Rural conversion stories

Mrs En, 33 year old shop worker

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

I grew up in a rural area. I never had a faith as a young person but when I was 18 slowly I started to think about things. My parents are both Christian and go to church. At that time I studied hymns and realised that I was sinful. I donated some money to the church. I had read that I should tithe 10 per cent of my income. I thought if I did that then I would be blessed. I had little time to go to church.

Now I come to church because I want to and I have learnt a lot from the sermons. For example, when you tell people things they are often going to gossip about it with someone else, but when you tell something to God you can really get it off your chest. It will remain with him in confidence.

In the past, I was easily hurt by things people said or did, but not now. If I didnít have faith I would hate some people for what they have said, but my heart has been changed.

What reasons do you think there are for the growth?

Many reasons. We are freer now to believe. Also, there are churches which are open. Before, there simply were none. I think that people believe because they see the church doing good work. Just today someone came to the church because they had heard of a friend sick in hospital who had been cared for by some Christians. They were moved that strangers had helped out their friend at a time of need and came to see what the church was all about.

What changes have there been in local society in recent years?

People are free to choose their jobs, their partners, their houses. There are many changes. Many people have been forced to take early retirement and are thinking what to do with their lives. They are still young but there is no work for them to do unless they move to another city.

Has this affected peopleís beliefs?

In many ways it has given people time to think about religion. But some people say if God is God and is powerful, then why did he die and then why do the poor suffer so much? It is a hard thing to answer, even for someone who calls herself a Christian. But I find that once you know that some of your prayers have been answered, especially the unexpected ones, then you start to build trust that one day God will give you the answers to things you do not know, and until then you simply have to trust.

 

hand holding a Chinese Bible
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