“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
looking for fine pearls. When
he found one of great value, he went away and
sold everything he had and
bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46

hundred-foot-long tugboat Michael lumbered along at the sleepy speed of
knots. It towed the semi-submersible barge, Gabriella, loaded with
million Chinese Bibles in 232 waterproof wrapped one-ton packages. By 9
on that historic night of June 18, 1981, Michael and its crew of twenty
weaved through a maze of anchored Chinese navy ships in the darkness near
port city of Shantou, southern China. Thousands of local Christians
patiently in the darkness on the appointed beach.

off-loaded floating packages were towed to shore by small rubber
Chinese believers came out in the water—some up to their neck. They
pulled the
blocks up onto the beach and cut them open with shears, handing
the 45-pound
cardboard boxes of Bibles to one another up the sand to the

Two hours later, Michael and Gabriella and the crew left the
scene with one
million Bibles in the care of Chinese believers. They promised
to circulate
them across the entire country. In some cases, that process took
as much as
five years and many Chinese Christians paid dearly for

Over the past 30 years, Open Doors has received documented story
story—often from unusual places and situations—of the impact of those
on the fast growing church in China. Project Pearl Bibles have been
seen in
virtually every province of the country.

A former colleague of
mine from Singapore continues to minister in China. In
the late 1990s, he met
a large house church network of Christians in central
China who still had no
contact at all with foreigners from outside the
country. They testified that
it was the receiving of many Project Pearl Bibles
that encouraged them and
motivated them to share the gospel widely and thus
grow to their current
significant numbers.

One of those pocket-sized Bibles was received by a
young Christian who had
been praying for a Bible of his own for three years.
After reading it through
three times in three weeks, he felt God calling him
to become one of the many
itinerant evangelists preaching in China’s
countryside. After fifteen years of
ministry, he pastored a network of house
churches that grew to over 400,000
members. His network of churches continues
to need more than 20,000 Bibles a
month just for new

RESPONSE: I will appreciate the several Bibles I have and
commit myself to
learning and living from it.

PRAYER: Pray for
Christians today in a variety of situations who are still
waiting for their
first copy of God’s Word.

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