9. They happened during threats of persecution.
You can’t just go out to a public lake and start baptizing people in China. Even with the promise of “religious freedom”, the government won’t like that. Many times, baptisms are done privately in bathtubs. The men baptizing these people have all been threatened by local police for sharing the gospel. These baptisms took place at a waterfall on the border of China and Vietnam. They get baptized in private, but the radical new Christian life they live is completely public!
8. They are all from an unreached people group.
The people getting baptized and the men baptizing them are all from the same unreached people group. According to Joshua Project, Christian progress among this unreached people group is deep in the red—meaning there is little to no Christian presence among their tribe. Sad! Can you believe there are still people like this in the 21st century?
7. One of the men baptizing them drunk punched our local missionary!
It’s true. As Within Reach Global local missionary, Brother Yang, was sharing the gospel in a village, he was punched in the face by an irate (and very drunk) local man. But Brother Yang would retuned to the man’s village every week to share about Jesus. 10 months later, the man broke down in tears, touched by Christian love, and gave his life to Jesus. Now he is a missionary to his own people group, and leads baptisms like this!
6. Doctors gave one woman only 5 days to live!
Over the last decade of reaching out to this ethnic tribe, there have been powerful signs and wonders. One of the women was white as a ghost, and the doctors only gave her 5 days to live. But God heard our local missionaries’ prayers. She recovered, got saved, discipled, and ended up marrying one the men baptizing these people. That’s one way for faith to grow! Healing power! So why not make a public declaration that Jesus Christ is Lord?
5. The man in the red shirt is the son of a witch doctor.
Sounds a little crude, I know! But this is not a derogative expression. His father actually was the witch doctor of his village. In fact, when he got saved, his father was irate, and tried to kill him with a butcher knife! His father has recently passed away, and now this young man is leaving a different legacy in his community—a strong Christian witness!
4. None of them have made it past the 3rd grade.
Not only do the men baptizing these people not have Doctor of Divinity degrees, they only have a 3rd grade education! One of them was illiterate until we provided literacy training through Bible school classes. Today they are able to read and preach the word of God. The people getting baptized have less than a 3rd grade education, but they are passionate about their new faith. God truly uses the weak and foolish things of the world to shame the wise and strong!
3. It’s a 3 hour trek to this village.
Unreached people groups are unreached for a reason. They are extremely hard to get to. The roads into this village is a dirt path overlooking banana plantations along the Honghe River. But that doesn’t stop our local missionaries! They are passionate about reaching their own tribe with the gospel. A 2 hour bus, 1 hour handheld tractor ride, and 3 hour trek up the mountain is a normal day in the life of a pioneer missionary on his way to a baptism!
2. These people represent one of the poorest tribes in China.
This tribe is one of the poorest tribes in China. Most of them are banana and pineapple farmers, a lucrative business, if not for the exploitation of rural peasants. They are steeped in poverty, both physical and spiritual. But at long last, God’s riches of salvation are pouring over this precious people group!
1. Despite all odds, these new believers are transforming the unreached communities all around them!
Threats from police? Physical persecution? Health issues? Poverty and illiteracy? Remote villages? Yes, these new Christians have a lot stacked against them. But God is on their side, standing with them, raising up a new generation among this historically unreached people group! Despite all odds, these new believers will be the ones to reach their own communities, and shine the love of Jesus into areas that have never heard the gospel before.
See this post on Within Reach Global.