JILIN, China – Financial constraints prevent many believers in Jilin province from having their own Bible. Through a free Bible distribution by the Catholic Church in Jilin and supported by the United Bible Societies (UBS), parishes in the province have witnessed a remarkable transformation. Having a copy of the Bible in hand, believers are growing closer to the Lord, experiencing a newfound passion for God through the study of His Word. It has also aided the believers in learning when nuns lead them in Bible study sessions. The distribution of Bibles has indeed addressed the urgent need within the Jilin Diocese, facilitating access to the Scriptures and fostering a deeper spiritual connection among Catholics.
Here are heartwarming sharings from some parishioners.
"Life is meaningless without the Bible. I am touched by the Bible,” said Quan Yuqin, 72, from Songyuan City. She has been so deeply moved by God’s Word that she created her own Bible reading schedule on top of the daily reading sessions with other believers using WeChat.
“Even when I go to my granddaughter's house, I’ll bring the Bible with me and read it with her," Quan shared.
57-year-old Zuo Hongru seldom reads the Bible on her own. But that all changed recently when she received a free Bible of her own. "I can't put it down now!" She used to struggle to make sense of it and would often give up after a short while. But from the day she received a free Bible, she has been reading it every day.
“I meditate on how I can apply the teachings of Jesus in my life. God's word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Wang Shuyan, 55, was facing an uncertain future. When her work in Yushu City had to pause, she felt anxious and fearful. Thankfully, her church distributed the free Bibles and began an online Bible reading fellowship. Through these reading sessions she found great comfort and solace. The following verses stood out to her:
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” Matthew 6:31-33 (Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition)
These bible verses gave great encouragement and comfort to Wang. "In the past, I didn't have time to read the Bible, but now I am able to do it every day," she said gratefully. Through her daily reading, Wang has acquired a strong faith which helps her find joy and peace despite the difficulties faced during the pandemic.
Bible distributions not only enable people who do not have a Bible to acquire their own copy, but also help them in cultivating a reading habit and gaining an understanding of God's Word through Bible reading.
We believe God desires everyone to access the Bible and to experience His love and wisdom revealed in His Word. Please join us in prayer as we support and partner Churches in China in their efforts to distribute Bibles to those in need so that they will experience its life-changing power.
Story: Priscila Fan
Photos: UBS CP
2023@UBS China Partnership