NANJING, CHINA – China’s only authorised Bible printing press, Amity Printing Company (APC), established 32 years ago, will be producing its 200 millionth Bible before the end of 2019.
But Bibles are not the only harvest reaped at APC over the past three decades. Several APC staff came to know the Lord as they were exposed daily to God’s Word during their work as typesetters and production workers, to name a few.
A Typesetter for the Bible
Li Wen was among the first batch of employees working in APC when it was first established. In the process of doing her job in typesetting the Bible, Li Wen got exposed to the Word of God.
“I grew up as an atheist. None of my family members or friends were Christians at that time,” says Li Wen. “It was through my work, typesetting the Bible, that I got to read about God’s Word for the first time.”
Her job as a Bible typesetter meant that she had to work with some staff from the United Bible Societies (UBS). She noticed that they were always patient with her and caring to offer help at every junction.
“Whenever I didn’t do my task well or when I made mistakes, they did not scold or discourage me. Instead, they would affirm my work and patiently address the areas for improvement.” She observed how different the UBS staff were in the way that they worked and related to others; it was later when she realised that they were Christians.
Li Wen recalls, “It was from them that I knew the Bible is the Word of God. I was curious about the Word of God and wanted to read more and know more.”
Unbeknownst to Li Wen, the seed of the Gospel was slowly taking root in Li Wen’s heart. But Li Wen hesitated to take the leap of faith.
Sowing & Germinating the Gospel Seed
Then in 1994, Li Wen came to know the family of the then Deputy General Manager of APC who was the UBS representative at the press. It was through the friendship with the Deputy General Manager and his family, that Li Wen felt the call of the Lord Jesus into her life.
“I finally made a decision to follow Jesus and prayed in my heart that I believe in Jesus and that I need Him in my life.” Immediately after saying that, Li Wen experienced the joy of her faith filling her heart.
Li Wen shares, “I believe the seed of the gospel germinated in my heart during that time. Knowing the Bible has played a strong role in my faith and changed my life.”
Learning to Trust God and His Word
As Li Wen was faithful in prayer and Bible reading, she gained confidence in standing up for what she believed in. This was a far cry from what she was like previously – one who merely strived to please those around her.
Initially she faced parental opposition when she wanted to go for Sunday church service and Thursday evening’s Bible study. Despite this, Li Wen testified that God enabled her to become more filial to her parents: “God gave me the wisdom to respect my parents.” Miraculously, after a few months, her parents were no longer so strongly opposed to her weekly Christian activities.
God’s Word Multiplied
Looking back, Li Wen is thankful to God for His guidance in leading her to work at APC and for the opportunity to do Bible typesetting for more than 20 years.
“I love my typesetting work even though I encountered many difficulties. With God, I overcame all difficulties because He is the everlasting Almighty God.” Giving thanks to God for His precious Word, she declares her trust in His Word: “For I trust in Your Word.” (Psalm 119:42).
It is our prayer that the harvest in APC will not only be the large Bible output but that many will be able experience the love of the God in the Bible that they are helping to produce. And to be able to say as Li Wen said, “I am filled with thankfulness every time I think of my work at APC. I believe it was God who guided me into this work!”
Although Li Wen has since left APC for some years now, it was noteworthy that she was instrumental in helping to typeset the Bible from the vertical to horizontal layout and from complex to simplified script – a format which has allowed millions of Chinese Christians today in Mainland China to be able to understand and read the Word of God.
Story: Adeline Chiang and Pamela Choo
Editor: Pamela Choo
2019 © United Bible Societies China Partnership