The Bible was once just a reference book on a library shelf for Asian Studies Professor Qingjun Li. Then as a professor twice recognized as a “Teacher of Excellence” at Zhengzhou University in China, religion was taboo in academia.
“The education that I received was that there was no God, and there was no Savior in your world but you. Religion was like opium; it made your mind numb,” said Li, who grew up in China. “I never thought I could use the Bible for myself as a companion.”
She shared her story of “Finding Faith in the Land of the Dragon” during chapel on March 14. In China, the dragon stands as a symbol of power, good luck and achievement.
Then a friend named Sherri Love would share stories of Jesus Christ with Li, sometime for hours.
“She planted a seed in my heart, but I did not become a believer all of a sudden. I still had questions and struggles,” Li said. Love would mail her books on Christianity, and Li began attending church secretly in someone’s home with other Chinese intellectuals. Soon thereafter, a pastor from Hong Kong baptized her in a bathtub.
“After that, I had a shift, and I had someone to rely on. That was only the beginning of my faith,” she said.
Her journey with Christ continued to flourish as Li became a graduate student in the United States. She used the Bible, once just a reference book, to find comfort when she struggled with language barriers and cultural nuances using Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 4:4 and Psalm 23.
Li has a Ph.D. in English and is the author of three books.