Check out new believer, Shirley’s (name changed for privacy) testimony!
My name is Shirley and I’m an exchange student from China.
Five years ago, I went to New Zealand with my mom for summer vacation. One night, we stayed at a very cozy, family-styled hotel. It was very late. My mom was sleeping. But I couldn’t fall asleep. My head was occupied by tons of unhappy moments that I had been through that year. It felt like a cyclone just swirled through, leaving only mess behind. I looked around the room and I found a bible on the desk beside the bed. I opened it. I sat on the edge of the bed with the Bible in my hands and read several sentences, amazed…
And the next thing I knew was that I was crying. It’s like someone patting on your shoulder and whispering to you: My dear, I’ve watched you and I know what you have is real. It will be a treasure. Hang on to it.
Next morning, when I told my mom about this, my mom said to me: well, it was just as you read a really great story and you were touched. I felt there was something more than “oh you read a great book so you cried”, but I took my mom’s explanation. It was not that I didn’t believe that God was talking to me. . I grew up in mainland China. No one around me was Christian. The only thing I knew about Christianity at time was from my middle school history textbook. “God talks to me” this kind of ideas simply never occurred to me
But I’m always grateful to that night. It’s was the hardest time in my life, yet I was comforted by a voice. I follow that voice – I hang on to it and everything really gets better. Now I’m even here!
At the very beginning of this quarter, one of my friends told me that there was free barbecue on campus and asked me whether I wanted to go together. I said yes. Free barbecue, why not? Looking back, I feel that is the best decision I have ever made this quarter. That free barbecue brought me to ICF and Jesus 101. I meet a lot of amazing people and I start to read Bible and know more about God with them. I really like the way you guys read Bible. Always connects with personal experiences. I love those questions like “How this story relates to your life” or “what character do you feel most related to”. Though those questions, I begin to find in Bible that Jesus knows what I’ve been feeling. He affirms that I have discovered real treasure, and encourages me to hang on to it, especially in the hard times.
I decided to start my relationship with God four weeks ago on Sanctuary. Someone was crying right beside me; some people were praying together; someone was sharing story on the stage. Sitting there, I felt that was a right moment. But honestly, I was really terrified the next day after I made my decision. I felt there were so many things that I didn’t know about God. But Chizu told me that “You may never know everything about God. The most important thing is that you start your journey.” I really like her reply.
I forgot the sentence in Bible that made me cried on that summer night for a long time. Few days ago, when I was looking at Bible, somehow I stopped at Luke 2:10 and suddenly I found my sentence. “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.’” (Luke 2:10) “Do not be afraid; for behold.” Those words are so tiny in my Bible and the one that I read six years ago, yet they are so powerful.
This is my first and only quarter here in UCSD. I’m leaving in few weeks. I still don’t know how to tell my non-religion traditional Chinese parents that I gave my testimony, but I’m not that worried. I know I won’t be alone even when I’m back. One of my friends in shanghai told me she just became a Christian. She is the first person I know in China that is Christian. She also told me there are really great Christian fellowship and groups in shanghai and even in my home university. So I’m sure she won’t be the only Christian I know in China. I will meet more people. I will have more experience. I will accomplish God’s purpose for me.
God is “good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10). God is love. No matter where we are, we know he is here, right with us.