Rev. Jimmy Zhen
Director – Chinese Family For Christ Canada Branch
When I was a child, I lived in a village in the Guangdong province. I often looked up at the sky at night, it was vast with little starlight, and my heart of awe grew spontaneously. I felt insignificant, and I could not help but asked: Who am I?
Growing up in an atheistic environment, passively accepted that myself was just a coincidence in the long years of evolution. Successfully completed university, I found a decent job at a bank, but there was always an indescribable emptiness in my heart. And when I saw through the reality of China, I became discouraged, then I immigrated to Canada with my wife in the year 2000. I was then able to go to church and get to know the Lord Jesus Christ. The invisible hand of God guided me, the lost prodigal son, step by step back to my Father’s house. Only then did I know that I was a beloved child of Abba Heavenly Father!
The process of life and growth is full of surprises and tears. Two years after believing in the Lord, God dealt with my addiction to computer games and revealed to me that He is the almighty God. With Him, I could achieve anything. When we have any needs in our lives and are willing to pray to God, we could experience that He is the God who supplies, and nothing is impossible with Him! All of these, the bits of experience in life, gradually prepared my heart, eagerly to embark on the path to serve Him full-time. In 2007, the call of God arrived. After half a year of struggle, my wife and I were finally willing to obey God’s will. In 2008, I entered the seminary to equip. At that time, I realized that I was the called servant of the Lord Jesus Christ!
The days of studying theology was not easy; and pastoring a church has been more challenging. I started serving in the church in 2011. A year later, I started a Mandarin congregation with a group of brothers and sisters from the Cantonese one. From evangelism to discipleship training, from visits to various teachings, I did all of them by myself, busy but joyful. Seeing some friends believing in the Lord, getting baptized, or even becoming leaders, their lives have been completely changed, and my heart is full of gratitude. However, in the busy times, I often forget that I am also limited, I had many responsibilities, not only in the church, but also in the family. The sharing with my wife and children was like a blow to my heart. It also made me felt sad and waken up suddenly, and I readjusted my schedule.
God even blessed the church and continued to add to the number of the saved. Seeing the church’s prosperity, my heart would inevitably be a little fluttered. When the growth of the church encountered a bottleneck and could not break through, I would fall into an emotional and spiritual trough. God used His servants and maids (my mentors) to speak to me, so that I could see God’s great grace and the shallowness of my life. In a Bible study, I read about the scriptures of Elijah seeking death, the Holy Spirit pointed at me just like Elijah’s situation at that time. The wonderful thing was that at the time, God let me realize the light that I had not noticed before: even for Elijah had many complaints, God was still tolerant and caring for him in every possible way. God did the same to me, an unworthy servant! At the end of the prayer, the gratitude that had been missing for many months came into my heart: Lord, I am a sinner who has been greatly favored!
After going through the trough, I felt a sense of courage in my heart that I did not have before, and I saw a breakthrough in my service. The Holy Spirit reminded me at the time that I should start praying for the future ministry. God answered my three specific prayers in just over half a year time and clearly told me to serve in Chinese Family for Christ (I had been leading the loving couple camp as a volunteer since 2006). This was also confirmed by my wife and several other mentors. The church had also witnessed that all this was God’s work, although reluctant to give up, the church was willing to send and bless us to the new home.
More than a year ago, I learned from my mother (who is now resting with the Lord) that my elder brother passed away in an incident. In extreme pain, my mother remembered the Jesus Christ she had heard when she was a child when she went to church with my grandmother. She then made a wish to the Lord: Oh God, please give me another boy. I am willing to dedicate him to you and be your servant. Then I was born. Dear Lord, it turns out that even before I was in my mother’s womb, You already knew me, and You have chosen me so that I can be your called servant!
What a wonderful journey to discover my identity, I look forward to a more exciting journey in the second part of my life. Dear readers, I invite you to join this wonderful journey!