BLESSINGS UPON BLESSINGS
Mike Yuan — Canoga Park, California, USA
When I was preparing for this
testimony, I was reminded of the story of when the Lord Jesus healed the woman
who had been bleeding for twelve years, as recorded in Luke chapter 8. No one
was able to heal her, so she came to the Lord Jesus with the faith that if she
could touch the edge of His cloak, she would be cured.
Once she touched Him, the Lord
Jesus felt that power go out from Him. He immediately asked, “Who touched Me?”
The woman, knowing that she would not go unnoticed, came trembling before the
crowd to witness why she had touched Him and how she was instantly healed.
Like the woman, I wish to testify
of how God’s power has worked many miracles in my life.
NO SENSE OF BELONGING
My testimony actually starts in
1984, when I was in first grade. I was six years old at the time and it was my
first day of Chinese school. I remember I was extremely shy and terrified as I
entered a room full of strangers. But in one corner of the room, I saw a boy
who coincidently went to the same elementary school as I did.
I told my mom about him and she
said, “Why don’t you sit next to him?” From that moment on, we became fast
friends, and we are still really good friends today. From elementary school to
college, we followed each other from school to school. Some years, we would see
each other every day of the week.
Having a friend like that really
helped me during my childhood because my parents were constantly fighting at
home. There would be lots of yelling, sometimes throwing, and sometimes
hitting. I was in third grade when my parents got divorced. I chose to live
with my mom and visited my dad every other weekend.
It was very difficult growing up.
It seemed like my life was never complete and I had no sense of belonging. I
went through a variety of emotions: rage, loneliness, aimlessness, depression,
anger, fear, and even violence. The emotional roller coaster caused me to do
things that I now very much regret.
FINDING GOD AT SCHOOL
During my last year of high
school, I narrowed my selection of colleges to UCLA (University
of California in Los
Angeles) and UCSD (University
of California in San Diego).
I had a very difficult time
choosing which college to attend. There were pros and cons for each school. In
the end, I told myself that I would flip a coin. If the coin landed on heads, I
would go to UCLA, and if the coin landed on tails, I would go to UCSD. I
determined to flip only once, and whatever side the coin landed on was the
school I would go to. The coin landed on heads.
On my first day of school at UCLA,
I discovered that I once again had the same math class as my friend from first
grade. In that class, he introduced me to another classmate, who was a member
of the True Jesus Church (TJC). I sat with him every math class that quarter,
and we became friends. After that quarter though, I did not have another class
with him and rarely saw him until the end of my second year of college.
I stayed in the campus dormitories
the first two years of school. I was planning to stay with my uncle, who had
just bought a new place near campus, in my third year. A week before school
ended, he suddenly got married, and I was booted out of my next year’s living
quarters even before I had a chance to move in.
During the last week of school in
June, while I was walking back to my room to continue studying for my last
final, I saw my friend from math class, and he was moving out of the dorms to
go home. We greeted each other and the conversation eventually led to next
year’s living situation. He told me that he might need a roommate, but he
wasn’t sure. I told him that I might need a place to stay, but I wasn’t sure. I
gave him my number, and we went on our separate ways.
It wasn’t until the end of August
that I received an unexpected phone call from him. He called to say that he was
planning to stay with this other guy, who was also a True Jesus Church member.
They needed one more roommate, and he was wondering if I was still interested.
At that time, I was in the process of searching for a roommate but hadn’t found
a suitable person, so I quickly agreed.
During that school year in 1999,
the TJC UCLA campus fellowship met every week in our apartment, so it was hard
for me to avoid the topic of church and God. I began learning about the Lord
Jesus Christ, salvation, and eternal life. What role did Jesus play in
salvation? What do I need to do to be saved? Why does everyone pray so funny?
Every week, I learned a little
more about God, and through the help and the care of the brothers and sisters
in the UCLA fellowship, I went from doubt to a point where I was praying
fervently for the Holy Spirit. I believed that the Holy Spirit was necessary to
enter the kingdom of heaven, and I desired to experience God the way all the
UCLA brothers and sisters experienced Him.
I FINALLY FOUND MY HOME
By the grace of God, I was
baptized on March 12, 2000.
As described in Acts :
“Repent, be baptized and you will receive the promise of the Holy Spirit.” John
3:5 adds: “No one can enter the kingdom of heaven unless they are born of the
water and the Spirit.”
I figured I would first get
baptized and then worry about getting the Holy Spirit later. That way, I would
meet at least half of the requirements, which was better than none at all. But
thank God, the day I received water baptism was also the same day I received
the Holy Spirit—exactly the way it was described in Acts 2:38.
Later that same day, I also had my
first Holy Communion. I was very emotional the entire service. The pastor made
sure not to leave out any details of how the Lord Jesus was betrayed and the
pain that He had to endure. I tried to hold back my tears for as long as I
could, but I eventually gave up—it was too hard.
I asked myself, “Did Jesus go
through so much pain just for me? Did I cause Jesus so much pain and suffering?
Who am I that He should care enough to be tortured, disgraced, and crucified
When we knelt down for prayer, I
saw a vision. I saw the impression of two men. One of the men was beating and
striking the other. He was hitting and kicking the other man down to the floor,
but the other man never fought back. Every time he was beaten and fell to the
floor, he would always get up just to be beaten down again.
Taking a closer look into the eyes
of the man that was doing the hitting; I saw a familiar rage and a familiar
pain. Then, I realized that that person was me, and it was not long before I
realized that the other person was our Lord Jesus Christ.
Was I the one beating Jesus? Was I
just like the Roman soldiers that whipped, beaten, and mocked Jesus? I kept
watching the other man get knocked down over and over again, and every single
time he fell to the floor he always got up, ready to get knocked down again. I
looked into His eyes and saw His pain and suffering.
I also saw His love.
“Stop beating Him!” I cried out.
Then, I turned to my Lord Jesus, “Why don’t You just stay down? Stop getting
up—it’s not worth it!” But I kept seeing myself beating Him repeatedly. I kept
pleading and pleading until I fell to my knees, closed my eyes, and wept
I was the one who hurt Him; the
one that caused His pain every time I pushed Him away in my life, every single
time I disobeyed Him, and every time I was angry or fearful. All of these were
blows and strikes I took out on Him.
While I was weeping in prayer, I
felt two arms enfold me with warmth the way a father’s arms would embrace his
son. It was like I had finally found my home. Then, I suddenly felt my tongue
begin to roll, and, like a dam bursting open, I felt the love and power of the
Holy Spirit rush to every part of my body.
As I look back on my life, there
would have been so many times where, had I made the other choice, I would not
have been led to God. If I had never met my friend in first grade, I would have
never met my roommate, or if the coin had flipped to tails, or if my uncle had
never gotten married…
I also look back and think of all
the things in my life that had caused me pain and sorrow; if those events had
never taken place, I would not be who I am today, and I might not have had a
need to know God or to pursue for the Holy Spirit. I lived a good portion of my
life without a father figure, but I can now value and cherish having a Father
This was how I touched the edge of
BUILDING GOD’S HOUSE
When I was small my mom taught me
very well about how to save money. From her, I learned to live frugally. During
college, my mom paid for my tuition, but I worked two to three jobs so that I
could support myself with everything else.
After I graduated and one year
after I was baptized, I continued working at one of the jobs I had in college.
I did not make a lot of money, but I was happy and content. The job was never
in conflict with Sabbath services, Bible studies, and fellowships. I enjoyed
the projects I worked on and the people I worked with, and the job was low
stress with good benefits that provided for all my needs.
During this time, the Canoga Park
Prayer House was preparing to purchase a chapel, but we still lacked $316,000.
Every time I prayed, I would always have this burning desire to do more for God
and to contribute to the purchasing of the chapel. I decided that I would offer
seventy-five percent of my twenty-two years’ worth of savings towards the
At the same time, I was also haphazardly
looking for a new job. I was randomly sending out my resume to various job
search websites, and I was really surprised when a company called me up one day
for an interview. Thank God, I got the job. The miraculous thing was that the
new job offered me a forty-percent raise. This was very good timing because I
could offer the extra money from the new job to the chapel fund.
On my first day of work, I found
out that the company was in “Chapter Eleven,” which means that the company is
in the process of re-organization. Even though the company was not doing well,
it was able to stay afloat with business.
Thank God, for the two years that
I worked in that company, He allowed it to avoid bankruptcy. And He gave me the
opportunity to offer and contribute to the building of His house.
Give Me Neither Poverty Nor Riches
Through the grace of God, CanogaParkChurch was dedicated to
Him on May 18, 2003.
Two weeks before the dedication, I
found out that my company finally ran out of funds and was bankrupt, which
meant I was out of work. Around this time, another brother at CanogaPark
was also laid off. We should have been in great distress, but instead, God
inspired the two of us to help with the dedication preparations, so I did not
feel depressed about losing my job or worry about finding another one.
After the dedication, I spent the
next two weeks trying to find work. Through God’s grace, I was working by the
third week. The company that offered me the position also offered a fifty percent
raise from my previous job. I was reluctant to accept their offer because I was
aware of the temptations of wealth and status.
Money can easily become an idol in
our hearts and cause us to stray away from our Lord Jesus Christ, so I always
encourage myself with a passage from Proverbs:
Two things I request of You
(Deprive me not before I die):
Remove falsehood and lies far from me;
Give me neither poverty nor riches—
Feed me with the food allotted to me;
Lest I be full and deny You,
And say, "Who is the LORD?"
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God.” (Prov 30:7-9)
I asked the company to pay me a
little less. At first they did not understand what I was asking for and did not
understand why anyone would request for something like that. In the end, they
were insistent about their offer, so I accepted the job.
While working for this company,
God constantly guided and protected me, and I was still able to attend church
services and local fellowships. After working there for about a year, I thought
to check my bank statement one day.
I never usually pay much attention to my
savings accounts; in fact, I probably check once every year. But when I did
check that day, I found out that, within three years of work and what I offered
to church, my earnings exceeded twenty-two years’ worth of life savings. God
had repaid all the money that I had offered.
Thank God that He has since helped
me find another job. Even though the pay is lower, the work is more stable and
brings me closer to church.
SEEK FIRST HIS KINGDOM
I feel as if my experience was
just like that of Abraham. He was willing to offer to God his son Isaac, his
most precious possession, on the mountain of the Lord. Not only did God give
Isaac back to Abraham, He also added to Abraham blessings too numerous to
Abraham was able to offer his best
to God because he lived a God-centered life. His decisions and actions revolved
I compare my life from when I
first began to attend the UCLA campus fellowship to now, and I find that the
greatest difference between my past and the present is how I used to anchor my
life in the world. When I was first introduced to God, I would attend
fellowship or service only when I had time, when I did not have class, or when
I did not have to study.
The more I attended fellowship and
church services, the more my life shifted from the world towards God. Instead
of missing fellowship for class, I would schedule my classes around fellowship.
When I was searching for a new job
after being laid off, I insisted on finding a job that would allow me to attend
every Sabbath service both Friday nights and Saturdays. I would set those two
times aside so that I could focus on worshipping God and helping out with
As I move towards a more
God-centered life, He encourages me time and time again with Matthew 6:33: “But
seek first the kingdom
of God and His
righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
During the past few years, God has
given me very little to worry about in my life. I find myself worrying more
about church matters than my own. Truly, when we offer our best on the mountain
of the Lord, God will provide and He will add blessings upon blessings.
I thank God for the opportunity to
be His instrument. May all the glory and honor be unto the Lord Jesus’ name.