Life Is no Longer Straightforward
Once the reservoir is full after the summer rains, the view from this Tibetan village across the placid waters to the snow-peaked mountains beyond is stunning. It’s April now though. The valley below is a muddy eyesore; the water level low enough that rooftops of the old village protrude above the surface. Nevertheless, the locals are content with their lot. After all, those who were displaced when their valley was dammed were amply compensated. Rickety old stone dwellings have been replaced with sturdy concrete homes, each large enough to be used as a tourist guesthouse. And once the new road is complete next year, busloads of Chinese tourists with money to spend will be passing by on their way to the nearby national park.
Prosperity, unimaginable just a generation ago, is within touching distance. The villagers still deck their homes with prayer flags and give offerings to the mountain god at the family shrine. But they’ve caught a glimpse of the outside world through their smartphones and satellite TV.
Life is no longer so straightforward for Tibetans in modern China.
China continues to develop at a breathtaking pace, particularly the ever-expanding urban areas. But even the Tibetan hinterland is now feeling the effect of this relentless modernization. Journeys through rugged mountain terrain that used to require days on dirt roads can now be covered in a matter of hours along newly built highways.
Massive civil engineering projects scar the landscape and displace communities that were once remote and untouched by outsiders. The effect on the Tibetan culture and lifestyle is immeasurable. And yet, just as Roman roads facilitated the spread of the gospel in the 1st Century, the Tibetan world is more accessible for gospel workers today than ever before in history.
- That improved living standards will not cause Tibetans to become corrupted by greed & lust for money.
- That contact with the outside world will cause Tibetans to become increasingly open to new concepts, especially the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- That ever-improving infrastructure will enable gospel workers to engage more and more Tibetan areas.