Skip to main content

Carrying the cross in China

Author: Simon Bartz, 6 September 2022

Share this:

A precious Bible is clutched by a lay preacher during a training event supported by you in China.

Wang Zhengxiang was pursued by tragedy all his life, but then, during a spell in a Chinese prison, he asked for a Bible and a hymn book.

He spent a year behind bars reading the Bible, singing hymns, praying and building up his faith.

Since his release, Wang has been faithfully serving in his local church as a lay preacher, getting the support and resources he needs through the generosity of Bible Society supporters.

Wang was brought up in a Christian family but fell away from faith. When he was 17, he lost his father to an illness and his mother had to shoulder the responsibility as the sole breadwinner.

The family owned a small plot of farmland, but the poor yield from it was not sufficient to pay for daily household expenses. So Wang went down the pit. He worked long hours at the town’s coal mine. The pay was meagre.

With what little savings he had, Wang married at the age of 21, but four years later he lost his wife to a fatal disease. Single-handedly he raised their son. Not long after, his siblings introduced him to a young lady from the same town. Wang remarried and had two sons from his second marriage.

Life continued to be hard for the young family. When Wang found out that a coal-mining factory in Hebei Province was offering double the salary, he left home for the new job.

Brush with death

Wang with books provided by you.

A few months later, Wang was severely injured hundreds of metres underground when a huge boulder fell on top of him. He suffered broken ribs, a crushed pelvis and head injuries. ‘If it was not for God’s preservation, I would have died in the accident,’ Wang says.

It took almost a year for Wang to recover but because of his injuries he would never work as a labourer again. The family’s financial situation deteriorated. They were at breaking point.

Wang was then involved in a traffic accident in which one person died. It was an accident but Wang was held culpable and jailed for one year.

‘During the time I was incarcerated, I asked my family to bring me my copy of the Bible and the hymnal book,’ he says. ‘Although I am not well educated, I was eager to read the Bible again after all these years. During all the free time I was allocated, I would read the Bible and sing hymns.’

Wang was released from prison in late 2007. Through the sale of live poultry his family owned, he was able to set up a small-scale workshop and worked as a carpenter. Some years later, he switched to selling snacks and bric-a-brac from his home.

Serving the Lord

‘I took every opportunity to share God’s goodness in my life. Some folks were encouraged by my sharing and even pointed out that the Lord had shielded and protected me despite the challenges I have experienced,’ he says.

Wang refers to Joshua 24.15: ‘If you are not willing to serve him, decide today whom you will serve … As for my family and me, we will serve the LORD’ (GNB). He says, ‘We must serve God under all circumstances. I want to serve him all of my days.’

Thank you

Bible Society supporters have been providing lay preachers such as Wang with Bible reference books and other support. These are precious tools for Wang and other lay preachers who struggle with financial needs.

‘The Bible reference books have helped us tremendously!’ says Wang. ‘We have learnt so much from these books and now have a much deeper understanding of the Bible. This has helped us in our sharing of God’s word to our brothers and sisters in the church congregation. We have all benefited greatly. Thank you!’

Prayer: Let us pray for lay preachers in China, like Wang, who continue to serve God faithfully through the seasons despite many difficulties. Pray that they will receive strength and comfort from the Lord and that their basic needs will be met.

I want to help preachers like Wang right now

Share this:

Read the Bible icon Read the Bible
Open the full Bible