I am a fourth-generation Christian. Faith in God seems a matter of course to me because my father used to be an elder in the church. He used to lead me to Sunday school when I was young. When I grew up, he led me to the YMCA.
Many of my peers went to church with their parents when they were young, but when they grew up, they gradually stayed away from the church for various reasons or became a little cold to being a part of the church. For me, it has been similar.
When my father died, I doubted God. My father used to work in the church and often met with opposition from some people. My father had a good temperament and was described by many as "faithful to the Lord and the Church." I still didn't understand why such a loyal man faced so much opposition. So, I kind of hated the church.
At this time in my life, I was a senior in high school, about 17 or 18 years old.
I remember picking my father up from the hospital that night so that he could die naturally at home. My uncle came back from Hong Kong at that time. He told all the church workers, relatives and friends present that while he was resting on the bus, he dreamed that my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, dressed in very white clothes and looking like angels, were coming to pick up my father and return to heaven. It comforted me to hear him say so.
Speaking of my uncle, he did not repent and start to believe in God until he had some tough experiences.
Five or six years ago, my uncle was out drinking with some friends in Hong Kong. After drinking, they got into a fight with the persons at the next table. My uncle's friend got into an altercation and a physical conflict that eventually led to manslaughter.
The police caught my uncle after they shadowed him for some time. My aunt is a Christian, and that night my father was in Hong Kong. He led us all to pray for my uncle. The next afternoon, the police came home to collect evidence. My uncle held my aunt and they cried together, then the police took my uncle back again.
That evening, we all did not eat but kept praying for my uncle. Then around 12 a.m., the police department called and said that bail was available for him.
The next morning my uncle came to my father and told him that he now believed in God. He shared that although he did not know how to pray, he prayed briefly at the detention center and was notified by police shortly afterward that he could go home. After this experience, he repented and kept the habit of reading and copying the Bible every day, thanking the Lord.
After I went to college, the number of Sunday school trips tapered off. One day last year, the dean of our church came to me and said that he wanted to gather a group of college students. He wanted to find persons who were mature and hoped that I could participate.
One of the things he said to me is that most of the youth groups are now in their 30s and 40s, and the average age is too big. He wanted the average age to be a little bit lower. "The future and the present of the YMCA belong to you college students," he said.
That's how I got involved. We who form the backbone of the fellowship had been together in Sunday school since childhood and were quite familiar with each other. I also felt that what I was doing was different from what I had been doing in the church. My recognition of the church and my involvement in ministry had increased.
Some time ago, our group organized a tea party. We first talked about our college life and talked a bit more about faith later.
I think it's a good thing if there are groups of college students in the church because young people are the backbone of the church in the future. And most churches are very pro-youth.
Personally, I find worship to be the time for me to be close to God. I sometimes lead worship in the church. I believe that many young people will be moved and attracted to praise worship if the content is well chosen.
After I graduate from college and enter the workforce, I would like to continue serving in the church if time permits. I'd love to be involved in leading worship, and I'd like to do translation work (mandarin and local dialect translation) if possible.
I think that being persistent in attending services is more difficult for me. There were a few people in our church who had served before, but they didn't come for a while. Sometimes I also excuse myself from doing something I don't want to do.
(This article is dictated by Brother K.)
- Translated by Nicolas Cao