What would you do for a copy of the New Testament?
In countries where open evangelism of the Gospel is illegal or dangerous, anti-Christian sentiments make Scripture inaccessible for most believers. That’s why these countries are known as “creative-access nations”; the Body of Christ has to be creative in the way they reach local believers.
Bruce Smith of Wycliffe Associates is familiar with the kind of creative solutions these locations require.
In countries like these, “Proselytism would certainly be opposed and regulated, so the local people have their own ways of living out their faith, being a testimony, and sharing their faith in ways that are acceptable within their circles, even though they might be frowned upon or opposed by the government structures.”
Collaboration Project in Asia
But Smith is also familiar with how much easier it is to find creative solutions when local believers collaborate with outside groups. Such is the case in one Asian country* where Christians are a minority religious group who face government-structured persecution.
“10 groups basically are in the neighborhood and they’ve heard and seen the advancement of Bible translation in their surrounding neighboring language group, and so they’ve approached us out of this arena,” Smith says.
“This is not a place where we sort of stuck a pin in a map and said, ‘We’re going to go in there no matter what the issues are,’ this is the place where they’re coming out to us and saying, ‘If it’s able to go forward with our neighbors that can certainly go forward with us.’”
Their current partners in this country are members of a house church network complete with church leadership and structure. There are even elders in the network.
“They’re not only connected locally and regionally but internationally as well,” Smith says. “They didn’t become Christians in a vacuum, so they have a history of connection to evangelical Christians and mission work from other parts of the world.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Alex Anhalt