Buying Bibles To Bless Others

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SHANDONG, China — Liu Fengqin (left) is a member of an outreach team in a Catholic church in Shandong Province. Liu became a Catholic more than 15 years ago. As a housewife, she is not earning an income. Her husband, a farmer, is the sole breadwinner. The family sold their produce, earning about 3,000 to 4,000 yuan (US$450 to 620) yearly. But she shared, “We have no real savings. This income is only enough to provide for our family of four — my husband, elderly mother, teenage son and myself.”

Engaging God’s Word
Even though Liu is poor, she saved up to buy her own Bible from the church. In her village, it costs 4 yuan to buy seven eggs. As her Catholic Bible would have cost her family the equivalent of 45 eggs, she had to be prudent in her expenses.  She spends half an hour each day reading the Bible. Whenever she is feeling down, she turns to God’s Word to look for answers and comfort.

Calling to Share God’s Word
One night, she woke up at 3 A.M. and thought she heard the phrase “The Glorious Cross”. Liu did not understand what all these meant so she approached her priest the next day. Her priest told her that God might be asking her to share the gospel with others because it refers to Luke 2:41-52 when Jesus at age 12 was engaged in a discussion about God’s Word at the temple.

“When I started sharing the gospel there were many obstacles. I did not understand why there are so many trials. I prayed to Jesus and He spoke to me and comforted me. Jesus explained that all these trials are part of the process of sanctification.” Liu adds, “Then I received a vision of a candle burning in the dark. I am to be like the candle illuminating others.”

Sharing God’s Word
Liu considers it important that everyone who yearns for God and desires to read His Word owns a Bible. So far, she has bought 15 Bibles to give out to faithful Catholics. When asked why these faithful believers did not purchase Bibles on their own? She replies, “They could not afford to. They are worse off financially than me.”

In addition, Liu visits these new believers each Saturday to read the Bible together. She has been doing this for over seven years. Because of the weekly reading of God’s Word, those who are not literate in the group are now more able to read the Bible.

Members of the outreach team go out two by two to minister to the people. Liu and another co-worker visit three villages regularly to lead people in reading the Bible and fellowship. Each village has a fellowship group of around 20 believers with ages ranging from 20-70 years old.

Not Enough Bibles
Sister Han, a Catholic nun from Liu’s village said that ever since the United Bible Societies helped the Chinese Catholic Church to typeset and publish the Bible in the common horizontal format (formerly in the traditional vertical format), she has found an increase in the sale of the Bibles.

Sister Han showed me that there were only three Bibles left on the shelves in the church book room. When asked to see the storeroom for Bibles, there was none. Bibles delivered here were sold out very quickly.

“There are still not enough Bibles!” said Sister Han. “In some village fellowship groups, five to six believers have to share one Bible.”

 

The United Bible Societies help to sponsor Bible paper for the Catholic Church in China to print the Studium Biblicum Version Bibles at Nanjing Amity Printing Co. to make it more affordable to Chinese Catholics. These Bibles are purchased and used by the Chinese Catholics to share the good news.

 

Story: YEO Tan Tan
Edit: Pamela Choo
2015 @ United Bible Societies China Partnership