JIANGXI, China — Had it not been for Elder Ye’s own words, it would have been hard to believe that this good-natured middle-aged man had gambled, cheated and had many other vices before he became a Christian.
It was his mother’s Christian faith and God’s protection that brought him to Christ at the age of 20.
“At that time, my mother had been a believer for only a year, but I knew clearly that it’s my mother’s God who saved me. That was why I came to faith,” shared Elder Ye, who is 59 years old now.
From then, he started going to church. At that time, there were only less than 30 people. Most were old, sick and infirmed. Everyone was very happy to see a young man among them. So, they asked him to lead the choir and share the Word of God.
Elder Ye was so moved by God’s goodness and love that he dedicated himself to serve the church. He was only 21 then. But as the eldest son, Elder Ye needed to care for four younger brothers and sisters. He took responsibility for supporting the family financially after the passing of his father. When the church work was not busy, he worked in the fields.
By 2006, the number of believers had increased to nearly 300. “I felt inadequate to meet the needs of my fellow believers so I enrolled in a Bible training programme for half a year.” Today, he is an elder of a church in the county of Yugan, Shangrao city, Jiangxi Province.
The regular weekly church attendance is about 600 but during the annual Spring Festival when locals who have gone to work in the cities return to their hometowns, church attendance will swell up to around 1000.
God prepared a virtuous and capable wife for Elder Ye. She is currently responsible for the choir and Sunday school. Elder Ye has three children and his family are all believers. Both sons are married. By the grace of God, he sent his daughter to study at Jiangxi Bible School. Currently, they are both serving in the same church without any pay. However, this is not an obstacle to Elder Ye as he still serves the Lord whole-heartedly.
Speaking of the Bible, Elder Ye’s eyes widened. “When I first became a Christian, I had only one Gospel portion, that was the Gospel of Matthew. Later I received the Old Testament. It was not until the second half of 1982 that a preacher gave me a full Bible. I regarded it as a treasure and read through the Bible. It took me only two months to finish reading the whole Bible,” Elder Ye recalled.
When he received the Bible resources from the United Bible Societies in 2018, he was overjoyed. “It was a precious gift to me. Bible resources have been a great help to me in sermon preparation and pastoral work. Prior to that, I used to get very tired from spending a lot of time on sermon preparation but these resources have helped me to reduce a lot of time taken to prepare sermon notes. I want to share them with others around me who need these resources as I have been so blessed by them.”
“Thank you for your concern for us rural preachers. Thank you for your love and support. May God bless you for your generosity.”
Written by: Lydia Zhang and Jenise Lee
Photo: UBS CP
2021 © United Bible Societies China Partnership