Finding Home Again
by one of our May 2017 Baptisees
I was raised in a Christian family. My father converted to Christianity as an adult after meeting my mother. We attended a Roman Catholic Church. As a child, I was raised with Bible study and went through my youthful commitments of Christening and Holy Communion. The church was ministered to by a brotherhood of priests and it had this incredibly wholesome and supportive community. I think it was after the separation of my parents that we left the church – too much interference from the community in their personal business made my parents uncomfortable and resentful.
As a young family, we pulled away from the church for some time. We eventually found our way back to an Evangelical Church, where my parents were baptised. But I never felt comfortable. I think the attitudes of the church members and their engagement with you can be just as important when bringing followers closer to Christ. With the usual stroppy teenage attitude, I just stopped attending. When my parents split again for the final time, we once again left the church when they tried to force reconciliation.
It felt natural to pray, and I knew in my heart that God was listening and was going to be there to help me and my family through our difficulties.
Over the next few years, my family life was very turbulent. We were split apart and we did not have the support networks that had previously been there. There was a lot of upheaval with regular moves, poor mental health, and many financial difficulties. We were never stationary for very long and this made it hard to find a way back to church.
When I went away to University, I began to rekindle my relationship with God. My mother and brother had moved overseas, and my father passed away at the beginning of my second year. I needed a lot of strength to get through the continuous ups and downs. It felt natural to pray, and I knew in my heart that God was listening and was going to be there to help me and my family through our difficulties.
He taught me to rely on those around me and my own abilities, a lesson I found very difficult.
It felt like selfish prayer: I was not rejoicing in God or praising him, I was reaching out for healing and strength. Nevertheless, I really felt God’s presence with me, especially around the time of my father’s death. There was no overwhelming sense of presence, but a more quiet voice guiding and supporting me, helping me in the right direction. He taught me to rely on those around me and my own abilities, a lesson I found very difficult.
A couple of years later in Vietnam, I again tried to return to the Catholic church, but it didn’t feel like home. Then I moved to Hong Kong a year ago. My friend was attending The Vine and I asked if I could go along with her. It was so nice to find a warm and welcoming community, with this huge emphasis on bettering your relationship with God and faith, and I found what I had been looking for.
While I have never doubted my faith and belief, my personal interactions with the Lord had been increasing, and by the time I attended The Vine, I was ready and willing to start my learning process again. I now feel like baptism is the next step in my journey of learning and growth and I am very excited to be able to do this, with such a wonderful group of people. Let’s get dunked!!!!!!!!!
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