God loves the world. Each of us is chosen by God, and we all have different experiences and stories behind our faith in God. Here are 40 stories and experiences behind people's faiths that I have heard and seen. Maybe the story behind your faith might be here.
While part 1 contains the stories of six Christians, part 2 concerns five believers who encountered God in their hard times, part 3 tells four stories of people who believed in the Lord as a result of love and family influence, part 4 recounts five testimonies of ordinary people, part 5 shares five testimonies, part 6 depicts the life transformation of six Christians and their persistence on faith or ministry, the seventh episole unveils the stories of six pastors.
Some of them encouraged others to tithe, gave out Bibles, left the business world only to be a senior pastor at a church, and some were devoted to constructing the church, and also a woman, after being healed by the Lord, became a Christian and has persisted in attending Sunday services ever since.
34. The boss who chooses to be a pastor
He was an astute entrepreneur who achieved great success, owning a catering company, a foreign processing trade factory, a real estate company, and a garment factory. Being a devoted Christian, he attributed his accomplishments to the watchful eye of God over his business.
However, at the peak of his life and career, he made a resolute decision to relinquish his business ventures and dedicate himself as a full-time volunteer in the church. Subsequently, he pursued theological studies. During that period, his family and those in his circle struggled to comprehend his choice, but he placed his faith in God, entrusting his business affairs to his family.
Upon completing his seminary education, he returned to his hometown church as a volunteer pastoral staff member. Over the years, he ascended to the role of pastor and eventually became the senior pastor of that congregation.
Throughout his volunteer service as a pastor, he has received support from his family. Although he does not draw a salary from the church, he remains steadfast in his commitment to tithing. Whenever the church faces financial challenges, he does everything within his means to support it. During annual festivities, he graciously covers the costs of gifts and meals, and he extends his aid to other churches in need of financial assistance, particularly in building churches.
35. The pastor who chooses to forgive
This brother, who is advancing in years, has already served for more than 30 years as the head pastor of a rural church.
As the congregation continued to grow, their existing chapel proved insufficient to accommodate everyone, leading the church to embark on the construction of a larger chapel. Over several months, the pastor diligently coordinated and negotiated with various government departments. However, despite his earnest efforts, some church members disapproved and subjected him to various forms of criticism. Yet, the pastor chose not to defend himself and steadfastly guided the staff throughout the project. Once the three-level church building was completed, all criticisms and complaints vanished.
A problematic member once served on the church staff team. Despite the pastor's numerous attempts to provide guidance based on biblical teachings, she adamantly rejected his counsel. Eventually, matters escalated to the point where the woman's husband threatened the pastor's life and was subsequently apprehended by the police, brandishing a knife at the pastor's residence.
Nevertheless, the pastor decided to forgive them, appealing to the authorities for the couple's release. Consequently, the couple were exempted from all charges and penalties after submitting a repentance statement and a warranty. Following a period of deep introspection, the couple acknowledged their mistakes and repented before God. Since then, such incidents have ceased to occur.
36. Blessed are those who tithe
Although she had come to Christ and been baptized since she was in high school, she did not attend church regularly during her time at university. However, after graduating from university, she continued her studies in the seminary, and upon graduation, she began working as a full-time pastor in the church. Ever since she received her first paycheck, she has insisted on tithing.
She believes that her salary is a gift from God, and giving a tenth of it is not much. So, in the eight years she served in a church for the low-income community after graduating, her monthly tithe always exceeded ten percent of her salary. She even asks her husband, who is also a Christian, to give his tithe. At first, her husband felt that he did not earn much every day, let alone tithing, but she insisted on the issue. Miraculously, her husband got a pay raise the following month after he started tithing.
Therefore, she always encourages believers with her own story when she preaches about tithing, and she has already motivated the staff in her church to engage in tithing.
37. The generous Bible giver
More than 30 years ago, she accepted the Lord as her savior when she was 19. She volunteered at the church and served in two fellowship groups.
Over three decades ago, at the age of 19, she embraced the Lord as her savior. Devoting herself to volunteering at the church, she actively served in two fellowship groups.
Witnessing the scarcity of Bibles and the limited understanding of the Christian faith in remote mountainous churches, she embarked on a mission with her elderly father to distribute Bibles and spread the gospe. Using their bicycles as a means of transportation, they traversed a challenging 100-mile mountain trail. In certain sections where the terrain was rugged and rocky, they had to walk, pushing substantial stacks of Bibles on their bicycles to reach designated meeting points. During the winter months, snow and ice made the roads slippery, yet they persevered. Each time they stumbled and fell, they would promptly pick themselves up, gather the fallen Bibles, and continue their journey.
Today, she dispatches Bibles by mail to believers and seekers in other places who are in need, purchases large print Bibles for elderly believers, distributes Chinese-English bilingual Bibles to followers who will leave China for other countries, presents Christian couples with Bibles adorned in auspicious red covers, and provides pocket-size Bibles to young believers for convenient portability. She personally procures these Bibles at her own expense and stores them both at her residence and office, ensuring their availability for distribution at any given moment.
38. Escaping death by the grace of God
A senior sister shares a testimony about her husband, who has undergone multiple surgeries from the chest downwards, leaving behind scars that form a significant cross. She bears witness that were it not for God's healing touch, her husband would have faced death on multiple occasions.
Around two decades ago, her husband was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, heart disease, and cholecystitis in rapid succession, necessitating hospitalization. During his hospital stay, the doctor declared him to be in a critical condition on four separate occasions. At that critical juncture, the wife recollected her elder sister's persistent attempts to share the gospel with them and implored her sister to pray to her God for healing. Subsequently, her elder sister, accompanied by several other believers, visited the hospital ward and prayed for his healing. They also prayed earnestly at the church and various meeting places.
Miraculously, after undergoing surgeries and treatments, the brother was restored to life. This close brush with mortality compelled the sister to embrace Christ, undergo baptism, and join her elder sister in attending church. Although the brother suffered some cognitive impairment due to cerebral palsy, he retained the ability to care for himself.
Several years later, on a Sunday morning as the sister prepared to leave for church, her husband, despite his difficulty in speaking clearly, tearfully expressed his desire to accompany her. Since then, the couple has made it a weekly routine to travel to church by taxi. In due course, the brother also made the decision to embrace Christ and was baptized. Remarkably, he is much healthier than before.
39. The life-long offering of a hundred-year-old elder
This elder, born in 1921, studied at a Christian school when she was young and began working in education upon graduation.
Upon retiring at the age of 57, she received a divine calling to engage in evangelistic endeavors. Despite her fragile health and advanced age, she took charge of the renovation work in three church expansion projects, leading groups of church members in the necessary construction tasks. By the time the church was rebuilt for the third time, the elder had reached the remarkable age of 93. Throughout the building project, the elder persevered despite enduring excruciating pain, and her dedication garnered immense admiration from both the villagers and fellow believers.
Although she only received a modest portion of her pension and did not receive any remuneration or subsidies from the church, over the past four decades, she willingly offered her resources and frequently extended financial assistance to needy students and church staff. Even at the remarkable age of 98, she could still express herself clearly and share God's message on stage, supplemented with her own testimony stories.
40. The woman whose son led her to pastoral ministry
This elderly sister is now 80 years old. However, years ago, she was so ill that she was at death's door. However, years ago, her second son, a university student and a devoted Christian, endeavored to share the gospel with her. He conveyed that the elderly members of the church were not only healthy but also filled with unending joy. If she went to church, God might bring her comfort and healing. Intrigued by his words, she accompanied her son to the church. Eventually, she came to Christ and received baptism in 1991.
Upon embracing Christianity, this sister became fervent in sharing the gospel with others. Given the absence of a church in her own village at the time, she assumed the role of the bellwether and established a home-based gathering.
When the activity point was founded, not only believers from nearby villages but also those who lived further away came to join the church services. The congregation swiftly grew to encompass over 300 individuals, prompting the local CC&TSPM to assign pastors to deliver sermons. Later, to accommodate a growing congregation, a new chapel was needed; hence, the sister, alongside her fellow workers, devoted themselves to persistent prayer and engaged in extensive discussions with various government departments. Presently, their village boasts a church spanning approximately 2,000 square meters, with the primary structure encompassing over 300 square meters. Acknowledging her advanced age, the sister has entrusted the continuation of the church's work to younger pastors, passing on the baton to ensure its ongoing progress.
(The article is originally published by the Gospel Times.)
- Translated by Joyce Leung