Numbering more than 400,000, the Bunu are one of the largest people groups in China without a single known church. Ethnic and linguistic diversity, as well as geographic isolation, have been major barriers to the Bunu hearing the gospel. At this early stage (and every stage), prayer plays an essential role in the work of God as we ask the Holy Spirit to prepare people’s hearts to be receptive to the good news.

As a strategy, prayer has several different avenues. We hope that believers all around the world will join to pray for the Bunu. Mobilizing prayer from the global Body of Christ is an essential and powerful work. As J.O. Fraser, China Inland Mission missionary to the Lisu a century ago, put it:

‘Can it be that a great work for God involving thousands of souls devolves upon our prayer life – half a world away? … I am feeling more and more that it is, after all, just the prayers of God’s people that call down blessing upon the work, whether they are directly engaged in it or not. Paul may plant and Apollos water, but it is God who gives the increase; and this increase can be brought down from heaven by believing prayer, whether offered in China or in England. We are, as it were, God’s agents-used by Him to do His work, not ours. We do our part, and then can only look to Him, with others, for His blessing. If this is so, then Christians at home can do as much for foreign missions as those actually on the field. I believe it will only be known on the Last Day how much has been accomplished in missionary work by the prayers of earnest believers at home.’ [1]

The Bunu, loved by God and made for his glory, have not heard the glorious story of Jesus, of how he has died for them that they might be forgiven and reconciled to God. The crucial role of prayer will play a major part in seeing communities of faith spring up among the Bunu. Fraser put it best: “Time and energy was always saved by prayer and wasted without it; it was the lifeblood of the whole work of God in China.”

[1] J.O. Fraser, “The Prayer of Faith,” (Accessed 14 December 2017).

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