As told by Paul Hattaway -- a missionary based in Chiang Mal, Thailand -- at Frontier Fellowship, Pasadena in February 1997. Paul works with minorities in the neighboring countries.


The Mosuo are a Tibetan Buddhist people about 50,000 strong who live near Lugu Lake in southwest China at an elevation of about 11.000 feet. Before the road was built in the 1970s, the journey to Lugu Lake would take months.

There is no marriage among the Mosuo; the women are in charge and they hang a colored bead on the doorpost to tell which man is to stay with them that night. They are Lamaist, and the houses generally have one room dedicated to idols, especially the goddess of death. The Mosuo language is unwritten, but some of the people can read Chinese.

In 1995, a Chinese fellowship in Hong Kong were praying for the Mosuo, and a small group from Hong Kong took the long bus ride up into the mountains to visit the Mosuo. Their goal was to pray and learn, and they had no intention of actually sharing the gospel on this first journey.

When the small group of Han Chinese were ready to leave, they got on the bus. The bus driver spent a long time revving the engine and trying out the gears. When the bus was about to move, one of the Chinese handed a small tract to a Mosuo man standing at the bus station. As the bus pulled away they could see, out of the back window, that he was standing in the road reading it.

A small group from the same Hong Kong fellowship returned in 1996. When they got off the bus a Mosuo man said in Mandarin, “You are the people who gave me the paper about Jesus. Come with me.”

The Han Chinese were scared, but they went with him to his house. They entered, and he locked the door and closed the shutters. Then he told them, “My wife and I read your tract, and we believe in Jesus. We have never known such peace. We worship Him every day. We have smashed our idols, and now we live as man and wife.”

The Chinese said, “How do you know all this? We only left you with one small tract.”

He answered, “My wife and I like to lie on our backs on our bed, and we see pictures on the ceiling. One of the pictures was of a Lamb. He was bleeding, and his blood flowed over the whole world and washed people clean.”

The Chinese gave the Mosuo couple some Chinese New Testaments and left. They returned early in 1997. They met the couple again, and learned that the man had been beaten, their goods had been taken, but they were still radiant with joy. They had led seven other families to Christ and had started a small fellowship worshipping Jesus among the Mosuo.