This letter from Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Price, of the China Inland Mission, reminds us all of the priceless value of passing on the printed page - ED. DAWN.


*       *       *



Is tract distribution worthwhile?  About five weeks ago we made a very definite request to the Lord and asked that He would graciously set His seal upon our work by letting us know of some actual fruit.  Within a fortnight a letter arrived, signed by eight men who were in a timber yard in Pootung.  It was a beautifully written letter, obviously the work of educated men.  A tract had fallen into the hands of one of them, and they had all been reading it, and to quote from the letter, they explained, “We are a group of lost souls* who have been driven by the strife of life and gathered from different places in this spot, as fellow-tradesmen ... not having minded our souls that were about to perish.  Yesterday we read the Gospel tract published by your Mission and were touched to realise our sins and future judgment.  Indeed we feel terribly fearful and have come to know we are needy in our souls.  The tract told us that Jesus was our Saviour Who had come into the world to save us and had been crucified for the sins of the world, and on believing sins will be forgiven.  What wonderful saving grace is this!”  The letter goes on to say that there is nowhere near them in Pootung to which they can go for help, and they ask, “How are we to begin in believing?  Do you have any publications for new believers?  Please recommend to us any booklets or tracts, so that we may get a deeper knowledge of Jesus”.


[* NOTE. “The salvation of souls” (1 Pet. 1: 9), is a future salvation awaiting some from amongst the regenerate who are already eternally saved by the grace of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.   See also Heb. 10: 39; Jas. 1: 21, etc,.]



You can imagine our joy as we read this letter, and realised that our Lord had set His seal upon the work.  An added joy to us personally was the fact that it was in Pootung that fruit was thus being borne!  That name will have a richer meaning to us in the future, as being not merely the place of internment, but the place from which the first known fruits of this literary work came.  Those men have since been visited, and it was evident that the tract had fallen into good soil, soil already prepared by the Holy Spirit.  One of their number had once been into a service down in Wenchow, Chekiang, and had been more than interested in the message heard.  So much so, that he had bought a Bible, and lately in that timber yard he and his seven companions had been reading the Word together.  When they got that tract they wrote immediately to this address.  We believe that two are even now born again.  They have more literature now, and this letter comes to you with the plea that you will definitely ask for the salvation of all eight men, for their growth in grace and establishment in the faith, and that they may witness to others so that over the river in Pootung there may be set another Centre of Light.



Just after this letter had arrived we received another.  It was from an aviator, a young man in the Chinese air force, who had received a copy of our first children’s tract ! ! ! .  His letter is rather quaint and reads something like this:- “Having read your revelation, it caused my infant heart, no, a dim-sighted heart, to have some light.  I know everybody has sin, but I desire God to cleanse me ... I do not want a heart of sin. (The Tract shows a black sinful heart, a heart cleansed in the precious blood, etc.)  Pray that the God of salvation will give me a white heart, a perfectly white heart.  I wonder whether you are able to give me guidance”.



Is tract distribution worthwhile?  Just one more story which I heard yesterday.  In Hong Kong today there is a flourishing church, hundreds of people have been gathered out into our Lord Jesus Christ, and during the Youth for Christ Campaign held there, several hundreds of people knelt in the front of that building and signified their desire to accept the Lord Jesus Christ.  There is a godly man shepherding the sheep there, a man God has used greatly, and how did he come to know the Lord?  He was a waiter in a Chinese restaurant in Detroit.  One evening a group of young people had gone in for a Chinese meal and with them was a white-haired old lady.  She tried to witness to him but he was too busy and did not pay much attention.  However before leaving she managed to slip a tract into his pocket.  That night, in the quiet of his own room, he read it with the result that his heart was moved, and a little later he found the Saviour.  That little old lady will have a wonderful surprise one day when she learns of the fruit gathered because of the tract given to that waiter.  After his conversion he had been able to go to a Bible school in the United States and then, returned to his own people with the message of life, and God has used him greatly here in Hong Kong.  Is tract distribution worth while?



During the three mouths since we last wrote, it has been possible to send out from here over 70,000 tracts, nearly 16,000 booklets, and 2000 Gospel posters, which have all been published here since this work began about the end of last year.



It is true that many missionaries have had to evacuate and move to fresh areas during the last few months, and it is true that in large areas across the North of the country there are now no foreign workers and Chinese workers too have had to flee in large numbers.  But, it is not true that the work has finished.  We dare to believe that even in seeming defeat the Lord brings victory, that in spite of withdrawals of personnel the cause of Christ may advance, and that the Lord will cause the wrath of man to praise Him, and will restrain the remainder.  If this is to be, then it calls for prayer, much prayer, prevailing prayer, that as the hosts of darkness hurl all their forces against the church of Christ it may stand firmly and not give way.  Your hearts would be moved if you could hear of some of the stories which come to our ears of those who have been faithful even unto death.  Only last night I saw the picture of two brothers with radiant faces, whose other brother had been buried alive less than a week before that photo was taken.  Of another group of Christians we heard of the way they cheered and encouraged each other as they sang and praised God while they were digging their own graves, and of the way they continued to sing afterwards until their faint voices could be heard no more.  Our friends at home, PRAY for all fellow-members of the body of Christ, that faith may not fail, and that all of us may be ready always to follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth.  Can He trust me, can He trust you, as He evidently can some of these our fellow-believers up North?  I might add that the story of the hymn singing came from the lips of the one who had them put to death.  He was so convicted afterwards, that he ran round crying out in fear, as he realised suddenly that one day he would have to answer “to their God”.  It reminded us of Saul of Tarsus.