October 27, 2020

How I Found Hope and Meaning Through Sabbath School

I grew up in China in a family without any religious beliefs. Looking back, I can see that God determined to call me into His love and arms from the very beginning.

As a teenager, I would ask myself, “What’s the meaning of life?” I thought if a person lives only this life, then the best way to live is to eat, drink, and be merry. If that is true, then life is really meaningless and vanity. 

In the summer of 2002, I joined an English training class. The teacher was from the United States and had a doctoral degree in theology. In the first lesson, he introduced himself by sharing a miracle where God had saved him from a car accident. His car was heavily damaged in the accident, but he felt a “big cup” covering him in the crash, and he was unhurt. I was impressed by the miraculous story, sharing it with my family right after class.

A Man With a Sign

In October 2012, I went to Canada on vacation. Near my hotel in Vancouver there was a church. One morning I saw a man in a green suit at the gate of the church holding a sign that read, “Come Back Home.” That afternoon, I decided to visit the beach near my hotel. Later, as I walked back to the city center for dinner, I saw the same man holding the same sign at the church’s gate.

The wind was really whipping, and I was so impressed by this man, wondering why he was willing to stand in the strong wind for the whole day holding that sign. I decided there must be something special about his beliefs. Since then, the image of that man holding the sign has never faded from my memory.

Right after my vacation, I joined a postgraduate course at the University of Hong Kong. Following a two-day lecture, one of the professors gifted every student a book titled Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman. I was highly impressed by the book because it partly answers the question of the meaning of life. I started reading one chapter every night. 

Weeks later, I wrote an e-mail to the teacher to thank him for the book. I expressed my willingness to know more about Christianity. The teacher introduced me to his colleague Karen. Every Friday, Karen would gather with other church members in her home. The first time I joined the gathering, I felt their love and care for me. I had never experienced anything like that before. I was eager to come back for the next gathering. Karen gave me a Bible, and I started to read it every evening.

In January 2014, I was baptized in a church. On that day, God miraculously healed the sickness that had troubled me for a long time. Praise God for that! Previously, after following both Chinese and Western medical counsel for about six months, I was still not healed, and my stomach felt uncomfortable from too much medicine. So I had stopped taking the medicine for several months. My sickness was healed completely, however, the day of my baptism.

After my baptism, I visited various church denominations, listening to the preachers; attending youth gatherings, Bible study groups, and church services; and reading Christian books. But I knew there was still something wrong with my relationship with God. I was scared to look at the cross; I was too far from God's standard and felt discouraged with myself.

Discovering Hope Channel

I saw Hope Channel on TV when traveling to New Zealand in October 2016. It was a huge blessing for my spiritual life. When I returned home, I searched online and found the Hope Sabbath School program on YouTube.

I started watching Hope Sabbath School, and I couldn’t stop. Within a few months I had watched all the Hope Sabbath School episodes from 2013. I love the smiles of the team members—they make the Bible easy to understand.

Blessed by the program, I began to have a clearer picture of what our God is like. God is full of mercy, eager to call us back to Him to save us, and always willing to forgive. God is love. I no longer felt scared when looking at the cross. I know God loves me. He has cleansed me, and He will change me to be like Him by His power.

In early 2018, I decided to change from a Sundaykeeping church to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Last year, I was convicted and made the decision to be rebaptized by immersion (I had been baptized by sprinkling in 2014). Now I have finished one year of Bible studies in a local Adventist church, and I am waiting for rebaptism after church opens again following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank God for bringing Hope Sabbath School into my life to grow me spiritually. Now I am willing to give all my life to Jesus and have a desire to live a life that glorifies God. That is the true meaning of life.

The original version of this story was posted on the Adventist Record website.