Updated: Sep 3, 2021
I have never thought of being a Christian before. I was born in Shanghai China, a non-Christian family and my parents are communists. I almost have no idea about Christianity before, the only knowledge was from history class. Even though my parents are communists, I was not that interested in being a communist, because I think that just means you are a good student or it would be easier to find a government-related job in the future.
Everything starts from USC ministry. I still remember clearly that I signed up for free airport pick-up, back then, I thought church is so generous and I signed for it and took advantage of the program. Also it was my first time to United States, and I came here alone by myself, I was sort of worried about what is going to happen in my life. After that I learned that church will have various activities for international students, I started to be involved in these activities and gradually learned more about Christian religion. I felt really warm when I got along with Caleb and other brothers and sisters from CEFC during the USC ministry. I can feel that they really care about international students like me and do not expect any return from us. But at same time, I was confused, why do they have this kind of selfless love for us, and even sacrificed their own free time to help us?
To solve this question in my mind, I started to have bible study with Amanda and learned more about Christianity, about Jesus and about sin. I learned a lot from Amanda, and everytime I asked her interesting questions, she will have acceptable and reasonable answers for them. For example, I thought God or Jesus is only the God for western countries, and eastern countries have Buddha or Taoism, there are different Gods in this world, but there are a lot of contradictory statements among these religions, so only one God is real, is the truth. And gradually I admitted that there is one God in this world and it is real. I also started to understand that this selfless love comes from Jesus, from God, and brothers and sisters are on the way of sanctification, to be more like Jesus, and Holy Spirit is working within them. I was very impressed by this and decided to learn more.
After going to Sunday Service for more than half year and bible study with Amanda, I had some knowledge of Christianity. The decisive piece for me to accept Christ was the sermon from Pastor Greg Laurie. He is actually one of Quyen’s favorite pastors. His sermon was really powerful and convincing, and pointed out that after you realize the existence of the God, following Him becomes a Yes or No answer, and there is no middle ground, which means, either follow God or not. I thought I cannot deny God, then I chose to follow Him and have faith in Him. From that moment, I felt the peace and power in my heart.
Life as a Christian
After reborned as a new Christian, I started my journey from putting off my old self to putting on my new self. I thought I was a good person before, never committed crime, got along well with my friends and my parents, and I don’t think I need to make any change and just be myself. However, now I realize that I was tempted by Satan all the time, for example: I envy the peers find a decent job, try to make excuses for my fault, have too high expectation for my parents and husband, etc. These things demonstrate that I have sin in nature and easily to be tempted. Therefore, I told myself, I need God in my life, I need His word to guide my way.
And I know God is always listening to my prayers. When I faced critical life decisions, when I stressed out, I prayed to Him and he answered me either in Sunday Service or through Bible or books. This is really amazing experience, Quyen told me it is good to pray for everyone I met in the day before sleep, I found out this is a really good way to build relationship with God and help a lot in my life too. We also read some books about marriage together to learn the wisdom from God, the creator of marriage, and try to apply them to our marriage life.
I know it is going to be a lifelong task and definitely not easy, but I also know that the Holy Spirit will always work within me.