Here is a story from a missionary who visited China in February of 2006. He recalls visiting a small village outside of one of the cities he was visiting. I have pasted parts of the story below that paint the picture of the need in China. This is the same condition of many places in China today!
I also added some emphasis: the areas that are bolded are a cry out for the need of laborers and the parts that are underlined are the problems in much China’s house church movement (lack of male leadership, teach tradition instead of Bible, attendance mainly women, doesn’t clearly/correctly present the Gospel).
“Tuesday morning we left at 6:30 to head to the country to a small farming village about 2 ½ hours from the city….
…The small village had the old Chinese brick building style. There were 3 rows of houses – maybe 50 in all. Each house was surrounded by a mud /straw fence, badly eroding by the winter elements. The streets were frozen mud with large ruts. There were dogs, chickens, ducks and large sows wandering freely. Since one of the main crops there is corn, huge piles of fodder were stacked everywhere along the road. The pigs were freely eating and laying on the pile. Most of the homes were old, but even the newer ones were all the same style. Inside was one large room – maybe 16×16 , with a queen sized concrete bed frame in the middle of the room. At the head of the bed was a small cupboard where they stored the mats and blankets they slept on. By day, the concrete frame served as a sofa and a place to put a short legged table that everyone sat around for meals. Outside the room was a narrow concrete hall that led to the only other small room in the house which was the kitchen. In it was a gas burner and a large wok for cooking , and a pump for drawing water out of a well. There was no bathroom or running water in the house….
…He talked about the 2 churches in that area. Both are led by women and both with different teachings….
…From what they said, they taught about many traditional things passed down from the ideas of people, not really what the Bible taught. Most of the villagers could not read, so just did what they were told. They didn’t use the Bible much in the services. He asked if someone could come to the village to teach. He said that there weren’t many men in the church. If a man would come, the men would also go to church. “Will someone come to teach us?” A heart wrenching question with probably a negative answer…
…She had no idea about God, just that her daughter supposedly had been demon possessed and the lady preacher at the church told her she needed to believe in Jesus, so she did. She said, “I believe in Jesus, but I don’t know what the advantage is”…
…I started from Creation and went through briefly what happens when a person gets saved and why it is important to believe in Christ as our Savior. They listened intently and also asked if a teacher would come. Again, my heart went out to them…
…Will they ever get a real witness in that village was the question lingering in my mind as we were driving away.”