“People say I am being disrespectful to God’s Word. But I made light of what they say. You see, I like to write notes and date them in my Bible,” says Cai Jian, a 48 year-old Christian who attends the Thanksgiving Christian Church in Hubei province.
“You see this portion: ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.’(Psalm 119:105 ESV) It’s dated 1 January 2006 – I wrote that God’s Word lights up my life’s journey.”
“The first Bible I saw must have been in 1978 when I was still in high school. I was at a Catholic church and I saw what a Bible looked like,” Cai said wryly.
“It was not until 2006, when I was searching for a meaning to my life my friend gave me a Bible. I started reading from the Old Testament about God creating the world, I couldn’t understand it all. But when I read the Gospels, the words of Jesus touched me.” Cai Jian then added that although he believed in Jesus then, his flesh was weak and the temptations of the world lured him away from a faith commitment to Christ.
Cai Jian strayed further from church and his Christian friends. But four months later, Cai chanced upon the Bible his friend gave him and he remembered how intrigued he had been when he read the Word. Subsequently, he returned to church and in 2009, he was baptized.
Baptism and Beaten
“You see this date: 2ndAugust 2009?” Cai asked, pointing to a scribble on the front cover of Bible. “This was the date of my baptism. See this entry a month later? That was the time I was beaten up by gangsters.”
Cai Jian rolled up his pants and pointed at the scars, explaining, “My job is to represent the farmers’ union. Often I had to undertake the thankless job of going to the bosses to demand payment of wages on behalf of these farmers. On that occasion, which coincidentally happened a month after my baptism, the bosses not only refused to make payments but sent his thugs to beat me up as well!”
“During this critical time, I remembered God’s words which says: ‘He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.’(Psalm 34:20 ESV). I imagined I saw the hand of God coming down from heaven to protect me. Maybe that explained how I escaped the beating with just a few scars and bruises, “Cai spoke laughingly, making light of his permanent scars.
“There is power in the Word of God. My siblings later became Christians because they saw how my life is guided by the Bible’s teachings and the love exhibited by my church friends during my mishap, “Cai Jian added, “There’s power in the Word!”
Millions of Christians in China will be able to experience power from reading God’s Word if more Bibles are made available for them. If you would like to make a financial contribution towards this need, please contact the Bible Society in your country and designate your gift to ‘UBS China Partnership — Bibles for China’s Millions’.
Photos and story by Pamela Choo
for United Bible Societies, China Partnership