In a village in the north of Anhui Province, there is a couple. Both of them are illiterate, but they are industrious and simple. They live on a few acres of farmland to support their family. This couple had no faith at first, for the place was poor in culture and faith, with no church or temple. Later, the gospel reached this area, and because of the woman’s illness, which was incurable at the time, she also believed in Jesus.
After believing in Jesus, she miraculously recovered from her illness. This sister was one of the first few people in that village to believe in Jesus. She would attend the meeting at set times, such as on Sunday, in a simple church in the next village.
Due to her faith in Jesus, she had not only been physically healthy but has been able to work and earn money to support her family. In terms of faith, God also influenced her family through this sister. She lives a happy life with her husband. Their children are sensible and obedient and have been sharing the housework with their parents since childhood. Moreover, under her influence, most of her four children also became believers; especially the two daughters, not only do they have faith in God, but also led their in-laws to believe in God.
Although the children of this sister are sensible and obedient now, it was not accomplished overnight. They also experienced a tortuous process. Their eldest son, also the third child of theirs in the family, was a very rebellious and bad boy. The reason for his disobedience may be his parents’ neglect of discipline. Because he was the first boy in the family, he was bound to be excessively spoiled. Or maybe because as a boy, coupled with the influence of bad local culture, he did a lot of bad things.
I was about the same age as him and lived in the same village with him, so I was almost his neighbor. Therefore, I clearly know about his bad deeds. While in the third grade of elementary school, he stole things from the school, which was known by everyone in the school. During a summer vacation, due to his naughtiness, he and his friend once went to harvest grass to feed cattle; he accidentally cut off his friend’s finger when using the knife to cut the grass.
It was not intentional, but it caused pain to others, and it also made his parents very sad. Since then, he was labeled as a bad boy. And that’s not the end of his bad deeds. Later, we heard that he visited a shop in our village several times to steal money from the drawer when the owner was not paying attention. He was finally caught by the owner. Under his parents’ plea, the shopkeeper let it go. Not to even mention the jujube trees and melon patches of our village. As long as they were stolen, it must have had something to do with him.
For this reason, our parents warned us from time to time to stay away from him, because he was a bad child who dared to do anything wrong and lacked discipline. If things went on like this, someone else would discipline him, and prison would be his final destination.
Later, as we grew up, there was no contact between him and me. But at festivals, I would inquire about him. I only heard that when he was about to graduate from junior high school, he often went to church with his mother and sister. Later, he went out to work; then I heard that he had gone to school again, but it was a different kind of school from the usual ones. Since we are believers, we know that he studied in a seminary, which shows that he not only believed in God but also chose a different way from other people.
In this way, after another seven or eight years, or nearly ten years of time, when I saw him again, this once bad boy had actually completely changed. Not only did he not turn out to be the man who was predicted to go from bad to worse and end up in jail, but he also did not even turn out to be unkind. He became a pastor, he got married, he has a son and a daughter, and he is now a respected man.
The change of this village fellow made me totally realize that God is really very wonderful. Where the Gospel is spread, things will be changed. Moreover, this kind of change is not only the change of the human soul but also the change of the whole human life, which can bring a new change to a person or even a region. In short, when one comes to Jesus, miracles happen, and there is no label or obstacle that cannot be torn off by Him.
- Translated by Nicolas Cao