Rural conversion stories

Mrs Gui, 47 years old farmer

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

I was so bored with life and nothing I did had any meaning. I would sometimes see friends to chat and sometimes we would do some sewing to sell down the market. I make insoles for shoes. I am not able to read or write and so there is little else for me to do than to pick fruit at harvest time and sew. You can make good money at fruit picking time, but the seasons are short. We have a little bit of land but the crop is not always good. Twice we had been flooded.

I didnít have any hope for myself Ė I am too old and have no education. I canít do much. But I did have dreams for a good life for my daughters. I wanted them to have a different life, but I didnít know how I could help them, apart from encouraging them to go to school. School is tough. There is so much homework and I am not able to help at all. Sometimes I would drink some wine to forget all about my troubles.

One day, when I was in the market there was a huge crowd standing around a small group of people singing and playing instruments. It wasnít unusual to have traveling performers come to town Ė we all loved these visits. But this one was different because they did not ask for money. It was free. They were from the local church.

They came again the next day and one of the ladies asked me if I wanted to come along. I asked if they would be singing there and she said yes, they sing every week. I went along out of curiosity. I didnít think about becoming a Christian. I didnít think much about religion. But when I got there I enjoyed the singing very much.

The lady who had spoken to me in the market remembered me. She told me that there was singing practice on Friday night and I was invited to come along. It was free, and she was so nice, so I did go along. I had nothing to do in the evening and so I continued going for several months.

I liked the singing but did not understand much of what was said during the rest of the service. The Bible was not easy to follow, especially as I canít read very easily. But I liked some of the preachers and their stories, and they were so good and patient at explaining things.

One day there was a musical group from Wenzhou who came by. They were great. During one song, I was really moved. The words were brilliant, saying how life has no meaning Ė that we may feel the same way today Ė but that in fact there is hope because there is meaning with Jesus. I felt something had happened inside me and, in a moment, I went from being a spectator wanting to listen to the songs to really wanting to believe in Jesus.

At the end of the service, the visiting evangelist asked us to pray for Jesus to come into our hearts, to forgive our sins, and to fill us with love. I didnít know how to pray but I closed my eyes like he said and said the prayer. I felt so much love in my heart, it was full of love. I have been a Christian for just a few months and feel so much happier now. I do believe that we all have hope and that God will bless each and every one of us.

 

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