We’re a family of four, both my wife (Carol) and I (Simon) were born and brought up in Shanghai, China. We’re blessed to have two lovely sons, Birley and Jack. Interestingly, they are showing quite different characters at their age, Birley is athletic and never tired of joining sports while Jack tends to be quieter and fond of handcrafting and drawing.
Our life went through a series of movements and changes that, by ourselves, we couldn’t possibly foresee, but by grace, very well destined. God, we’re so grateful you saved us through Jesus; so joyful to be part of your body, Harvest Raleigh; so blessed to be able to worship and glorify you together with godly brother and sisters at the church.
My wife and I met at Notthingam, UK when both of us left our family for studying at the same university in Nottingham in the autumn of 2003. We never met each other until we were on the university campus, but we were so surprised to find out soon that we were from the same area of the same city, flew to Nottingham actually on the same flight, on the same day, and was going to start the same school year on the same campus. Then we started knowing each other more and started dating. My wife grew up with her grandparents who are both believers, which were not fairly common back at their time in China. I grew up in a non-believer family, and it was after I met my wife we started going church together in UK, but I wasn’t converted. After we finished our master degrees, we came back to our hometown to get married and Carol got a job in financial sector and I started my software engineer career.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
God, we’re so grateful you saved us through Jesus; so joyful to be part of your body
In 2009, we moved from Shanghai to Singapore, with then 3-month-old Birley, because the company I was working for wanted to relocate the position. It was big move, challenging at first. We tried going church there, but not that consistent. In 2011 our younger son Jack was born. With the joy of having new family member also came pressure in life, being foreigners away from family year after year.
At the end of year 2015, we were granted Singapore citizenship and it was the moment when we felt years of endeavor translated into stabilization for the family. But right at that time came the even bigger move. My company closed down in Singapore. When everyone was laid off, the only one open opportunity came upon me to be relocated to U.S., which brought us to Raleigh, North Carolina, but more importantly above all, to Jesus Christ.
I suddenly realized that was the moment I wanted to be saved, and only through Jesus can I receive forgiveness and salvation.
Early 2016, we moved in Holly Springs, NC and we were introduced to the family of Harvest Bible Chapel North Raleigh through our neighbor. However, at the same time, I was going through a tough period of my life. After striving through all these years, life seems just repeating itself. My confidence was shredded and anger filled me, which broke me inside and made me see things all in the negative view. And even worse, I locked myself in a cycle of correcting one mistake by making just another. Then it was on the day of Nov 29 2016, pastor Mike of our church invited us for a lunch together, during which he learned about our background, asked me “do you want to be saved?”, I wasn’t immediately ready what to answer, then he put Ephesians 2:8-9 on my lips, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” When I heard that verse from my own mouth at that moment, I suddenly realized that was the moment I wanted to be saved, and only through Jesus can I receive forgiveness and salvation. God has always been working in our lives, all those major changes and challenges in my past as well as in future are prepared and connected, simply in a way I couldn’t comprehend. The gift and peace from God is free, because it’s beyond what I myself could possibly earn.
So, this is my testimony and as a new believer, I could not express in words how grateful I’m to be able to walk with lord in my new life, together with wonderful people at Harvest Raleigh.