Saved by Grace
Testimony of a Chinese Moody Bible Institute Student and Moody Church Missionary
Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
Psalm 116:8: “For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” This verse tells you what the Lord has done for me: He has “delivered my soul from death” therefore He is my Redeemer; He has delivered “mine eyes from tears” so He is also a Comforter; “and my feet from falling,” He is my keeper.
I was born and brought up in Itu, Hupeh, China. We lived on a compound together with two or three hundred people, none of them Christians. I never went to Sunday School or Mission when I was a boy. My father was a Confucianist and my mother a Buddhist. Sometimes I went with my father to the Confucius temple during the Spring and Autumn sacrifices, and sometimes I went with my mother to the Buddhist temple to burn incense. My mother was sincere in her belief and kept her vegetarian vows on every first and fifteenth day of the month, but although I respected her sincerity and noticed her kindness to others, I had no interest in her religion at all.
We used to worship our ancestors within three generations on their birthday anniversaries. Then we would cook a special dinner consisting of many dishes, and offer it as a sacrifice. This would be followed by a brief ceremony, and then came the best part—the eating of the good dinner. I never gave any thought to the worship part, but I enjoyed eating the sacrifice.
I received my schooling during the revolution in China. I went to many schools but did not graduate from any of them. Finally after one term of college in Shanghai, I quit school and got a job as a clerk in the Bank of China. With money in my pocket and no thought of God, I now started out to satisfy my self with every pleasure the world had to offer, but my conscience troubled me, for this way of living was contrary to the moral code of Confucius. There was no peace in my heart. I knew I was doing wrong, but how to change I knew not. How miserable I was!
But in 1936 I became quite ill and was confined in a hospital in Shanghai for a long time. Now I had time to think of more serious things. “Where do we come from?”—“Where shall we go after death?”—“What is the real aim of life?” I did not know the answers, and the more I thought, the less I understood.
There was in that hospital a Chinese Christian Doctor who showed me much kindness. He introduced me to a friend of his, a missionary, Mr. John Davies. Through him I came to know the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
After I was discharged from the hospital I went to see Mr. Davies and his wife, and asked them to teach me English as I intended to come to America. Mrs. Davies became my teacher, and used the New Testament as the textbook. One day we came to the verse in Romans 7:15, “For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” My heart was relieved, the Apostle Paul had been troubled just as I was. Then I read further, “Oh, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me…” it was the cry of my own heart, “who shall deliver me,” and the answer came, “Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” How joyful was the message of the next verse, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” All my questions were answered by God’s own Word. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.
In 1938 God opened the way for me to come to America. A business friend of mine offered to take me from Shanghai to New York as his secretary, but I would have to find my own way back. I accepted, knowing I was taking a “Chinaman’s chance,” but I was anxious to get to America, and found assurance in His Word, “The just shall live by faith.”
I wish I had continued to live by faith! But the glitter of the big city drew me. I neglected the Word and prayer, and before long I was backslidden, trying to satisfy myself with the things of the world, and for two years I continued in that miserable state.
One Sunday afternoon, having spent all my money at the Theater, I passed by the Calvary Baptist Church and heard music from within. I was tired and thought I would walk in and have a rest. The preacher was Gipsy Smith and his message was about the Christian’s separation from the world. I had come into the church to rest my body, but now I found an awful unrest in my soul. That evening I took out my Bible and once more started to read the Word. Shortly after, I met the Chinese evangelist, Leland Wang. His cheerfulness and clear preaching was a great blessing to me. He spoke of the great need in China and the millions who had never even heard the Name of Jesus. My heart was moved with pity and love for my people, and after much prayer I presented my body, a living sacrifice to God to be used in His service.
Soon after I felt the need of Christian training and friends urged me to go to Chicago and enroll at the Moody Bible Institute. This I decided to do but the money I had on hand was just sufficient to pay for the ticket, and I arrived in Chicago penniless and a stranger, but with the promises of God in my heart.
I enrolled at the Institute to start in January 1941, and soon after I was asked to take care of my bill. I told them that I had no money, but I had some Chinese Defense Bonds and, as soon as I sold them, I would pay the bill. “But what if you can not find a buyer?” I told them, “I trust the Lord.”
The first time I went to The Moody Church I had met a very friendly gentleman. He looked like the President of a Bank, but talked like a missionary. He wrote his name in Chinese, the meaning of it is “profit the others.” I thought he must be a returned missionary and asked for his name in English. It was Dr. Ironside, of whom I had heard in New York. Now I felt I must go and see my friend and have a talk with him. “Dr. Ironside,” I said, “have you ever really trusted the Lord?” He said, “Certainly, for over fifty years.” I told him about my story of coming to the Institute. He said, “God is more concerned about your business than yourself.” He promised to pray for me and I went away encouraged. When I got back to the Institute there was a message from Mr. Andrew Gih. He wanted to know where he could get some Chinese Bonds. I told him I had some, and he paid me forty dollars for them, and that was how my first bill at MBI was paid. This experience was of great help to me spiritually, it proved God’s faithfulness to us, when we trust Him.
I have enjoyed my two years at the Institute. It has been a privilege to be a part of that great school with its many activities. It would be wonderful if we could have such a place in China.
There are at present about 1,200 Chinese students in America. Recently, through the kindness of Mr. Hall of the Colportage Association, I have obtained some Gospels of John and a supply of Gen. Chiang’s Bible reading leaflets to mail to the Chinese students in this country. It is my earnest prayer that through these means some may come to know the Lord Jesus Christ and find such joy, peace, and new life, as I have found in Him.