Fourteen years ago, I arrived at Shilipu Church with simple baggage, never thought I would stay here in one church for so many years or even became a full-time music teacher for the church. Fourteen years passed since my arrival and I feel very grateful to God when I think back over those years. Now, I want to share my story with all of you.
Be grateful to God – a blessed God’s servant
“For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. Form birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. (Psalms 71:5-6)”
“But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. (Galatians 1:15-16)”
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in your also. (2 Timothy 1:5)”
Many years ago, my forefathers moved from Shandong to Shanzxi and settled in Xi’an and Xianyan to escape famine. Once they are settled, they converted to Christianity and they have been God’s servants for generations.
In the 1970s, many churches in China opened again and my grandfather’s house in the countryside of Jingyang County, Shaanxi Province became the first rural church in that area. For as long as I can remember, I went to worship God with my mum at my grandfather’s home every Sunday. By God’s grace, believers worshipping in the church grew in number. They all felt very happy in Church; however, they were also a little worried since there was a no full-time preacher.
As my grandparents got older, a successor of their service was required. My mother was the ideal person since she was well-equipped with Biblical knowledge thanks to her studies in the Sanyuan female church in Shaanxi province. Unfortunately, she failed to take up the mission because of the problems in daily life. All of them felt very regretful and always encouraged me to devote my life to serving God.
They prayed for me a lot. I knew serving God was not an easy job and tried to escape from God’s call. After many twists and turns, I became a full-time worker in the church at last.
Be grateful to God – a fellow worker in Shilipu Church in Baoji
“Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus (Romans 16:3).”
“Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you (Exodus 31:6)”
At first, my service in the church was full of frustrations and I was very depressed. I even thought that maybe God did not want me anymore. However, at that time, a senior elder at Silipu Church contacted me through a minister in the church in Pingliang, Gansu Province. The senior elder invited me to his church because of my gift in music.
I arrived in Baoji on March 25, 2002 and I thought my service would finish very soon. With 14 years passed, I still serve God with my music in that church. I’m the only full-time worker in sacred music in Northwest China. I am reminded of the time Minister Wang got a vision in his prayers for me many years ago. He told me that God had chosen me as his full-time worker.
I was once ignorant and arrogant, but now I became thoughtful and mature. With the help of the ministers, senior elders, deacons and fellow workers, I became a useful vessel. I know I’m far from being perfect. I pray that God will manifest his blessing to me again and again. I sincerely thank my fellow workers in Shilipu Church for helping me!
Be grateful for hardships – a must for growth
“… strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said. (Acts 14:22)”
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)”
“Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. (Psalms 119:70-71)”
Joseph was almost perfect in the Bible, but he still suffered from injustice. He was sold by his own brothers and put in jail in Egypt. Later, he was appointed as the prime minister of Egypt and met his brothers. He was very humble and forgave them. He knew that what happened in his life was God’s plan. He never complained about all the hardships but was always grateful to God.
Before using someone, God usually tests him – let alone me, a person full of weakness! A minister once told me that there were three reasons why God’s servants have experienced hardships: 1. God’s plan, 2. Man’s sin, 3. Satan’s trick. Almost every servant of God had experienced all three hardships. How should one deal with such hardships? Minister Wang suggests that people examine themselves, pray to God ardently and believe that God will certainly lead us into abundance.
We should follow the example of those ancient wise men in the Bible and give all our worries to God. My hardships in the past 14 years are obvious to all my fellow workers. There is no previous case in respect of full-time service in sacred music and sometimes, it was extremely hard: no pay, no insurance and sometimes, no money for my needs. I once complained just like the Israelis in the wilderness. Now my life is still hard, but my faith never wavers.
“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)”
“I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for you are the one who has done this. (Psalm 39:9)”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)”