Mother sat with her head in her hands, weeping. Dark circles under her eyes spoke of sleepless nights. Her small business in northern China had gone bankrupt, and she couldn’t pay her debts. I knew we were in trouble.
Our neighbor saw my mother’s sadness too and offered Mother words of comfort and hope. Then she invited Mother to attend her church.
When Mother told me that she was going to attend a Christian church, I wasn’t sure what to think. I knew nothing about church or God or faith. But the glimmer of hope in her eyes told me that this was important to her. So I went to church with her.
Soon my mother’s shoulders, which had been bent in despair, straightened with hope and faith in God. Two years later I decided to follow the God of hope, just as my mother had.
In China special programs and exam preparation classes are often held on Sabbaths. God began to convict me that I must honor His commandments. It wasn’t an easy decision, for my classmates and teachers wouldn’t understand why I was not in school one day a week.
With much prayer I explained my faith to my teacher and asked for permission to miss classes on Saturday. The teacher thought long and hard, and then told me that I could miss the classes as long as I kept my grades up. I was thrilled! I knew God was working on my behalf.
Other teachers, however, tried to pressure me to take the extra classes. They warned me that if I didn’t do well on my government exams, it would make the school and the teachers look bad. But God blessed, and my grades actually improved after I started honoring God’s Sabbath.
There were times when I felt the pressure to attend classes on Sabbath. But through it all my mother encouraged me to be faithful to God; she asked the church members to pray that I would be faithful to my commitments to God and that God would bless me. The church pastor and many members stood beside me, encouraging me and strengthening my faith.
Before each exam I prayed that God would help me to honor Him and do well. I never took any of the mock exams that were given on Sabbath. My grades remained high, and my teacher gave permission for me to continue skipping Sabbath classes.
As the day of the government exams neared, I studied hard and prayed for God’s blessings. On the day of the exam I entered the exam room and received my exam. Once more I prayed that God would bless my efforts. The exam wasn’t easy, but I felt God’s presence with me. Then we waited for the exam results.
When the scores were posted, I learned that I had done well, scoring among the top 10 out of 800 students in my class. The teacher who had given me permission to miss the special classes on Sabbath was pleased, and so was I. God had surely proven His power!
As high school graduation neared, I wrestled with what to study in the university. I asked my pastor for guidance. “The church needs dedicated doctors,” she said.
I struggled with her answer, for I had never imagined becoming a doctor. I am a little shy, and sometimes I fear challenges. I knew I was good in math and science, which are important in the study of medicine; but I was not sure I was meant to be a doctor. “I am putting it in Your hands, God,” I prayed.
God gave me peace and the assurance that He wanted me to become a doctor. I enrolled in medical courses and soon realized that I had found my calling. As I entered my final year of studies, the university invited me to do my internship at the university’s hospital, an honor offered to just a few students in my class. Still, I struggled with whether this was God’s will, because the position wouldn’t allow me time to work with the church’s Pathfinders, which I love.
But God has given me peace. I know He is leading in my life. I have seen that God is a God of hope who longs to bless His people as they honor Him.
I want others to know that Jesus loves them. I’m thankful that part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering this quarter will help Chinese-speaking people around the world hear the gospel that has brought hope to my life. Thank you for your gift of love to Jesus through the mission offerings.