I’ll See You Again | A Salvation Story
When I first met her in China, she was quietly studying on a bench at the local college campus. Her dark skin glistened even in the shade of the tree. As I walked over to her, I found myself wondering if she stepped off the pages of National Geographic. Occasionally, people come into our lives that change us forever—and she was one of those strangers turned dearest friends that would change the course of my life.
My illiteracy led me to approach her that day. Her poor English led us to have lunch instead of simply telling pointing me in the direction of the cafeteria. And a sovereign God had us bump into each other three months later. It was fate if you believe in that kind of thing, but I call it God.
She wanted to know about Jesus. And so it began in a smoke-filled, sticky-floor local restaurant. We ordered two steaming hot dishes—one close to Kung Pao chicken, and the other was something she insisted I try, “spicy mushrooms” I think it was. My new friend, Xiao Yue or “Small Moon”, sat across from me wide-eyed assuredly waiting for me to continue to tell her about this name she’d heard from her classmate.
“So your friend at school just became a Christian?” I asked.
“Er, yes. Her new name is Christmas,” she responded and smiled. I remembered all the funny English names my friends have given themselves: Glasses, Coffee, Daisy Flower, and even ‘Bacteria’. It only made sense that a new Christian would call herself Christmas.
“She said becoming a Christian is [err] wonderful. She feels new and even has a new name.” Small Moon told me as she sipped her piping hot water in the middle of sweltering June heat.
Just as I was about to tell her about the God who loves her, a group of police officers crowded around the table next to us for lunch. Since sharing Jesus is illegal in China, I suggested we walk over to a lake nearby.
We found a spot under a pagoda that was far from secluded—hundreds of vendors, artists, performers, and children with their families were out in full-force. Beggars lined the pathways, lying face down with their tin cups clasped in weathered hands. Several older gentlemen stood a few feet away and stared wide-eyed at ‘the waiguoren’ foreigner.
“There is a God who loves you more than you could ever imagine. He knows you by name—and even knew you before you were born. He has a great plan for your life.” I said slowly, wanting her to catch every word.
“Go on,” she said, without blinking.
“This God who loves you—let’s call Him “Dad” from now on, because I don’t want people to hear us.” I said observing the three police officers stopping to take note of me.
“Dad is a good name for Him because He wants you to be His daughter,” I said.
“Oh I can’t believe it! Are you sure?” she said, nearly shouting.
“Yes.” I smiled.
“But there’s a problem. You and I are not perfect. We mess up. We hurt people. We lie. We can never be good enough to be a part of Dad’s family. And people who aren’t a part of the family can’t be with him after they die.”
“Yes, I see.” She said slowly, seemingly to acknowledge her inability to ever be good enough.
“But that isn’t the end of the story. Dad sent His only Son, Jesus, to earth to take our place. He lived a perfect life on earth and willingly died for you. He died on a Cross to pay for everything bad in your past and everything bad you will do in the future. His death means you can be a part of God’s family. He took your place.”
Tears welled up in her eyes and she grabbed my hand. It was message that most of us have grown up hearing, but the truth was completely new to her.
“How do I have this life?” she asked.
“All you have to do is know you are empty without Dad’s love in your life and ask Jesus to fill you up. He did all the work. All you have to do is believe.”
“So I don’t have to understand the Bible? Or read the whole thing? Or what about what I see in American movies where they eat bread in church?” she asked many questions and I answered them slowly.
“You don’t have to do anything to become a Christian. Becoming a part of God’s family is about believing what’s already been done for you. Jesus died for you—all He wants you to do is believe in the power of His death to save you.”
“Does he understand Chinese? Will you tell me what to pray?”
Her tiny fingers gripped mine and we began to pray.
“Jesus, I believe you died on the cross for me. I need you. Will you come into my heart? Will you save me from myself? I want to be a part of your family and spend eternity with you.”
A simple prayer. I was crying—knowing the implications of what she just prayed. She was His daughter.
I’ll never forget what she said to me after she lifted her eyes on that hot June 4th afternoon:
“This means that even if you don’t come back to China, we will see each other again.”
Two years later, Small Moon and I lived together and this blog post is about the miracles we saw in her small town. She was baptized by the pastor of her house church in a bathtub.
Are you in God’s family? You don’t need to have all the answers, get your act together, or make any promises. Just trust that Jesus is the only way and believe in His death and resurrection! Pretty good news, right?
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