The Journey to Faith
I was born in the Hebei province of China. My hometown was a small village in the south Hebei province. It is adjacent to the Henan province and is located near a river. My family was poor but started to earn more money when my father began to work at the local township auditing department. My mother stayed in the village to grow crops and feed pigs. In spite of the hardships, my family’s financial situation was more stable than other families in the village.
As a child, I always wondered what our purpose was on earth. I would often think about this in my yard while looking up at the stars. Sometimes I sat on a small hill near my village wondering, “Where will I be in the future?”
My older sister enrolled in college in 1981 and was the only one in our county to be accepted into a college that year, which ended up being a huge event. Not only did the local teaching authority pay a lot of attention to this, but it also changed the mind of my grandpa and other family members in regards to the possibility of success. It was not common for a child from a rural village to enter college. Also, people in the village were prejudiced against females. So, my grandpa said that my brother and I must be accepted into college.
When it was my turn to go to college, I was accepted into a college in Beijing. However, I faced many hardships. Not only was I pressured financially, but I also had to face inequalities. There are always prejudices against people from rural or poor areas in China. I felt hurt inside and sometimes became very shy and withdrawn. After four years of college, I stayed and worked there for another four years. I wasn’t satisfied with that life, and I still felt empty and didn’t know what my purpose in life was.
Because of this, I decided to study abroad, which is a dream of many Chinese students. I got a joint offer from the London School of Economics in the UK and the University of Southern California. The tuition for the university in London was around 10,300 pounds, but I only had 10,000 pounds. By the third semester, I ran out of money. I did not have enough money to pay rent, tuition, and living expenses. I was also unable to find a job. I asked my family to help, and they gave me 1000 pounds. The university later offered help with my tuition, so that problem was solved.
At this point in time, I began to look for a part-time job. One day, I was lingering in a park near McDonald’s when I heard people singing hymns. This attracted me to their gathering in the park. They were a group of Christians. They also portrayed through a play how Jesus was crucified. I was so touched and could not help but cry.
One sister named Mary came to me and shared with me about God. I asked her if she had ever seen God. How can you say there is a God if you have never seen Him? She said she did not believe it either when she was a student at Oxford. But one day, when she went to a meeting with her father, she was touched when her father was sharing something about the invisible God with other Christians. She thought that was probably God because she did not have it. She sent me a Bible later and asked me to come to her church, but I never had a chance to visit because I had already started to work at McDonald’s part-time. I worked the night shift, starting from 8:00PM to 3:00AM or 4:00AM, which was very tiring. Sometimes I tried to get up in the morning to visit her church, but I did not have the strength to wake up.
I had already finished my first year of school in London at that time, and I was looking forward to coming to the United States to finish my second-year study, but I did not have the money. I worked out a way to get the school to send me the I-20 form1 first, and then I got the F- 1 student visa as well. But I still did not have the money. I was hoping to get a scholarship from the University of Southern California, but they replied very late and only gave me a tuition waiver for 8 credits. I had to finish 24 credits to graduate.
It was a painful struggle to decide if I should come to the US. I had a visa, but I did not have enough money. I really didn’t want to go back to China at that time for a few reasons, and I was not satisfied with my one year study in the UK. Most importantly, I felt I was seeking something, but hadn’t found it yet.
My life was full of anxiety. I cried out in my innermost being, saying, “Whoever gives me peace, I will believe in him.” Finally, I decided to come to the US with a one-way ticket and a couple of hundred dollars. When I was on the airplane, I didn’t even have a plan or know what I would do. On the first night in the US, I stayed in a classmate’s house. The second night, I had to move out, but I had no place to go. Next, I signed the housing contract with the school and moved into a dorm, but I could not sleep that night. The next morning, I went to the registrar’s office, but I couldn’t decide if I should register. I knew that if I registered, I would have to pay the fee. If I didn’t register, I would just go back to China immediately.
I felt torn between the two choices, so I wandered outside of the office from morning until late afternoon. It was a painful experience. Eventually, I decided to go back to China because I realized that I could not survive here. I had already fulfilled my dream by coming to 1 The Form I-20 is also known as the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students.America, so I started to look for some Chinese students who could tell me where to find a travel agency to buy a plane ticket. Before I did this, I cried out to God again from the deepest part of me: “God, I am such a sinner; do you still remember me?” I remember exactly how I said it, and it was in English, not in Chinese. After that, I felt peace in my heart and decided to go back to China. I found a couple of Chinese students and asked them if they knew where to buy plane tickets, but they told me they had no idea.
Later, another student walked across the street, but I couldn’t tell if he was Chinese or Korean. He looked Korean, so I asked if he was Korean. He was actually Chinese and a brother from the Church in Los Angeles associated with the ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. I asked him about the travel agency, and he asked me why I wanted to go back. I told him the reason, and he told me that I should not go back, and I should finish my studies here.
He brought me to the Brother House near campus, and I fellowshipped with a church elder and other members who lived in this home. The Brother House was a home where several Christian men lived together. The brothers were willing to let me move into their house. The brothers even agreed to let me pay the rent later if I had no money. The brothers taught me how to pray, and we prayed together before we went to see the housing department and my department director. The housing department agreed to cancel my contract, and the department director agreed that all the 8 credits of scholarship were for the first semester. Originally, 4 credits were for the first semester, and 4 credits were for the second semester. As an international student, I was required to register at least 8 credits to become a full-time student. All of my problems seemed to be solved within a couple of days! I even found a part-time job on campus to help cover food and other needs.
I still didn’t have money for my second semester’s tuition, but the brothers taught me to pray unto God. They told me that the Lord would take care of my needs if I dedicated myself to the Lord. I also felt sinful when I first believed in the Lord, so I prayed desperately for Him to take care of my needs and forgive all my sins. It took about six months for me to feel the assurance of forgiveness, and with the help of our department director and fellow believers, I was able to pay the tuition later.
However, I continued to struggle with financial problems. Upon graduation, I couldn’t afford the monthly meal expenses because I no longer held a job on campus. During this time, I worked at a toy store for a little while. I ended up quitting this job because the boss was constantly cursing at employees. When I was in desperate need, I received a call from a Chinese magazine that had received my application and wanted to interview me. I went there by bus, and at one bus stop, the bus driver told me I was going in the wrong direction. I was actually going in the right direction, but I didn’t know. So I started to walk in the opposite direction to take another bus. While I was walking a little bit, a van stopped by me in the street corner and asked me where I was going. A Hispanic man gave me a ride to the company, and I arrived for my appointment at exactly 9:00AM. Later I thanked him and asked him why he helped me. I also called him brother when I thanked him. It turned out he really was a brother in Christ. He said that he was touched when he saw me walking and decided that he would drive me wherever I needed to go. He also told me that he would generally never stop for a stranger since he had three kids in the van in car seats. They were on their way to a daycare center.
I ended up getting the reporting job at the Chinese magazine. But when the boss asked me to have an interview in a certain place, I told her that I did not have a car yet. She cried out, “My God!” The other boss later asked me to get a car as soon as possible. Before that, I had totake the bus to work. At that time, a brother who moved out of the brother’s house left a 1984 Lincoln Town Car for me to use, but I did not have a driver’s license. I failed a couple of times but finally got it by the due date my boss gave me. Later on, I learned the owners of this magazine were also Christians.
During that month, I was planning to come to work by bus, but just a couple of days after I started work, all the MTA(Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority) bus drivers in Los Angeles went on strike for one month, so I was unable to take the bus. Luckily, one private bus was still running from my company to downtown LA, and a Korean brother dropped me off at the bus stop when he went to work. After I got off work, I took the bus downtown and waited for the brothers to take me home. This sometimes took a couple of hours, and I used this time to recite the verses from the book of John while I was waiting. I was so touched by the brotherly love at that time.
This difficult time had led me to receive the Lord and to dedicate myself to Him. In the journey of my belief, there were many miracles. After I started to work, my financial situation got better and better. The Lord’s hand was still guiding my life. I got the reporting job in November of 2003. That year, I overheard some believers talking about the first New Jersey Chinese Speaking Perfecting training in August of that year. This is an annual Chinese speaking conference within our denomination. They were talking about how the Lord’s Spirit was working powerfully there, and how a brother from The Church in Riverside was completely changed after participating in this training. I was determined to join this training in 2004, and I knew I would experience big changes by attending. I felt this plan was not from me, but it was the Spirit leading me.
In that meeting in August 2004 at the Church in Franklin, the Spirit was everywhere. The main topic in that training session was to dedicate your whole being to the Lord and to prepare for His second coming. Everyone was encouraged to dedicate himself or herself to the Lord. I refused to do so even though many brothers urged me to. The second to last time, two brothers urged me again to dedicate myself to the Lord, but I refused again. They looked at me with judgment in their eyes, but I didn’t take it personally. However, I felt the judgment from the Lord strongly. I felt like he was reminding me by saying, “How many times did you say that you would dedicate your life to me if I did certain things for you?” It only took me a second to recall all my prayers in which I had asked the Lord to take care of my needs and promised that I would dedicate my life to Him. I had forgotten these prayers a long time ago, but the Lord always remembers.
That night, I knelt and prayed to the Lord. “Lord, I still have a hard time believing the truth about your second coming. I would dedicate myself to you if you revealed this to me.” Later, when I fell to sleep, I felt two people were fighting for my heart. The Lord was stronger, and He took it. The next day I dedicated my life to the Lord. While one brother was talking about the New Jerusalem, I felt the heavens open in my spirit. The Lord spoke to me and said, “If the body of Christ, the New Jerusalem, is built up, I will come back.” This proved to me that only those who had dedicated their lives to the Lord could see this vision, just like many brothers had told me.
I was completely changed when I came back from the training. I changed a lot of bad habits and started to pursue the truth. I read the Bible and the book Life Study by Witness Lee every day. The local believers were so surprised that I had changed.
Overcoming the Past
My father was looked down upon by the villagers and his coworkers due to his character and inability to socialize with others. Many people considered him to be a socially awkward person. At one point, he started to work in a brick factory in a nearby village. He started as a laborer, then he became a keeper of the factory warehouse, and after that, he became an accountant. He worked long hours, and he was not able to be there for me emotionally while I was growing up. After this, my father was able to get a government job with the help of a family member who held a position in local government. But my father was still looked down upon by his coworkers even at his new job. His coworkers would point at me and say things like, “Even though his father was such a nerd, his sons are doing great.” But these words hurt me greatly. As a result of this, I never learned how to socialize with others, so I was often considered socially awkward as well. It was not as noticeable before high school because we lived in a small town where people did not have as many differences. It became more of an issue later when I went to a big city like Beijing to study.
I developed low self-esteem because of my circumstances. Not only did I see my father’s failures in his life, but I inherited some of his weaknesses as well. So whenever would I fail at something, I would pity myself. I would think, “How can I amount to anything because I am the son of my father.” This was a lie, but I kept repeating it, and I believed it. This became a shadow in my life for many years. On the one hand, this made me work hard to try to not be like my father, but on the other hand, nothing made me more upset than when my wife said to me, “You are exactly like your dad.” I never wanted to be like him. I told myself I would study hard to acquire the skills to excel in life as I knew I was not strong enough physically to fight with others, and I didn’t know how to socialize. I felt like at least I needed to be good at something so people would respect me. I felt this drive to excel in my early life, so I wouldn’t end up like my father.
My father was not good at his new job or good at socializing with others. I felt if he had been good at either one, he would have been in a much better position. If I reflect back now, I believe my father was probably having some emotional issues. He didn’t talk much and only focused on his basic needs, like eating and sleeping a lot. Because of this, he didn’t take much responsibility as a husband or father.
As a result, my mother shouldered most of the responsibilities at home, even though my father was the main breadwinner as he had a stable job in the local government. People often made fun of him because they thought that he got his job from the help of others and not because of his own ability. I remember one instance in the village when the leaders were giving us a hard time in regard to allocating some land for us to build our house. I saw my mom arguing fiercely with them and accusing them of their wrongdoings. My father would never do this due to his weak character. After a few days, my mom ended up inviting these leaders to eat at our home. She was bribing them or trying to make peace with them. She finally resolved the issue, and we got the land we needed to build our house. My mom was a strong woman, and she also had a lot more friends than my father. She loved me very much, especially since I was her youngest son, and I learned a lot from her. I developed perseverance and flexibility. Even though I encountered many difficult moments in my life down the road, I never gave up. I became even more resilient, and my will to succeed became even stronger after I experienced failures. My wife also saw this quality in me, and she joked, “You are just a little Xiao Qiang that will never die.” Xiao Qiang is a nickname for a cockroach in Chinese. People use it in a sarcastic manner to describe someone with a strong and resilient character that you just can’t kill, even as you can never seem to eradicate cockroaches completely. During my childhood, I got bullied a lot by my peers due to my weak build and lack of male protection at home. But through this, I developed a strong will because I kept fighting even if I lost. I feel this character trait is the main reason that God is using or calling me to do His will. The call that God has entrusted me with requires a lot of perseverance and discipline. It may be God who was training me through these circumstances in my early life.
In spite of this, I was still timid and afraid to step out because of my fears. In recent years the Lord miraculously delivered me from some of these strongholds. I don’t have time to go through all of my experiences with deliverance here, but I will share one example. I did end up forgiving my father and loving him after my conversion to Christianity. This issue became especially clear to me during an inner healing session, where a minister told me that it was the enemy’s plan to put an end to God’s calling on my life by attacking my father. I believe he was experiencing difficulty expressing his emotions because of this.
The Leading of the Holy Spirit in My Life
I took the college entrance exam three times before finally being accepted into a college in Beijing. When I was selecting a major and a college, I was planning on studying philosophy at a renowned university in Beijing. One day around noon, at the time I usually rest, I had a hard time sleeping. I remembered something others had told me during my high school years. A friend of mine told me I would be a good journalist because he thought I spoke eloquently. So I decided to choose journalism as a major in another college that focused on liberal arts instead. I realized years later that this was the leading of the Holy Spirit, even though at that time, I did not know Him. God had led me on a journey to study media and become familiar with these areas. I used to dream of becoming a TV host and having a successful career in this field. But after coming to the US, I started to spend most of my time learning about spiritual things, and my dream of being successful in media died down gradually. One day in 2016, I received a prophetic word from a woman, and she said God wanted me to return to media. It was God who gave me the desire initially. I also had a prophetic dream where I was taken to a heavenly meeting. Many who were called to TV evangelism were gathered there. I was led to a large TV studio, and I saw a poster that relayed the reason I was chosen to be part of this ministry. The sign said, “eloquent in speaking,” just like my high school classmate had told me. I also had more than a dozen dreams in which either the Lord or various angels asked me to start making films. I figured the media or films would play an important role in the coming revival in China, which I personally feel I am called to be part of. I also had a dream in which a spiritual being or angel decreed to me in English that I would soon be on national TV. I also had many dreams where my cell phone would grow larger and larger and eventually turn into a big TV. Currently, my ministry work is mainly done by using my phone to record audio for social media sites.
Even though all these dreams may be true now, I had no knowledge of my future while I was in college. The liberal arts college had more students from affluent families than regular colleges, so I experienced culture shock when I started. I will share an experience to illustrate this. At the beginning of the first semester, I met some classmates chatting in a restaurant near the main cafeteria. I just went to say hello and later left. They didn’t know that I was leaving so they ordered a lot of food. I never thought of joining them because the cost of one meal could cost 1/4 of my monthly expenses for food. They were confused that I did not come back to join them, so they thought I was strange. Situations like this continued to occur and magnified my personal weaknesses, such as lack of social skills and other flaws. I started to develop some hostile relationships with others, which made my life miserable, and I became even more closed. In some situations, I had been taken advantage of, so I figured the reason my life was miserable was that I came from a rural area, and people were prejudiced against me. Another issue was that I was too simple and naive and not sophisticated enough to survive in this environment. During this time, an old Chinese history book called Thick Black Theory from 1911 was very popular. The book presents an idea that the more hardened your heart is, the more successful you will be in Chinese society. The original author may have intended to expose this negative culture, but some people used it for different purposes. Because I wasn’t in a good place, I had thoughts of taking advantage of others even though I knew it wasn’t like me. This left me with regrets later on and became a turning point for me to repent and receive salvation.
During my difficult time in college, I realized something. In my class, many students wanted to stay in Beijing after graduating. But only a few bright students or students who have family connections could find jobs in Beijing because China has a Hu Kou2 system to limit the number of people staying in Beijing. I knew I had no chance of being one of them. I found out that being a graduate student almost guaranteed that I could stay in Beijing, so I decided to take the graduate entrance exam. I focused all my energy on preparing for this exam, and I was very confident that I would be successful. Amazingly I scored third among all the students who tried to enter the graduation program for my major, and they recruited a dozen every year. However, I failed the subject of politics by a few points. I had a really bad headache during the exam, so I did not score well even though I knew the material. I now believe this was God’s intervention, as 2 Hukou is a system of household registration used in mainland China. Wikipedia, Hukou is a system of household registration used in mainland China. Wikipedia, accessed on 12/13/2019I never had any issues with headaches. During my college years, I learned from some friends at Beijing University that people can take TOFEL or GRE exams to come to the US to study. I felt naturally drawn to this idea. But I was not sure if I really wanted to leave China. I told myself I would stay in China forever if I could get into Chinese graduate school successfully. If not, I would go to the US to attend graduate school. I was never good at planning or having a balanced approach to life. So after I failed to enter the graduate program, I did not have a job either, and I fell into despair. Only a couple of students from my class were able to get jobs in Beijing, and I did not want to go back to my hometown or go to other places to work. I wanted to stay in Beijing as did many people, and unexpectedly a new opportunity opened up. There was a student from another university in one of the departments in my college that could not work out some legal issues for recruitment after spending many months interning there. Everyone wanted him to stay, but he could not violate the legal bond with his sponsor in his own province. By this time, some of the students had already found jobs, so one teacher recommended me for this position. The department head immediately agreed to recruit me after a brief interview. It was considered a great privilege to be recruited by our own college, and students got full boarding with a citizenship status in Beijing and could become a university or state employee. So many students wanted to get this position but, they could not. Eventually, this news got out, and it caused turmoil. Other faculty members who were supportive of other students got into fights with this director to try to replace me, and all kinds of rumors were circulated on campus. But the more they pushed, the more firmly this director wanted me to stay. I ended up getting a permanent job in Beijing, and I became a citizen of Beijing. I know there are still people who are mad at me because they didn’t get that job.
Even though I got the job, it didn’t satisfy me, and the thought of going out of the country to study still lingered in my mind. I could not take the graduate exam in China again, as the regulation requires that university employees must get approval from a supervisor to do so. My supervisors were not willing to do so. The only way to apply for graduate school was to apply internationally, and there were no regulations for that. Many students in universities in Beijing were very enthusiastic about studying abroad in the late 1990s. The thought could even be considered contagious, and I was influenced by it through my friends at Beijing University. After I tried for several years, I finally got an offer from the London School of Economics and the University of Southern California in their joint Media and Globalization program.
At this point, my story connects with my testimony at the beginning of this assignment. It was in London that I started to encounter God. I would later meet some Christians who shared their faith with me and touched my life in a profound way. I did not sleep well at that point because I started to feel I was a sinner because of some things I did in college during my darkest moments. I had no peace, so I would often go out to a nearby soccer field to shout out in English what came to my mind. I heard this was a good way to practice English by speaking out loud whatever came to mind. So I went to shout out all my anxieties and pains and regrets to heaven. I thought I was the only one there, but later I believed it was the Holy Spirit that was there to convict me. Only later on did I learn that the glory of God can also be translated as the weight of God. I certainly felt the weight at that time, and I felt like the sky pressed down upon me to such an extent that I could not breathe. It was an encounter with God, even though I only realized this years later.
Maturing in Faith
My life was full of miracles and difficult moments one after another. I cannot share all of them in this short biography, but I will share a few stories that impacted my spiritual life greatly.
My spiritual journey continued in 2004. I met my wife at the church I was attending in March 2006, and we got married in November 2006. We were on fire for God, and we planned to evangelize to all of our family. We brought a suitcase of Bibles when we returned to China that winter. But a dear family member threw the Bibles down the staircase. When we returned to the US, my wife struggled with depression because her communication with this family member was cut off. We experienced many trials in our marriage. This tension kept building, and the Lord used this to break me. In August 2006, I moved from Los Angeles to a new job in New Jersey in order to be closer to my wife, who was a graduate student at the University of Maryland. But after marriage, I quit my job to join her in Maryland at the end of 2007. I lost my H-1B status and became her dependent on F-2 visa3. The church I was attending tried to help me obtain a religious visa, but it was denied. The process of obtaining a religious visa was very strict when it came to qualifications. The church I was attending was not well off financially, and I lacked formal seminary training. One day we were arguing again, and my wife said to me, “Look, you can’t make money, and you can’t help by applying for a green card either. Let’s not talk about those. Now you even don’t care for me.” I was completely broken. I felt utterly helpless. I was volunteering in my church at the time and planned to serve full time in the future. 3 The F–2 dependent visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows dependent spouses and children(unmarried, under 21 years old) of F-1 student visa holders to enter into the U.S. https://www.visapro.com/family-visas/f2- visa/faq2/ accessed on 12/13/2019/In March 2009, my wife told me I had to find a job before the end of April. I fell into despair again. It was very difficult for me to find a job in the DC metro area. I just prayed to God and said, “I know it seems impossible, but I will put my trust in you.” It was another prayer out of the deepest part of my inner being. However, a miracle happened again. Against all the odds, I got a full-time job on April 20 2019, working for a non-profit organization in the DC area. Even more amazingly, we got our green cards in a very short time through the sponsorship of my company.
We soon experienced another trial in 2010. We recognized we were having trouble getting pregnant after 4 years of marriage. My wife is a physician, and she started to propose trying in vitro fertilization. In 2010 we did our first round of IVF, and we had high hopes of getting pregnant with twins. However, they did not survive beyond three days. My wife fell to depression again. Both my mom and I were praying that we can have our child. But I prayed to Jesus and she prayed to her idol.
Who is the Real God? Jesus or Buddha?
My great-grandfather and grandfather are devout believers of Lü Zu, who is a figure in the Taoism religion. It is said in a local legend that one day, the Japanese were preparing to attack our village, but because of the heavy fog, the Japanese got lost. Thus, they were not able to enter our village. The villagers thought that it was a theophany of Lü Zu, and they built a special temple for him, but the temple was demolished during the Cultural Revolution. However, after the Cultural Revolution, the temple was restored. The people rebuilt the temple, and the incense was flourishing, showing the power of faith and even the superstition of the faith amongthe people. I had not seen my great grandfather, but I heard from my family that my great grandfather was a former enthusiast of the Lüzu Temple. When the temple was being rebuilt, my grandfather also donated wood, and I saw it with my own eyes. Ever since childhood, I saw in my grandfather’s house that he was worshipping Lü Zu.
My hometown also had a lot of Buddhist believers, and my mother had always worshipped Guanyin Bodhisattva. The location of our house was the base of a Bodhisattva temple that was previously demolished. Therefore, villagers said that our family is in the “West Temple.” Before my mother received her faith in Jesus Christ, one of her reasons for not believing in Christ was, “Our family is in the West Temple, how can we not believe this?” Although my mother was not on good terms with my grandfather for most of her life and she didn’t worship Lü Zu, she highly respected the sorcerer in the Lüzu Temple in our village. This sorcerer did not have a good education or an affluent family background. Suddenly one day, he just seemed to be possessed by a deity and became a sorcerer. Everyone often asked him questions and treated him similarly to how Christians treat prophets. This sorcerer was a frequent and respected guest at the Lüzu Temple. When I was young, he used to come to my house, and I disliked him very much because I didn’t believe in anything at that time. Like my father, who was deeply influenced by communist education, I really hated this feudal superstition.
I became a Christian when I came to the United States. I have always evangelized my family, but the effect has been very limited. My mom always said, “We should go our own way. You believe in your Christ, I believe in my Bodhisattva.” I took my parents to Qingdao, China, one year, and my friend, a Christian brother, took us out to eat. He tried to evangelize my parents during the meal, but my father left in anger because of it.
My wife and I were married for ten years, but we had experienced 10 years of infertility. In addition to seeking medical help, I also prayed that God would heal us. My mother was also anxious, and she prayed to Bodhisattva, asked the sorcerer, and visited all kinds of idols around my hometown, asking them when we would have children. In 2010 our first IVF failed, which was devastating for my wife and I. During this time, my parents came to the United States for a short visit. After coming in contact with the gospel for a time, my mother intended to accept the gospel to please us. However, when she saw the situation we were in, she did not believe in the Lord, and when she left, she told me instead, “You two believe in Jesus, but you were not blessed. Without a child, you two will quarrel and will not agree. I will not believe in this Lord.” After returning, she still worshipped Bodhisattva, and her heart had become more hardened. Because she read a little bit of the Bible in her short time in the United States, I took her to participate in the activities of our church in New Jersey. When she saw people being baptized, I encouraged her to accept the Lord. She seemed to have some hesitation, but on the side, my dad was trying his best to stop her from believing in the Lord. She decided she didn’t want to, and in the end, she was not baptized.
We seemed to have gone back to square one, but I still believed in our God, and my mother still worshipped her Bodhisattva. I then said to my mom, “You worship your Bodhisattva, I believe in my God. We are all praying for us to have children. Why don’t we play a game? Let’s see if your Bodhisattva or my God is reliable.” At that time, my faith was not sufficient because God hadn’t promised and talked with me about our miracle baby yet. I just relied on a Christian’s basic belief in God.
Six years had gone by so quickly, and we had tried IVF five or six times, but each time it failed. Finally, the doctor at a big hospital in the United States gave us the diagnosis that we could never give birth naturally, and we fell into despair. I felt like I was forced to leave the evangelical church in 2015 to seek healing for infertility. I went to many different churches in the United States to ask for help, which included charismatic churches, and I sought prayer and healing. I had also participated in countless charismatic healing conferences but never saw any results. In January 2016, I found out by chance that there was a prophetic meeting in a small town in Oregon in the Midwestern United States. I signed up, and I flew from Maryland to attend this special meeting. A speaker named Dutch Sheets was preaching at the meeting, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit. He said, “You are here today to attend the special meeting. Don’t think it is accidental. God is leading you. Beginning today, you will clearly hear God’s voice that you’ve never had before.” When I heard this, I was moved and greatly encouraged in my spirit. I strolled and walked into a Target store during the break and said to God, “Please speak to me clearly today.”
I inexplicably walked to a place inside the Target store, and I saw a Christian bookstore. I could see the inside through the glass window, and there was a bench outside the door. I happened to see the glass window of the bookstore while I was sitting on the bench. Not long after I sat down, my eyes caught sight of a 2016 calendar with the words “2016 Prepare Your Family”. I heard God say to me: “Prepare your family in 2016. You will have a child this year.” I was shocked! I had never heard God clearly like this before. I was ecstatic! I immediately took a photo of this calendar and called my wife to tell her that God had spoken to me and that He told me that we would have a child this year. My wife told me to buy this calendar as a keepsake. After I bought it, I went back to the bench, and just as I sat down, I noticed that there was a picture of a Bible hanging on the wall of the Christian bookstore. It was the same picture I found when I was casually searching on the Internet when I first started the “Jairus Bible World Ministry.” I use this picture every time I upload a recording. Then I heard God say to me, “Jairus Bible World Ministry came from me.” The church I was attending didn’t encourage the members to have their own ministry, so I was not sure at the time if I was doing the right thing. But once again, God spoke to me clearly. Thus, I slowly overcame my fear of people and started my own ministry.
To my surprise, I clearly heard God’s words, but I didn’t know when it would be accomplished. In spite of this, my confidence had increased. I returned to China for the Chinese New Year in February 2016, and I had widely publicized to my family that God would give me a child this year. My sister is a straightforward person, and she said dubiously, “Since younger brother said this in advance if it is true, it seems that the God that he believes is true.” However, my mother was still hard-hearted. At that time, I learned a few healing prayers from the charismatics. When I saw people, I prayed, healing prayers over them. My two cousins also struggled with infertility, so I prayed healing prayers over them, and I prayed to God to let them have children. My mother saw this, and she was very upset. She said, “You are not able to solve your own problem. Don’t make a fool of yourself.” My mom still didn’t believe in God.
I went back to the United States, and a few months passed by, but nothing changed. Instead, Satan’s attack on our family was even fiercer, causing my wife and me to quarrel often. I was really in agony, and I prayed for something that may not conform to traditional theology. On May 12, 2016, I said to the Holy Spirit, “Holy Spirit, the charismatic Christians are teaching that we should establish a more intimate relationship with You. I don’t know how many times I have prayed to Heavenly Father and Jesus. Can you ask Heavenly Father and Jesus for me when this miracle will be accomplished?” I slept, and I had a strange dream in the evening. In the dream, a woman pointed at a man’s back and said to me, “Didn’t He tell you that you will have a child next month?” I answered her in the dream, “No, I know in my spirit that this will happen soon, but I didn’t know that it will be next month.”
God is not a human being. The way God speaks is mostly through the language of the spirit and often through pictures. The Bible often uses a woman to represent the Holy Spirit, such as the woman in Luke 15, who had swept the house and searched carefully for lost silver coins. Generally, Christians think that she represents the Holy Spirit. I think that the woman in my dream was the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and the person whose back I saw was Jesus Christ’s. I guess the Holy Spirit was telling me, “Didn’t Jesus Christ tell you that you will have a child next month?” I told my wife about my dream, but she didn’t believe it. Instead, Satan once again launched a fierce attack on us. Because of a small issue, my wife was very angry with me, and she barely spoke to me for two weeks. This pained me greatly until May 28, 2016, when my wife found herself miraculously pregnant, and she sent a text message to me: “You won the lottery.” We had also reconciled. This incident brought a lot of healing to my wife and me. As David said, “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (NIV, Psalm 30:5). The enemy had violently attacked the plans that God had for us, but in the end, God was victorious through us. Our miracle baby was born without any issues and perfectly healthy in early 2017.
When my wife was still in the first trimester, I had not told my mother yet. One day, I was giving out some cash tips in a group of friends and relatives in the WeChat group for a Chinese holiday. My mother was very sensitive and asked if something had happened, so I told her after and she was very happy. Sometime after the baby was born, I was on a video call with my mother, and I asked her about Jesus because I had not mentioned it for a long time since she had previously refused to believe in Him. She said obediently, “I’m willing to believe in Jesus Christ.” I said, “Why?” She replied, “Isn’t your fact placed before me?” My mother finally admitted that my God is the true God. This game ended with my victory.
In 2018, I went back to China to visit my family. I baptized my father and mother into the name of Jesus Christ.
During this process of seeking healing for my wife, I was led by the Holy Spirit to come out of my evangelical church and begin to learn more about other denominations, including charismatic churches. I learned about United Theological Seminary through Global Awakening. During this process, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and started to speak in tongues. I also earnestly pursued the other gifts of the Holy Spirit, including prophecy and healing. During one of the difficult times of our barrenness, my wife sometimes pushed me into a corner by talking about divorce. I knew she did not mean it and that she was trying to see how far she could push me. She wanted to see if I would still love her if we didn’t have a baby. Unfortunately, we knew many Chinese families were broken because of this issue. One day when she was pushing me again, I literally heard Satan whisper to me, “just say yes.” I felt I could no longer bear this burden anymore, so I prayed to God, “if you don’t strengthen me right now, I will fall, and I can no longer serve you as I will lose my testimony before you.” Immediately I felt a bolt of electricity poured down from my head toward my entire body, and the grace of the Lord once again sustained me. During this difficult time, I was led into the wilderness to go through a series of trials and tests. The Lord sustained me from the beginning to the end.
Recently I met a Korean prophet who told me that the Holy Spirit had led me every step of my life. This resonated in my heart. One night I had a dream, and in this dream, I found an enormous bird with wings of various colors spread out all over the sky. In the corner of the sky, there was a baby bird learning to fly. But the baby birds starting falling, and the big bird swooped down to carry the baby bird on its back, and they sored in heaven. This dream occurred a couple of times, and then I heard God speak to me in the dream. “I will train you myself like the big bird is training the baby bird.” I felt this dream could be from God. My life so far felt like a thrilling ride of a roller coaster. Through the trials, miracles, and encounters, I was now convinced I was in the hand of God. I struggled for a long time, but I learned to rest in God even though many times, I didn’t see Him or understand what He was doing. But each time, I had greater faith than I did before. God is in control of everything, whether it is regarding our personal lives or world affairs.
One of the greatest struggles, in the beginning, was that I thought I was not smart enough to be used by God. I even felt that I was stupid because of so many failures in my life. I heard a story that greatly encouraged me by D. L. Moody. He was feeling inferior because of his limited education, but one day he heard a word from an English preacher, the world is yet to see how God can use and will use a person who is absolutely consecrated to God to change the world. D. L. Moody was encouraged greatly and consecrated himself to God, and God used him greatly. I also gained a lot of strength from this word and consecrated myself to God. I know it was not my wisdom but the empowerment of the Holy Spirit who was working in me.
After I left my denomination in 2015, many brothers and sisters who loved and cared for me during my early Christians years shared their concerns. Some thought I was deceived by evil spirits or taken over by my own ambition or crazy charismatic teachings. About a month ago, I woke up one morning feeling very tired, so I laid down again to sleep a little more. As I fell back asleep, I had a dream that I was with a brother who was a friend of mine in the Brother’s House I used to live when I first came to the US. This brother was my roommate for four years, and now he was serving full time in my previous denomination. In this dream, I was explaining to him why I had another meeting in this Brother’s House, which was different from our own denomination. I told him it was because the Lord wanted me to connect with other Christians so my heart could be broadened. In the future, I would not only serve my own denomination, but I would also serve Christians in many other denominations. In other words, the Lord was training me to prepare for bigger ministries.
Later on, when I was driving to work, this brother texted me and told me he wanted to visit me that day. He had just traveled to a nearby state a couple of days ago. I told him about the dream I had that morning, and he was stunned. He visited our home that night, and we had lunch the next day. He did share his concerns with me and politely reminded me to stay healthy physically and mentally as well since I always had these weird dreams.
I had a very difficult time leaving my denomination as the teachings there stressed the unity of our church to a great extent. I was quite concerned that I may have broken the unity of the body of Christ when I left my church. Even though it was difficult, the church and the brothers and sisters there treated me well, and many felt like family to me. This process was very painful, and it felt like a baby being weaned from its mother. At this time, the Lord showed me a vision in my spirit of the Yangtze River in China. He then showed me a tributary in the upper stream and then showed me a tributary in the lower stream. He then told me that I was in oneness with the body of Christ as long as I follow the leading of His Spirit. It was Him who brought me to the upper stream, and now He was leading me to a different stream. The people in the upper stream where I began would join me later, but I would never go back to Tibetan Plateau even though my tributary started there. He encouraged me just to follow the flow, and I was greatly encouraged by these words from the Lord.
I took all of the healing and prophetic classes offered by Global Awakening after I connected with this ministry. Through these courses, I started to learn more about the teachings on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and started to develop my spiritual gifts. I was especially interested in the gifts of healing and prophecy.
In a meeting held by Global Awakening in 2015, I received another baptism of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit fell on me, I fell back a dozen steps and fell down on the chairs along with two other brothers who had been praying with me. After that experience, I started to have more encounters with the spiritual realm, mainly through prophetic dreams. In these dreams, I encountered Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Angels, sometimes evil spirits, and even diseased people (mostly Chinese people) many times. Beginning in 2015, I started to have prophetic dreams almost every night, and I faithfully wrote them down in my journal. Many of them were about the coming revivals in China and other parts of the world. I also had one encounter with Jesus when I was taken to heaven on the last day of 2017. He showed me from behind a glass window that people were coming up to heaven. He challenged me to deal with some issues in my life, so he could use me greatly. He also appeared to me in a dream where I was taken to a campus in China, and he laid his hand on my head. I fell down backward, and he left after I got up. I was also taken to Japan in a prophetic dream, and I saw Jesus taking something out of the nail hole from his leg to rub on the wounds in my hands. My hands were wounded due to my fishing activities there. He also appeared to me in another dream, and He told me that two rivers would emerge in the area of Maryland where I live, but He did not specifically mention whatthese two rivers were. But when we went to the ministry of Mahesh Chavda for healing prayers and prophetic ministry in 2015, one person who prayed for us saw two lines crossing over the sky and told me he heard the Lord saying “convergence.” I also saw a vision of tornado in 2013, and I felt it was a promise of God that revival will come like a tornado, and it will spread all over the place.
The Coming China Revival
When I reflect on this journey of receiving spiritual education, I can clearly see the leading of the Lord. I was saved in a church associated with Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, and this denomination focuses a lot on the inner life and spiritual discipline. After thirteen years in this denomination, I was led by the Lord to learn from other charismatic churches. Now I have the opportunity to be educated by UTS, and the people I have met here have also opened my eyes to new perspectives. I believe the training at UTS will further my understanding of God, the Bible, and the Church. I also trust that God will open more doors for me through my connection with UTS and Global Awakening. Like I told one of my peers during the intensive training at Dayton, I hope to be a bridge between the Chinese church and the churches in the West and the rest of the world. Together we can usher in the promised revivals in China and all over the world.
I will conclude this biography with another conversation I had with the Holy Spirit. Before I went to a prophetic conference in 2015, I was reading Chuck Pierce’s book, who was one of the speakers at the conference. In this book, he said Jesus visited him in the 1980s and told him China would be huge one day, and there will be a great revival in China, and this revival would spread all over the world. One day after I came back from the trip, I was pondering this when suddenly I heard the Holy Spirit ask me, “what is a great revival?” I immediately answered Him in my spirit, “I heard that one out of ten people in China is a Christian now, isn’t that a great revival already?” Then the Holy Spirit replied back, “how about two out of ten?” I calculated quickly in my spirit and realized that it would be another 100 million Chinese people. I was quite shocked. Then I heard a prophecy from Bob Jones that one billion souls would be harvested in the coming revival. It is hard to imagine that at least 100 million Chinese wouldn’t be included in this number. I felt my calling was to be a part of this great revival in China.
My main gift is teaching, and I learned from a very young age that I was skilled in public speaking even though I was shy in interpersonal communication. I further developed this gift because I had a desire to become a TV host. I also received a teaching anointing while I was with the church associated with Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. They encouraged everyone to teach the Bible, and I have been leading Bible studies for over 10 years, and it has helped improve the gift of teaching. It was confirmed by many prophetic words that the Lord gave me this skill to break down difficult subjects to allow other people to understand easily. I feel I am called to teach the Word of God to help God’s people understand the deeper meaning behind the Bible. However, before I do that, I need to be well trained myself. I have limited knowledge of theology, and I have learned a lot in my pre-doctoral program at UTS. I am hoping to learn more during my studies in this doctoral program. There is so much richness in the body of Christ, and I hope to learn as much as I can from others.
Written by Sean Song
Edited by Danielle Pagnanella