What a privilege to serve a God who cares for every need and concern that we may experience. Those of you who have been praying for and supporting Bibles for China will remember how in July of 2014 during one of our trips we met a tour guide named J….. She had no idea that there were Christians in her country of China. The hand of God, however, was on her life and led us to ask her to assist us as our translator and guide on our next trip to rural China.
Although China is largely considered to be an atheistic country, the gospel has made an inroad into the lives of thousands of Chinese people in the cities as well as in remote rural areas. J…. accompanied us as we visited rural churches on that trip. Her heart was greatly moved as we provided Bibles to the people who followed Christ, but who had never had a Bible of their own.
She soon embraced a close relationship with God and since that time has been constantly seeking and hungering to learn everything possible that would enable her to know Christ more fully. When we are together meeting with the leaders of the churches in China we see the love, care and respect she receives from each leader she works with. They embrace the way she has become knowledgeable concerning the teachings of Christ and the disciples as recorded in the Bible. In fact, one of the leaders who is a faculty member of one of the larger seminaries has been encouraging her to enroll in the seminary and become a pastor of one of the churches.
J…. has a very active and intelligent son whom she adores. China has had a “one child” policy in place since 1979 and recently the policy has been changed so that a family is permitted to have two children. J…. and her husband were excited and anxious to have another child.
When we had a team meeting with her in early September the announcement was made (with great joy and delight) that they were blest to be expecting their second child, a girl. They named her Grace. All of our team rejoiced with her and her family knowing that this was an answer to prayer. It was something she felt God had provided and that this baby would be a blessing the Lord would use for His Glory.
Then on Tuesday morning October 15 we received a text and J…. said she had been to the doctor and that Grace had no heartbeat. She said she and her mother were headed to the hospital for confirmation and after going to three hospitals it was determined her little Grace had “gone to heaven”. Can you imagine the pain and disappointment she felt!
We asked J….. if we could share this story with our partners and without hesitation or reserve she said we could. She said “If my story can be an encouragement and blessing to someone else who suffers from what I’ve been through it would give me the joy of knowing what I experienced made a difference for another soul”.
The Lord, in His eternal mysterious ways accomplishes His will through the hardships and sufferings of those who often seem to be giving so much. The name they chose – Grace – exemplifies the love and comfort God is supplying as they grieve their loss. We have shared together that someday each of us who are members of the family of Bibles for China will be together with J….. and get to see and be with Grace. Her name comforts us with the words of Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
During this month of Thanksgiving let’s each seek God to know what our part is as we provide Bibles for China with a multitude of others who are living in the darkness of an atheistic nation.