Hello, everyone, I’m Eric. Many of you may not know me, as I only recently started coming to The Seed a little over 10 months ago. I’m a student at the University of Waterloo, about to finish my 4th year. Thank you all in advance for listening to my testimony.
For my background, I wasn’t born into a Christian household. Both my parents were not Christian, and neither is my sister. My position with religion and God had always been “Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t, but there isn’t any way to be certain.” Also, I never felt the need for religion. However, I did always have an interest in the Christians around me and the core values they held.
What stood out to me the most was the amount of love they had for each other and how often they would go out of their way to help another in need. I think it was the love shown to me that got me interested. Many people along the way have brought me to where I am now. Two of my closest friends from high school, Raph and Ralph, invited me to a fellowship called True Vine. While I didn’t go very frequently, the few times I did go was my first real exposure to things like singing praise, praying, and the gospel. It was all very foreign to me, but having their company in an unfamiliar setting like that was really helpful, so I’d like to thank them for bringing me out and introducing all of this to me.
In my second year of university, I made a new friend named Evelyn in a carpool on the way to Waterloo over a weekend. From the brief chat we had, we stumbled onto the topic of the Chinese Christian Fellowship she attended. Seeing my previous curiosity from True Vine, she invited me out and introduced me to a lot of people. We grew closer as friends, and eventually, she offered to study the Book of Mark with me. While we were both students with incredibly busy schedules, we did our best to summarize each week’s assigned readings, and share with each other what we thought, what stood out, and any questions we may have. Of course, I’d have far more questions than she did, since it was my first time reading the Book, and the Bible at that. However, she was still incredibly patient with me and managed to answer as many questions as she could. Looking back, I’m so amazed that she would go so far to help a stranger she met from a typical weekend. In the end, we were both too busy with final exams and our schedules to completely finish the book, but she helped keep me accountable and helped me with my first bible study. Even as we began to lose touch from our schedules, she messaged me around the end of the term before the holidays, and gave me a mug as a present for studying the Bible with her. The mug had a passage from the Book of Mark, with the words “Follow Me”. I’m still really grateful for her initiative and effort put into me. We haven’t kept in touch much today but I really want to say thank you, Evelyn.
While I didn’t continue attending the Chinese Christian Fellowship, I had a Chinese friend introduce me to Korean Christian Fellowship in my third year of university. The biggest thing that stood out to me was that she wasn’t Korean, nor Christian. I related a lot to that, so I decided to try it out. At first, I was shy and didn’t go that regularly, but I felt very welcomed the few times I did go. It was the warmest I’ve ever felt with people since coming to Waterloo, despite being with many more strangers than I’m comfortable with. In my second term of 3rd year, I decided to try my best to attend more regularly, and to really learn and experience as much as I could. I started making friendships that I am so thankful for today. I joined a small group that studied the book of James, where I could discuss and learn and connect with people in a smaller, personal setting. I joined the praise team, helping with drums, and discovered that I loved serving and praising. I went to a few retreats like the KCF retreat in January, and Mark Central in May, where I got to study the book of Mark in a very in-depth way, as well as serve on the praise team. All of these things together with an amazing community like KCF really brought me so much joy and I’m so thankful for the new friends that gave me so many opportunities to learn and grow.
10 months ago, in my 4th year, I was back in Toronto for a co-op term, and was looking for a church to attend. That was when Arnold, who I had met from KCF, introduced me to Lampang House Church. I decided to try it out and was immediately greeted with the familiar warm setting I felt in KCF. The first Sunday service that I attended was actually Arnold getting baptized, and it’s incredible because I never would have thought I’d be here giving a testimony 10 months later! It was the house church that really got me feeling the most love. Every week, we would gather to share a meal, sing, and discuss and share our week. I couldn’t believe how comfortable and welcoming everyone was all the time. It really felt like a home away from home, despite them being people I had met only recently. People like Pastor Caleb and Anthony would always make sure to greet me, and listen attentively to what I had to say. It was a really great time where I could be myself and share anything I wanted. Not long after, I attended the Gospel Presentation Session in February. Pastor Caleb did a really good job at explaining the Gospel in a simple, understandable way for me, and I decided to receive Christ on February 26.
The reason I didn’t get baptized right away after that was because I felt like things were still happening too fast, and I didn’t even tell many people about the new activities I had been a part of. For example, many of my non-Christian friends were just finding out that I was now attending church. I was too afraid to tell my family about it out of fear of miscommunication and awkwardness. I wanted to take more time to develop the boldness and courage to be able to communicate my faith properly. This was a prayer request I had when I started the Living Life Bible study series with Pastor Caleb, Edward, and Esther in September. Living life was a really blessed time. To be honest, I was really busy during that period, and didn’t feel going most of the time, but after every session, I was glad I went. It confirmed and corrected a lot of things I thought I knew, and taught me a lot of things as well. One thing that I struggled with particularly was the concept of Salvation. I only had a small understanding of it. We discussed the assurance of Salvation, and Caleb explained it very well to me. I still remember his analogy of how Jesus holds your hand once you receive Christ, and he will never let go, even if you let go. This analogy was really comforting and encouraging to me. Living Life ended around 2 weeks ago, and I decided to try and tell my sister and my parents about my faith. Thankfully, my sister helped me a lot, and after telling them, I decided I was ready to be baptized. A lot of my friends knew now too. I think my prayer request from the start of Living Life was answered. Overall it was a really good time and I’d really recommend it to anyone who can take it.
Looking back to how I felt I never needed God, I feel like God reached out to me first, and desired me so much more before I even desired him. One of the verses I remembered from Living Life and the Gospel Presentation Session is from Revelation 3:20. It says “See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” This verse really stands out to me because I like the image of how Jesus was already at my door, ready and desiring. All I had to do was open the door to let him in. It resonates with me a lot seeing how I never thought I would be here today getting baptized a year ago.
Looking forward, since I’ve received Christ, I’ve begun to look towards praying more in really stressful and hard times. Before, I would shoulder a lot of my struggles on myself, determined to get through it without anyone else. That was very difficult. Now, I find myself praying and it gives me a lot of comfort.
Overall, the extent of people’s initiative and love really moved me and brought me to be more receptive to who Jesus is. I wouldn’t be here today without the support of these people. I really hope that my faith continues to grow and that I will be able to have the same impact on other people.