Wang Handong, age 43, is now a lay preacher at a church in Wuhan city, Hubei province. Some 14 years ago, he was a stubborn atheist who refused to set eyes on the Bible. Below is his story.
“I used to hate my earthly father. He was a government official and he ruled his household with an iron rod. To break free from the ‘tyranny’ at home, I enlisted in the army, mainly to escape from a dysfunctional childhood and its painful memories.
First Contact With the Bible
I remembered distinctly when I was 10 years old my mother brought home a Bible. My father took a look at it and condemned the Bible as “superstitious belief”. He forbade his sons and wife to read the Bible. I did not need any discouragement from him then. One glance at the Book and I pronounced it as “something that can never be beneficial to me.”
My mother had no chance to say otherwise; she passed away shortly after that time.
In 1998, I started working as a young executive. I maintained no links with my father or my only sibling, a younger brother. My strained family relationship and a recent breakup with my then-girlfriend plunged me into depression. My friend, who observed my continued low spirits, urged me to accompany him to a Christian meeting at a nearby Bible seminary – the Zhong Nan (or Central South) Theological Seminary. I guess I went because I was desperately looking for happiness…
There the seminary students shared the gospel with me and gave me a “gift” – it was a Bible. I thought to myself, “What sort of a gift is this? It cannot be exchanged for money or pleasure. What use is it to me?”
That week, the students called me 2 or 3 times, enquiring about my health and if I have tried reading the Bible. They invited me once again to their seminary to meet with them the following week. I tried to decline the invitation, but found myself going. They shared the gospel with me a second time. I still did not want to believe or read the Bible, yet they continued to telephone me that week and invited me over the third week. I went the third time but I still rejected the gospel and refused salvation.
The same cycle of events repeated itself. I went to the seminary’s meeting week after week for more than half a year.
The Book They Call “God’s Word”
Four months later, after persistent calls and encouragement from the seminary students, I relented and decided that I must really start to read the book everyone calls ‘God’s Word’.
At first I did not understand the first five books, but when I came to the book of Psalms and Proverbs, my spiritual eyes began to open. I became more and more interested in this Bible. God’s Word began speaking to me through the Holy Spirit which gave me understanding.
Wang eventually came to faith, and so did his father and brother whom he had given a copy of the Bible each. Read Wang Handong's full testimony at the UBS-China Partnership website.
Article and photo by United Bible Societies-China Partnership. For more stories of changed lives in China, visit their website at: www.ubscp.org.