About the Author [excerpt] http://calebgreen.wordpress.com/about/

Hello and God’s blessings to all!
Well…Hmm…I really don’t know…I guess…
This is what is usually going thru my mind when asked to say a little about myself. But I will just start at the beginning and give a brief retelling of my boring life.
I was born on Oct. 12, 1898…oh sorry thats 1989. My Dad and Mom are solid believers and though they have been learning and growing thru these years as well have always been a good example for us chilin’s to follow.
Speaking of chillin’s I am the oldest of 11 goofy youngun’s. Their names are in order of age: Christian, Gabriel, Charity, Malachi, Hosanna, Noah, Faithful, Nathan, Naomi and Judah. I am very blessed to have grown up in such a family and would not have traded the experience I gained there for the world.
My Father is a full-time pro-life minister. He spends four days out of the week on the streets in front of the abortion clinics in Richmond,Va. In addition to that he heads up many other pro-life and gospel related events in the virginia area. My mother is truly an inspiration to me. Her patience in raising all of us kids and her continual love always suprises me.
So this is the atmosphere I was raised in. My father took us out on the street with him all the time so it was necessary that I learn to understand and defend my faith at a young age. We were continuously dealing with cops who did not like us, angry college students and women at the clinics who were blown away by the photographs of aborted children we would hold there. The statement I think I heard the most during my childhood was, “You’re just brainwashed.”
Even though growing up in this atmosphere of defending and proclaiming the faith I do not think it became real for me till I was about 15. I remember preaching at a big event for two hours when 13. I was regularly going on campus tours before this. At age 7 or 8 I was going regularly with dad to the clinics. I recall one time when 8 i believe approaching my father and asking to pray with him. I comforted myself with this for a few years. Endless cycles seemed tobe my Christian life though. There was no victory and no real desire to seek God. I loved doing what we did on the streets but that was because it was exciting. It was not out of a desire to see God glorified and men saved.
Though it is hard for me to pinpoint the time when I began to get real with God I think it was sometime when I was 15. I can see new life being breathed into my walk and for the first time a deep desire to follow Him in every area of my life. Very influential to my, for lack of a better term, journey was some experiences with a church in penn. My father went up there to a men’s conference and returned broken by God and crying tears of repentance. He apologized for not being a better example in leading us to the Father. Seeing this and the changes he made in our household hit me pretty hard. You can hear something all your life and it does not sink in but when I saw my father living it faithfully, albeit imperfectly, I began to realize there was much more to the Christian walk than a half-hearted commitment. The contract we sign with Christ does not grant us the abiilty to live an easy and comfortable life but calls us to a complete surrender to the cross.
This process of sanctification has been long and at times painful. I can see the Father’s hand in all the path’s of life I have been down and can definitely say that Romans 8:28 is just as true for us today as it was for the apostle Paul. He has been the architect of my salvation and the accomplisher of my sanctification.
When I was 15 my father took me on a trip to China smuggling in bibles and then travelling all over sichuan province distributing tracts at night. This trip really hit me hard. The reality of the darkness in other nations clicked in my dense head for the first time and from that point on foreign missions has been contesting for my life. I am not sure whether this is where He wants me but my heart is open. I have been back there three times since then, the most recent trip being for three months.
The past few years I have been working on and off with a discipleship school in Wisconsin. Faithful Soldier School of Evangelism and its director Jason Storms has been an awesome group to work with. We travelled from coast to coast together preaching and sharing the gospel on college campuses.
Where I stand right now is a very good question. I am committed to following God wherever He leads. To death serving Him in the mountains of Tibet or a life in the states spreading His word in our reprobate post-Christian culture. But though the future is hazy I am confident that the promises of our King to guide us in His ways will come true.
May His will be done.
God bless you as you continue to seek and serve Him.
All for the one who gave his all for us!!!
Caleb Green


http://calebgreen.wordpress.com/fgjfsgjdf/

Links

Life and Liberty Ministries
This is my Father’s ministry. Thus far he has been 15 years full-time in pro-life work. Their presence on the street has saved many children’s lives. I can personally vouch for the character of this ministry having grown up in it. He has some awesome resources on his site.


Living for Christ

June 24, 2010 by Caleb Green
In the maybe five years that I can say that I have been honestly seeking to live for Christ this has been a question that often cropped up. What does it mean to live the life of a Christian? Practically, every day, how should this be lived out?
I suppose I will just ramble on for a second on what I see flowing out of the scriptures as ‘living for Christ’. Not really attempting to build a biblical treatise here but merely to share what I am thinking here.
Living for Christ is tied up part and parcel in the first and greatest commandment of the law. ”Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.” Loving God not just as a mental consent to His Godness or as adherence to a creed but as the focus of everything in you! All for the King! Hold nothing back but surrender your heart to Him! The heart of the Christian life must be a strong focus on God and His glory flushed out in day to day life.
But once again what does this mean? Break it down brother! Enough of high sounding language devoid of practical application!
Right now as I look back over the past few years and where I have been I see some battles of surrender to Christ won and then some that war on. Some things that held me down and were such a struggle in the past now the Father has set me free of. I look at the way I used to live and wonder at my blindness to the will of my Father in so many ways. And yet I doubt not, if God is pleased to continue working in me, that in times to come I will look back at where I am now and wonder at my ignorance.
So that said to emphasize that the Christian life is something of continual growth that is founded upon an attitude of conformity to Christ. A year ago what kept me growing was a committal to following God where He would lead me. If He put His finger on something and said, “Give it up for me.” or if He showed something to me thru the scriptures that I should be doing then, usually after a battle, I would lay it down and press on.
So the center of the Christian life is a focus on God and His glory with a commitment to following Him where He leads. No holds barred.
A question that I ask myself. Bear in mind I am not lifting up myself as a standard. If folks were to look to me as someone to follow this would be one messed up church. But I am sharing some things I have learned and am striving to live in. Now, for the question.
Is this action one that is glorifying to God?
And be honest. If you are a human you are called to glorify God thru loving Him. Are you doing that now? Is this profitable for His kingdom or is your motivation for this entirely selfish?
Recognizing your motivation for something I have found to be crucial. Plenty of times when I have gone out to preach and found myself motivated by a desire to show other Christians how awesome I am. In such a case I need to take a step back and get my heart right. My heart had gotten sidetracked from that great goal of glorifying God.
I hope I have been clear enough to where you can see the theme of the Christian walk arising. A life lived with one great all-consuming motivation. To love God with everything in us. To walk day by day with a heart set toward Christ. And such a life cannot be one that is lived in sin. He will reveal it and your walk will be one characterized by holiness. Get sidetracked from this obsession and you will be upside-down and all messed over before you can say Rom. 12:1,2.
The lyrics to a song i heard have challenged me much: “I’m a Christ representative/take a look around my life/I’ll show you how I really live.”
And I find myself asking, “If I invited someone into my life to walk with me everyday all the time would they see someone who is living for Christ? Or would they see someone who is kinda sorta a Christian but is also wanting to do his own thing?” And how much more so if they saw my thoughts and motivations and desires?
So, in conclusion, these are just some random thoughts about the Christian life that I hope will be of benefit to some. I pray that you as God works in your heart will step forward to join me in this race. And if you are already there and have been running for years then I pray that yo would reach back and help this poor bumbling brother on along the path.
To God be all the glory!
All eyes on the King!!
Posted in The Christian Life, Theology | Leave a Comment »

April 14, 2010 by Caleb Green

Well I will have to be quick as I am with a friend and we are going to head back home soon.
I am currently in the city of Lanzhou in Gansu province. Came here to help a friend for a bit who recently moved here from Xining, where my home is. The great thing is he found an apartment that is less than 1000 feet from both the bus station and the train station in central Lanzhou. How cool is that? No more costly taxi rides (if you think of $1.50 as costly).
But anyway things have been going well. The Father has been blessing me greatly the past few days enabling me to pull out of a rut that I had fallen into. He is always faithful even when we run from him. Isn’t it crazy how ridiculous we often act when we have fallen in some way? We, or at least I, have a habit of trying to dodge God when I sin in some way. I run from Him for a while and subconciously think that I need to go for a length of time without falling before I can approach Him again and be accepted. Stupid isn’t it? We forget that the whole deal is one of free grace extended to a sinner and our failures do not affect our ultimate standing in the least. If we are His then he is faithful to keep on conforming us to His image and our fallings are a part of the process (not making excuses for sin at all just looking at the big picture). It is our part to keep on looking to Him and His grace no matter what we may have fallen into. And then to fight sin with this foundation and not one that is based on our own performance.
My Father and brother have left to go back to the states now. Their visit was a great encouragement. I must sing the praises of my Dad (even though he probably would not want me to). He has been a solid example of a man growing in Godliness and is ever challenging me to go upward and onward in my walk with our heavenly Father. I admire my earthly father for his clear example of what a man should be. Even though he slips and falls he has been quick to acknowledge this and always gets up to press on. So when I get big I want to be like my Dad.
An update on the situation with Thory which I mentioned in my last post. Thory made it here to China and thru two towns safely but on his third city, the city that I was supposed to join him but could not make it, he was detained by the authorities and placed under hotel arrest. They took his passport and cancelled his visa. He ended up staying in that town for over a week before getting escrted to Beijing and then flown out and bcak to the states. So though he was not able to reach all the cities we planned it was not a failure and we trust that in the plan of God this had a purpose.
There are only two more measly weeks til i head back to the states. I am viewing that date with mixed emotions. I have grown to love living here but also greatly miss my family and friends and going out on the streets and preaching openly and boldly, something that cannot be done here very easily. I pray that the Father gives wisdom to me to decide where He would like me to go long term.
May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of it’s suffering!!!
All for the King!!!!
Caleb
PS for all of you that are my friends on fb. I am not able to get on there for the time being due to internet issues. But maybe soon….




Please Pray!!!

April 1, 2010 by Caleb Green
Yesterday I received a call from Thory, a fellow who came over here on a two week tract-bombing trip. It seems that the authorities have caught him and he is under hotel arrest. His tracts were confiscated. The Greenies, who seem to be a terror to good works right now, have taken his passport and revoked his visa. So everything is kind of up in the air right now as we are listening for more word from him.
We think they will give him a new visa with a few days to leave the country but are not quite sure. If things go as normal then this is what will probably happen. But I ask you to pray that they will give him a two week visa or something like that and release him. If this happens I can resupply him with tracts and he can hit the road again.
I was supposed to be with him in the town he was caught in. Due to an extremely convenient lack of buses at the time I did not manage to get there and thus am still free.
Whatever happens may the King of Kings be glorified!!!
In Christ,
Caleb





And the Cavalry comes just in time!!!

March 26, 2010 by Caleb Green
A great and monumentous event has just occurred. An event that is rocking three provinces in western China.
My earthly Father and brother and another friend arrived to do some tract bombing in three different provinces.
OK. Maybe it is not as great and monumentous as I made it out to be. But they are all seasoned warriors and will I am sure with the Father’s guidance cause no small stir over here. May the King be glorified and His will be done in all things. May He bring sinners to repentance.
Their travels will take them thru Qinghai, Gansu and Ningxia provinces. The other fellow who came over with Dad and gabriel is named Thory. He will be going solo as I have been thru most of the trip other than a few nights I will be able to join him. I will also be spending a few nights with my father and brother.
Their coming is a real encouragement to me and the other workers over here.
A new development that I ask you to keep in prayer is the situation with Jose, a fellow laborer, and his family. They run a restaurant that is owned by Eugene. They use this as a way to be in china and have the ability to witness over here. The problem is that they are having a hard time getting back home after being kicked out a few weeks ago. The Tibetan rebellions of a few years ago still have the authorities on edge and every time an anniversary of the riots rolls around foreigners end up getting the boot from tibetan areas which is where the restaurant happens to be. So prayer would be appreciated that they would be able to get back to their home. They are currently living with me at Eugene’s house as they are back in Peru now.
On another note teaching has begun for me. Last weekend was the first and this will go on until I leave for the states in late april. It is reasonably enjoyable and I am getting into the groove already(I think… or is it the rut?). I have six classes a day so I am glad it is just on the weekends. They consist of kids ages 5-15 and are quite well behaved actually.
One more thought I will share and then I will leave you to go on with your more important activities. I have given a little thought recently to the difference in moral standards over here in China and comparing that to the states. It is a crazy comparison that defies what I would expect. Think about this. America is a nation that has had heavy christian influence for all of its history. Because of this out of our populace a great majority would believe in a God similar to the Biblical one. Yet immorality is rampant and is flaunted shamelessly in the streets. Noone (used in a general sense) dares to speak again the status quo and the “Christians” are ashamed to defend the God that they claim to believe so strongly in.
On the other hand China has no such strong Christian heritage. Though it can be traced back to around three hundred years after Christ they have never been a huge moving force in the nation. And on top of that the prevailing system of the day is an atheistic materialism that gives no foundation for any strong moral system. Yet in spite of this immorality is largely kept under wraps over here. The open flaunting of sin is almost entirey absent and is in fact heavily frowned upon.
When walking thru a city in the states everything screams out darkness to me and makes me long to be out in the country again. In china however I get no such feeling.
Don’t get me wrong. There is tons of darkness over here. They need Christ just as much as a westerner does. But the darkness is not as obvious as in the states and in the west.
Why this is I will not venture to say. I am sure someone more acquainted with the culture could explain this to me. But for now it must remain a mystery.
All I can say is…
When affluence comes along look down the path. Her brother wickedness usually follows soon after.
I will be posting a short review of C. S. Lewis shortly. While here I have read two of his books and desire to throw a few thoughts out there about the man and his work.
God bless!!!
All for the King!!!
It is His due.
In Christ,
Caleb
Posted in Accounts of mission trips | 2 Comments »

The Yushu trip and subsequent Xining adventures

March 17, 2010 by Caleb Green
And I suppose next on my list of updates is the Yushu trip. This will bring us up to the present time as I am sitting here in Xining waiting till two days from now when I will officially begin teaching English. This will be, as I have said in my emails, limited to the weekends and I will be working on less legal things during the weekdays. I am taking over this to allow Eugene the chance to take his family on a much needed trip back to the states and Peru.
The trip to Yushu began in a sleeper bus on a 14 hour ride down to south central Qinghai. Arriving in late morning after much hassle I managed to find a ride out to Zaduo, the town I was to work in that night. I was crammed in a van with seven other men who by pure coincidence all happened to be chain smokers. No sooner was one cig done then the pack was opened and another taken out. I breathed enough smoke to become a nicotine addict on that trip and had to fight off withdrawals the next few days. Not really but almost.
We arrived in Zaduo as it began to draw dark which marked 24 straight hours of travelling. I checked into a little hotel with no electricity except when the lights flickered on and then back off every now and again. The lady who owned the hotel had about five little munchkins who were thrilled to have a foreigner under their roof(in case you are wondering why she had more than one child the policy only applies to the Han Chinese majority and not to the minority groups in China). They were for the first hour running in and out of my room at will. A little boy about seven and a girl about five were especially interested in hanging out. The little girl brought her dolls and toys to show me and the little boy was ceaselessly rattling off the only English he knew. Which were the happy birthday and ABC’s songs and “my name is” and “My English teacher is very smart.” The first time he said the latter phrase I had to laugh thinking about an English teacher picking that sentence to teach his kids. I think I might take his example when my turn comes around…
The little guy and I went down the street to a little restaurant to eat and while waiting taught each other English and Chinese. This particular town was quite small and I do not believe there were any buildings above two stories at all. The area of Qinghai I was in was definitely Tibetan and the only Chinese people I saw in the whole town were the restaurant owners. That night I arose and got ready to do the crumbing.
Upon going out after only about twenty minutes a dog walked up to me and was very curious what these little things were that I was throwing everywhere. I stopped to pet him and he became my night-long friend, following me for over an hour and a half all over the town. This was a welcome change as it gave me someone to talk to. In reference to the circumstances we met under I christened him Lex Rex. Not after the popular dog name but after the book by Samuel Rutherford that argues against the concept of the divine right of Kings and that the King is subject as any other man to the Law of God. We were out tract-bombing in disobedience to an unlawful order of the Chinese government and thus it is null and void as Samuel argued in the book. So Lex Rex was my guard-dog for the night. And a good one at that.
I accidentally overslept the next morning and had to scramble to get out of town. Going down to the street I caught a bus two minutes before it rolled out and was safe and on my way back to Yushu. Upon arrival I immediately bought a ticket back to Xining for the next day. We had planned that I would hit another town in that area but as funds were running low I had to get back home. The only bus available was leaving at noon which is not optimal but I wanted anything to get out of there before my deeds done in the darkness would be brought to light. Crumbing went well that night and 600 pieces went out. The trip back to Xining was uneventful other than being two hours longer than I had hoped. Arrived back at home, sweet home at 2:45 in the morning. That night was only the third night I had spent at home even though I have been living here for two weeks. The road has taken many nights but hallelujah for that!!!
Throughout all this time our apartment had been having plumbing issues and the water had been going on and off. Matt, the young fellow who boards in the same flat as I, had to take care of most of this because I was away. It was an awesome welcome to China experience for him. The utilities and internet over here are not nearly as reliable as the states and even as I sit writing this our electricity has gone out for the second time in 36 hours.
The next day after arriving I had an experience which reminded me of some of our times of preaching on college campuses and having to run after students who stole our signs and the like. I went to an internet café to catch up on email. I was typing calmly and very focused on what I was doing. Then a young man about 20 years of age walked by me, picked up my cell phone, which was sitting two inches from my hand, and walked away as if he had a right to it. After one second of questioning the reality of what he had done I stood up and yelled at him to give it back. He did not and so I gave chase hollering at the top of my voice all the while. Picture the scene. We are in a internet café with tons of computers at its peak hour of business. Every seat is full and every person is busy at what they are doing. Then they look up and a crazy foreigner is racing down the aisles in hot pursuit of a chinaman screaming at the top of his lungs. But to me the rest of the world had gone black and I was not thinking of anything but catching up to the man in front of me. We raced out the door and were descending the stairs and I was reaching out to grab him, having caught up by this time, when he hurled the phone down and raced on. I had the crazy thought of apprehending him and calling the cops but checked myself and picked up my phone.
Only when re-entering the internet café did I remember everyone else. The whole place was staring at me, giggling and pointing. That was ok for awhile though. I was more than happy to have provided the evening’s entertainment. I held my phone high and signified that I had got it back and the approval of the crowd for my actions was obvious. I left shortly after, the continual giggles and pointings and stares were getting a little tough even for a hardened veteran to this such as myself. I have been mocked by people most of my life but a giggling horde of Chinese women beats all.
There is one more development that I will mention. Three floors above me in the apartment building there is a Chinese girl who asked if I could help her with her English. So just today we spent some time going over her English and she in turn is helping me with my Chinese. I feel like a little child again being taught how to write my ABC’s. Invigoratingly humiliating is the way I will describe it.
My father will be arriving to work over here in a few days. He is coming over to do some crumbing with us along with my bro Gabriel. To say I am looking forward to that is an understatement perhaps deserving of a smack to the face. We are going to hit the streets and do battle together. This will be the first time since I came a month and a half ago that I have tract-bombed with someone else. The Lone Ranger I have been as I seem to have lost Tonto on the flight over. So it will be a welcome change.
All glory to the Rock of ages who gives us everything worth having!!!
May He receive the reward of His suffering!!!
For the King!!!
Caleb
Posted in Accounts of mission trips | 7 Comments »

Gangcha to Xining

March 17, 2010 by Caleb Green
Well now begins part two in the three part installment. I hope I am not boring you with details. I guessed that some would like them and whoever doesn’t could just skim thru.
So off to Gangcha I went. In the small town of Gangcha they gave me the run-from hotel to hotel till finally I found one that could serve foreigners and had vacancy. The courtyard was replete with everything you could ask for. Trash scattered all around, tons of assorted building material including some very big piles of bricks and a huge pile of organic waste that I made sure to stay clear of. This town was the most Tibetan town I had been in up to that time(I have been in others more so by now) and so it was quite enjoyable to stroll around and look at everything.
I am getting very used to being stared at by now. Most of the folk in these areas have seen foreigners but it doesn’t happen very often so they still look at you like they would a dog born with wheels instead of legs. As you are passing them often they will say any English words they know which is usually just hello but every now and then you are greeted with, “Thank you.” or better, “I love you.” The funny thing is so far only guys have said that to me thus far. Actually I don’t know if that is funny.
But anyway I strolled around town for awhile scaring children and wowing their parents. Ate at a little Baozi shop. Baozi is steamed buns stuffed with meat and veggies. They are pretty good especially after one has been eating nu-rou-mian(beef noodles) for the past week almost without let-up. Then I retired to my hotel to await the time of night when the tract-bombers reign supreme.
Got them all out within reasonable time. The cops had a traffic stop on the main drag thru town and I had to walk past that twice but was not spoken to. Back to the hotel and sleep and up and on to Haiyan the next morning.
I arrived in Haiyan pretty early in the morning and hailed a taxi right away to take me to a hotel. We stopped at one and they did not accept foreigners. At the next one as soon as I walked in the door I was greeted by five cops who for all I could tell may have been waiting my arrival. They tried to communicate to me something but when we did not understand each other ordered me to sit down on a bed and wait. More cops were drifting in and out as we sat there for the next thirty minutes waiting for the head honcho to show up. Show up she did and promptly took me downtown to the police station. We spent some time running up and down the stairs to several different offices all the while they (the 483 policemen who were assigned to my case) were trying to tell me something. I was playing dumb whitey and was not exactly exerting much effort to understanding them as it is usually best to be seen as dumb and thus not a threat to the illustrious Chinese nation.
They then took me to her office and it turned out from the writing above the door that she was the head of exit and entry. I assume she took care of registering all the incoming and outgoing flows of people of which unhappily I was now caught up in the middle of. She told me to sit down and began to look at her computer and from peering over her soldier I could see she was running my passport number thru the system. This worried me and the thought that perhaps the gig was up crossed my mind. It was strengthened when she received a phone call and they began to chatter back and forth about me and tianjun which was the town that I was denied access to two days previously. They were digging up my trail and this was not a pleasant thought. Some things are best left in the dark.
Another English speaker was called in and I was informed that, “Haiyan is taboo town for foreigners.” He asked me anxiously why I came there and what I was doing in china. I answered them as any dumb whitey would that I just wanted to travel and see China. This was apparently enough for them and very shortly they packed me and my bags back down the stairs and into their police van. They drove me out to another traffic block on the outside of town and deposited me there under the safekeeping of the soldiers to be placed on the next bus to Xining. Thru these interesting means I was unable to tract-bomb that town either but trust that in future we will get someone out there to do what I was unable to do.
There is only ome more detail to record here before moving on the the next post. Upon arrival in Xining I headed home to resupply and head out down to Yushu (Yushu will wait till the next post though). Shortly after I got home I got a knock on the door and it was a chinese girl who lived a few floors above us and had been helpful when we were moving into the place. Though she could not speak english she could read it and we managed to communicate that she wanted to learn to speak better english. So starting tonight we are going to be doing lessons. She learning english and I learning chinese. Should be an adventure.
Will be posting on my trip to Yushu tomorrow.
All for the King!!!
Caleb
Posted in Accounts of mission trips | 8 Comments »

Please Pray!!!


April 1, 2010 by Caleb Green
Yesterday I received a call from Thory, a fellow who came over here on a two week tract-bombing trip. It seems that the authorities have caught him and he is under hotel arrest. His tracts were confiscated. The Greenies, who seem to be a terror to good works right now, have taken his passport and revoked his visa. So everything is kind of up in the air right now as we are listening for more word from him.
We think they will give him a new visa with a few days to leave the country but are not quite sure. If things go as normal then this is what will probably happen. But I ask you to pray that they will give him a two week visa or something like that and release him. If this happens I can resupply him with tracts and he can hit the road again.
I was supposed to be with him in the town he was caught in. Due to an extremely convenient lack of buses at the time I did not manage to get there and thus am still free.
Whatever happens may the King of Kings be glorified!!!
In Christ,
Caleb
Posted in Accounts of mission trips | 4 Comments »

To Tract-bomb or not to Tract-bomb?

April 1, 2010 by Caleb Green
I was challenged recently by a friend to give a defense of tract-bombing. To be honest this is not something that I have given a lot of thought to in the past. I have by and large just accepted it as a valid means of communicating the gospel and left it at that. So I will here attempt to give a basic defense although I acknowledge from the get-go that there does not seem to me to be a lot that can be said. The whole discussion seems to me to be one that for the most part will be settled by the presuppositions the reader already has before entering any dialogue.
First off I will define my terms. For those not familiar with it the term Tract-bomb is used mainly in reference to undercover mass distribution of tracts. This is generally done door to door in urban areas during the night. The practice is of course limited to those countries that are “closed” to the gospel and/or Christianity in general.
And then one must define what a good tract is. I would rather not use a tract without a heavy emphasis on biblical quotation and explanation. It must contain a clear message of the glory of God, the depth of our sin and rebellion against Him, His plan of salvation thru Christ’s atoning work and the necessity of repentance and a total turning from sin. Without all these present and clearly laid out with scripture I think we would have an incomplete gospel message.
The first question one runs into is, “Are tracts in general even biblical?” Well, if you mean are they mentioned and supported by scripture then the answer is no. Undergirding the use of tracts is the presupposition that any form of communication is valid for the proclamation of the gospel. The belief is that if the gospel is communicated clearly then the means used does not matter.
While I do believe that the gospel can be validly communicated via different means I do think that in scripture there is a primacy given to preaching that we cannot avoid. One may object that this primacy is there because no other medium of communication was possible and there is truth in that. However despite that when studying the scriptures and God’s working throughout the ages we see Him raising using preachers again and again. When England was in great spiritual decline God sent John Wesley and his Methodist circuit riders to proclaim His truth again. During a time when very few were going forth to spread the word God raised up Count Zinzendorf and his Moravians to head the charge. And into modern times God’s preferred method seems to be the preacher who is lifting up his voice and proclaiming the glory of the King.
You may have noticed that not very much has been said that seemed to nail things down or even perhaps give an argument with substantive force behind it. This is because most of the arguments that will be made in this debate are arguments from silence and are really not that strong. It is an assumption that tracts are a legitimate means of communicating the gospel just as it is an assumption that preaching is the primary means that God uses for proclaiming the gospel. When I say assumption I mean that it is a conclusion we come to that seems probable from reading scripture and viewing the works of God but is not explicitly stated anywhere in scripture.
In the beginning I said that the debate would I believe be largely settled by the presuppositions held prior to entering this discussion. Since each side is primarily resting on assumptions that are not explicitly stated in scripture it will be hard for one side to convince the other of the truth of their claims.
There are a few differing views of this topic amongst Christian. There are those who look at scripture and see only verbal preaching and thus claim that the only valid method is preaching. This is of course an argument from silence. Because people preached does not mean that other forms of communication are invalid. This is a leap of logic.
Then there are those Christians who acknowledge the validity of tracts but say that they are not to be separated from the preaching. To walk up to someone out of the blue and hand them a tract without verbal communication of the gospel is not the biblical way of evangelism. They make the assumption that tracts are OK to use but further assume that they are not legitimate to be used by themselves. This is another argument from silence and it is hard to critique as there are no substantive arguments to critique.
Then there are those who see the primacy given to preaching in the scriptures but also believe that any method of communicating the gospel is a valid one. Whether on the internet or in the form of an audio CD or thru a tract God will use them to convict and draw men to Himself. This is the position that I hold to but like the previous two it is hard to defend or critique or argue for because it is based on assumptions and not hard biblical data. There is no scripture verse that says that any method of communicating the gospel is valid. There is likewise no scripture verse that restricts this proclamation to spoken words.
Thus we seem to be left in a quandry. Not any position can be established securely. Neither can any position be critiqued strongly simply because of the absence of any arguments. The scriptures are strangely silent.
It seems to me from viewing the work of God throughout time that though He does primarily work thru the preaching He also is not loath to use written forms of communication. I know those who have been saved thru reading tracts. There are many who have been saved thru reading the scriptures without the aid of a man to explain things to them. Thus it seems logical to me to assume that these other methods are valid.
The friend who challenged me to write this made this statement (slightly edited for clarification), “It is our duty to boldly proclaim the truth and not run and hide while we tract-bomb.” So the question logically flows out of this, “Are we called in times of persecution to proclaim the truth in the market square boldly knowing that we will die for it or are there other means we can use?” Based on my reading of scripture I do see the mandate to be bold about your faith in personal witnessing but I do not see the demand that we throw our lives away. Scripturally I can readily see that advising a believer in a closed country to witness boldly one on one is biblical but to tell him that he must needs stand up and preach in the open knowing that this will bring torture and/or death is something I do not see. Boldness is commanded. As is wisdom. There are times God may lead a man to witness in such a way that will surely end in death but that I believe is the exception rather than the norm.
In conclusion it seems to me that once the door is cracked and other methods of gospel communication are recognized as being valid there is no legitimate stopping point before recognizing their total legitimacy in every situation. One cannot critique it without resting on bare-boned assumptions. While I do see several reasons outside of scripture to validate them I cannot build a scriptural case for tracts. Out of these assumptions logically flows the practice of tract-bombing in closed countries. It is boldly proclaiming the gospel to masses of people who otherwise would never hear while giving the Christian a fair chance of escape.
I am sorry that I could not write a more conclusive analysis. The lack of substantive arguments related to this issue has tied my hands from being too conclusive. To overstate an argument I view as more of an error than understating it. In spite of this I hope that this has been informative if even slightly. If you are just plain old confused then I hope this leads you to scripture and to the history of God’s working thru the church for the answers.
May we never tire of proclaiming the glory of our King!!!
In Christ,
Caleb
Posted in Missions, Theology | 3 Comments »

Update on China Ge’ermu to Tianjun http://calebgreen.wordpress.com/page/2/

March 16, 2010 by Caleb Green
Ge’ermu to Tianjun
This is the first of a three part update on my travels in the orient. So much has happened that it would be far too long to recount in one post so I am going to split it up over three days and three posts. So this one will be covering from my last update in Ge’ermu up to my adventures in Tianjun.
So I think I left off last post telling about how I had just tract-bombed Ge’ermu and then was stuck there for another day because there were no buses to the next town when I needed them. So thus I sat all day in various places around town trying to use my time wisely but not entirely succeeding at it. Time crawls when one is staring at a watch. But 7:00 came around and I boarded the bus for Dulan.
Here’s the overall picture. I had two weeks to get a certain quota of towns done that we had mapped out. A delay of one day could throw everything off because time was very tight. So on the road to Dulan I am worrying that we would not arrive in town in time for me to crumb. If I got there at 6:00 or later then we have a problem. Too many people up and about. If earlier I might have time to get’er done but would have the problem of three heavy bags to deposit somewhere and that is not easy in the middle of the night.
But all my fears were nullified when we made it to Dulan in record time at 12:30 AM. They dumped me off in front of a little hotel and rolled on towards Xining. Now usually when you check into a hotel over here they record everything about you and at times even make copies of your passport and visa. I suppose this town was not very acquainted with handling foreigners because the clerk just glanced at my passport and ushered me up to my room. 50 quai and I was set for the night. Within 30 minutes of being dumped off I was on the streets tract-bombing with a very thankful heart to God for permitting this night to be a success. Got it done in a couple hours and was back in the hotel for a couple hours of shut-eye before rolling out again in the morning.
Took a bus out to the town of Wulan early the next morning. Was upon arrival immediately ‘befriended’ by a overly helpful taxi driver who was all too willing to help me do everything in exchange for a few quai. He gave me his phone number and instructed me to call him whenever I needed a ride. After this all day long whenever he would see me around town he would holler at me and motion for me to get in his taxi. No thanks. Your town is less than a mile long. I can walk. Nonetheless it is good to have someone you see and can recognize and yell at for a day or so. Gets a little lonely over here. At the time of my writing this it was been well over a week since I have seen a white face.
Ate lunch and dinner in a little noodle shop and got my picture taken with two cops who were eating there as well. That night I crumbed the town as usual but had to wake everyone up to get back in which is not fun to do when it is run by tired little Chinese women. Luckily I was not yelled at as my Dad has been. Once again I was out of there early and off to the next town. Tianjun.
15 minutes after arrival in Tianjun I was sure something was amiss. The hotel lady was trying to tell me that she had to wait on something and my fears were confirmed when Larry, Moe and Curly came in the door(the names I have christened these three officers as there behavior vaguely resembled the three American goofs). They took their time in talking to the lady and then to each other and then on their phones and then to the lady and then to each other and then on their phones and then…Etc. Etc. Etc. About an hour after arrival two more cops showed up with a Chinese man in tow who it turned out could speak English. He informed me that Tianjun was closed to foreigners but they would let me stay the night provided I left right away in the morning. He gave me his cell phone number and instructed me to call him when I wanted to go eat as he would escort me there and back. Apparently the cops had him on a pretty tight leash so he would keep me on an even tighter one. So I checked in and read for a while.
When eating time rolled around I opted not to call him and just go out on my own. I’m and big boy and can order food by myself. I don’t even need a bib as of last year. But as I was walking out the hotel clerks went into a tizzy and stopped me and called the English speaker whose name by the way was James. He gave me permission to eat. We then began to text back and forth a little thru which I found he was a believer. It was decided that I would spend the evening at his place.
Thru this visit to his house I met his wife Anna and learned a little about the life of some Chinese believers under the bamboo curtain. There were six believers in the town. Two were James and his wife. The other believers did not know James was a Christian as he was afraid to come out with it for fear of losing his job. I talked enough with them that evening to be sure of his salvation but it was scary to think of the lifestyle they were living. Without any Christian contact other than perhaps twice a year they lived cut off from any edifying fellowship. Yet in spite of this they were going strong and he told me of how he had been able to come across some bibles and Christian books and was reading them. The visit was an extremely encouraging one for me having never been in such a situation before and able to speak to an underground Christian about the God we both are dedicated to serving. The one side of me longs to see him step out of his bubble of fear and announce his belief in God but the other side understands the pressure he must be under and knows how hard that would be. May the King of kings guide them both in the path He has for them.
As I was under surveillance and carefully guarded I was unable to go out to crumb that night. I do not regard it at all as a wasted day though. I trust the King used me to encourage two of His dear children. Of course I was unable to share with them the true nature of my travels as that would have endangered both them and I. One day in glory all secrets will be revealed and we can all rejoice in the workings of our God thru each and every one of us to accomplish His final purposes. Till then let us be faithful in our duties however humdrum or dangerous they may be.
All for the King!!!
Part 1 of 3



The lessons of a little old man and woman on Life goals and contentment

March 11, 2010 by Caleb Green
Well, I have always thought of myself as a blessed person. Granted I have not always been as grateful as I should have been but I always have when looking around at the poverty in this world thanked God for giving me all that I have. His grace in my life is obvious in even a cursory scan of my day to day life.
I am right now sitting on a bus bound for Dulan hailing from Ge’ermu. We are currently sitting on the side of the road. Most of the passengers have gotten out and are grabbing a bite to eat.
Do you know how the Father occasionally throws a thought in amidst the contorted mess of our minds? Everything seems to stand still as you digest the thought and ponder what God meant by it. Just had one of those moments. The world stopped and I was slammed with my own doubt of God’s work in my life.
I stepped out of the bus briefly to stretch out and enjoy the chilly night air. There was a little shop open so I stepped in to grab a drink.
I have been reading a book on the providence of God. From page one it has been revolutionizing the way I see God in His work in our lives. Previously I knew that God was using things in this life to ‘grow’ us up. Of course! Romans 8:28! Who doesn’t know that? But it was not a real living thought to me. I guess you could’ve thrown it on the shelf of thoughts that you know but don’t really KNOW if you know what I mean.
Inside the shop were this little old man and his little old wife. I looked around at the wares (there wasn’t much to see) and chose a peach drink and a roll of cracker/cookies. They were courteous and friendly. I couldn’t understand a lick of what they said to me and they couldn’t understand a lick of what I said but we were smiling and we connected in an odd sort of way. I paid them and gave them a tract to read and walked back over to my bus.
The author wove a convincing case of scripture and personal examples to evidence God’s work in everything we do to draw us to Himself. To be honest I was blown away and began to ‘test’ it over the next few days. It proved sound and true as time and again the things that I did not like and the things that I did I could see purging me and cleaning out those old impulses. It was like every little event was whispering in my ear, “Follow the King Caleb!” “Leave this junk behind and go on for God!”
I stopped on the side of the road to think a little before boarding the bus. Seeing the old man and woman had reawakened desires and confusion in my heart which seems always to be lurking just below the surface. I long to have a life goal and to pursue it with all my heart. The complicated world of the west with all the hoops you have to jump thru and the image it forces on you that to really matter you must be doing big and important things has always frustrated me. Even more so since I have not found that life goal or at least don’t know it yet. I sometimes beat myself over the head with this fact. “What are you doing Caleb?” “Get going on something!”
As I said seeing the old man and woman had stirred the pot again and as I stood on the side of the road my heart was murmuring at my state in life. Something about the simplicity of their lives and how they didn’t have all this junk like a chain and ball attached to their foot like we do here in the west. Luxury and if I might add just things in general are enemies of our souls. Amassing these miniature fortunes we are mentally chained to them. And on top of that we build detailed and intricate arguments why we can’t throw it away and live like this little old man and woman. All they owned was in those two rooms. And they were happier than most of the folk I see in the states. Not that I want to go live in Timbuktu and run a little shop but the simplicity of life and dedication appealed to me.
So there I was standing on the side of the road my heart crying out to God. My own personal empire back in the states still has such control over my heart and that pain was searing me as well. There is a song by Caedmon’s Call that was running thru my mind and is a beautiful representation of my thoughts. The title is ‘Roses’.
Verse 1
High above the valley of Quito/an old man and his bride grow roses
Red and yellow white and golden/to him they are precious as children
Their daughter she moved to America/One more brick on the tower of Babel
She has a son that they’ve never seen at all/Praying that they raised her well
The Chorus:
And on the mountain high/they will live and die/as time just slips away
And the children grow/In the God they know/as time just slips away
Skipping to Verse 3
Now I’m back at home all alone/and I’m trying to find my thoughts
That old man’s so inspiring/but the TV’s always on
And the phone it won’t stop ringing/and these bills they keep on screaming
To pay for all these things/that we never really need
I wonder what he’s doing right now/He may be walking thru his simple field
And thinking about how/God has blessed him so…
A longing for a beautiful harmony of simplicity and purpose is what I seek. As I stood there thinking a thought suddenly flew into my mind with such force that I must chalk it up to providence. That same question I had been asking myself but with a very different point. “Caleb, what are you doing here?”
My answer was obvious, “Father, I’m here to serve you.” Two thoughts flashed thru my mind. One was that I had just given the tract to that old man and woman and the other that I have spent the past few years doing what I know best till God gives me final direction. Instantly I realized I was in the center of God’s will. To live my life in His service in any way I can until final direction is given is the call on a young person’s life. In doing this we are in the center of the divine will and need not heed the accusations of our own minds.
So for all my fellow young people who have not received clear direction yet, our lives are not useless or secondhand. But if we sit on our butts waiting for God to give us each our own personal road to Damascus experience we can be sure we are going to sit there a long time. The Father wants to use vessels that are ready and anxious. Vessels that have been preparing themselves for their lifelong work and have been in service to Him in other ways while waiting. This world needs steady and competent workers for the fields. The fields are ready. Let us work until we receive that clear direction. Let not a day be wasted that could be used in advancing the Kingdom. Only in loving God with all your heart and living a life of service for Him can we ever find our identities in this confused world.
All for the King!!!
Posted in Accounts of mission trips, The Christian Life | 6 Comments »

All alone… http://calebgreen.wordpress.com/page/3/


March 7, 2010 by Caleb Green
Well I suppose it is high time for me to update my blog with how things are going over here. I have not in a little bit because of some internet issues. Access has been very limited so I am jumping at this chance.
I have been pretty busy since ilsat sent out an update on the work over here. Very shortly after the last post on china i went on a three day trip that was very successful. Returning from that I spent a few days helping bro. Eugene move to another flat. That was quite an experience. Moved stuff around a million and one times in my life but everything you do in China is unique and incomparable to anything back in the States. Spent half a day in the markets haggling over furniture and refrigerators. But it all was done in plenty of time for Eugene’s trip back to the States and Peru. He is over there now along with his whole fam. On top of this David also is taking a trip over to South Africa so that leaves me over here in China all alone for almost a month before any reinforcements arrive. Some friends they are. Ditching a poor unadjusted y-guo-ren (foreigner) to his fate in the wilds of China
But anyway inspite of this travesty things are going pretty well. As soon as they were off I moved in to Eugene’s apartment to ‘watch’ it while he is gone. A day later a young man from canada also moved in there. His name is Matt and I am quite sure he is not a believer. So pray that the father will use me to be a witness to him. His being there will help but won’t solve the loneliness problem because I am off gallavanting around Qinghai and Gansu 3 out of 4 days.
Right now I am sitting in an internet cafe in a big city in western Qinghai. Last night I crumbed this town with 600 pieces. Got up this morning and found to my horror that there were no buses leaving to where I want to go till seven in the evening. So I am killing time and hiding out here and there till that time rolls around. That is a big no-no for crumbing work. The goal is to get out of town as soon as you can after crumbing. This to avoid a howling mob of chinese police officers beating down your door and then do you know what they do to you??? Yep you guessed it!! Chinese water torture! No not really. But it is about as good to stay long in a city you have crumbed in as it is to rob a bank and then sit down and read a book in the lobby.
This is the first town of a two week stint of running and crumbing all over the province. If it goes as planned I will not have a single night of normal sleep the whole time. They will all be spent out on the street or in long bus rides. Too many towns to hit before the english teaching starts on the 19th and then my earthly father arrives in town on the 24th or so. So yesterday began a month and a half long period to which i hope rest and ease will be entirely foriegn concepts.
Well I do believe I must get off soon so I bid thee farewell. Keep seeking the face of the King of kings and may no other love take your eyes off of Him!!
Death to sin and self by God’s power brings life in Christ!!

All for the King!!





Posted in The Christian Life, Theology | Leave a Comment »

Recent Tract-bombing trip http://calebgreen.wordpress.com/page/3/

February 21, 2010 by Caleb Green
I will here give an account of the trip I just took to various parts of Gansu and Qinghai province in western China. Had a blast and was able to distribute many tracts in the cities I hit.
First off for those who are unfamiliar with the term tract-bombing we use it when referring to distributing gospel tracts whether out of a bus window while flying down the road or on foot in the dark of night going door to door.
Started out with Eugene and David and another brother and his fam on a trip down to do some work on the restaurant that Eugene runs in Gansu. That went well. He was able to think some things thru about how to run things and we did some moving of all his junk while at it.
Then they went off to Xining again and left me all alone with a map and several X’s on the map indicatinjg where I was to go. Actually I received detailed advice on how and where to go. So off I went to city X which was coincidentally the first X on my map!! Fancy that!!
Arriving in city X I got a hotel room, dumped off my junk and scouted out the town to see where I would be tract-bombing that night. The area of town was almost entirely dominated by muslims. In view of this I was quite suprised at the smut they were selling on the streets. Not just at one place at the end of a road somewhere but in broad daylight on the main thoroughfares. I did not realize that the muslim population in China was so apathetic as to tolerate that but worse yet that the areas of town in which they lived would be the areas that sellers picked to peddle their wares. Islam seems to be as apathetic as mainline ‘Christianity’ with regards to this issue.
I dropped in at this one Hui (muslim) restaurant to get something to eat. I asked for noodles (which is a staple among the muslims) expecting to get the usual bowl of broth filled with noodles and spices. Instead I received a plate of weird looking thick noodles topped with sponges. Yes, sponges. They looked like sponges and tasted like sponges (unfortunately I do know what sponges taste like). The only difference was that they did not chew like sponges. I have no idea what it was but it wasn’t that great. After forcing down most of it so that I would not offend the cook I asked for a bag to bring the rest with me and left. It is an interesting experience going out to eat in a land where you don’t know what they are saying or how to order what you want. Try it sometime. Broadens your perspectives greatly.
Going back to my hotel I settled down for the night. Getting up again at 1:30 I snuck outside laden with hundreds of Chinese tracts. The particular area I was working in that night was densely populated and lower class so there were few people up and about so I was free to get them out ther without delay. All my tracts for the night (460) were out in an hour and a half and I headed back to the hotel.
Up before the crack of dawn the next morning I headed down to the bus station to get outta there. It is not a wise thing to stay for awhile in a city you are putting out a lot of tracts in. Things tend to heat up a bit. And the kind of heat associated with confiscation and/or deportation is a heat I can live without.
They did not have a bus to the city I wanted to go to so after a bit of haggling I got a ticket to a city halfway there from whence I caught a bus to where I really wanted to go. This last leg of the trip was quite interesting as there were twice as many people on the bus as there were seats and I was not one of the priveleged few. This is fine on a short ride in the city but after three hours it gets pretty intense. We were squashed in like sardines. I was halfway perched on the doghouse covering the engine up front along with I think seven or eight other newly met intimate acquaintances. Intimate in the sense of proximity and not of friendship.
Arriving in the town in which I was to work I kept my eyes pealed for Tibetan monasteries which were to be my focus in this town. There were a total of four that I located and two of them were about three miles outside of town. I usually walk a great deal each night but tacking on those extra six miles was not something I was looking forward to. In addition to that the hotel I stayed was way across the river from the town and on top of that the other two monasteries were at the far opposite ends of the town from each other. My feet hurt now just thinking of it.
Before it got dark I decided to climb a mountain above town and take some pics of a little shrine thing that the Tibetans had put up. They put these up everywhere and on the cloths are printed prayers which they believe are repeated and sent on whenever the wind blows. Pictures are available on my facebook page as explaining it is hard to do.
Anyway descending the mountain I lost the trail and ended up at the foot of the mountain and somehow stuck with the only way into town being thru this dump area. I had to climb all over piles of rubbish to get out and that was an experience. I won’t tell you what it was like though as it was so gross this blog may earn a rating of pg 13 or higher if I do so. As I was leaving the dump a dog leaped out of hiding and ran at me but just before reaching me was stopped by his chain. I could feel his teeth in my throat but after I saw that he had stopped realized that was just my heart.
Free at last I went back to my hotel. Sleeping until 11:00 I arose and began the trek to the monasteries that were way out of town. Got out my Ipod ( a gospel minister never should be without his ipod) and put on a Piper sermon and settled into a fast walking pace. During this trek I was passed by many taxis who tried to give me a ride and also I passed many groups of people going home. I think I prayed harder during this time than in a while and I believe my prayers were answered as I was not at any time forced to speak and reveal I was not Chinese. To do so would have raised many suspicions. What was a dumb american doing in the middle on the night on a road way out of town. On these nights curious chinese people are the sounding of the bell of doom. Not quite but it is a big problem.
Arriving at the monasteries I found them all locked up so I went around the outer wall tossing over tracts. Then I was off again for the town and the other two monasteries. It was quite late at this point so I was happy to find a cab and get him to drop me off in the city. It was ok to do this as I was headed back into town and if he was curious it is easy to lose someone in a town. I checked out these two but they were also locked and I threw tracts over the walls here as well. Walking back to the hotel on one particular street I was surprised to be walking alongside a donkey. A random donkey walking alone (except for me) in the downtown area. Only in China…
Anyway I made it back safely and was up bright and early the next morning and headed for Xining, where I live. Interestingly enough my friend David was invited to a dinner back in Xining at which the mayor of the city I was tract-bombing in that very night was also present. Coincidence of all coincidences!
So here I am a day later sitting in my room. Tomorrow I will leave to go on another trip. On this one I will be tract-bombing in three cities.
May the King be glorified in all that we do!!!
Posted in Accounts of mission trips | Leave a Comment »



February 13, 2010 by Caleb Green
This is the Email update I sent out about my arrival into China. Has a few more details than those I have already given.
Hello and God bless!!
I have finally made it to China! I arrived here in Xining (the capitol of Qinghai province in western china) on sunday the 7th after taking a 42 hour train ride across the country. T’was an interesting experience. On the train there was a little fellow named Li who kept on coming over and climbing all over me and wanted to play with my camera. We had an awesome time goofing off, drawing pictures and trying to talk to each other.
Getting back over here for the first time in about three years has really been an refreshing and confusing experience. Refreshing to once again smell the smells i remember and to be working for the King in advancing His kingdom. Confusing to be trying to assimilate a bazillion new things I need to know. But God is faithful and has guided me thus far and will guide me on.
The past week has been mostly spent figuring out how things will work over here. I will be working with two brothers for most of the time; David and Eugene and his family. Eugene has been working on and off over here for seven years. A new development that I did not mention in the previous mailings is that for a portion of the time I will be teaching English at a school in the area. Eugene and his family will be going overseas on a short trip so I will be stepping in to fill his place at the school he teaches at.
The Chinese new year celebrations are right around the corner and during this time everyone gets a long holiday and everything shuts down. During this time we will all be scrambling to get a lot of stuff done. We need to move Eugene from one apartment to another and also go to another province to get another load of stuff.
To stay in the country long-term David and Eugene need to have an excuse with the government and so both of them will teach english and in addition to this Eugene runs a little restaurant. This place does not provide any monetary help for the ministry but does make a good excuse.
So my next few weeks until Eugene leaves will consist of doing a lot of work for him, moving and a little upkeep on the restaurant all the while scattering crumbs (tracts) all over. After he leaves I will take over the teaching. As that is only on the weekends I will be taking trips out into the surrounding areas each week to do crumbing at night and hit a few outlying towns he wants to do. This is our tentative plan this far as best I understand it.
I wish to thank all of you for your prayers. I have been overwhelmed by the support you have given me in assuring me of your bearing me up before the King. May God richly bless you for this.
All for the one who gave His all for us!!!
For China,
Caleb






Sunday, April 04, 2010 10:57 PM--[later removed from blog]

First off, I want to admire you for your heart for the lost and for your desire for all to hear the Truth of the Gospel. I truly wish more Christians had your desire and zeal for the lost to know the Maker.

However....I do not necessarily agree with your approach. I am not saying that "tract bombing" is wrong, but in my close to 10 years experience living and working with Tibetan people, tract bombing often does more harm than good. I know that tracts are a way of communicating the Gospel and I know in a lot of cultures they are effective tools. However, distributing tracts in remote Tibetan areas such as རྫ་སྟོད་ (Zaduo) can have some significant negative effects.

You see, there is a sizeable group of people who are trying to live and work in Yushu Prefecture, with several people trying to live in རྫ་སྟོད་ By distributing literature, it causes the local Yushu prefecture government to become suspicious of the foreigners who frequent the region and those who are interested in living and ministering in the area. In early January 2006 another small group similar to yours went and tract bombed ནང་ཆེན་ (Nangchen). The consequences afterwards were quite severe as several of the key people I had made relationships with (both within and outside the local government) became hesitant of me and thought that perhaps I was behind the tract bombing (many of the tracts went into local monasteries causing the monks to want to physically assault foreigners). This caused several of the contacts I had made in Nangchen to not want to talk to me or be my friend. Even more than 18 months later in October 2007, I came across Tibetans in Nangchen county who were hesitant to talk to me because they had heard that all foreigners wanted was to "make them Christians". They had no interest in me at all because of the tract bombing that took place 18 months earlier.

In my experiences, Tibetans are far more interested in the Gospel when they can see it lived out in a Christian persons life. This seems to be exponentially more successful than passing out a tract which can seem incredibly confusing and offensive to a Tibetan Buddhist who has never heard one ounce of the truth of the Gospel. Without having someone explain a gospel tract to them in detail, the Gospel can seem incredibly offensive to a Tibetan Buddhist. I highly recommend reading Marku Tsering's "Sharing Christ in the Tibetan Buddhist World". Marku has over 25 years of experience with Tibetans and goes into detail on why the Gospel can be very offensive to Tibetans if it is not explained carefully. I have never heard of a Gospel tract that explains the Gospel in a delicate way so that Tibetans would not be offended.

Due to tract distribution causing the government to become hesitant of letting Christian foreigners live in Tibetan regions like Yushu prefecture (which again, several are currently trying to do) and the fact that tracts can seem confusing and offensive to Tibetans if they are not explained well, I do not look at tract bombing as a very effective means of proclaiming the Gospel. In fact, it can often times have the opposite effect.

If you want to make an impact for Christ among the Tibetans in Yushu, I encourage you to live among them and learn their language. That way, you can explain the Gospel in a way that is culturally sensitive.

It does not surprise me one bit that your friend who was with you recently had problems with the police. By posting the details of your trip on this site (which is named after you), it is clear that you were not given the memo about security measures in China, especially in Tibetan areas. Your friend is not going to be very effective long-term among the Tibetans when he can't even get a visa to enter China.

Again, I thank you for your love of Christ and your desire for all to know about Him. I truly wish more people had your desire. Again, I do not think that tracts are necessarily a bad idea, but they can be when you aren't there to properly explain them to a people who know nothing about Jesus.

I hope the rest of your time in Qinghai is fruitful and successful.

Blessings,