“The Bible is God’s Word. When God’s Word enters into my life, I feel different emotionally. God’s Word gives me strength whenever I am weak or in doubt. When I am unsure about a particular decision, His Word encourages me to have faith and not be afraid. For the Bible says in the Book of Isaiah (ESV) …fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God: I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” These words were spoken by Mdm Zhang Yulin, a blind Christian masseuse who shared with us her feelings when she reads the Braille Bible produced by Amity Printing Company.
Though Zhang cannot see, through reading the Braille Bible, she was able to know God and tell us a lot about God’s nature and His requirements. The portion of the Bible that meant a lot to Zhang was from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. “I love to memorize the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus feels so close. His voice is very personal to me. He is strict yet gentle, kind and intimate. I imagine God to be a very serious Father. I cannot bear the consequences of my sins. I don’t dare to sin. But his anger is only momentary. Just like it is written in Psalms 30:5 (ESV), ‘For His anger is but for a moment and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night but joy comes with the morning.’ Whenever I think of this verse, I feel so close to God. I thank Him for His promises.”
Zhang Yulin has never known what it is like to see the world visually, having lost her eyesight at birth. She married a Christian preacher who was also blind and they had a daughter together. Zhang recounted fondly, “When my daughter was a young child, she loves to hear me tell her Bible stories about Jesus. She also likes to pray together with me.” Unfortunately, her husband died early and later Zhang’s mother stepped in to care for her daughter as she was afraid Zhang would not be able to manage the task alone. “Now that my daughter doesn’t live with me anymore, her faith is not as strong as before. I can only continue to pray for her,” Zhang told us sadly.
Shared the Gospel and Found a Companion
When Zhang was an apprentice masseuse, her teacher introduced her to one of his blind students, Ruan Zhuqin, who was a widower. Their friendship which started when Zhang shared the Good News with Ruan — Ruan later received Christ into his life– developed into love. Today, it has been over eight years since they were married and three years since they moved from Dali City to Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan. They are now happily settled in a rented place. Though daily living is tough, they found support and formed new Christian friendships at a fellowship group at the Kunming Trinity International Church.
The Angel Fellowship
The new fellowship group (see picture above) that encouraged both Zhang and Ruan in their walk with God is known as the Angel Fellowship. It is a special fellowship group at Kunming Trinity International Church formed 2 years ago to meet the needs of physically challenged Christians living in Kunming City. There are currently a little more than 20 members in this fellowship with varying degrees of physical disabilities coming together weekly to study the Bible. These members have a great thirst for God’s Word according to Rev Zheng Hui, who is presently attached to the fellowship to help the members with Bible Study. In the past their study of the word was piece meal. They thirst for God’s Word and requested Rev Zheng Hui to help them study the Bible book by book. During Christmas celebration each year, members of the Angel Fellowship would present a song item to bless the congregation attending the special Christmas service.
“I find myself going to the Angel Fellowship week after week because of God’s love. When we love one another, we help one another. Because of God’s love, we no longer focus on our own misfortunes. We now have confidence to reach out and encourage each other with a sincere heart. Because we come together and share, we do not lack anything,” said Zhang, adding that they are first loved by God and then loved and accepted by God’s people.
Zhang Yulin’s determination to follow Jesus is obvious in the following words spoken by her, “In John 17:3 (ESV), it is written, ‘And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’ Since we want eternal life, we must follow the giver of eternal life.”
By Ms YEO Tan Tan and Ms Pamela Choo
Photos taken by Ms YEO Tan Tan and Davis Yap,
for United Bible Societies, China Partnership