Baotou, Inner Mongolia – In 2011, Zhou Yaqin was one of the first few graduates of the Bible Training Centre run by Baotou City Christian Council/TSPM. In 2015, after serving in her local church for several years, she returned to work at Baotou Training Center.
“The Bible Training Center was born out of a vision of our church leaders who saw the Bible training needs of the local churches in this city. Our students come from churches all over Baotou and when they have completed their training, they will return to serve in their own churches,” Zhou shared.
A place where she renewed her faith
Zhou has a special affection for the Baotou Bible Training Center because that was where she was truly born again in Christ.
“It was during my studies at the Bible Training Center that I started seeking God honestly, desiring to build a genuine relationship with Him.”
When Zhou was six years old, her mother embraced the Christian faith. As a child, Zhou followed her mother to church when their whole family became believers.
“It was during my studies at the Bible Training Center that I started seeking God honestly, desiring to build a genuine relationship with Him. By the time I graduated, my desire to serve the Lord grew so strong that I turned down other job opportunities that came my way. I know for sure that this is God’s calling for me to serve Him in church ministry.”
A place where she found real spiritual food
One of her favourite places in the Bible Training Center is its library. The Bible resources there are pivotal in deepening Zhou’s faith and helped her in her Christian ministry. “The many books in this library have helped me in varying ways at different times. I have devoured biographies of Christian men and women, read Christian classics and Bible commentaries – all of which have nourished me spiritually. As I serve the Lord in more areas, I am really treasuring the Word of God more.”
She added that prior to using these resources, some of which were supported by United Bible Societies, “We use our limited understanding of the historical, cultural, and geographical context of the Bible to interpret the Scriptures.” Now, she would consult Bible commentaries such as Tien Dao and Tyndale Bible Commentary series, as “the authors have a good understanding of God and His Word; they respect and are faithful to the Scriptures. Some time ago, when I was teaching from the Book of Kings, I consulted the Biblical exegesis materials in the library. They helped me tremendously in my sharing.”
Going forward, she is more confident that with these resources she can be more effective in her church ministry as a Bible Study teacher and leader.
“Our library presently has a collection of around 5,000 books, although libraries of theological seminaries in China are usually stocked up with at least 10,000 books.” Nonetheless, Zhou is certain that all their students would be able to reap the benefits of these Bible resources: “As students need to tap on many resources for their studies, these books are able to provide them with a broader scope of reference.”
“On behalf of the students and teachers, I would like to thank the United Bible Societies’ donors for their generosity and burden for the Lord’s ministry. When we see these books, we feel their love for God, and it is an inspiration to us all. They serve as a reminder for both teachers and students that we are not alone in dedicating our lives to God’s ministry through our time at the Bible Training Center. Praise the Lord!”
This article was edited on 28 March 2022.
Story: Marcus Xiao and Pamela Choo
Photo: UBS CP
2022 © United Bible Societies China Partnership