How I became a Christian

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          I was born in Canton, China in a traditional Chinese family with the usual practice of ancestral worship and common superstitions. I might have vague recognition of the existence of a God but that God had no place in my life.

          In 1949, my family moved to Hong Kong as refugees when the communists took over China. When I was in grade 4, my father had nostril cancer. He was fortunate to find a competent doctor who applied radiotherapy which was an advanced technology at that time. During my father’s treatment, one of his friends brought him to a Methodist church. He became a Christian and was baptized a year later.

          After that, my whole family began to go to church and I began attending Sunday School. I heard Bible stories and Jesus. Although I did not understand the gospel, I regarded myself a Christian.

          At that young age, I did not ponder much about the meaning of life. However, I was not happy. I seldom laughed. Life was dull. My life is, as Macbeth says, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

At grade 7, I entered a famous Anglican middle school where I heard more about Jesus at school but still the story had no significance for me. At grade 9, I joined the Christian fellowship at school. One day, a grade 12 student from the fellowship asked me whether I was a Christian and I said yes. He then asked whether I had been saved and born again but I did not understand the question. Those words sounded like a mystery.

          One day in winter, I was invited to an evening gospel meeting. I reluctantly agreed to go. Yet, I had little intention to attend because I seldom went out at night. Moreover, the meeting place was not close to home and I had to take a bus trip. But, for unknown reasons, when the time came, I was on my way to the meeting.

          It was January 27, 1961. The night was dark and I trotted on the dark street towards the meeting place. My heart was heavy and weary. The feeling of meaninglessness of life filled my thoughts. Even now, I can still see in my mind a picture of that dark street.

          In the meeting, the story of the death of Jesus was again told. This time, however, the tremendous suffering of Jesus was described in detail. More importantly, the meaning of the story was clearly explained the first time in my life… Jesus suffered and died for me, for my sins, and if I accepted Jesus I would be saved from the sins. At that moment, the scene of Jesus’ painful death seemed to appear right in front of my eyes. I confessed to God in my heart that I was sorry for my sins and that I was willing to accept Jesus as my Saviour.

          When I came out from the meeting, I had a very strange experience which imprinted vividly in my memory as if it happened just yesterday. The whole world seemed renewed. The street was quiet with only a few pedestrians but every object seemed to glow in a mystic light. The street lights appeared brighter than normal. The cool winter air was so fresh and so sweet that I tried to inhale deeply again and again. Yet, inside of me, I felt an indescribable warmth filling up my whole body.

          Before my eyes appeared all the bad things that I had done in the past, incident by incident like an old movie. I remembered telling lies to my father. I remembered how I hated some people. I even remembered little incidents like pushing other people to get onto the bus. Although these sins appeared in my mind as a queue, I was not distressed because a voice in my heart assured me that these were all forgiven – they would be remembered no more!

          At home, I was filled with joy and I thanked God in my prayer for a long time. The sustaining joy and warmth in my heart sent me to the sweetest slumber that I have ever experienced.