Meet Annie, a New Chinese Christian
China is a nation with multiple identities. Major cities like Beijing and Shanghai are thriving centers of business, technology, and cultural exchange. Meanwhile expansive areas of rural China have little or no access to resources that others take for granted. Among those resources are Christian Bibles. What rural China does not lack are Christians — Bible-believing churches abound. Literally millions of men, women, and children meet to study Scripture and worship God each week. These same believers long to hold the Word of God in their hands.
Imagine a young Chinese woman who is university educated, abundantly articulate, and fluent in English. Like most Chinese children, she was taught about the value of education. She graduated from university in Shangqiu, and now lives in Beijing. In the course of her education, she was taught nothing about God or religion. She had never attended a church or read a Bible. This young woman’s name is Annie.
We met Annie in May on a Bible distribution trip. She served as our tour guide and translator. As we worked together during the trip, our team and Annie became friends.
In July, I returned to China and hired Annie to serve again as our translator. Slowly Annie began to understand the work we were doing, and her curiosity was piqued. We visited a rural Chinese church. As I was speaking to the members of the church, I shared my deep gratitude to God for the opportunity to serve them.
As sometimes happens, my emotions welled up. Annie, who was translating for me, was also overcome with emotion. After the service, we thanked Annie for her effective communication of the gratitude and emotion that we felt. Annie replied that she had felt it too. She said she had felt “the touch of God” during the service.
Before visiting these rural churches with us, Annie had not known anything about God, or religion, let alone Christianity. She did not even know that these rural churches existed in China. This day, she became a Christian. We gave her a Bible. She began reading it that night, and her faith journey began.
It quickly became clear that God was working in and around Annie’s life. She soon discovered, to her surprise, that her roommate was a Christian, and was therefore able to encourage her in the faith. Then, while on another Bible distribution trip with us, she met a fellow Chinese national who was partnering with us. After a short discussion they discovered that they both lived in Beijing — not only that, but they lived in neighboring buildings within the same apartment complex — where the gentleman hosted a Bible study. He invited Annie to attend. Annie exclaimed, “I had no idea that there were so many brothers and sisters here!” God’s work is amazing. And Annie’s excitement is truly infectious.
Recently Annie told us about the experience of a Bible study meeting in Beijing. Often there are only one or two Bibles to be shared among a group of eight to twelve persons. This makes it difficult for personal study to happen during the week. This small group needs more Bibles. This is the reality even in Beijing. The need is much greater in the rural areas of China,
But by God’s grace, Annie’s life has been changed forever. As has her young son’s future. And perhaps the future of many more Chinese as this story unfolds. Annie has kept in touch with us since July, and her faith continues to grow. She is now considering enrolling in seminary to receive formal training for ministry. And she is on a personal mission to provide God’s Word to as many people as possible.
This goal, which is new to her, has been our goal all along. God is expanding the vision. With Annie’s help, we have learned of a specific need for 300,000 Bibles in one rural area in China. We would like to ask you to help us meet this need. It is not a small task to fund the printing and guarantee the delivery of 300,000 Bibles. We have decided however to begin the work and see how fast God can supply the resources to meet the need. Our immediate goal is to fund 50,000 Bibles by the end of 2014. Would you help us reach this goal?
We hope that you, like us, are moved by Annie’s story and the work of God behind it. If you would like to join us in advancing the spread of God’s Word in in China, please share this story — and this goal — with your friends and family, and consider making a donation. Every five dollar gift puts a Bible in the hands of another person hungering for the Word of God.
God’s work is amazing and wondrous and knows no bounds.
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