“Grandma, read the Bible to me!”


Through reading the Word of God, Madam Zhang Xiuyin came to the Christian faith in 1997. “We need to read the Bible and pray every day. Bible reading is an essential spiritual discipline for us Christians. Without God’s Word, we will stray away from God’s will.”

When her oldest granddaughter was about three years old, Madam Zhang brought the little girl along with her to a home visitation. The journey was fraught with mishaps due to poor road conditions. Madam Zhang recalled she was especially worried as she was travelling with a young child at that time. Despite the somewhat peril circumstances they were in, her granddaughter’s response amazes her till this day, “Grandma, be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you.” These were Scripture she often read to her granddaughter from the Book of Joshua! (Joshua 1:9)

Madam Zhang shares, “When we are weak and fearful, God’s Word gives us faith and strength.”

“When my two children were young, I was not yet a believer. My husband and I did not have the wisdom to parent our children. They hung out with bad company. We used to scold and hit our children to discipline them. After coming to the faith, I was convicted of my shortcomings as a parent. We adults, were bitter because of our circumstances, and our negative attitudes and responses caused a lot of harm to our children and the whole family.” Madam Zhang, who is now 57 years old, is convinced of the importance of bringing up children in God’s love, based on His Word.

Reading the Bible to her grandchildren has become a daily habit for Madam Zhang.

Since four years ago, Madam Zhang’s eyesight has deteriorated progressively. It has become increasingly difficult for her to read and focus on close objects for prolonged periods. Gradually, she was barely able to read a standard-sized Bible. Despite the degeneration in her vision, Madam Zhang was assured of the Lord’s sovereignty in her life.

In late 2020, Madam Zhang received a copy of the large-print Bible that was distributed by her church, with the support of United Bible Societies (UBS). “I was very excited and touched when I first received the large-print Bible. The larger font size is much clearer and I am able to read with much more ease now. Ever since I received this Bible and started using it, my love for reading the Bible has been renewed! I read a passage from the Scriptures every day. I’ve read through the Books of Kings and I am starting on the Books of Chronicles.”

Madam Zhang’s eldest granddaughter is fond of reading the Bible too. Here, she is reading God’s Word to her younger siblings.

Madam Zhang has three grandchildren, and the eldest is 11 years old. Together with her husband, they are the main caregivers of their grandchildren, whose parents work in another city and return home once in every two to three weeks.

Every day, Madam Zhang prays along with her grandchildren and reads the Bible to them. “When we pray before mealtimes, the kids shout ‘Amen’! They would also bring me the Bible and request ‘Grandma, read the Bible to me!’” She is delighted and thankful to witness how her grandchildren have grown fond of reading the Bible.

“These Bibles [large-print] are the love from many brothers and sisters. I am truly grateful for these gifts.”

Story: Marcus Xiao and Elaine Ho
Photos: UBSCP
2021 © United Bible Societies China Partnership