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They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. Psalm 19:10

In 1977, Peter Xu became the leader of the Born-Again Movement—a large house church network today in China. Ten years ago he was visiting in the United States and shared a devotional at the Open Doors-USA office. When he saw a sample of a Project Pearl Bible on the shelf, he became very animated. Then a long story developed:

After Project Pearl Bibles were stored in depositories in southern China in the early 1980s, Peter Xu sent three men every month by train to the depository contacts to bring back about 1,000 Bibles per trip for his growing house church movement. One month the three men were discovered with their Bible load by the local police of the depository city. The police threw the 1,000 Project Pearl Bibles into the cesspool of the public latrine and the three men were interrogated and jailed for the weekend.

Monday they were released and commanded to return straight home and never return. Instead they waited inside the latrine until darkness fell. Then they climbed down into the filthy cesspool of human waste carefully retrieving each of the foul smelling books. They washed them off under the local water tap and carried them home. There they dried them out, sprayed them with perfume and circulated them through their network. Such was the hunger and importance of every copy of God’s Word.

Project Pearl certainly had an impact on the future printing of Bibles inside China which continues today. Shortly after the project was completed, China’s Three Self Patriotic Movement announced the first official printing of Bibles inside the country. Noted author and China watcher, David Aikman, wrote in his book, Jesus in Beijing, “[Project] Pearl had a major long-term impact on the overall availability of Bibles in China.”[1]

But more important are the personal evaluations from Chinese believers: “These gifts are more precious than gold!”

RESPONSE: Today I will treasure God’s Word as more valuable than any precious metal or gem.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord that Your precious Word is being made available in countries where it is not valued by those in authority.

1. David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2003), p. 270.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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