An interview with Elder Fu, Chairman of the TSPM National Committee of the Protestant Churches in China.
Elder Fu: In my opinion, the United Bible Societies (UBS) is doing an excellent job. UBS’s emphasis on the Bible is core in Christian missions. Nothing else can testify or epitomize our faith better than the Bible, the living Word of God. The work of UBS is vital, foundational and meaningful.
To date, UBS and CCC/TSPM have partnered well these 25 years – a time not to be easily taken for granted. In this timeframe, a mere child would have grown into an adult. If I were to describe this successful alliance, I would summarize it into 12 Chinese characters:
彼此尊重 (Mutual respect)
增进了解 (Mutual understanding)
通力合作 (Mutual cooperation)
Personally, I like the UBS’s approach: choosing first to listen then to understand by asking the question, “What are the needs of the China Church?” UBS is always willing to serve and work with the Church based on China’s needs; it does not dictate what those needs are nor does it push and demand with conditions or with hidden agendas. I have come across many overseas Christian organizations and I think that many should follow UBS’s partnership model with the Church in China.
Short and Long-Term Goals
In China, the demand for Bibles is increasing while believers’ profiles are changing. In the past, Church congregants were older and uneducated people. Now there are more youths, young adults and educated professionals in the congregation. Each of these groups has differing needs and requirements for Scriptural materials. Our short-term goal is to ensure the continuous supply of God’s Word, in its complete text. We need to provide good quality Bibles, in different versions with attractive designs so as to meet the varying needs of the Chinese Christians based on age, profession, life’s station or transition…etc.
For the long-term, the goal is to provide a wider range of Scriptural materials and resources in different mediums. We also need to harness today’s technological advancement to enhance the learning of God’s Word for today’s techno-savvy generation. We are just at the beginning of our journey and we currently do not have a lot of resources to create new materials of our own. Therefore, I am very happy that through the UBS fellowship, we have access to a range of quality Scripture materials created and produced by Bible Societies around the world.
Thank You UBS Donors
Finally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to UBS donors for their generous giving, as well as their respect, understanding and concern for us. You have shown that your love demonstrated is not short-lived but it comes with a long-term commitment. We thank you for your unceasing love.
I hope that UBS donors would continue to be concerned about the Church, the believers and the Bible ministry in China. Although China’s overall economy is growing and the Church is expanding, we have not yet arrived and there are still many poor people who need Bibles.
Lastly, I hope that UBS and its donors can help to communicate to those around you about the current developments of the Church in China. Some people have a distorted and unfriendly view of the Church because they do not have the updated facts. We have the freedom now to print Bibles in China and to develop the Bible ministry freely.
Given the Chinese Christians’ high regard for the Bible, the Bible is crucial in the growth of the Chinese Church. In my opinion, UBS support is paramount to the Bible ministry in China. The beauty of the UBS fellowship is in its world-wide network of Bible Societies coming together in communication and partnership.
Written by Pamela Choo & Ms. Yeo Tan Tan
From an interview with Elder Fu Xianwei
for United Bible Societies, China Partnership