By Yanping, Japan
I was born in the 1980s. Because of China’s one-child family policy, my parents were fined after my arrival, so they particularly hated me. And influenced by the Chinese custom of preferring boys over girls, they were unwilling to expend anything on me. Sometimes they even would argue over a dress bought for me which cost more than 10 yuan. So I felt subdued and sad, and thought I was superfluous. One day, when my parents were not at home, I wanted to drink pesticides to end my life. But it tasted so bad that I only took a little sip, so it didn’t kill me. My parents have never known about this. When I was 13, my parents were not willing to pay for my tuition fees anymore, so in order to make money, I could only spend my summer vacation selling ice creams in a scenic spot, which was scores of miles away from my home. One day after rain, when I was riding on the mountain road, I slid down into the river along with my bicycle, and my mind went blank at once. Not until I came to myself did I find that I was not injured at all, and only my clothes were snagged. When the passers-by saw me climbing out of the water safe and sound, they all said that I was lucky, because the river was full of stones, and if one fell down into it, he would either die or get seriously injured. And they all tried to persuade me, “You are too young. Don’t come out selling ice creams anymore. It’s too dangerous.” I said nothing, and directly walked away with my bicycle. On the way home, I felt miserable: Don’t I know the danger? I have no other choice but to sell ice creams to earn money to pay my tuition, or I’ll have to abandon my studies. But at last, I still discontinued my schooling after graduation from middle school.
Three years later, some classmates of mine and I found a job in a clothing factory. It was a dirty and heavy job. Sometimes we needed to pull an all-nighter, and I still remembered that the longest time when we didn’t have a wink of sleep was three days and two nights. Because of long working hours, one of my workmates was so tired that her hair was accidentally sucked into a machine when she was cutting the clothes. That almost killed her. Later, my classmates all left the factory one after another. Facing all of this, I hesitated for a long time: They have their relatives or friends to help them find another job, but I don’t have anyone to help me. If I leave here, I would have to sell ice cream again. This job is the only hope for me and I can’t give it up. So I steeled myself to persevere. In the next few years, I changed some jobs. Except for the holidays arranged by the company, I never had a day off. I kept working and working because I knew that there was no guarantee for my future. Later, after a constant struggle, I had earned some money. But when I was living in hopes of a better life, one thing that I had never expected happened.
One day in 2005, I suddenly received the call from my cousin. She told me to go to the hospital immediately. I got there hurriedly, and the moment I walked into the ward, I was petrified by what I saw: My brother was lying in the sick bed, his head was wrapped up in a white gauze, and pipes were being inserted into his mouth and nose. Right then, my tears ran down uncontrollably. My father told me that my brother had fallen off from a building and he had not come round yet. Later, the doctor performed an operation on his head and after a period of treatment, he could move his hands and arms. My parents and I were very excited to see this, and felt that we had finally seen the hope. But the doctor told us that my brother was severely injured, and that once he sat up, the water on his brain would flow, and he advised that my brother should have another operation. When I heard this news, it felt like I had been struck by a lightning bolt. The first operation had almost swallowed up all our savings, we would not be able to afford another one. Watching my brother in the sick bed and my white-haired father, I felt extremely distressed, but I thought: No matter how they treated me in my childhood, I am the only one they can rely on now, and I shall take on this burden. That year, I was only 25 years old.
Therefore, I exerted myself tirelessly to make money. Every day I only slept four or five hours, and after several years of hard work, I had finally made some money. During that time, my brother had another operation and was gradually able to take care of himself. With my help, he bought a house and got married. At that point, I thought that I could finally live a peaceful life. But it never occurred to me that his wife, who spent only three years with him, got away with tens of thousands yuan of the family. This blow was so unbearable for him that he had a bad turn and lost consciousness. Facing this, I felt as if the sky was going to fall: Why do these misfortunes come one after another? When is all this going to end? Afterward, I continued my life of making money like an automaton. Every phone call I received from my parents was either asking for money, or saying my brother got injured and was in hospital, and I had to look after him. Under such pressure, I really wanted to have a good cry: I’m only an ordinary person. There is a limit to my endurance. Later, due to overwork, my mom was out of condition. I was more depressed and began to worry: If my parents passed away, what should I do with my brother? I’m already in my late 20s, but I do not dare to find a partner or get married. With such a family, do I still have my own future? I could not tell my depression in my heart to anyone, feeling that I was on the verge of collapse.
In May, 2015, in order to solve the financial problem of my family, I left for Japan alone with concern for my parents and brother. Here my destiny was changed quietly.
Not long after I came to Japan, I knew Xiaosu. She worked in a company, while I worked at her boss’ home. We often met each other. As both of us are Chinese, we exchanged telephone numbers. In the Spring Festival of 2016, I went home to visit my relatives, and Xiaosu and I happened to meet on the same plane. During our chat, she asked me, “Where does man come from?” Without thinking, I answered her, “Man evolved from apes.” She said to me smilingly, “Man was created by God, so were the heaven and earth and all things.” Then, she gave me some examples to illustrate the absurdity in the theory of evolution and also told me how God created the heaven and earth and all things, and so on. Because this was the first time that I had heard we were created by God, I felt amazed, and didn’t fully understand it or believe it. But I thought I had always been living in depression and pain, and that it might make me happier to contact more people of faith. So, I promised her that I would go to their meetings after I came back.
A week later, I returned to Japan, and Xiaosu invited me to attend their meetings. We listened to a hymn of“God’s Wondrous Deeds of Governing All Things” together: “For thousands of years, the creek flows in such a quiet, quiet way at the foot of the mountain. Directed by the mountain, the creek returns to its hometown. It merges into a river, and then into a sea, into a sea. Thanks to the watching of the mountain, the creek has never got lost. The creek and the mountain reinforce, neutralize, and depend on each other.” I was deeply attracted by the lyrics. I was so surprised that this song told us the mountain, stream, ocean, and so on, which we seldom paid attention to, have their own value and significance. The song was so heartwarming that my heart gradually relaxed along with it, feeling happy and released. Then we read a piece of God’s word “God Is the Source of Life for All Things.” Through reading this piece of God’s word and listening to the sister’s fellowship, I knew: God spent six days to create the heaven and earth and all things, and created man. In order to nurture man, He gave them a stable environment for survival, and established boundaries for all things. The scope of the desert, grass, ocean, the living environment for birds and beasts, why beasts only stay in the forests while poultry can be reared, and so on—it turns out that these common enough phenomena are all controlled by God and predestined by God. The more I listened, the more I felt a thirst for it. Later I often attended meetings, and read God’s words with them. Gradually, I knew more about the miraculous deeds of God’s creation of all things, and I began to believe from the bottom of my heart that all things are created and managed by God. And I also began to rely on God.
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