Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Reformed Translation Fellowship Head Visits China

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
The aged Reformed Translation Fellowship (RTF) executive secretary, Dr. Charles Chao and his wife Pearl, who had to flee from China many years ago due to religious persecution, returned last September to teach theology courses for young evangelists who work in the house churches in mainland China. One course used Dr. Chao's translation of Louis Berkhof's "The History of Christian Doctrine." According to Dr. Chao there are reports of harassment and persecution of the house churches by Public Security Bureau officials. The threat of imprisonment is real for Christians, but on entering China they passed customs without difficulties, even though they brought 60 copies of the Chinese literature outlines to be distributed to the trainees. This was Dr. Chao's opportunity to teach from the book he had translated. The Chaos rented a van to travel to the town where the classes were to be held. They began their journey after dark. It was not without danger. After driving about an hour they were stopped by eight soldiers of the People's Liberation Army, who wanted a free ride. Having arrived at their destination, the Chaos met the trainees who had come from various places in China, most from Central China, some from Xingjian Province, some from Tibet, and a few from Manchuria. About 60 workers met with Dr. Chao in a basement 50 by 50 feet for ten days straight, all day long, with poor ventilation, poor lighting and poor food, without going outside once for air. Dr. Chao writes: "The Lord sustained us and we did not have any problems from our entry to and departure from China." It is apparent that the evangelistic work of many young converts in China is spreading the Gospel like a fire all over the nation. The house church group that RTF works with now has 8,000 full-time evangelists and 15,000 lay leaders. Twenty-five thousand Bibles per month are needed for new converts, and 1,250 reference Bibles for itinerant evangelists. RTF needs help in this effort. The Bible League is helping RTF in this effort. It has set up a challenge fund of $100,000 US to double contributions made for Bibles to China. Asian business men have doubled that challenge, so that for the $3.00 US for one Bible the Bible League will be able to send three standard Union translation Bibles (RTF Newsletter, Winter 1994). Some of our congregations have had presentations by the Bible League and contributed towards Bibles for China already. Anyone wishing to contribute towards Bibles for China or learn more about the work of translation and publication of sound Reformed literature into Chinese, may contact the Reformation Translation Fellowship, 302 E. First Street, Bloomington, IN 47401, U.S.A. RTF originated from mission work in China by the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Covenanters) in the U.S. Its doctrinal basis is the Westminster Confession of Faith.
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