CALLINGS: “You can go now!”

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I was baptized during Easter in 2003.

In fact from 1991 to 2002, my eldest sister had been evangelizing to me. Because she herself didn’t know much about the faith, I was not touched. I kept a respected distance from her faith. In fact, God had revealed Himself to me through many circumstances and people, but my heart was hardened because of my ego and arrogance. I refused to accept Jesus as the Son of God, and God, the One and Only sovereign God. I had always believed that I was my own saviour. Only those who were weak, helpless, without knowledge, uncultured and old that needed to turn to God. Many a time, I was forced by my sister to attend church services, and what I saw proved my theory right. The church was filled with old people. I did not see any ‘dignified’ youths or adults.

On 2001 Christmas, I walked into a church at Xining City, Qinghai Province to feel this festive mood. It was my first time to experience Christmas at church. The sermon delivered that night didn’t touch me because I did not understand and did not know what the Bible was about, so it was hard for me to relate. However, the beautiful songs sung by the choir did move me. I was as if in heaven and the heavenly melody surrounded me. The choir members on the stage with white robes looked like holy angels, singing praises of thanks to God in reverence. Every song was so tenderly and nicely presented with devotion. Though I didn’t quite understand the lyrics, the melody attracted me, surrounded me and shook me. I was moved to join in the worship in this beautiful ambiance.

No words could convey my feeling then. What I wanted was to join in the praises. I wanted to praise God with my mind, my heart and my soul. After the service, I squeezed myself through the long out flowing queue to the front to see who these people in white were. When I almost reached the stage, a choir member came forward and gave me a Bookmark. On the bookmark, it wrote: “I am the Lord, there is no saviour beside me.” Instantly, I was filled with warmth, and I felt peace and tranquillity like never before.

Would You Follow Me?

The next day, I was posted by my university to teach temporarily at Yushu Prefecture. At the time, Buddhism had a strong hold there and I was nearly converted. Looking back, it was a spiritual warfare, and I almost became an idol worshipper. I believed it was God who put me to this test, so that I could make a choice. At last, I chose to believe in Jesus.

Later, my student brought me to a church at Xining and there I learned more about Christian faith and was baptized in 2003. I also joined the choir there. In 2008, I felt a calling from God. My pastor asked if I would like to go to the Singapore Seminary. But I loved my job and I was in the prime of my life. How could I give up? I also felt that the school needed young people like me. Besides, I also had to deal with my family problems, so I let go of the opportunity.

If I had gone to the Seminary then, I would have graduated and served long ago. Now, with my age, I am struggling with my study here, I feel that I lack in energy and strength. My memory is also failing. Since 2008, whenever I went t to church I could feel God asking me: “Would you follow Me? Would you come?”

My second calling came in 2009, but I just couldn’t give up and step out.

Then in 2014, God called me the third time. I was at church and once again the pastor asked if I would like to take up theological training. Surprisingly, I felt joy in my heart and I answered without hesitation “I’m willing.” Then I began to worry about my age. So I asked the pastor to send someone younger instead. He said he had talked to the younger ones but they were all attached and couldn’t go. The pastor told me not to reply hastily and gave me half a year to see how the Lord would lead me.

The next day, another pastor gave me a bookmark. It wrote: “Look at the birds in the air, they do not sow and reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

At first, I dared not quit my job for fear that I would lose my income when I gave up and relied solely on God. Then I started to pray and I felt at peace as days went by. My living and my working conditions were going well. Half a year soon passed by and the voice came again in the consecutive days: “You can go now!” I could run no more but made up my mind to resign from my job.

At first, I wanted to enrol in music and worship faculty. Unknowingly, I put down theology faculty in my application. Many things happened during my enrolment but thankfully, all was settled. I started my theology journey at the Methodist Theological School on12 July 2015.

Li Jin Ling,
Theological student of MTS, Sibu
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