me to challenge the Russian pastors who were present to consider missions work into China. A year later, some of them approached me with, “We want to hear more about China.” Several of them have answered God’s call to take God’s Word to the most populous nation in the world which forbids distribution of the Bible anywhere outside of communist controlled churches. That same government also exercises some of the most vicious and cruel persecution against Christians anywhere. Since the beginning of the past century, more believers have been martyred for the faith in China than in all other nations combined.
Sergei (not his real name.) had the greatest burden. He taught himself the Chinese language and began, smuggling larger numbers of Bibles than we could ever think of. We had suitcases; he had a car.
Our strategy changed. Sergei and others, could go to China ten times for what it cost David or myself to go once. He could take at least ten times as many Bibles as we. He could also speak the language and we could not. We determined to never return, but to send our Russian friends in our place.
The story unfolds in a way that only God could have engineered. Russian tree farmers give timber to a company run by Christians who turn trees into paper. They, in turn, give paper to a sympathetic business man who prints Chinese Bibles. He donates Bibles to truckers who are believers, who deliver them to some of our, “contacts.” Thus far, neither we nor the Russian pastors and evangelists have spent one dollar. Amazing!
Traveling long distances by car, however, does cost money: gas, car repairs, food, lodging, customs fees, visas, phone calls, etc. On average, a whole Bible can be hand delivered to a new convert in China for only $1.00 each. It has been done for as little as 60 cents each.
Friends and partners send dollars to Bibles For Russia, Inc. (parent organization of BFC). We get the money into the right hands, and Bibles are delivered. What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ functioning to accomplish a feat some people would call impossible. Will you join the team?
Alfred and David McCroskey
Bibles for Russia and Bibles for China
P.O Box 69
Florence, Alabama 35631