On a return visit to Nanjing, China last week, Daniel Willis, CEO of Bible Society NSW inspected progress on the new site for the Amity Printing Press.
“Last October, the block was vacant, apart from a huge sign. Now you can see the shape of the new buildings with form work and support columns in place. Given progress to date, the press is expected to be finished and operational by the end of 2007,” said Daniel.
The 86,671 square metre site is part of a new industrial development in Nanjing, a city of over 6 million people. A new giant press, worth over $5 million Australian is due for delivery from the UK in September.
“The current site of the Amity Printing Company was developed in 1986 with the first Bibles rolling off the presses at the end of ’87 . Then the press was surrounded by countryside – now it is in the middle of suburbia,” said Daniel. “There is nowhere for the current site to grow, so in conjunction with the joint venture partners, this new site was found and purchased,” he said.
Funding for the new development, expected to cost RMB 130,000,000 (approx $21m Australian) will come from reserves and loans from banking institutions. This is in addition to the value of relocated production lines and equipment from the current factory site.
“Who would have thought that 20 years ago when the press first opened that we would be so successful that we would need to move to a new location. Over that 20 year period, the press has printed 50 million Bibles and New Testaments with 40 million Chinese language Bibles distributed in China,” said Daniel.
“The new press will have a capacity of 1 million Bibles a month and with the growth of the Church in China, this capacity will well and truly be needed,” he said. “I also visited churches in China’s north-east where I was told there was an increasing interest in the Bible – the new Amity Press will ensure this interest can be met with Bibles and New Testaments,” Daniel said.
“Whilst some organisations claim that Bibles are not legally available in China, or if they are, they don’t contain the whole Bible – nothing could be further from the truth. God’s people have been faithful to the vision of Amity and we are seeing unprecedented opportunity for whole Bible distribution throughout China,” Daniel said. “There are 55,000 Bible distribution points spread throughout the country,” he said.
Photo : WORLD NEWS