YUNNAN, China – About 400 women from four surrounding villages in Zhanxi Town gathered for a five-day women’s training held at the Zhanxi Christian Church. Seated on benches under the shelter of a blue tent propped up by wooden pillars, these women from the Jingpo and Lisu ethnic groups studied God’s Word, sang hymns and prayed together.
This is the 25th year the women’s training has been held and is an annual event many women look forward to. The theme for this year comes from Proverbs 14:1, which talks about the wise woman who builds her house.
Among the participants was Tong Shunzhi, 50, who came to the training with her daughter Zhao Kun, 27 and one year-old grandson. “The training is good, it helps to build us up in the ways of the Lord,” shared Tong.
To learn God’s word by heart, the women had quizzes based on Bible passages, hymn singing and Scripture memory competition.
Another participant, Long Pengtang, 25, who came from one of the villages in Zhanxi Town, travelled for three hours in order to attend the training. “This is my first time here. I am really happy to learn God’s word through the training. I feel that my faith is so much strengthened”, shared Long who came to know the Lord a few years ago.
Zhanxi, which is one of the 10 towns in Yingjiang County, has seen some development in the recent years. “In the past, it was more difficult to organize such big-scale trainings. There was no running water, no electricity and no proper roads. It was very difficult for us to travel here. Now we have all three. Praise the Lord!” shared Dao Jianfen, one of the coordinators of the training.
Besides physical constraints, it has also not been easy for the women to leave their homes and husbands to come for the training. “Some of the women’s husbands who are non-believers were not pleased by their wives’ absence from the home as there will be no one to mind the household and do the farming. Some used to be scolded by their husbands. Now, the women have learnt to be more assertive in explaining to their husbands the need for them to receive biblical training in order to build their household well,” related Dao.
Story: Cynthia Oh
Edited: Angela Teo
2014 © United Bible Societies China Partnership