Zhang Tao comes from a middle-income family. With no financial worries to trouble him, life should have been comfortable and smooth sailing.
However, an early entry into the work force at 15 led him into bad company and drugs. Substance abuse was to plague him for the next 16 years.
"During those 16 years, I suffered tremendous physical and mental torture... my despair would become unbearable," Zhang Tao recounted.
Not wanting to see his parents' despondence, he left home, only returning when he was at his wit's end.
However, even in this dark crisis, God was not far away. In October 2011, he received his first Bible at the Drug Rehabilitation Centre.
"I held it carefully in my hands because it felt like I had just received a sacred gift. My heart was filled with joy and I was very touched."
Curious about the Book and its contents, Zhang began reading in earnest.
"Scripture showed me my own sinfulness and the liberation from sin I could have through the grace of Christ. The Bible moved me to repentance. In that process, I also received hope and comfort. It helped me get out of my drug addiction which had tormented me for 16 years."
To Zhang, the Bible is the guiding compass of life.
"Without it, a person loses his direction in life," Zhang shared with conviction. Today, Zhang looks back to his dark past as a reminder of what he had been saved from and how God had reached out to help him confront his problems.