Rural conversion stories

Mr Fu, 19 year old college student

When did you become a Christian and how did it happen?

My parents are both Christians and wanted me to become a Christian too. This is usual for parents who believe but in my case it was something special too because my father had cancer and knew that he was dying. For him it was important that he knew that I would be joining him in heaven.

I felt torn. I had been taught at school that all religious belief was just superstition, that only uneducated people believed and that with the right kind of education we would see it for the fakery it was. I loved my parents, but they had not had a good education and, although I knew that their faith was very meaningful to them, I just struggled to believe myself.

My parents, especially my father, would ask me all the time if I would go to church with them and if I would believe. I said nothing but inside my heart ached. I had no-one to talk to about it all. I was at boarding school and none of my dormitory mates understood. They said I should just believe to make my father happy, but it did not feel right.

Just at this time a new teacher came to the school. It was his first job, but he was very good and spent a lot of time with the students. He became very popular very quickly and was very kind to me, encouraging me and taking time with me, where other teachers just shouted. He seemed different and everyone said so.

After a few months we realised that he was a Christian. Some people laughed about it behind his back, but for me it was amazing. I had never met a young, educated person who believed before. It made my heart race. I donít know how we found out about his faith but although he never raised the issue in class he also never denied it or tried to hide it when we asked him about it.

One day I was called home because my father was very sick and when I came back to school he asked me how I was. We talked and I was able to tell him about my concerns. Should I become a Christian to please my father? It was what a good son should do. He smiled and said that it was an important decision to make, that it was something that shouldnít be looked on lightly. He gave me a copy of an English-Chinese Bible and told me to read it for myself and to see what I thought. He did not press me to be a Christian like all the others did. In fact the opposite, he said it was my decision and that had a big impact on me.

For the first time I read the Bible because I wanted to. It was interesting reading part of it in Chinese and then seeing the English written next to it. Sometimes I would go to church, and slowly I realised that there was truth in the message.

I would occasionally talk to my teacher about what I read in the Bible because it was not always easy to understand. He told me to read the parable of the prodigal son. I felt like it had been written for me. I became a Christian after reading it, quite peacefully. Nothing special, nothing exciting, just slowly and quietly. Suddenly I simply believed.

I went to church with my parents and then said that I wanted to be baptised. Of course I am pleased that I have made my father happy but I am even more pleased to have found peace and truth. I donít know what will happen in the future. I have to take my exams this summer. Maybe I will pass, maybe not, but I feel peace that God is in control of my future. My teacher was sent as a messenger from God I know that I can trust God to protect me and my family.

How are you involved in the church?

When I am at home I go. There is no church near my school and we have class on Sunday so it is not possible to go. But I can read my Bible and pray.

What reasons do you think there are for the growth/decline?

I am not sure. God touches people differently. Some believe quickly, others like me slowly.

 

hand holding a Chinese Bible
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