My name is Ben. I was born in China and grew up in an environment of atheism – most of my friends and family members do not believe in any god – neither did I. I was very good at schools and academics. I studied all sort of natural sciences and used to think that the universe and even human behavior can be explained and predicted by physics and chemistry. About 10 years back, I read a book “The end of science”. The author argues that human is approaching our limit to explore natural sciences (not technology), especially physics and biology. Now if we think about it, even if we continue making advances in science, we may be able to interpret more rules of how nature works, but there is still a fundamental question: why there are such rules in the first place.
It seems I have been very busy since middle and high school. I was so busy that I paid little attention to things around me (this October, I went back to my alma mater college where I studied for 5 years. I took a lot of pictures – the campus was truly beautiful – but somehow I did not realize how beautiful it was when I studied there 17 years ago). I came to the states right after graduation in 1995 and lived a typical immigrant life of going to graduate school and then working.
Yesterday (November 30th), Ky and I had lunch. Ky was helping me with the series of “Path to Maturity”. He said “The Bible is the food for spiritual growth”. In retrospect, I felt my spiritual life had been starved. There is a phrase “like a lost soul”, which really struck a cord in my heart. What is the purpose of my life? What was I seeking?
Lora and I married in 2002. We have 2 kids now and expecting the 3rd. I am very grateful to have Lora to be my wife. We were thinking of going churches sometimes but never seriously. I remember the first time we went to a church (believe in Fremont) about 10 years ago and it happened the tennis star Michael Chang was a guest. He is a very humble person and described how he lost the first 2 sets, but eventually won the French Open champion 1989 by praying to God. His attribution to God’s answer to prayer astonished a lot of reporters.
At CES 2010, I happened to share a hotel room with Ky (Ky and I used to work on the same project closely – Ky on marketing and product, and me on technical and engineering). Somehow during that night, we touched the topics of Christian. Perhaps it is God’s plan, my home is in Cambrian and it was very close to our church. Ky invited us to visit church a few times but for one reason or another, we did not go.
Work has been stressful and it was especially so since 2011. In the back of my mind (this may be God’s work), I was thinking of going to church. One day in June 2012, Lora asked me: perhaps we should go to church. There was no hesitation whatsoever – I emailed to Ky and sure enough – Ky replied immediately, we attended the church worship session that Sunday on June 10, 2012.
I consistently attended Sunday worship sessions (perhaps missed a few due to one family friend gathering party and another 2 due to a business trip back to China) – Lora has been very supportive – if there are other conflicts, she would take the hit by taking care of kids’ parties and spare me so that I can attend Sunday sessions. We truly enjoy Pastor Harrison’s sessions – there are a lot of insights.
Ky is a tremendous friend – you cannot ask more from a friend. He invited me for lunches and also lent me a book “Coffeehouse Theology” from Pastor Harrison (I still keep the book for now, reading here and there once in a while). I really liked the book, which listed a lot of questions people may have. It sounds like Pastor Harrison can read my mind for my questions and doubts. One of quotes from the book is “man can always be blind to a thing so long as it is big enough”. My interpretation is that since God is everywhere and we live every day with Him, many people may not even see or notice any more.
On September 14, with Ky’s help, Ky, Pastor Harrison and me had a lunch together. I asked a lot of “tough” (I thought they were tough) questions, like creation vs. evolution. Those questions did not appear to be tough to Pastor Harrison though. He patiently shared his views. Ky also shared his thoughts for my questions.
2 weeks later on September 30, after the church session, I asked Ky how to become a Christian and expressed my desire to be one. Ky was extremely happy and immediately prayed for me to become a Christian. I did not realize it was so straightforward (any Christian can help to convert a ready-to-be Christian). Once I knew about it, I went back home and converted my wife Lora.
I believe God has a plan for me. Things have been changing, and changing more since I attended church. I can feel the confidence, calm and peace inside me are growing. I can see good things happening both at home and work. I can sense more about the natural beauty surrounding us. I can tell more about how people behave and when negative thoughts, words and complaints come out of other people, I wish God can help them to realize how lucky we are, as human beings, as a creation by God.
I remembered there is a missionary David Chiu who gave a speech here some time ago, describing his experience in China. I can connect to his thoughts. Every time we have missionaries who go to China, I feel really happy and hope more people are enlightened.
Not everything is perfect. I do have doubts here and there. It indeed takes a leap of faith to believe in God. I am a kind of person “seeing is believing”. But I also understand as a human, I am limited in my own knowledge and I may not and can not understand everything, and can not know all the answers. I appreciate all the things God has done for me, for my family, for the forgiveness He has kindly allowed for me. I knew I had sinned before when Satan took over me, and will continue to make mistakes. But by putting my faith in God, the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, I am salvaged.
We are grateful to be part of a member of our church. May God bless all of us.