On 16th May 2012, when the guests from the British and Foreign Bible Societies (BFBS) and UBS arrived at the auditorium where the Thanksgiving ceremony was to be held, almost 180 students and teachers from the Nanjing Seminary were already seated there.
In his welcome speech, Revd Dr Chen Yilu, the Seminary’s Executive Vice President, highlighted the high usage of Bible Resource Centre (BRC) by students, evident by a fully-occupied reading area almost any time during the day. Revd Chen expressed sincere gratitude on behalf of the Seminary to BFBS/UBS supporters for the generous contribution of books, computers and software, which offer both teachers and students a better research environment. He thanked God for this provision and blessings.
Mr James Catford, BFBS Group CEO, introduced the ministry of BFBS and said that the work of Bible Society is to translate the Scripture in three areas: translating the Scripture into different languages; translating the Scripture into the society and translating the Scripture into the hearts. In relation to this, Mr Catford invited one of the BFBS supporters, Lady Georgie Wates, to share her experiences in the hospital and prison ministry. In her sharing, Lady Georgie emphasized the importance of prayer and the Holy Spirit in her ministry. This served as a good reminder to the students that in addition to the Bible resources at the Seminary, they should rely on prayers and the Holy Spirit in their preparation for ministry.
Mr Philip Green, the incoming BFBS Board Chairman, shared how pastors have impacted his life. He talked about how his relationship with a pastor played a significant role in his life and the great influence of a youth pastor on the spiritual growth of his two daughters. Addressing specifically the students, Mr Green said that “the exciting work in Church in China depends on people like you. You are the pastors of tomorrow.” Indeed, the purpose of the Bible Resource Centre is to support the training and equipping of the students to be the future pastors and teachers for the Church in China.
The well wishes sent by Mrs Jay Green on behalf of Bishop Radford Trust were read out in English and Mandarin: “With best wishes from all of us at the Bishop Radford Trust on the occasion of the opening of the Nanjing Theological Seminary Bible Resource Centre. We hope this Centre will provide valuable support for the students of the seminary as they prepare to follow their calling to serve the spiritual needs of the people of China.” The Bishop Radford Trust funded the establishment of the Centre through BFBS/UBS.
In her presentation on the BRC, Prof Liu Meichun, the Seminary’s Director of Library, recounted the journey in the establishment of the Centre over the past two years. She reported that 4,800 books were purchased and delivered from overseas. Together with their existing collection, there are now more than 6,300 books at the BRC. In addition to this, hundreds of books and resources are also available through the installed Bible software at the Centre. Meichun expressed her deep appreciation towards UBS China Partnership for the critical work and valuable help offered in the setting up of BRC.
Dr Sigurd Kaiser, a visiting New Testament lecturer from Germany at the Seminary, was very pleased with the establishment of the BRC at the Seminary. He had previously noted that Biblical studies books were rather lacking in the Seminary. With a larger collection of Biblical studies books at BRC, he is now able to set up a better reading list for his students. While recognising that the BRC may not be able to match the libraries of many seminaries overseas, he believes it is a good start for Nanjing Seminary.
The event in the auditorium came to a close with the presentation of Greek New Testament (NT) to 17 second-year students who are studying New Testament Greek. These NTs were donated by the UBS for every batch of NT Greek students at the Seminary. After some group photo-taking, the guests proceeded to the Centre for ribbon cutting and the unveiling of the plaque.
If you wish to participate in making Bible resources available for other seminaries in mainland China, please make your financial contribution to the Bible Society in your country and designate to UBS China Partnership – Bible Resources for Seminaries.
For more photographs click HERE.
Written by Ms Jock Foo