A Heart for Bible Students

Wu has her Bible opened to her favorite book – Jeremiah. Photo: UBSCP

Ms Wu Libin, one of 2012’s Bible Teachers attached to TTC, teaches at Shanghai’s East China Theological Seminary. She shares with UBS that at the heart of her ministry to God, is a love for her Bible Studies students.

My first impression of a church was a pleasant one — the welcoming smiles of the elderly ushers, inviting me, a mere child then, to come into the church hall as if I were a VIP. This warm reception was deeply ingrained in my mind

When I graduated from university, I took on a secular job and was earning a good income, but feeding an empty soul. The search for meaning drove me to church week after week – I was the youngest member of the church. It was not surprising that young people found church boring then. The sermon was preached by elderly pastors in a story-telling style. The message content was not deep enough to satisfy the young intellectuals naturally as it was pitched for an older generation.

An Unusual Prayer Meeting
It was at one prayer meeting, led be a student from Northeast Theological Seminary, that I had an encounter with God. Usually cool-headed, I found myself in a seemingly embarrassing situation of weeping uncontrollably before the Lord, in prayer, as I felt the guilt of my sin upon me. Simultaneously I felt a strong desire within me to serve God by becoming a preacher.

The path to China’s only national seminary Nanjing Jinling Theological Seminary was a smooth one for me. My initial goal was to become a church preacher and pastor, however after I graduated with a theological degree from Jinling, God opened my eyes to the plight of Bible students in China.

My Heart’s Desire is to Serve Him in…
When their own children prove too difficult for them to “manage” at home, some Chinese parents would often force these youths to enroll in Bible schools. These parents seemed to have the view that only Biblical training at Bible Schools can change their youths’ behavioral problems.

Most of our Bible students come from all walks of life, sometimes from dysfunctional family backgrounds which scars them psychologically. They are usually prone to depression.
One particular student caught my attention. Already branded by teachers in the school as a misfit and a “difficult case”, this student walked into my class the first day and displayed violent outburst of anger. Sometimes he would bang his own head against the classroom walls. Often a loner, this student, my “first challenge”, also helped open my eyes and heart to his struggles, and subsequently to the struggles of others that followed later.

As I prayed to the Lord for guidance, God gave me a verse in 2 Corinthians 2:8 “So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him” (ESV). I took on a different approach, one of encouraging and caring for him. His behavior took a U-turn for the better – from being almost expelled from Bible School to becoming a model student. On graduation day, his parents came up to me in tears and thanked me with all their heart for the dramatic change in their son’s life. God has changed him spiritually and emotionally.

An Encouragement to Press On  
Although I have read the Bible from cover to cover, I am often taken aback by my own ignorance of God’s Word. Between the Old and New Testament, I am more drawn to the Old Testament because of its depth and richness in history. The life and testimony of the prophet Jeremiah touched me particularly. Through the life of Jeremiah, I learned that faith in God does not necessary mean that our life is a ‘bed of roses’. In fact, Jeremiah endured much hardship throughout his ministry. His testimony of faith encouraged me to press on in my own faith and obedience to His calling – to be a Bible Studies Teacher for the Glory of God.

Wu Libin shares that she finds herself blessed to have been selected for the 4-week attachment to TTC. Many more Chinese Bible Teachers can also be blessed by your continued support of this project. We pray that more will respond to the immediate need of training Chinese Bible Teachers.

(Project CHN 71252)


Photo and story by Pamela Choo
for United Bible Societies, China Partnership