YUNNAN, China – Living in a remote and inaccessible place, West Lisu lay preacher Ci Liheng, 40, has very little Bible resources to turn to nor any spiritual mentors to guide him in his church ministry and personal life.
However, a 10-day Bible training sponsored by United Bible Societies had presented an opportunity for a spiritually nourishing and refreshing time for Ci and 400 other lay preachers. A team of Bible teachers and pastors had travelled from other provinces to his county at Fugong, northwest of Yunnan province, to conduct the training.
Like many lay preachers, Ci supports himself and his family by planting corn and potatoes. They often have to juggle between church ministry and farm work. Born into poverty, attending any Bible training is a rare treat.
“It was a real blessing to soak in the Word of God, studying and meditating it under the guidance of experienced teachers and pastors,” shared Ci, who has been serving as a lay preacher for the past nine years. “Their teaching and advice are invaluable to me.”
Sharing candidly, Ci who serves a congregation of 250 people in a village church up in the mountains revealed, “There were times when I was not confident that I had preached correctly. I even tried to appear knowledgeable. After attending the 10-day training, I’m much more confident. I’m also more aware of what I’m preaching now.”
The Bible training, conducted in Chinese with interpretation into West Lisu, is third year in its running. It includes modules on church management as well as preaching and Biblical book studies.
Besides receiving help in church ministry and preaching, Ci felt that God had also spoken to him personally during the training. “God reminded me from Revelation 3:20 to open the door of my heart to Jesus each day to fellowship with Him. I need to replace my negative, worldly thoughts and impatient spirit. My heart needs to be cleansed each day for Jesus to live in.”
Pray for lay preachers like Ci Liheng that they may continue to guard their personal walk with the Lord as they shepherd their congregation in the mountainous regions of Yunnan province.
Photos of Bible Training at Fugong:
Story: Cynthia Oh
Edited: Tan Lay Leng
Photo: UBS CP
2018 © United Bible Societies China Partnership