From September 16th to 20th, I, a 71 year-old, had the privilege of participating in a Bible Distribution Trip to China organized by the Bible Society of Singapore. Our mission was to distribute Bibles to various churches in the Yunnan mountainous area in China. Although our mission was tough, our work was a journey where we experienced God’s Grace daily. A brother-in-Christ asked me, “What were your thoughts on the trip?” My reply was, ‘I received much more than what I gave!”
We went to Zhaotong City which was located in the heart of the northern Yunnan plateau, a gathering place for the Miao minority group. The Miao people lived in shabby houses where water and electricity are scarce. They live on potatoes and corn as their staple and seemed to have inadequate nutrition and insufficient medicine. Under such adverse condition, I was impressed by their calm state of mind towards life.
In Xishanchun City Nursing Home, one of our trip mates expressed his unique way of love by sitting quietly alongside a group of seniors using his “non-verbal” way to communicate God’s love! Another female resident held the hands of an elder for a long time. The lingering grasp filled the latter with exceptional affection. There was also an elderly Christian lady who cannot walk, yet she sat on the bed and beamed with pleasure as she told us her own story, joy radiating from her face. One of our teammates had put in a lot of effort prior to our trip to prepare gifts in the form of towels with embroidered words such as “God is Love” and “Praise the Lord” for the elders of the nursing home.
As we arrived much later than the original scheduled time at Panhe Church, we found the congregation waiting patiently for us. It happened to be a rainy day that day, the local ladies, decked out in traditional Miao costumes, stood waiting in the rain to welcome us. An enthusiastic Christian lady hastily approached me when she saw me alighting from the car and took my arm to walk to the church. I tried to choose a higher ground to land my feet so as to avoid the muddy puddles on the roads. In contrast, she seemed to sail across the muddy water cheerfully, oblivious of the mud soiling her own beautiful costume. This made me ashamed of my own behavior.
After we finished the worship service in the simple church, we began to distribute Bibles. As the congregation lined up quietly to receive their copy with a beaming smile on each person’s face, some even shed tears of joy. It was altogether a very touching scene for me to witness!
On September 18, we participated in the Sunday worship at Liujing Church in Yongshan County. We saw an old black leather-bound Bible on a seat. The pages were old and the print was faded, bearing witness to the many times the pages were flipped and read over the ages. We also got a glimpse of the extent of longing for the Word of God by the Miao congregation.
This trip to Yunnan was a “journey of God’s Grace”. Although our trip gave us only a superficial understanding of God’s work, I have benefited greatly from it. Prodded by the Holy Spirit, I have pondered and reflected on what I have done over the many years since I have known Jesus Christ. Over the years, although I felt the call of God, I did not put the call into action. Day after day, year after year, I had squandered my time and “misspent” my life. The loving God has spoken to me during this trip: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2, ESV) I am willing to surrender all to Him! Emmanuel! Amen!
Testimony in Chinese by Ms Yu Soon Sing
Translated by Eileen Sung
And edited by Pamela Choo