Last week, ZN (full name withheld) was baptized at Park Street during the 8:30a service. Here is her testimony:
Almost three years ago, in January 2018, my mom died of cancer. My mom was the one who eased my heartaches, the one I shared my good news with first. I could not accept that she was gone, and I could not share my pain with anyone.
A year later, I was at a crossroads. I was living in Shanghai, working long hours, and thoughts abruptly came into my mind: “What is death, why is my purpose in this world, what makes me happiest?” I asked my older sister these questions, and she replied, “What do you mean? You have a PhD, a good job, you travel everywhere in the world… stop thinking about that.” But I couldn’t stop. The job, my credentials, the travel did not make me happy. I felt lonely all the time, even when surrounded by my friends and family. I read many books but could not find answers.
One night, in May last year, 2019: I remember very clearly. I returned home from the gym. It was 11p, and I usually fall asleep right away, but I couldn’t. I suddenly had a strong desire to read the Bible. So I downloaded a Bible app, but there was no text. I downloaded another Bible app, then another and another, entered my address and information, bought a VPN, but still no text! I finally gave up at 4a. The next morning at 8:30, I called Sabrina, a former colleague in Hong Kong who had invited me to church years ago. She was so happy to hear from me, and promised to send me materials.
But the very next week, Sabrina texted that she was in Shanghai and her business dinner had been unexpectedly cancelled. She asked, “Can we meet up?” That night, we shared about our lives; she told me about her own father who had died. She asked whether she could pray with me to accept God… I was really worried that I didn’t know God, didn’t know the Bible, how to serve Him. Sabrina told me not to worry, that God would show me. That night, May 20, 2019, in her hotel room in Shanghai, we prayed together. She told me, “Now this moment, you are my real sister!” She knows that I am getting baptized today.
From that day, I started my spiritual journey with Jesus Christ. I wanted to go somewhere with a good church, a place I could learn about the Bible and about God. For the first time in my adult life, I gave up relying on myself and leaned on God’s understanding. After much prayer, I left Shanghai, and God prompted me to study in Boston, a city completely foreign to me. One year ago in November, I flew into Logan Airport. It was cold, I didn’t know anybody. I only knew that I wanted to learn about God. He led me to PSIF, the international fellowship here at Park Street, just as the pandemic started.
I said earlier that I always felt lonely, even if surrounded by people. But even with the lockdown and social distancing, I have I have not felt lonely, because I know God does not leave me. One day, while reading the Bible, I could not stop crying. I asked God to release me from the pain of my mom’s loss, to give me the strength to forgive, and I asked for his forgiveness for my mistakes, my sin. I accepted Jesus into my heart, and I was filled with joy and peace. I knew that God had given me the Holy Spirit.