I Once Thought I Could Never Know God. Now I Translate Bibles so That Others Can Know Him Too

In Send Bibles by Shirley LiLeave a Comment

According to Romans 12:6, God has given us different gifts. The gift that God has given to me is to serve Him and others through my language skills.

I was born and raised on a very remote island in the South China Sea. My mother tongue is a dialect which is only spoken in that region. I had to learn Mandarin, the national language, at school. At the age of 12, I was chosen to go to a junior high school where we were required to learn English.

Looking back, I realize God was moving in my life long before I started with the work that He assigned to me.

Growing up in a country where people worship idols and the government embraces atheism, I never knew there was a God that I could have a personal relationship with.

I eventually took a temporary job as a substitute English teacher in a rural area. During that time, a family friend asked what I wanted to do in the future. I answered without hesitation that I wanted to do translation work. I know for sure it was God who put that desire in my heart. I soon left my job and started college. Everything was great in the beginning. But it did not take long before I realized my life was empty.

"Growing up in a country where people worship idols and the government embraces atheism, I never knew there was a God that I could have a personal relationship with."

“Growing up in a country where people worship idols and the government embraces atheism, I never knew there was a God that I could have a personal relationship with.”

One day, a friend invited me to a Christian gathering. In the meeting, we sang the song “Give Thanks”, and I heard a voice inside telling me that this God was bigger than any of my problems. It was a revelation to me! I continued to attend this gathering and my life has been never been the same. That was 1989.

After I graduated from college, I held a few different jobs: secretary, English teacher, administrator… Though I was asked to interpret for some English-speaking preachers who came to speak in our church once in a while, I actually forgot about my dream of doing translation work. But God never forgot.

From 2000-2004, I served with a church in China. One of my responsibilities was to proofread and edit the teaching material translated by another coworker. I translated some portions as well. I found myself not only enjoying the job, but I learned a lot and was spiritually ministered to. When I came to America in 2006, part of my job was to translate sermons into Chinese and post them online. The first time I helped with Biblica was proofreading a few books of the CCB. Since then, I have been given opportunities to work on many different projects including the markup of the CCB, proofreading of the CCB/CUV parallel New Testament, editing and proofreading of the translated study notes of the Chinese Student Bible, and revision of the Chinese LAB.

“May I always keep the fear of the Lord in my heart so that I may continue to serve Him faithfully!”

It has been a great honor and privilege to use my God-given talents to serve Him. I know without His anointing, the material I translate or proofread or edit is just knowledge. Therefore, I have to take this job as a ministry, and allow the messages I work on to minister to me first. May I always keep the fear of the Lord in my heart so that I may continue to serve Him faithfully!