Rural conversion stories

Mrs Lai, 57 year old retired dancer

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

I was involved in a lot of bad stuff as a youngster and had quite a wild life. I was moody and was only interested in making a name for myself. I was a dancer and was famous.

Later in life, when I retired, I was asked to choreograph a dance for a women’s group at Spring Festival for a competition. As I had been a famous dancer before I was keen to do well, but it just did not seem to be coming together. No matter what I did it was just not working. I knew different moves and had some good music but it just did not work. I could not sleep properly and was very worried. My temper was getting worse and worse, and I would shout at the dancers calling them stupid.

One night I had a dream. Well, I think it was a dream but I am not sure that I was actually asleep. I felt like I was awake but what happened was like a dream, so I think I must have fallen asleep because I had been so tired.

I saw a group of angels who motioned to me to learn a dance. They did not speak but just moved their arms to show me how to move. They were bright white and I could not see their faces at all. I asked them questions but they would not speak, they just taught me the dance. It looked so beautiful and I felt so good watching them and learning from them. Sometimes I was not sure how to do the actions. But they were patient with me and slowly repeated them for me until I had mastered them.

Behind them there was a cross. It was bright red and shone brightly behind them. Everything was white except for the red cross. I knew that these were angels from God.

I wrote everything down and the next day I taught the dance to the group. It was an amazing dance and we won first prize. I have a recording of it – you can see it if you want. You will see it is not a dance that a person would teach. It is a heavenly dance. I knew that this was God who had sent his angels because they were like the angels I had heard about when I was young. I had had a Christian teacher and she told me that angels looked after Christians, keeping guard of them if there was trouble. I knew that this was from God. He wanted to look after me and to teach this dance.

I went to the church and I was baptised a year later. Now I teach dance in the church and we use dancing to take the Gospel out to the villages. There are 2 dancing troupes and we are very famous – but we are not famous for ourselves but famous for God. It is so different from seeking things for yourself.

People love to come and see us dance, and we then have people sharing the Gospel at our dances. Many people have become Christians after they have seen us dance. God has blessed us a lot.

I don’t have a bad temper any more and have more time for people. I used to expect everyone to do things for me, and now I am so pleased to be able to serve others. Money and fame are not important for me now. Letting Jesus be known is the most important thing. Being a Christian has changed things so much for me.

How are you involved in the church?

I go to church each week and help with the evangelism in the rural areas when there is a chance. This usually happens at festival times like Chinese New Year and then, of course, for Christmas. I go to a prayer meeting once a week.

What reasons do you think there are for the growth?

There are many reasons. The Church is growing because of the witness of Christians in the local community.

I know a cadre who retired and became a Christian because a woman he had persecuted during the Cultural Revolution went to the hospital to visit him and take him food when he was ill. Once he had retired no one bothered with him and he lay there forgotten. He thought he was important but when he retired no-one cared about him any more. Only this Christian woman cared for him and she was the very person who had no reason to do anything for him. She cooked for him, brought him small gifts and cleaned him when he needed to be nursed. She did it all out of love. Her witness was so strong that he became a Christian.

Other people have friends or family who are Christian and they come to church with them. Some are just curious and come to church to see what it is all about.

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

There are lots of choices now but that can actually make things harder. We used to think that not having a choice was hard but I think it is harder for young people who now have too much choice. There is a big difference between the cities and the rural areas. So many people go as migrants to the cities for work, but when they are there they are cheated or looked down on. People in the rural areas are generally simpler in the way they approach life, but they can be very superstitious. Life is better in the countryside now, but it is still much harder than life in the city.

Has this affected people’s beliefs?

People are not afraid to talk about faith or belief anymore. People are looking for something more to their lives than just family or money. Faith often provides an answer. The church is good at meeting people’s needs.

 

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