The Church Unleashed in Tibet
One of the great features from The Mission of God Study Bible is titled “The Church Unleashed.” It is a series of essays written by missionary personnel from around the globe. The stories they tell are compelling are several levels. Today, I want to share the story of some of our fellow believers working in Tibet. The names have been withheld to protect their identity. I hope you will be encouraged by their faithfulness.
– submitted by a worker in Tibet
The Northern Kham Tibetans of Western China have no church among them as of yet, and only a handful of believers have turned from their Tibetan Buddhist beliefs to follow Christ as their Lord and Savior. In recent years political turmoil, ethnic tensions, and natural disaster have awakened a fresh urgency among the Chinese house churches to reach the Northern Kham Tibetans with the Gospel. Decades long ignorance and apathy among Chinese Christians has begun to melt away and is being replaced with a genuine and passionate desire to reach these remote mountain people hurt by political marginalization, bigotry, and deadly disaster.
Our God is sovereign over the nations, and over His mission to receive praise from every tongue, tribe, and people. He wills and acts through a host of divinely ordained circumstances. It is when His church recognizes this and joins Him in these circumstances that we experience the joyous victories of seeing hearts changed, ancient belief systems abandoned, and lives transformed by His loving grace.
In recent years the Chinese house church has been instrumental in seeing God’s Kingdom come to the Northern Kham Tibetans. By His grace they have begun to recognize the multitude of ways that the Lord moves and are reaching out to minister through difficult circumstances such as deadly earthquakes and ethnic tension. By combining simple acts of love and compassion to the bold proclamation of the Gospel, these Chinese believers are modeling true reconciliation. Not only ethnic reconciliation but what it means to be reconciled to God Himself. Because of their powerful testimony these bold servants are seeing fruit for the first time ever among these remote and unreached people.
However, the task remains unfinished until a thriving New Testament Church is raised up among the Northern Kham Tibetans. Close attention to the Gospel message by both Chinese Christians as well as western Great Commission workers is a must. The challenge for both the Chinese and foreign cross-cultural worker alike is to remain faithful to the Gospel of justification by faith in the atoning work of Christ as the only means of salvation for the unreached. We pray that threats to biblical orthodoxy such as inclusivism will not place obstacles in the path of biblical proclamation of the gospel and the planting of healthy churches.
A humble, rigorous, and deep understanding of biblical truth as it applies to the whole of life is a challenge that needs to be maintained for the sake of the future Northern Kham Tibetan church. Lives centered on the Gospel are a must. Future challenges and obstacles are no doubt great, but greater hope can be found in the knowledge that Christ Himself tells us that He will build His church, and that not even the gates of hell will prevail against it.