Living Waters, Thirsty Souls

0
290
SHARE

A Program Manager of United Bible Societies (UBS) China Partnership shares her thoughts on a Bible distribution at Jiangxi Province, reminding us of the significance of God’s Word.

An elderly believer holding a copy of the Bible she had received.

Jiangxi is a landlocked province in the Southeast of China. Its capital and largest city is Nanchang. The major river, Gan River, travels through the western part of Jiangxi before flowing into Poyang Lake, the largest freshwater lake in China. Numerous species of birds are commonly found, especially around the marshes of Poyang Lake. Before the onset of each winter season, tens of thousands of migratory birds fly in from the north to feed on the aquatic prey and small animals found in Poyang Lake. Similar to the migratory birds which derive nourishment from the food found in the Poyang Lake, Chinese Christians are receiving nourishment by feeding on God’s Word.

With a personal copy of the Bible each, believers are able read the Bible more frequently and regularly.

The Catholic Church of China supplied 2,900 copies of the Catholic Bible to Jiangxi Diocese for their free distribution in October 2020. The churches at Jiangxi have been encouraging the believers to engage with God’s Word by introducing programs like Bible Study classes, activities like copying of Scripture and reciting Scripture. These programs and activities require the use of the Bible in order to be carried out effectively. Churches with congregation members who can afford to purchase personal copies of the Bible have a higher participation rate in these programs and activities. Having a copy of the Bible at hand allows for regular reading of God’s Word, and hence more opportunities to be more familiar with the Word. But in some churches, not all congregation members own personal copies of the Bible. Therefore, the believers are not able to study the Word regularly, and hence they may find it challenging to fully understand what is being preached and taught during church services.

In its feedback report to UBS, Jiangxi Diocese wrote,

“With your [UBS] support, these poorer believers received help in being given free copies of the Bible. They are exceptionally happy and moved; some shed tears because this is what they have yearned for a long time. Now having received the Bible, it reignited the parishioners’ interest in Bible study. It is akin to how the Spring season brings forth nourishment and life. The priest and parishioners were very happy and thankful and gave UBS a big “thumbs-up”. We continue to pray for UBS… that the workers at UBS will receive happiness and peace in the Lord.”

“The donation of Bibles is very meaningful. You gave to the diocese and parishioners not just a physical copy of the Bible, but the blessing of God and warmth to the believers. The church will not disappoint you and will learn and study the Bible well, live out the truth in the Bible in our lives, give witness to the faith so that others will know that we are Christians.”

With personal copies of the Bible, believers are able to read and learn God’s Word, allowing their souls to be nourished by His living waters.

I am very encouraged that we are not just providing Bibles for poorer Christians, but flaming their desire to learn God’s Word. Indeed, the Bible is like spring water that nourishes the soul. Those who are thirsty can reach out for the life-giving spring water. And those who have been nourished can in turn share with others the source that is able to quench their thirst.  May the Lord help the brothers and sisters in Jiangxi Diocese to live out the truth of the Bible and be God’s witnesses!

Story & Photos: UBS CP
2021 © United Bible Societies China Partnership