Beauty From Scattered Sands
February 1, 2008 - I grew up in Hong Kong and attended one of many schools founded by a church or mission organization. Students in these schools take religious studies classes, but what I learned about Jesus sounded like a story, not something real. Despite my family’s devout belief in traditional Chinese Taoism, I really had no religious beliefs at all and certainly didn’t experience anything from God.
by Mandy Lun
As a result of having no assurance of spiritual things, a fear of death gripped me. Something as simple as a trip to an amusement park would fill me with dread: What if I fall out of the ride and die?
During high school, I had to have a tonsil operation. Fear mounted in me until the surgery. The surgery passed and although I survived, it wasn’t because I prayed or relied on God. The fear of death continued to grow until I was 17. Then one day my principal announced that classes were canceled for the day. In place of our classes, we all would attend the Billy Graham Crusade at Hong Kong Stadium.
Although I can’t remember Billy Graham’s exact words that day in 1990, I remember how much they moved me. Looking back, it’s obvious that God had been at work in my life before, but when Billy Graham spoke, he left a mark on my mind, something I can always point to.
At first, I was unsure of whether I wanted to go down to the grassy field when Mr. Graham called for people to turn to Christ. Eventually I made my way down from the seats, and once on the grass, the tears began. They just kept coming, and I didn’t know why—except that Jesus had died for me, and it was such a great sacrifice.
High school graduation came, and about six months later I began working for an import and export shipping company. Life became busy and after about a year I had stopped attending church, reading my Bible and praying. I did nothing to communicate with God.
I was like sand spread out over the beach, but God had a plan for me. He was collecting the sand and, like someone building a sand castle, He was making something beautiful from something scattered.
In 1999, ongoing respiratory problems led to another tonsil operation. The old fear of death loomed again, but this time something different happened. Before the surgery, a sister in Christ came and prayed that God would help me to overcome my fear. During that prayer, I turned back to Christ. As I entered the operating room and waited for the anesthesia to kick in, I felt very calm. God had replaced my fear with peace.
After the surgery, God gave me confidence in the future. I knew that I was going to heaven. God was shaping my character and making me into the person I am now. He gave me a vision of how to serve Him, in spite of the fact that I still faced problems. My family remained very active in Taoism and gave me a hard time when I committed to living for God. My mum would nag me constantly about the time and effort spent for the church, and not spent with family or working to make more money. She would threaten to disown me if I continued attending church. But four years ago, after seeing the difference that Christ made in my life, my brother accepted Christ. And even though the rest of my family hasn’t acknowledged Christ, they see the difference He has made in my life.
God has given me a desire to see churches work together on large-scale evangelistic events that will spread the Gospel to the whole of Hong Kong. I was filled with joy when I heard that the Hong Kong Franklin Graham Festival was coming to the city and was recruiting staff to help. During the Festival, I was an executive secretary and worked during the mobilization of the event, as well as with the Operation Andrew committee, which was responsible for encouraging people to pray for their loved ones and invite them to the Festival. This was exactly the kind of work I wanted to do, so that many more people could know the peace that I found when I put my trust in Jesus Christ.