We were visiting our daughter who works with her husband Michael in China recently when we met Justin Yan in their home. He told us how he got connected with them….
A Foreigner befriends a Chinese
By Justin Yan
A divine appointment
I met an American named Michael outside the school gate. He was waiting for somebody. I like the English language especially American English – I think the pronunciation is beautiful. I am also interested in foreign cultures. So I got Michael’s cell phone number and started to contact him. We talked a lot about languages, slang and cultures. Near the end of this visit, Michael asked me, “What do you believe?” I told him I believe in Marxism. “What do you believe?” I asked him. He said, “I believed in God. Do you think it’s strange to believe in God? I told him, ”It’s not strange since you are an American and Americans believe in God.” I really loved to talk with Michael. We hung out a lot and even played soccer together.
Threw Bible away
Actually at that time, I had no friends, I don’t know exactly what I lacked but I could sense that something was missing in me that made me different and isolated from others. But Michael said he is my friend. I invited Michael to visit and bring me a Bible,- I knew that would please him. I was right. He brought me a Bible the New Testament in Chinese and English. I told Michael later that I want the kind of Bible that looks like what an American has – the Old as well as the New Testaments. I was excited and finished the first book – Genesis. But I found it hard to put into practice what I learned from the Bible- all I got was restriction and bondage. I didn’t find anything useful that can make my life easier. So I threw the Bible into the garbage can outside my school. But I regretted it so I told Michael that I lost the Bible and could he give me another one. He did. As it is all in English, and I like English, so I began to read it. The very first chapters that I read were the Proverbs. I even underlined verses and discussed with Michael what I liked best.
I went to visit an international school where there are a lot of Americans. Flags of China and America were the first impression that I got of the campus. I saw many foreigners there and started to talk with them. I came across an American woman, Charleen is her name as I later learned. She was passing by with her two young daughters and I talked with them. They were very nice and friendly. Charleen said, “You speak English as if you have been to America.” She gave me a name card of her husband and invited me to visit her the following week. During the following months I visit Sias every weekend and Charleen invited me to her home and was very nice to me. I always came on Saturday and spent the night in the dormitory of Charleen’s student friends. On Sundays Charleen would go to the church called Power Hour outside the campus. I was impressed by the worship team and the sermons by foreigner pastors and the fellowship after the service as people started to talk with people they didn’t know before.
The trips to the university went on for about one year or so. I asked Charleen whether she could introduce her friends to me so that I can practice English with them. She texted me some names and one of them is Michael. I contacted Michael and visited him. On one visit he took a Bible in his hand and said, “Say whatever problem you have, I can find the answer for you in the Bible.” I was surprised. Michael wrote some verses and asked me to read them. As I didn’t know how to pray he wrote me a prayer about confessing my sins. I didn’t know Jesus is the Lord at that time, I only knew there is God the Father. Michael corrected me and taught me that Jesus is God. Having understood I immediately acknowledged Jesus is God. I began to search for videos on the computer about Jesus God’s Son. Since then, I worship Jesus as my Lord and my Savior.
Once Michael texted me, “I want you to memorize Psalm 1 today”. My major was English and English is what I liked so I memorized Psalm 1 in my dormitory by practicing it out loud. Reciting the Bible is really an enjoyment! It refreshed my soul. Before I knew the Bible, I had problems relating to people. Nobody taught me how to communicate with others. When conflicts arose I felt timid and nervous. But when I knew the Scriptures and began to use the verses I learned or memorized, my emotions changed. As days passed, I finished memorizing several verses and chapters, e.g. Colossians 1:3-14, Philippians 4:4-9, Ephesians 2, 4, 6 and Psalm 1 & 23 & 34. All these verses made me very “powerful” when I encounter people, I feel more confident than ever before. I really enjoy memorizing Scripture.
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