For The Cause of the Gospel

On January 11, 2008, while my family was in China, I wrote the following paragraph from a longer blog about our mission efforts in that part of the world:

Bryan spent the day with us the other day while we toured Lamma Island.  Bryan is a Chinese national who is not a believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, but he is a seeker.  Maik, the student minister for Kowloon International Baptist Church, brought him along on our excursion so he could hear more about Christ.  Brian is the President of the Chinese Student Union of HKBU.  Imagine what the Lord will do through him once he repents of his sin and believes in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Maik, HKIBC Student’s Minister informed my son that Bryan was not born again, and that he wanted Taylor to share the gospel every moment he could. What made that time meaningful was how my son repeatedly turned the conversation toward salvation through Jesus Christ.  I was very impressed with his passion as well as with his accuracy in explaining the gospel.

It took a few months, yet the Lord was faithful in answering our prayers.  This morning I received the following email report for Harry Lucenay, pastor of Kowloon International Baptist Church in Hong Kong, where Bryan is a regular attender.

Sunday morning one of the baptismal candidates told the following story:

Good morning everyone! My name is Bryan. I am a student from mainland China studying in my second year at HKBU. I made my commitment to Christ three months ago on January 29. Looking back at the past three months I can now say that this has been the most important day in my life. During that time, God has constantly revealed Himself to me through the Bible. Today I am here because I’ve decided to be baptized.

I was brought up in the Northeast of China, in Chang Chun. Like most mainland Chinese students I am an only child. About seven years ago, my family moved to Shenzhen. I finished my junior school and senior school education in Shenzhen.

When I studied in China, I would often question what was taught in school. Many times I asked myself: “What’s the meaning of life? Is there anything deeper than getting high scores in exams?” Although I was an “A level” student in history, I never trusted the history textbooks composed by the government—I just recited as much as I could for exams.

My desire to explore something deeper in life brought me to Hong Kong. Though at that point I didn’t know what the “something deeper” was. Yet I realized it is nothing I would find in my textbooks. It had to be something universal which would be true for everyone, everywhere.

The first semester in Hong Kong was a wonderful experience. I read books which I could never find in China. They challenged me and helped me grow. However things started to change in my second semester.

I was overwhelmed by things I got involved in – soccer, drama, girls and of course studying. I also ran for president of a student organization at HKBU, which really showed me the negative side of power struggles. All of these brought a lot of trouble into my life. There were so many choices and I didn’t know which to devote my life to. I asked myself: “Bryan, what is the ‘something’ you are looking for?” I had found no meaning in what I was doing.

So I switched on my mobile phone and a name from the contact list got my attention: Maik, whom I had met at the HKBU Welcome Night. I really needed someone to talk to, but not anyone on campus. So I called him and we met here at KIBC. It was “stormy” before I talked to Maik, but when I walked out of the church, everything was peaceful. Even today, I still remember the Bible passage we shared: Jesus calms the storm.

Yet when I was elected president of the student organization I quickly forgot the words that brought me peace. What was ahead of me was worse than all the troubles I experienced before. Being involved in politics I experienced lying and gossip. I often felt lonely and hurt by people. As a response I hurt people in the same way.

I said to myself: “Ok, Bryan, if this is the way the world works, so why don’t you live the same way; pursuing money and power?” However as I began pursuing this way of life I found nothing that could satisfy my heart.

At that time I took the Bible from the top of my bookshelf and started to read. This was the last thing I tried (how I wish that I had tried to read the Bible first). It was an afternoon on which I locked myself in the dormitory and read the Bible till the evening. After I finished reading, I felt peace, joy and confidence. For the next few weeks, I went to church and continued to read the Bible and it felt as if this is the ‘something deeper in life’ I was looking for. Still I wrestled with the question whether Jesus was really the one he claimed to be. As I continued to seek truth I found the answers that I needed.

On January 29, I was again troubled about life and started to read the Bible. Again God “calmed the storm” and I knew in my heart that I need to follow Him. I called Maik and told him that I made my commitment to Christ. He was excited and we met in his apartment. There he told me: “You know Bryan, this morning I read this Scripture: We as God’s servants beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:1-2). And he told me that he could not stop thinking about me and that he was really moved by God’s Spirit that my salvation was near.

How great is our God! Before we ask, he knows what we will ask for. Before we do, he has already arranged everything for us. Over the past three months God revealed Himself to me through His Word so many times.

Thanks KIBC family for your love and encouragement. I also want to thank all of you who have been praying for me during the past year. God bless.

Amen & amen!  That is the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


2 Responses to “For The Cause of the Gospel”

  1. 1 Marie
    April 29, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Wow! Just One More. It will be amazing to see what God is going to do with Bryan’s life and witness. Reminds me that we can count the seeds in an apple but only God can count the apples in a seed.

  2. 2 crazyro
    April 29, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    “Some of you say you’re afraid to witness. Well, I wish you’d get over it, because it’s not you doing the witnessing, it’s the Holy Spirit doing it through you. […] We’re not converters, we’re communicators. We communicate, God converts. And then notice where He wants you to be a witness: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Everywhere you go, He wants you to be a witness. And the Holy Spirit is the One who empowers you to be that witness. The Holy Spirit is the One who works on you to be that witness. That’s the only way it comes together, is for the Holy Spirit to be the power for you to be the witness.”

    Ryan Whitley
    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    I am proud to have a pastor who is passionate about the Great Commission. I’m proud to have a pastor who shares his passion with us, the flock God has entrusted him with. I’m proud to have a pastor who shares his passion with his family. I’m proud to call Pastor Ryan “my pastor” because he (and his wife and his children) lives what he preaches. And I’m thankful for the work the Holy Spirit is doing in Birmingham, in Alabama, in the United States, and all over the earth.

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