SHANDONG, China – “It’s a great book, simply wonderful!” Ma Li kept saying about the Abundant Life, a discipleship book sponsored by the United Bible Societies, which helped her tremendously.
“The encouragement and help it gives me are enormous. After finishing this book, I have a deeper understanding of God and my spiritual life has grown.”
Ma Li, 36, was born in a Christian family. She started going to church with her mother and was baptized when she was very young. She later attended some classes in church and began serving in the choir and worship ministry.
But this is the first time she has been exposed to a discipleship book like the Abundant Life. “When I first received the book, I saw that it was for new believers. I thought I didn’t need it. After all, I’ve been a Christian for a long time.”
Ma thought the book would be very simple. But to her surprise, when she turned to the first page and saw the first few questions, she was dumbfounded.
“I realized that although I had believed in God for a long time, there are so many things I didn’t understand. But with the questions, studying and discussing with the brothers and sisters in the group, it has helped me so much. I feel like I have learned so much Biblical knowledge, and my understanding of God grew deeper and deeper.”
She said that although she read the Bible in the past, she didn’t have a plan nor follow any methods. After reading the Scripture, she soon forgot what she read. Thankfully the discipleship book covers the topic on how to read the Bible.
“This is extremely good. It helps me read God’s word better. Now I am underlining and highlighting the Scriptures that touch me when I read them. And I also make notes. The tips offered are very practical.”
“And I also learn about prayers. In the past, I thought praying was about asking God to meet my needs. Now I know that there are prayers of praises, of thanksgiving, and of seeking. It’s like I finally know how to talk to God.”
Ma Li’s favourite part of this book is the topic on the Family of God. For a long time, Ma felt her marriage was not going well. By the mercies of God, there has been some improvements over time. Now, Ma is going to recommend the Abundant Life to her husband and hopes to share with him the kind of family that is built upon God’s love and truths.
“Although my husband reads the Bible every day, he doesn’t know how to read it properly to get the most out of it. I think he will be able to have a better understanding of God after studying this book.”
Having gained so much from the book, Ma’s heart is filled with thanksgiving towards God. “I don’t know how to express that appreciation for Him, I don’t know how to say it, so I simply say: ‘God, you’re so good.’ It’s like when I thought I needed something, God told me not to worry. When I’m most in need, His Word comes. God truly knows everything.”
China is one of the world’s fastest growing churches. However, there are not enough pastors and preachers to shepherd and disciple the believers. Many of them still need help in their discipleship journey. Please consider supporting more discipleship materials for the Churches in China.
Story: Marcus Xiao
Photo: UBS CP
2021 © United Bible Societies China Partnership