SHANDONG, China – Liu Yuekai, 34, a lecturer at Shandong Theological Seminary who receives monthly financial support sponsored by UBS, grew up with stories – Bible stories.
He recalled how his grandmother used to tell him stories from the Bible as he cradled his newborn baby girl in his arms. “Grandmother will narrate stories of Moses, David and the Israelites. That was how I fell in love with the Bible, especially the Old Testament!”
“My grandparents were my spiritual heroes. Granddad was a preacher who suffered during the Cultural Revolution and my grandmother took care of me while my parents were out working,” shared Liu who teaches OT Survey, Life of Moses, Christian Education and Applied Theology. He teaches both seminary students as well as lay preachers from Shandong Province.
“Support from UBS is timely as our family just welcomed our newborn. It’s taken a load off our minds! My wife and I thank the kindness of UBS donors!” said Liu who has two other boys, aged eight and six.
The income that Liu received each month from the seminary was a stretch for the family of five. His wife was contemplating finding a job to support the family but they would face a challenge with childcare. They were also considering a bank loan.
He confessed that the arrival of the third child was a surprise and had caused some stress in the family. “But now my wife can have the peace of mind and she can take care of the three children at home!”
The Lius live in a rented apartment near the seminary, spending almost half of their monthly income on rental. During the winter season, there will be an extra charge of USD250 a month for the heating system.
Continuing the tradition passed down by this grandmother, Liu and his wife read the Children’s Bible to their boys. They also have family worship time twice a week.
Liu knows the importance of cradling his children in God’s Word and Bible stories. He himself has experienced God in His Word in times of need.
“In 2003, I was deeply disappointed when my application to study at a regional seminary in Huadong was rejected. Pride drew me away from God,” he shared.
In anger and defiance, Liu went south from Shandong to Shenzhen where he worked in a warehouse for two years. And he avoided God.
“Finally, I was confronted by God’s Word from 1 Samuel 17, the story of David and Goliath, during a church service. God showed me that He is not my enemy, but ‘Goliath’ is. Why do I fight against God? There and then, I cried and repented,” shared Liu.
Liu later enrolled into Shandong Seminary, a provincial seminary where he did his undergraduate studies, followed by his postgraduate studies at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary where he obtained his Master’s degree, before returning to Shandong to teach in 2016.
“I’m really thankful to the Lord for my grandma who has grounded me in the Bible where I learn about God, human relationships and life. She has benefitted not only me –the blessings I received is passed on to my students today as well!”
Story: Cynthia Oh
Edit: Angela Teo
Photo: Yeo Tan Tan
2019 © United Bible Societies China Partnership