Hello brothers and sisters in Christ. I am J.J. from Shanghai, China. I am currently studying A-level in Abbey College - an international sixth form college in Cambridge.
I was first taught about Jesus by my family. They brought me to a Church in Shanghai for the first time when I was in my primary school. From there, I started to know there might be a God. However, as I refused to join the Sunday school but stayed with my family to hear the proper sermon, I usually felt quite sleepy by the end of the sermon and didn’t really understand much about the Gospel. Most of the time when I prayed for God was because I was in trouble or facing exams.
In Chinese schools, we were taught by communist textbooks and teachers that religions are superstition and unscientific. Thank to be God. He let me start to be interested in astrophysics when I was in year 7. When I read through Stephen Hawking’s books, I was amazed how wonderful it is that science fits the Biblical ideas rather than being against Christianity.
For a long time, I thought believing there must be a God, knowing some stories about Jesus and going to church from time to time was enough. But as Jesus warned ‘When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.’ In the year 10, there was a big exam to enter the senior high school. I followed my teachers' order to work as hard as possible and cut down the time for relaxing, Church and even sleep. However, everything just went to the opposite way than I expected.
After I had repeated ‘hundreds’ of pieces of homework every day, I started to ask myself ‘Is this all my life about?’ 'Am I really doing hours and hours of work just in order to get into a good school, a good university, get a good job and make a lot of money? as many people around me said so. If it’s not, then what’s life all about? I was very depressed that I can’t even answer such a simple question.
God knows my difficulties. He used my family, Christians and non-Christians to help me safely passed through that difficult year, but I know that there must be more in my life.
In the summer 2010, he led me to England to go to a language school. After I had seen some of the magnificent churches in England, God made it clear it was the right choice for me to leave home and come to study here. He let all the paper work been done within just one month.
After I started my study in Abbey in September, I start coming to Eden. For the first time I join in a Youth group and build close Christian fellowship with other Christians. For the first time, I learn there are something called Christian Union in the schools outside China, and we may have one in our own college.
In England, God gives me sufficient time and resources to get to understand the Gospel properly. Jesus came to the Earth not only preached the good news of the kingdom of heaven, some orders that are hard to obey and some interesting parables, but also died on the cross for our sin. God demonstrates his own love for us in this. So our Lord is more than an almighty King who created the whole universe, he is also a dear Heavenly Father who is full of mercy and cares every one of us.
He opens my mind to let me realise what I have done wrong in my life and how true his words are. That is the answer for the meaning of life. Previously I was told I should put God first; he should be my life’s ultimate purpose. I admitted it externally but not by my heart, so I forgot it until he bowed my heart down with hard labour. But now I make sure myself go to church almost every week, and GAP and CU. It seems I lose so much time which I can use to relax and study. But actually it gives me the mental strength to defend my faith among atheists, especially at school. In addition, when I am doing all the works, I know, in the end, I am working for God’s purpose.
As I live miles away from home, and I know myself is not capable to deal with all the challenges I am facing, such as language, culture differences, academic study. The only one I can rely on- our Lord, makes it clear everything I have achieved is by his hand.
Today, I may come here to be baptised merely because of his mercy. Thank you Lord to call me back even I once turned away from you. Thank you for giving me so many opportunities to get to know you. I also thank you everyone who helps me understand the God’s words.