“Don’t Forget about the One”: The Bible Bus in Japan and China
November 28, 2018
By Gregg Harris, Thru the Bible president
“Take the whole Word to the whole world” . . . that’s what we’re committed to do at Thru the Bible. But a practical question we ask ourselves all the time is, “How can we make sure we’re stewarding well the opportunities and funds entrusted to us?”
To date, Thru the Bible reaches people in over 190 countries in over 120 heart languages. Sometimes, the best way to discern and ensure that God’s Word is taught and delivered effectively in those places is to actually go there. It’s in conversations over Turkish coffee in the Middle East, or redbush tea in Africa, coconut juice in Asia—or Coca-Cola anywhere in the world—that you can better understand the heart of a ministry leader for their region of the world.
A face-to-face meeting is especially important when a new ministry launches—to ensure new field staff catch Thru the Bible’s vision and values. It’s also a great way to keep more mature language initiatives on track in a rapidly changing media landscape.
For all of these reasons, I recently traveled to Japan and China. As you know, just over a year ago, Thru the Bible-Japanese re-launched on 11 FM stations across Japan. What a wonderful open door! I wanted to encourage our TWR ministry partner there to start strong while plowing this spiritually hard ground. I came away with confidence that God opened these doors, and He also wants to expand our reach in Japan where less than 1% of the 127 million souls know Jesus as their Savior.
We may never hear a lot of great stories of how God is working in Japan, but our partner there reminded me, “Don’t forget about the one.” Jesus told us about the shepherd who left the 99 to find the one lost sheep (Matthew 18:12-14).
One of those lost sheep is a wonderful man named Pastor Takashi. He heard Thru the Bible in Japanese via shortwave in the 1980’s and gave his life to Jesus Christ. He began to minister in Japan, using Thru the Bible as the sole basis of his ministry—he had no other biblical resources in his language. In 1992, he went to Mongolia as a missionary. He saw the spiritual needs there and prayed that Thru the Bible would develop a Mongolian broadcast. He was thrilled when that project launched in 2014 and thanked God his prayers were heard. (Watch Pastor Takashi’s short video here.)
Thru the Bible’s ministry in China is decades old via shortwave radio that reaches hundreds of millions of people living in the countryside. If you’re on the World Prayer Team, you know we’ve been praying for options to reach cities where all the people have cell phones and Internet access but do not listen to shortwave. My visit in China focused on how we can use technology more effectively to see that every Mandarin and Cantonese speaker on earth has access to the whole Word.
Spiritual persecution is still a reality in China. I (quietly) met with a woman we called Sister Chou. She loves Thru the Bible-Mandarin and listens every day on the Bible Bus flash drive. That little device is a treasure to her. She asked me all about Dr. McGee and took careful notes as I shared about him, about our global outreach, about the World Prayer Team, etc. She joins us in praying for the world.
Pastor Takashi and Sister Chou are just two out of “the 100” whom Jesus wants us to seek out and bring home through our global media ministry. Thank you for your continued intercession. God is bringing fruit from your labor of love.