YICHUAN, Shaanxi – Over the last two decades, more young people in China have joined the Church, injecting more vibrancy into the family of God. However, church congregants in China, especially in the rural areas, are still mainly middle-aged and elderly people.
Ageing brings with it a host of physical problems such as blurred vision, hearing loss and reduced strength. At the end of last year, some older Christians in Yichuan County received large-print Bibles supported by the United Bible Societies (UBS). Many are subsistence farmers who find it hard to afford a Bible and are grateful to receive it free of charge.
59-year-old Xie Jinhua said excitedly, “My eyes are too dim and I can’t see the small words. I really need a Bible with big words to guide me through each day of my life.”
Her family changed dramatically after she came to faith 28 years ago. Now everyone in the family lives in harmony. Almost all members of her family of eight became Christians.
Transitioning into another season of life can also be very challenging emotionally and mentally. People feel lost after retirement while some experience empty-nest syndrome when their children leave home for work or to start their own families. Some may feel confused about their life purpose and lack a sense of motivation in life while others may be grappling with regrets and past mistakes.
These Christians transiting into a new season of life, can find hope and meaning based on the Word of God.
“No matter what my circumstances are, God’s Word is the light on my path and the strength in my heart. It gives me hope and joy,” said Zhang Fengzhen, 54.
Wu Zaihong, 53, says the Bible is her spiritual food and her guide in life, particularly in this season of her life. Wu has not only joined the choir, she is also serving in the church band.
“I was touched when I received the Bible. It is a treasure in my heart. God’s Word has helped me in my faith and life. It has greatly changed my outlook in life and my values. Thank you, UBS, for your love!” Wu is full of gratitude.
Zhang Huanxiang, who has been a believer for 26 years said, “The Bible changed my life’s direction. God’s Word is the strength of my heart. Thank you UBS for this gift. May the Lord bless you and be with you!”
“All things work together for good to those who love God” Romans 8:28a. This is the verse from Scripture that Zhang Fengzhen likes very much. As the eyesight and physical strength of middle-aged believers are not as good as when they were younger, they now have more time to draw close to God and to be able to read His Word in large print is a bonus.
May God’s Word continue to bring the much-needed renewal and revival to the lives of these middle-aged and older believers, providing them with spiritual food, strength and hope in this season of their lives.
Story: Lydia Zhang
Photos: Jared Wong & Shaanxi CC/TSPM
2021 © United Bible Societies China Partnership