The Books Are Empowering

Guan Qidi with books that are welcomed by both teachers and students.

GUANGXI, China - Guan Qidi, 39, is a teacher at Guangxi Bible School, one of the important training grounds for raising future Bible preachers and teachers to serve in the economically and spiritually needy southwestern region of China. 

A modest man, speaking with a gentle tone, Guan expressed his deep appreciation for the books on biblical studies and other Christian literature generously donated to the school library, with the support of the United Bible Societies (UBS).

‘Widen My Horizon’

 According to Guan, the books have proven instrumental in opening his mind to new fields of knowledge, helping him consolidate his learning and prepare for classes.

Guan has been teaching since 2014 and understands the importance of being a perpetual learner: "To be effective in my teaching, I must continually deepen and enrich my understanding of the subjects I teach."

"To be effective in my teaching, I must continually deepen and enrich my understanding of the subjects I teach."

One of the courses that Guan has taught for years is "A History of Christian Thought."  It’s not uncommon for him to be asked about the relevance of the course by his students, some of whom come from rural areas and with relatively limited exposure.

Guan, who comes from the local Zhuang ethnic minority group, also shared that he and his students often discuss everyday topics related to family, finances, and beliefs and practices within the context of the local ethnic groups in Guangxi. As a teacher, he sees the need to bridge the relevance of classroom teaching with culture and society.

While Guan may not have all the answers, he was grateful for the insights from Francis A. Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture. Exploring the impact of Christian thought on various aspects of culture, including art, architecture, and literature, the book expanded his perspectives and knowledge. This book also inspired him to reflect on how to equip his students to better contextualise the Christian faith and understand the broader concept of Sinicisation in their local cultures. 

Additionally, Guan, who loves to read, shared that the biblical books and references donated to the School introduced him to many concepts and ideas he might not have encountered otherwise. “These books are very valuable, especially when it is not easy to access literature related to religious beliefs and practices.”

“These books are very valuable, especially when it is not easy to access literature related to religious beliefs and practices.”

Making the Bible More Accessible

Years of teaching and walking with the students have also helped Guan see how these books are valuable to them as well. He explained that the students have diverse educational backgrounds, with some having completed only primary or high school education, and many not having been in a classroom for over a decade.

Guan pointed out that some of these students lack adequate reading and comprehension skills. While they possess a willingness to learn, they often struggle.

Guan is thankful for the "Spiritual Treasury" series which helps him tremendously with his personal Bible studies and sermon preparation.

“They, therefore, need introductory biblical resources and entry-level materials to help them build a foundation from the bottom,” Guan said. For this purpose, the books from UBS have proven to be tremendously helpful.

Books, such as Know Your Bible, provide concise summaries of each book of the Bible, offering insights into the author, time, place, and main themes. These resources are particularly helpful for the students, making it easier for them to understand and engage with the Bible.

Another set of books, Spiritual Treasury, delves into the Bible verse by verse, offering thematic explanations and aiding the students in interpreting and understanding the Bible and their faith more deeply.

These resources have been highly appreciated by the students, as they fill critical knowledge gaps and make it easier for them to grasp the teachings of the Bible.

Spiritual Legacy Continues

It was heartening to hear Guan's commitment to serve God was instilled in him from a young age. Raised in a Christian family and greatly influenced by his father, Guan grew up with a desire to follow in his footsteps.

“My father was the first Christian in our village. He became a preacher, led many to Christ and started a church. Later, he was also involved in teaching and training preachers and pastors, including me. He played a vital role in my life and influenced the choice I’ve made today to teach and raise preachers and workers who will proclaim the Good News,” shared Guan.

Praise God for such a beautiful spiritual legacy! We pray that God will use the biblical books and references gifted to the library of Guangxi Bible School to help Guan, his colleagues and the students to understand His Word better and deeper.


Story: Marcus Xiao
Photo: UBSCP
© 2024 UBS China Partnership