I grew up in a traditional Chinese family in a beautiful coastal city called Amoy. When I was nine years old, a new foreign family moved into our neighborhood. The father is Italian and the mother is Russian, and both of them speak fluent English. With them was their beautiful daughter named Xia Li (her Chinese name mean's "Summer") who was two years younger than me.
On winter solstice - two days before Christmas - my parents asked me to deliver two bags of sweet dumplings to our new foreign neighbors. It's tradition to eat sweet dumplings on that day, and they thought that offering the dumplings was a special way to welcome them. Xia's mother opened the door for me and my friend Min whom I invited along. "That's very nice of your family." She said, and she invited us in. While we played with Xia, she offered us some delicious homemade cookies and hot chocolate.
"Would you like to come to our Christmas party?" she asked Min and I before we left.
We excitedly looked at each other and answered, "Yes, we'd love to!"
It was at that Christmas party that I witnessed, for the first time, people praying and talking about a person named Jesus. "Who is he?" I wondered. After I went back home, I looked inside the gift bag I received from my new neighbours and found a teddy bear, some candies and a book called, "My First Bible in pictures." This book was written in Chinese and English and was beautifully designed for children.
I started reading it, out of curiosity, and to learn English. As I read along, I forgot my purpose for reading it, which was to improve my English. I was gradually getting more attracted by the stories themselves, and I was greatly amazed by how Jesus cared for people who were around Him. And He was so powerful in every act He conducted out of love. I wanted to follow Him if He could enable me to love with sincerity, ceaselessly.
Weeks after, I told my mom that I might want to become a Christian, and when she asked me why, I said: "Because God will teach me how to love, I believe.” I didn't know where I got this answer until four years later, when I found it was written in the book: God is love. (1 John 4.7-8)
Today, my friend Min, who joined the Christmas party with me and I, are both Jesus' followers. Even though we haven't seen each other for years, I know we are together in Christ's love for us.
Dear friend, have you ever experienced a moment that you saw in your hands, laid a book of the greatest stories in this universe, and in which you are mentioned?
"Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16 NIV
(By Song Yi Lin)