"I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12-14).
Many Christians found 2020 to be a very difficult and unsettling year, with the Covid pandemic and social and political turmoil combining to disrupt and challenge their lives.
A number of people have contacted us to ask what we think about various political events, social issues, the environment, and a host of other things.
While we understand that the world is shaking right now and people everywhere are under pressure, and if or your family have any specific prayer requests, please send them by letter or email and we will join with you by bringing your need before the throne of God in our prayer times.
Here at Asia Harvest, for decades we have learned that the only way to survive and faithfully do what God has called us to do is to have a laser-beam focus. We exist only to serve the Church in Asia, by helping them reach the thousands of remaining unreached people groups, and by providing Bibles to believers in "closed" countries who are unable to access them.
To move forward in ministry, we have found it necessary to focus on our call and to avoid all distractions. The Apostle Paul described his focus this way: "Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer." (2 Timothy 2:3-4).
As we reflect on an amazing year of ministry in Asia, we have been engaged in an intense spiritual war for the souls of men and women now for over 30 years. Asia is our passion and focus, and we simply don't have the time or energy to get involved with other issues around the world, no matter how compelling they may appear.
As we look forward to what lies ahead, we would appreciate your prayers so that, by God's grace and power, we will be able to faithfully serve Him to the end without being sidetracked.
Even when things in our lives feel unstable, let's remember the words of Jesus, who told His followers: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33).
While 2020 was a year like no other, and all our lives have been disrupted in one way or another, for us the main way that Covid affected us was that we were suddenly twice as busy as usual! The lockdowns caused those we partner with throughout Asia to fly into action to help people survive in their churches and communities.
As a result, a great harvest was reaped of new believers in many locations. In some places, believers were excluded from food distribution by callous officials and villagers. When we provided help, however, the Christians not only welcomed the crucial aid, but they even gave some to their persecutors, which attracted many to the truth of the Gospel and the love of Jesus.
Our policy has always been not to ask people for anything except prayer as we serve God. The Holy Spirit leads people if He wants them to give. Remarkably, in a year when much economic stress was felt around the world, the Lord provided more support than any year in our history!
Thanks to your generous support, we were able to help hundreds of thousands of people across Asia, and 2020 became a record year for donations, and we saw an increase of 56 percent from the previous year. We are thankful for everyone who partnered with us to help see the kingdom of God established among the peoples of Asia.
Cover photo: This picture encapsulates the heart of our call. An evangelist whom we support through the Asian Worker's Fund shares the Gospel to attentive tribal villagers crowded into a stone hut in a remote part of the Himalayas. We are privileged to support almost 1,500 evangelists throughout Asia. Last year they led over 117,000 people to faith in Jesus Christ.
2020/21 Annual Report
In the remainder of this newsletter we present our Annual Report, detailing the help Asia Harvest provided to the Body of Christ throughout Asia in 2020.
It has been a privilege to serve the Lord for another year, and we feel greatly blessed to be a link in the chain that resulted in many people coming to know Him. Last year, more than two million Christians were strengthened by receiving God's Word through our Bible projects, while the nearly 1,500 Asian evangelists we support led a total of 117,509 people to Christ among 1,132 different tribes and ethnic groups.
For over 30 years, our strategy has been to operate with as few overhead expenses as possible, so that the maximum resources will reach the hands of frontline workers—the Asian Christians we are honored to assist and serve. We thank each person who prayed for and supported our work last year. Without your vital partnership none of these things would have occurred.
From the time of Asia Harvest's inception in the 1980s, we have desired to be transparent in the area of finances. Our annual financial statements are independently audited each year, and are available for anyone to view on our website.
We thank God that last year we were able to send out substantially more project money than we received. Our operating costs are minimal, and are fully covered by non-project donations, and from income generated by book sales. This means that 100% of all project donations are used on the field in Asia exactly as specified.
To read our audited financial statements, please visit the "Resources" link at our website.
Asia Harvest Projects Supported in 2020
China Bible Fund - Equipping China's Christians with God's Word
There remains a critical shortage of Bibles in China today because of the massive growth of the house churches. Tens of millions of Christians are still unable to access God's Word. Our Bibles are distributed free of charge to all parts of China, establishing new believers in the faith, and adding fuel to the revival fires that continue to burn throughout the world's most populated country. Each full Bible costs just $1.80 to print.
By God's grace and power, since 2000 we have printed and distributed almost 14 million Bibles to house church believers in China, with 1,462,778 in 2020 alone. This equates to 4,008 Bibles every day, 167 per hour, or one full Bible every 21 seconds throughout the year. Each one is a miracle. Thanks for praying and giving.
Accumulative Graph showing Chinese Bibles printed and distributed by Asia Harvest: 13,934,669
Asian Workers' Fund - Partnering with Pioneer Asian Evangelists
Because of your prayers and partnership, we ended 2020 supporting 1,484 Asian missionaries, serving among 1,132 unreached people groups. A reported 117,509 people experienced God's salvation last year.
A Mongolian mother reads the Gospel for the first time inside her family's yurt (tent).
The Asian Workers' Fund supports Asian evangelists who are working among people groups that have never heard the gospel. These workers encounter many hardships and persecutions, but have persevered and are seeing breakthroughs among many groups.
In 2020, those we support through the project led 117,509 people to salvation in Jesus Christ (an average of 79 per worker). A total of 546,800 conversions have been reported since this project commenced. Hallelujah! This is remarkable considering most of the workers serve in the darkest and most unreached areas of Asia, including among numerous Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist peoples.
The Asian Workers' Fund is constantly expanding and new workers are being recruited. We invite you to support one or more Asian missionaries with a gift of $25 per month each. A laminated prayer card is sent to every supporter of the project.
Asian Bible Fund - Providing Bibles to Asia's Christians
Current Total: 1,232,362 Bibles printed in 125 different languages. Each Bible costs an average of $2.70 to print and deliver.
Asia is home to many groups where people have been prevented from accessing God's Word, sometimes for decades. Whereas our China Bible Fund is separate and focuses only on China, the Asian Bible Fund provides the Scriptures in numerous languages throughout Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and elsewhere.
In 2020 we printed and distributed 206,549 Bibles in 36 languages— the most Bibles we have ever done in a single year. For many people groups it was the first time in history they had Scripture in their language. Often, the Bibles were the answer to years of prayer by desparate Christians, who were hungry for God's Word but unable to access it. All glory to the Lamb of God!
Please pray for this project and for all who are involved in providing God's Word to the precious Christians of Asia. In 2020 we printed Bibles through the Asian Bible Fund in the following languages:
Ahirani, Bareli Palya, Bengali, Bengali Musalman, Bodo Parja, Chin Asang Khongca, Chin Ngawn, Chin Tapong, Dhankavi, Desiya, Didayi, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Hindustani, Holiya, Indonesian, Juray Saora, Kacchi, Kannada, Karen Sqaw, Konda Dora, Koya, Kukna, Kuvi, Lodha, Lodhi, Mundari, Nahali, Nepali, Odia, Pengo, Telugu, Vasavi, Urdu, Vietnamese