HEBEI, China – Li Yanjing, 66 years old, an elder at a church in Handan city in the province of Hebei, has been in active Christian service for over ten years.
If you were to see him 30 years ago, you would not have imagined that this unassuming mild-tempered elder was a hot-headed young man then who cared more about the treasures of the world than the kingdom of God.
Perhaps his impatient temperament can be attributed to a health condition he suffered since young. For over 30 years, Li Yanjing suffered from a chronic nosebleed condition. Li’s mother who was staunch in her religious beliefs, turned to her religion to seek healing for her son. But all she received were words of assurance. There was no respite, least of all healing for Li’s bleeding.
In despair, Li’s mother turned to Christianity. She promised the Christian God that she and her entire family would embrace the Christian faith if He were to heal her son.
Mercifully, God heard her cry. Li’s nosebleed stopped miraculously. True to her promise to God, Li’s mother embraced the Christian faith. As for her son, Li, he was not willing to become a Christian believer.
Even after his miraculous healing, Li had never thought that he needed Christ in his life. He had believed that the road to happiness was wealth accumulation, and that if he were to put all his energy into earning money, as a taxi-driver, he would be able to save enough money to enjoy life during his retirement.
The Word of God Convicted Him
What brought a self-made man like Li Yanjing to the cross of Jesus in 2004?
Was it the persistent prayers over a period of 20 years by his family members, particularly his father-in-law? Or was it the Word of God?
Li was challenged to read the Bible one day and when he did, he was struck by the verse:
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23; ESV).
He was awakened to his own pride and began to see himself as a sinner, needing redemption from Jesus.
Before he knew Jesus, Li had only one objective in life: it was the pursuit of wealth. When the Word of God began to slowly take root in Li’s life, he began to see the emptiness in his past pursuits. He was also being transformed into being a more patient person. He learnt how to put a check on his hot temper and readily make peace with his “enemies”.
Since then, Li thirsts for the Word of God and reads the Bible whenever he can.
Convinced by the transforming power of the Word of God, he said, “The Bible has become my precious companion and I treasure it dearly.”
Since then, Li, who was a taxi driver, would put copies of the Bible in his cab. To passengers who showed interest in reading the Bible, Li would give them a free copy, on the condition that they promise to drop off the copy at any nearby church if they changed their mind about reading it.
Once Li was greatly encouraged when a passenger became a Christian after reading the Bible he gave her in his taxi. This further strengthened his faith that God’s Word truly convicts and transforms all men.
Psalm 37:5 says: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” (ESV)
Li is now completely committed to the ever-loving God; he trusts God in all things and now pursues a different path from which he started more than 30 years ago.
Interview by: Lydia Zhang
Written by: Lydia Zhang and Pamela Choo
2019 © United Bible Societies China Partnership