YUNNAN, China - "Our students are ecstatic and overjoyed to learn of the addition of books and are eager to rush to the library to either help with the shelving or read the books," shared Dong Jiabing, a teacher at the Dali Bible Training Centre. She described the sheer delight the whole Centre felt when they received the biblical reference books in September 2022 from the provincial Christian Council with the support of the United Bible Societies (UBS).
Books as Mighty Tools for Teachers
Dong, who teaches Old Testament history and the Prophets at the Training Centre, said these biblical books help both teachers and students gain a deeper understanding of the Scriptures.
"In order to teach effectively, it is imperative that teachers have a solid grasp of what they are teaching," she shared thoughtfully on how teachers play a crucial role in the learning of their students.
"These Bible commentaries help us as teachers to dig deeper and go further in the depth and breadth of biblical studies. In turn, we can communicate God's Word more clearly and effectively when teaching. Therefore, students would benefit from them as well."
These biblical resource books provide the historical context, explain the meaning of the original texts, and show their relevance and application for today, according to Dong. "For example, the detailed description about the scriptural context and background can bring us back to the biblical scenes when we study."
"So, with effective tools, we can have better teaching," she said.
Books to Nurture Future Preachers Deeply Rooted in the Word
Dong, who also speaks in her church from time to time, noted from her own experiences that in order to preach God's Word effectively and powerfully from the pulpit, an in-depth study of the Word of God would be essential. “If we only rely on our personal understanding and the little we can see of the Scriptures, it would be far from enough to meet the needs of believers. This will be even more so for the Bible school students.”
“Commentary series, such as Tien Dao and Warren W. Wiersbe, offer us multiple perspectives to appreciate the richness of Scripture. They inspire and empower preachers to minister the Word more effectively to church congregations." Dong shared how these books are benefiting her students who have committed themselves to preach God’s Word.
Books to Equip Future Ministers of God’s Word
Dong, now 44, came from the border region in southwest China. Growing up in a Christian family, she listened to Bible stories and had always admired those who minister God's Word to others. To her, they are holy and respectable, and she longed to become one herself one day.
As she grew up, Dong began to see the need for preachers in the churches of China’s southwest frontier regions. She had been impressed by a voice echoing in her heart: "Do you see the desolation of the church?" Early in the 2000’s, she answered God’s call and began serving wholeheartedly at a Training Centre in western Yunnan, southwest of China.
According to Dong, most of the students at the Training Centre are from the rural areas and countryside with humble background and upbringing. "It has always been my prayer that the library at the Centre can be expanded to include more books to help broaden their horizons and increase the depth of their ministry."
Together with her students, Dong is excited about these valuable new volumes added to the Training Centre. "We are very grateful to UBS for supporting us with these biblical resource books; they are exactly what we need. Thanks for being so generous and caring towards us, and thanks be to God for your support."
Will you please support UBS with your prayers and financial resources so that seminaries and Bible schools in China can be resourced with the needed biblical reference tools to equip more pastors and lay preachers to proclaim the Word of God with clarity and power?
Photos: Dong Jiabing
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