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When the ‘80s arrived, winds of change adjusted the political climate and opened the country to the outside world through socio-economic reforms. Churches were being reopened in succession. “Some days, a few churches would reopen at the same time,” Rev Bao mused. Christian leaders like Bishop K.H. Ting began to look for pastors and theological students they had known in the past to lead and shepherd the newly reopened churches. It was also at this time that the Chinese Church began her partnership with organizations like UBS that began with Bible printing and distribution and then subsequently in other Scripture programs as well.

(Photo: Rev Bao in his CCC Office at Nanjing, taken about 15 years ago)

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JIANGSU, ChinaTo many Christian leaders in China, Reverend Bao Jiayuan is a household name. For nearly 30 years, he has laboured tirelessly in the China Christian Council/TSPM (CCC/TSPM), advancing the work of Bible printing and distribution in China as well as enhancing the Chinese Church’s overseas relations. To United Bible Societies China Partnership (UBS CP), he has been a great friend and partner. Today, at 72 and fresh in retirement, he is no less fervent in his passion for God’s work.

(Photo: Rev Bao delivering a message at the Thanksgiving Service of the Launch of Annotated West Lisu Bible in Yunnan Province in Jan 2015)

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Madam Zhou with her 1924 edition Bible and a copy of an old hymnbook. Photo: UBSCP/ Cynthia Oh

CHANGDE, China – After a 90-minute drive from the city center along a winding and muddy path we finally arrived at the home of Madam Zhou, a retired farmer, to deliver Bibles and listen to her story. Madam Zhou, 70, received us warmly, while her husband prepared lunch in the kitchen. Here, in her old but cozy home, she told us the story behind her Bible, a story that happened nearly half a century ago, while it drizzled quietly outside and the aroma from the kitchen slowly filled our noses.

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