Rural conversion stories

Mrs Bai, 24 year old tour guide

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

I am a tour guide and was at a temple with a group one day. I have a young baby and have not found it so easy since she was born. My husband works away from home and although I have help from my mother-in-law and my mother, it is hard knowing what to do all the time.

My daughter was not very well in the first few months and although she was getting stronger I was still worried about her. So I bought some incense sticks and made an offering at the temple for her health and for our family and for me.

I went to burn the incense sticks and then someone started speaking to me. I turned around and although there were lots of people near me none of them was talking to me, but I could still hear the voice. It was strange. He told me that I would not find the peace I was looking for here, and that I needed to go to his home. I kept looking for the person speaking to me and then I saw him. He looked different from the others, with a beard and light coloured hair, but he spoke to me perfectly clearly. I asked him where his home was, and he said that I would find it easily Ė it was at the end of the street and had a big red cross on the roof. That was his home.

Of course, now I know that that is the church but I did not know that at the time. I needed to rejoin the group and he disappeared in the crowd, but I was curious and so the first day that I was free I went to look for his house. Like he said, it was at the end of the street with a red cross on the roof. You could hardly miss it but I had never noticed it before.

There were quite a few people there and so I walked in and immediately a feeling of peace came over me. I couldnít believe it. I asked one of the ladies whoís house this was and she said it was the church. I felt overwhelmed and burst into tears. I didnít know what had come over me but this peaceful feeling made something happen inside me. I did feel like I was somewhere safe and suddenly lots of my troubles, concerns and thoughts of my wrong-doings were filling my mind and I just cried and cried.

The lady was nice. She was accepting and sat and prayed with me. As she prayed, I felt better and a deep peace filled me. I did not want to leave. I came back on Sunday and went to a class that they said was for seekers Ė people trying to understand things about life - and very soon realised that I believed in the God and Jesus that they were talking about and wanted to be a Christian.

Later I realised that this is Jesusí home and that it was Jesus who spoke to me. I think that when I came in to the church my spirit was stirred. I was doing so many things that were not right. I was always arguing with my mother-in-law. I did not like her and got angry at the way she did things with my daughter. She always seemed to be meddling, and she made things difficult with me and my husband.

Now I love her very much and that is Godís grace. His love is different from anything that I have ever experienced before. Some friends in church have trouble since they became a Christian but not me. My family are very pleased because they think that I have become a nicer person. I am more patient and hard-working and am a good mother. I am a better wife but, most importantly, a better daughter in law.

My mother-in-law comes with me to church now and she enjoys it also. She spends a lot of her time here during the day as she is retired. I think that is good because she looks after my daughter and that means that my daughter is spending time in a peaceful place. I hope that she will be a good Christian when she grows up.

I worry about how to teach her things about Jesus and pray for her all the time. It is funny how I was wanting to pray for her but went to the wrong place, and those prayers made me find the true faith. At night when she cannot sleep, I sing hymns and worship songs to her and she falls asleep very quickly. I know as she is sleeping that she feels the same peace I do.

How are you involved in the church?

If I am not working then I come to church. I often have to work at weekends because that is when groups come, but our minister has assured me that that is OK. My mother-in-law tells me what the sermon was about and we read the Bible together at home. I pray all the time. When I am free, I go to the church. I sometimes go to the young peopleís group. That is a nice group and the people are very energetic. It is good fun and we learn more about the Bible together, and can share about one anotherís lives.

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

God is blessing the church in China that is why it is growing. People are coming to the church like me to seek peace, to find help to look after their families and to lead good lives. There is not much help and guidance elsewhere. You donít know who to trust. At church you can trust the other brothers and sisters.

When people share their testimonies they say they are coming to church because they have read the Bible, or because they have been healed, or because they were asked to come by someone and once they came they felt convicted of the truth.

It is amazing how many different people are in the church. I havenít met anyone else who had Jesus tell them to go to church like me, but I would never have read the Bible and no-one would have invited me because I did not have any Christian friends then.

 

hand holding a Chinese Bible
© Churches Together in Britain and Ireland 2010