Following God throughout the Life and Never Turning Back

Chan Choi-ling

B.Th. 1

The Best Decision

In 2006, my family and I moved to Hong Kong from Mainland China. Then, by chance, I joined an English tutorial class organized by a church. The church also arranged a Bible Story Time every Thursday, which allowed me to get to know Jesus gradually. Under the guidance of my mentor in the church, I believed in Lord Jesus, which is the best decision I have ever made in my life. Since then, I have found hope and a new passion for life which has made me passionate about life and people. I began to pursue faith seriously in the fellowship and actively preached the gospel to my relatives and friends around me.

Determined to Take Up the Cross and Follow God

During the summer holidays, before I became a secondary school student in 2008, I joined a summer camp run by a church. Out of a yearning for God’s Word and the joy of interacting with fellow believers, I was willing to take a trip early every day, from Sham Shui Po to the Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary in Sai O, just to listen to sermons and then I would return home. I repeated this pattern for four days without feeling tired. Instead, I enjoyed being immersed in God’s Word. Before the end of the camp, I was deeply shaken by a verse cited in one of the sermons: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24). I realized that I had to deny myself and take up my cross and follow the Lord if I were to be His disciple. At the end of the sermon, the preacher called on us by asking, “Will you commit yourself to preaching and serving God?” At this moment, I was moved to stand up by an urge I had never felt. At my young age, I responded by shouting, “I will!” This took everyone around me by great surprise.

Let Go and Seek

After graduating from a tertiary institute, I got a job at an international beauty parlor. I was well liked by my supervisors and colleagues, which gave me a great sense of achievement. At the same time, the job allowed me to have contact with people in the upper classes. By interacting with them, I witnessed the complexity and decay present in human nature. On the other hand, I witnessed my colleagues burying their heads in their work every day, all trapped in a rat race. I asked them what was the meaning behind such hard work but I got no satisfactory reply. Could it be said that people just exist for making money throughout their lives? I asked myself honestly, “Is my life going to be just like this?”

Meanwhile, our church had set up a homework guidance class, which badly needed someone willing to serve. I struggled as to whether I should respond to this need of the church. I prayed to God that I would respond to His calling if He gave me very clear instructions. However, a mentor at church challenged me by saying, “When a person has faith, one needs to take corresponding actions. Unless we are willing to offer ourselves to God, we shall never see God’s wonderful guidance on us.” As a result, I made up my mind to let go of the well-paid job and put up with reproaches from the family and the way others looked at me. I chose to take up a path of serving God, which not many would agree to or understand. Thus, I took up a new job as an evangelical administrator in the church.

Instead of saying what I had foregone for God, I would rather say everything was a blessing and grace from God. Frankly, I did not have Joseph’s abilities, Abraham’s faith, Jacob’s insistence, or Daniel’s awe of God, but God was still willing to call on me and use me. He had given me lots of chances to serve Him by putting me in different positions at church, hence accumulating experiences for learning to serve lives with my life.

Step Out with Courage

In July 2020, I attended the 39th Spiritual Revival Meeting of the Baptist Convention of Hong Kong under the theme of “Light amidst the Darkness.” During the vocation time at the end of the sermon, God asked me again, “Are you willing to serve me full-time? Are you willing to preach the gospel for me?” I was deeply moved and stood up in response to His calling. I didn’t realize it then but this showed my determination to embark on full-time ministry. What still deterred me were thoughts about studying. After all, I had experienced too many frustrations in my previous education. The fear of studying made me give up the idea of receiving theological training again and again. Nevertheless, God sent lots of people to stand by me with encouragement and support. They reminded me that I must study theology to equip myself before I could have a better life and serve others and be a witness to God. Besides, during my devotion and spiritual reading, the verse “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” appeared again, refreshing my memory of the moment when I stood up to show my determination to commit to God. In this way, I made a brave decision to study theology at the seminary.

Perhaps, God meant to train me to overcome my fear by calling me to enter the seminary so that I might get myself well-prepared to become a vessel that could be more useful to Him. Thank God! He sought me amidst the crowd. He chose me so I could respond to Him. May I keep my heart simple and pure to God in the complicated world and follow Him throughout my life without turning back.