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While it's uncertain just how many Christians there are in China today, it is no secret that the church of Jesus Christ is growing rapidly there-both in congregations officially registered with the Chinese government and in unregistered house churches across the country. Lutheran Hour Ministries' work has been instrumental in responding to two of the challenges connected with this explosive growth-training lay evangelists and supplying reliable resources in sufficient quantities.

For several years now, LHM has used the distribution of MP3 players as one way to share the Gospel with people in China. The MP3 players are primarily used as a congratulatory gift for those who have worked through and completed the Equipping the Saints witnessing-training programs offered through partner congregations. The people who receive the MP3 players have made a commitment to Jesus after completing the ETS program and willingly want to share their faith and teach other people what they have learned through the program.

The players are also given to illiterate people in need who want to hear about the Gospel as well as many "grassroots" people living in rural, farming communities who want to hear God's Word from wherever they are. Sometimes it is hard for these people to travel to a town or village with a church, and often there is no option of a local Christian church, so the MP3 player is their only source of continually hearing the Gospel and learning the catechism.

The goal of the MP3 player distribution is for recipients to not only expand their knowledge, but to use the devices for sharing the Gospel with their friends and family since it is easier to carry an MP3 player instead of a Bible. The MP3 players hold more than just a recorded version of the Bible. They also come equipped with audio Bible classes, hymns, a question and answer catechism, and the foundation of faith based on Lutheran theology to serve as a "good teaching" tool.

Gunya NaThalang, LHM's regional director for Asia, shared a story about a time when she was visiting a famous temple in the northern part of China. When she got to the temple, there were thousands of children there; for as far as she could see, there were people. She was getting ready to leave and she went to use the restroom. While looking for the ladies restroom, she heard a sound that she knew she had heard before. She followed the sound and came across a custodian cleaning the floor with an LHM MP3 player around her neck. The woman had the catechism playing out loud through the MP3 player's speaker. After Gunya introduced herself, the custodian was so excited and thrilled to meet someone from Lutheran Hour Ministries who had helped make the MP3 player program possible.

She was very grateful for the program and shared with Gunya how she plays the recordings out loud so everyone around her can hear them, too.

"By distributing the devices, people like the lady working at the temple are able to play the recordings out loud for many people around them to hear," says Gunya. "It is a great opportunity for people to gather in groups and listen to the recordings together and then have a discussion afterward."

LHM gives out 1,000 MP3 players a year, and every time the people ask for more because they are so impactful and such a treasure for the people who receive them. They are especially popular with younger generations who love to have new pieces of technology. The MP3 players are 8 GB and come with a rechargeable battery. Since LHM started distributing them in 2012, they have upgraded to better versions every couple of years to make sure they are always high-quality and last several years.

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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