Dear Brother Jun,
May peace be with you.
I am so sorry to reply your message so late because I was quite busy recently. You mentioned that you would like to know how I started to contact the church; what made me keep on attending the church for two and a half year and knowing God consequently. I would like to share with you a brief story first and in details later.
I was born in a family where my parents were both teachers. However, the society was filled with instability and insecurity that life was very tough in the early 1960s. I caught up with the time to attend high school examination in 1979 after the restoration of the education system and I was fortunate to study at the university for 5 years. In 1984, I was also admitted into the post graduate study and subsequently I worked for a government department. However, at that time, my country was not undergoing with a fast-developing pace.
In 1991, I was granted a post-graduate scholarship from the United States but I could not make it due to the national policy until 1994, I got another full-funded scholarship that I could start the journey to study in America. There was an unexpectedly hurricane that had ever happened in 60 years which brought me into a new horizon. A Christian family of a nearby church was willing to help overseas students to pass through the tough situation. From then they became my friends. Actually, I was not a person who would trust in others easily but what they did to me was not only by tangible material support but they also let me see a family of happiness. All these things shocked my heart because I could see their God-centered lives are filled with joy and peace that had created a big impact on me. This made me think what I was seeking out of this world? When I retrospected my past from a small North West little province to Beijing, and from Beijing to America in order to pursue my own happiness, it seemed this happiness lost its balance like a never ending climbing up from one hill to a higher mountain. I knew this family possesses this wonderful life because of their faith. I was also attracted to their character, and I wanted to be like them. Nevertheless, I still had some concern about religion and became confused. Consequently, I reluctantly attended their church worship and Sunday school. However, I felt bored of what they talked and what I had learn because many of the context did not fit into my ‘logical’ thinking. Hence, I kept asking questions and they tried best to answer them.
Actually, I wanted to quit many times but my desire to seek this joy and peace kept me going. Gradually I understand that God had put this desire into individual human soul. Because of man’s Sin, there is no way to fulfil this desire and gain the peace and joy. My pride and my science training background continuously criticized and challenged the Sunday school teacher who was not capable to answer my questions that made me happy. However, they treated me gently and cared for me unceasingly. I urged to compare our differences and I found out that they desire the goodness of life by sincerity to practice and enjoy this goodness so that they evolved the desire to praise God’s glory which filled their living in all ways. I certainly wanted this good life and live it out but my sin refrained me to act it out. Rom 3:23 states “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. For what ‘goodness’ that sin of man had set up is a self-bound and limited ‘freedom’. I kept searching for 2 and a half year which let me re-construct the broken pieces of my life. The more I sought out evidence that the more I saw clearly the beauty of Christian life through my want to understand their inner life. Disappointingly our weakness inside our life – SIN; breaches the fellowship with God and so we are not able to live out God’s glory instead. I understand that when the connection between God’s glory and my joy became compatible with each other, I would gain the real happiness after I had settled the tension, sense of insecure or what I called spiritual confusion /discomfort. I believe that Jesus Christ accomplished the salvation for us on the cross; He grants us the unstoppable desire of happiness life which is enhanced in God’s glory. It also became a very powerful strength in my life. This was the beginning of my race to run on God’s way with His guidance. God is love and He calls us to fulfil the abundance of joy and peace on this earth. So I would continue to share with you my journey of faith. Seeing you soon!
Eric and his wife, Ping are missionaries sent by Gospel Operation Canada to Cambodia. They outreach at a small hill village in Pursat Province at the North part of Cambodia. You may visit their blog at pilgrimontheway.home.blog for more details.