I was born in a Catholic family. Since I was little, I attended Mass at church with my grandparents. Due to the influence of my environment and my belief in God, I learned to chant many different scriptures and practice various rituals.
In 2009, I arrived in Japan to study. One time, in a fellow student’s dorm room, I met by chance a Christian small group leader who had come to spread the gospel. I thought: Protestants and Catholics believe in the same God. They both believe in the Lord Jesus. As a result, I accepted the small group leader’s invitation to join him at the church. After listening to the pastors preach and hearing some brothers and sisters talk about the Bible, I had some understanding about the Lord Jesus’ life. This caused me to have more faith in the Lord. However, after a few months, the pastors and the preachers asked us to donate tithe every week. Also, each week, we were to hand out pamphlets to spread the gospel. Sometimes, we were so tired that we would snooze during Sunday service. We no longer had a normal routine in our life. At that time, some of us were both working and studying. Not only did we have to make money to pay for our studies, but we also needed money for our everyday expenses. Our lives were already quite difficult, but they still wanted us to give them our money and our energy. We were under a lot of stress and pain. Gradually, I discovered that the pastors and the preachers were not truly people that served the Lord. Normally, since they were those who shepherded the church, they should have been helping us grow in our spiritual lives. However, they did not care about our lives. They did not think at all about our practical problems. Instead, they wanted our energy and our money. Everything they did was to help expand their church and consolidate their status and their influence. At this time, we felt like we had been deceived. Consequently, a few of my brothers and I left the church. Continue reading “Eastern Lightning｜I Found the True Light”
Eastern Lightning｜With Life Hanging by a Thread, the Hand of God Came to the Rescue
Ling Wu Japan
“If I were not saved by God, I would still be drifting in this world,
struggling hard and painfully in sin; every day gets bleak and hopeless.
If I were not saved by God, I’d still be crushed below the devil’s feet,
snared in sin and its enjoyments, ignorant of what my life would be.
If I were not saved by God, I’d be without my blessings here today,
much less know why we should live on or the meaning of our lives.
If I were not saved by God, I’d still be confused about my faith,
still in empty space passing the days, unaware in whom to put my faith.
I have finally understood God’s loving hand holds mine as we go. Continue reading “Eastern Lightning｜With Life Hanging by a Thread, the Hand of God Came to the Rescue”
Eastern Lightning | After Listening with My Heart, I Have Welcomed the Lord’s Return
Max United States
In 1994, I was born in the United States. My parents are both Chinese. My mother was the classic example of a successful career woman. She is able to think for herself and is very competent. I love my mother very much. When I was in Grade 2, my parents brought me back to China to study so that I would be able to learn Chinese. It was also at that time that I started to get acquainted with the Lord Jesus. I remember one day in 2004, after I got home from school, there was a guest at our house. My mother introduced her and told me that she was a pastor from the United States. I was very happy because that was when I found out that my mother had believed in the Lord Jesus for some time. Before, she did not believe. Every Chinese New Year, she would burn incense and worship Buddha. However, after my mother started to believe in the Lord Jesus, I no longer had to smell the whiff of burnt Joss paper and incense. That day, the American pastor told me a story about the Lord Jesus. Soon after, I was brought to the bathroom and before I could react, “plop,” the pastor had dunked my head into the bathtub and after a moment, pulled my head out. All I heard was my mother and the pastor telling me, “Welcome to the embrace of the Lord Jesus. We are all lost sheep.” In this way, I started a new life journey before I knew it. However, because the Lord was with me, my heart was very happy. Afterward, each Sunday, I would go to church to worship and listen to the pastor talk about Bible stories and read from the scriptures. I was very happy all along. My heart was steadfast and I felt that believing in the Lord Jesus was truly a good thing. Continue reading “Eastern Lightning | After Listening with My Heart, I Have Welcomed the Lord’s Return”
Eastern Lightning | Only by Entering Into the Truth Myself May I Truly Help Others
Du Fan Jiangsu Province
Recently, a church was holding a vote to select a new leader, but the presiding leader went against the principles of the church, using her own way to carry out the vote. When some other brothers and sisters voiced their opinions, not only did she not acknowledge them, but insisted on upholding her own way. The church was subsequently thrown into confusion by the leader’s actions. When I found out, I totally lost my temper: How could someone be so arrogant and self-righteous? Carrying out the duties of a church leader without God in one’s heart, looking down upon the work arrangements, refuting and rejecting brother’s and sister’s suggestions—who else is there to blame for the church’s confusion but you! I immediately sent someone to commune with the church leader and, in the meantime, read through God’s word looking for related truths that I could raise with the leader to convince her of the error of her ways. Later that night, I went and met the leader. During communion, I spoke to her with an accusatory tone, unable to suppress my own anger. To my surprise, ten minutes into our meeting, the leader suddenly got up and rushed out with tears in her eyes. A brother who had gone chasing off after her came back a bit later and said, “She’s gone and she knows she’s done wrong.” I was unrelenting, angrily exclaiming: “With regard to such an important matter of principle, you’re prepared to just leave things unresolved? How arrogant and self-righteous you are! You go against the principles of the church and don’t let anyone else have a say. How are you supposed to get anything done in the future? What a dangerous prospect! This just won’t do, if you’re going to storm out unannounced, I’ll just have to write you a letter.” Right then and there, I sat down and wrote her a letter in which I symbolically acknowledged that my attitude in communion hadn’t been ideal and asked for her forgiveness. In the letter, I also addressed her issues, citing principles to elucidate the problem. I thought that I had handled things quite well. On the one hand, I demonstrated that I was able to let go of my own ego and gain a deeper understanding of myself, while at the same time using truth to resolve issues. Seeing how I handled things, this leader would definitely be convinced and gain new understanding, I thought. Continue reading “Eastern Lightning | Only by Entering Into the Truth Myself May I Truly Help Others”
Eastern Lightning | Finally I Live Out a Little Like a Human
Xiangwang Sichuan Province
I feel deeply chastised in my heart every time I see that God’s words say: “Cruel, brutal mankind! The conniving and intrigue, the jostling with each other, the scramble for reputation and fortune, the mutual slaughter—when will it ever end? God has spoken hundreds of thousands of words, yet no one has come to their senses. They act for the sake of their families, and sons and daughters, for their careers, prospects, status, vanity, and money, for the sake of clothes, for food and the flesh—whose actions are truly for the sake of God? Even among those whose actions are for the sake of God, there are but few who know God. How many do not act for the sake of their own interests? How many do not oppress and discriminate against others for the sake of maintaining their own status? Thus, God has been forcibly condemned to death innumerable times, countless barbaric judges have condemned God and once more nailed Him to the cross” (“The Wicked Must Be Punished” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I think back to how I did not seek truth, how in fulfilling my duty I repeatedly competed with my working partners, how for the sake of my reputation and benefit I would suppress or reject the other—how I caused losses both for my own life, and for the work of God’s family. Although God arranged many circumstances to save me, I was numb and completely failed to grasp God’s intent. But God continued to pity me, to save me, and only after repeated chastisement and judgment did I awaken and understand God’s wish to save us, putting aside my pursuit of reputation and status and starting to act a little like a human. Continue reading “Eastern Lightning | Finally I Live Out a Little Like a Human”
Chen Dan Hunan Province
At the end of last year, because I was unable to get the gospel work in my area off the ground, God’s family transferred a brother from another area to take over my work. Prior to this I had not been informed, but rather heard indirectly through a sister I was partnering with. I was very upset. I suspected that the person in charge hadn’t informed me for fear that I would be unwilling to give up my position and put up a fight. As a result, I formed a poor opinion of the sister in charge. Later, the sister met with me and asked about how I felt about being replaced—initially I meant to speak my mind, but I worried that she’d get a bad impression of me and think I was angling for position. So instead, in as relaxed a voice as possible I said, “It’s no problem, I wasn’t able to do constructive work so it makes sense I’d be replaced. I don’t have any particular thoughts on the matter, whatever duty God’s family gives me to fulfill I’ll obey.” In this way I hid my true self while projecting an illusory version of myself to the sister. Afterward, I was sent by God’s family to be a worker. At our first co-workers meeting, our newly transferred leader laid bare with regard to his condition. One particular phrase he used, “lost all standing and reputation” hit me like a ton of bricks: It was as if he were talking about me. I was sitting there feeling really upset and sad—I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, but I choked them back fearing that others would notice. I wanted to lay myself bare, but I also worried that my co-workers would think less of me. To save face, I once again concealed my true condition, not letting others see to what degree I had already been refined. I even forced a smile to show everyone how normal my condition was. Just like that, I brought my negativity back with me to work, and despite the fact that I didn’t dare slack off and worked every day from dawn till dusk, it seemed the harder I worked the more ineffective I became and all kinds of problems arose. The gospel work was coming to a grinding halt and the first-line director and some of his members had been arrested by the CCP police. Facing all this, I felt I was on the verge of collapse and thought only of my impending replacement. Even then, I refused to lay myself bare, making myself out to be strong and determined in front of my brothers and sisters. Continue reading “Eastern Lightning｜Tear off the Mask, and Start Life Afresh”