08 September 2009

My testimony

This is the "updated" version of my testimony of how I came to know God. My original version was on my previous Xanga blog which I forgot to copy before closing Xanga. Not quite a bad thing, as I spent time reflecting on God's goodness to me. Also, who needs Xanga anymore anyway? =P

I was born and bred in the east end of Glasgow. Also known as the rough part of Glasgow. Being Chinese in the east end was not easy, especially being the only Chinese in the school one point. I tried to fit in with people and ended up doing crazy stuff to be accepted. I mixed with the good, the bad...and the neds. After school activities included playing football with friends, games consoles in their house, climbing walls, getting chased by gangs and even getting into trouble by the police. I didn’t feel like I was a ned, but looking back now, the way I talked, the way I dressed and shaved my head...yep, I bet I looked rough!

It wasn’t until 1994 that I set foot into the Chinese church. Prior to this, my only experience of church was going to local church with the school for Christmas and Easter where we would all cram into a building and sing songs and listen to a minister talk. But this Chinese church was different. I met so many more Chinese people than I was ever exposed to and I learnt that I belonged to a wider group known as the BBC’s. (British Born Chinese)

At the start I didn’t understand why everyone was talking about God, and a Jesus, even a Holy Spirit! You can imagine how confused I was! But through weekly church attendance, annual EDGAS camps [EDGAS stood for Edinburgh, Dundeed, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Stirling Chinese churches) and summer camps I started to discover there is an amazing God in this world, who not only created everything around us, but who loves us so much He sacrificed His son Jesus to die for us.

Each time I returned from a camp or retreat I’d feel a spiritual high. I felt very close to God and felt very loved by Him. But I never took the leap of faith into accepting Jesus into my heart and becoming a Christian. I thought I was a Christian through my actions: church attending, going to camps, swearing less etc. But in God’s eyes He was still calling out to me.

The more I got to know God, the more I realised my life could be better. That there are more to life than what I was then living. I met mission teams from the US and Canada who came over to help with our camps and shared their passion for God with us. They were joyful, they were full of God’s love. I wanted to be part of that too!

In 1998 my dad passed away. I was suddenly the man of the house at the age of 14, going on 15. This time was tough and set me apart from many of my peers. I had to mature very quickly mentally and emotionally. I had to learn true responsibility and make important decisions. I knew my actions and decisions could also affect my mum and my sister. I could not have done this without support from the church and without God’s guidance.

So in 1999, ten years ago (30th July), I plucked up the courage to tell a church leader I wanted to accept Christ into my heart. I confessed my sins and confessed that Jesus is God’s son whom died on the cross for my sins, to make things right between me and God.

Since becoming a Christian, life has been different. Life was never guaranteed to be easy as a Christian. I still faced issues with family, education, jobs, money, relationships etc. But what is different is that I don’t face issues myself anymore. Even if friends and family can’t help me, I know that God is always there for me, watching me and caring for me. I know the Bible is the greatest guidance book into finding out about God and about God’s will for us.

Even today, as I am going through and almost completing my driving instruction course, I have faith in knowing God is guiding me through it, providing me with valuable lessons learnt, and letting me meet great people who teach well and are supportive. Whenever life is tough, I am always reminded of God’s promises in the book of Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

And I know my future is secure in Him. No matter where I am and what I do. I know God is looking out for me and caring for me. :)


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