Cai* lives in a small, isolated village near Southern China. He recently shared the remarkable story of how the Gospel first came to his village.
Cai’s father was the first member of his village to receive the Gospel and become a follower of Jesus. Cai’s father had never heard of Jesus. He had never seen a Bible, never met a pastor or evangelist, and had never attended a church service. Indeed, not one church existed in his home area.
But one day in 1988 Cai’s father was listening to his radio when he heard a broadcast from Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) in his native language. As he listened to the Good News about Jesus, he was deeply moved. Right then, in response to the Gospel message, he committed his life to Jesus. That was the beginning of Cai’s family and village following the Christian faith.
Since Cai’s father had no Bible, FEBC broadcasts were his only means of learning about Jesus and following Him. Soon Cai’s uncle also believed and joined Cai’s father on his journey of faith.
They listened to the broadcasts, hungry to hear more of Jesus and the Word of God. These two brothers were initially persecuted for their faith because they refused to worship idols and get drunk with the other villagers. Their friends thought their changed behavior was strange. However, over time, they won many of their neighbors to the Lord because they began to see and respect the quality of their new lives.
The other villagers also saw how the Lord blessed Cai’s family. When Cai’s dad became a Christian, the family was very poor. As a young seven year-old boy, Cai remembers knowing real hunger. He and his family were desperate for any kind of sustenance, even the most simple grain. Yet after his father’s conversion, the family began to prosper. No longer were their resources wasted on alcohol and gambling. Relationships were healed and a sense of unity and purpose filled the home. Members of the family now recognize that this transformation was the result of the Lord’s blessings.
But they still had no Bible. Then one day, Cai’s father heard there was a Bible in a town some miles away. So he traveled several days just to see this Bible. When he arrived, he spent days copying portions of the Bible and then brought the hand-written portions back to his family. Now the family enjoys reading the Bible.
Cai remembers the impact that his father’s faith had on his family. It encouraged him to commit his own life to the Lord as well.
Cai is now passing on this rich legacy of faith as a dedicated and gifted faculty member at a Bible school, and by passing on his faith to his two sons.
It never gets old…hearing stories of changed lives as a result of one person tuning in and hearing the Good News in their native language. While much of the world turns to modern technology to hear our broadcasts, clearly many still tune in through shortwave, such as Cai’s father.
*name changed to protect identity