Going to China!

Tim Hoke on November 24, 2011

Life is full of surprises!  No one was more surprised than we were to find ourselves living in Africa, and now we are surprised to discover that we may even be a small part of the gospel going to China!  One of our freshmen students here at African Bible University is from China, and he recently shared his story with all of us.   It’s a wonderful “Thanks-giving”:

My hometown is in the center of China, near the desert. In my family I have a mother and one sister.  My father died when I was young, but my mother loves me so much.

It was not easy for me to come to Jesus Christ.  I thought in the world there is no God.  Even in school my teacher told us that.  The government also declared that there is no Savior; there is no one that you can depend on, only yourself and believing in the government.  So when I heard my sister had become a Christian, I hurled insults at her, especially when she wanted to talk about Jesus Christ with me.  I asked her, “Why do you believe in a God that came from America?”  At that time I was foolish; I did not know Jesus was born in Israel.  I thought he was an American God.  I said, “In our country we have many gods; if you like, you can choose one!” . . .

But I thank God, even if I despised him and refused him, he prayed for me, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’  He still loved me; so by his grace, one day I went to Beijing to study.  I was not a good student at that time.  I liked to play with my friends.  I spent a lot of money, the money my mother had given me for one month, I spent in one week.  Most days I drank only water because I had spent it all.

. . . One day my sister called me.  She told me that her friends wanted to invite me to have dinner together.  Actually, I didn’t want to go because I did not know them, but my stomach said to me, ‘You must go’ because I had only drunk water for two days straight with no food.

So, after dinner my sister’s friend said to me, ‘Can we study the Bible together?’  I couldn’t say no, because I had already eaten their food!  So I studied with her.  It was my first time to touch the Bible, the first time to sing praise songs.  Even now I can’t remember the songs or the message, but the feeling of deep peace, I will never forget.  From that day I never missed Bible Study and Sunday worship. . .

After he became a Christian, our student came to Uganda and saw the sign outside our campus gate which reads, “African Bible University—Teaching the Treasures of God’s Truth.”  He eventually took our entrance examination, praying that he would be able to pass the English requirements.  And what does he want to do when he graduates from ABU?  Yet another surprise! —

. . . After I study, I want to go to India as a missionary and bring our members who have been trained in our church, to walk out for God with me, for his glory.  What I know is that God leads my every single step, so I just ask God for his help to open the gate for us, because we can’t do anything without his power.  As we have never visited India, we don’t know the situation there.  But God put this desire in our hearts.  It is not an accident, but a calling from God who wants his servants to go out and preach to those who are still in the darkness.  I still remember the question Jesus asked Peter:  ‘Do you love me? . . . Take care of my sheep.’  So if I love Jesus Christ, I should take care of his sheep and follow his command.

So, dear friends, not only are you a part of the gospel going to Uganda, but possibly to China and India as well!  Please pray that it may be so.  This Thanksgiving, we thank God that you care for his sheep!

Because God is redeeming a people for himself!

Tim and Cheri