Jesus Messiah is read in large cities, high mountain villages and inaccessible areas. The spread is cautious.
Willem and Marian de Vink have been to China several times. Marian explains, “China is changing rapidly. The country is being transformed at breakneck speed to a higher standard. We have seen tremendous wealth, but also much poverty. However, even in rural areas everyone has a cell phone, even if people can barely read and write. That’s where the comic book comes in handy.”
The couple has given the book they made themselves into the hands of people in all kinds of areas. “In the remote mountain areas, we handed out comic books translated into minority languages,” Marian says. “China recognizes 55 minority groups, but there are perhaps ten times as many living there. Most people don’t know anything about Jesus. We saw how surprised they are when they get their hands on a comic book and start flipping through it.”
“In China there are also refugees. We encountered them in border areas. A raucous civil war is underway in neighboring Myanmar. We heard the cannon shots. But comic books translated into Burmese find their way to Burmese people in both countries. It is very special that the book even gets into areas where no westerner goes. If those books could talk, we’d hear a lot of adventures.”
“Officially, there is religious freedom in China. But the churches are strictly controlled and nothing is allowed to happen outside them. During church services, messages from the government should be read aloud. And groups that meet outside of a church building can be controlled just like that. You have to rely mainly on personal contacts if you want to say anything about the gospel.”
In a restaurant, Willem strikes up a conversation with a man who has a special story. Using a translation mobile, he explains that he was a professor of Chinese philosophy for many years. Seven years ago, he changed course and began painting, traditional Chinese painting. Now he has exhibitions all over the world. William tells him about Jesus and what he does with his talent for drawing. The artist takes visible pleasure in accepting a comic book.