From an Atheist to Christian,and from a single mom to a mom of 9 kids

Before my divorce when I was 28, everything in my life ran so smoothly. Going to school, being a good student, then finding a job, getting married, having a kid…I thought life would just continue to be nice and easy. I had built an emotional mansion in my life, and I had put everything inside, such as school, career, marriage, children, and even my future. I felt like it’s solid and beautiful and would last forever.

At that time, the pillar of my mansion was marriage, which I now know was wrong. Then when my marriage was taken away the whole building just collapsed. I fell apart. I doubted everything. I did not believe in love or promises anymore. I also doubted my own value. Had I myself done too many things wrong, so that I could not save my marriage? Then I doubted the meaning of life. When I thought I had everything under control, it was gone in a second. If life just works in that way, what’s the point of trying so hard?

There was a time when I was very depressed. It was then that a miracle happened and God reached out to me. As I was depressed, I lost much weight, I only weighed around 80 pounds instead of my normal 95. One day when I was walking in my own neighborhood, I encountered a neighbour who had never talked to me about Jesus. But that day she said to me, “Helen, you cannot continue to be like this any longer; I want to you go to a place and see whether they can help you.” At that time, I did not want to talk about this with my parents who were already sad; my baby was too little to understand what mom was going through; and I did not want to complain to my friends….so when she mentioned a place I could go that might be of some help, I just went there without too much thinking. It was only two minutes away from my apartment. How could I know at that moment this decision would change my whole life, even my eternal life!

It was a house church. That was the first time I had stepped into a church in all my 28 years. That apartment was not big. It was very crowded; even the bathroom was full of people, which surprised me a lot. They all sat on small chairs, with a book in their hands. They talked about things that I totally could not understand at all, like God, Jesus, the Cross, His Blood, etc. But when they sang a hymn, the name of which was “Except You,” I felt like big hands came down from above into my heart. When they sang “Who else do I have in heaven, I have no attachment on the earth either,” I thought there was a person who could comfort me, who knew my grievance, my pain……tears poured down my face like a river. People there cried with me and prayed with me too. After that, I kept going there for two months. I did not get to know God a lot in those two months, but what touched me most was their love for me, and the God who has such an inclusive love. I soon accepted the Lord to be my Savior, in September of 2006, two months after my divorce. The next year, my son and my mom accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, too. Praise the Lord!

After this chapter, God blessed me with a very godly husband in 2010. That’s another miracle, another amazing story. But nothing is bigger than the salvation one. I moved to Houston with my son in 2011. As my husband has 8 kids (4 biological ones, 4 adopted ones), plus mine, we had 9 in total when we got married. I have stayed at home taking care of the family, but in my spare time I have never stopped telling others about our God and what He has done in my life.

I started an evangelical e-magazine around 2013, then a podcast in 2014. The kitchen is my seminary. :slight_smile: I listen to sermons or watch YouTube speeches (like RZIM) when I cook or do other chores. My online podcast channel has been shut down 3 times by the government; now I sometimes send MP3 files to people through email or instant chat tools. I have more than 10,000 subscribers for my e-magazine (on the WeChat platform) now, most of whom are from Mainland China. I don’t know how long it can last, but as long as I can share His story, I am going to continue. I just feel I need to be equipped better to face the current culture; that’s why I am here.

I am so grateful for God’s grace and mercy on me, and I am thankful that I can meet so many brothers and sisters here with the same passion. I am looking forward to learning from you, and I hope my story will encourage some of you too. God bless!

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So beautiful, @goodellena! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. What an amazing work He is doing in and through you! :raised_hands:

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Fascinating @goodellena
Am so blessed reading your post. May He continue His work in your life and in the life of those around you. Your kingdom come oh Lord.

Grace and more grace
Glory to God in the highest

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@goodellena What a testimony!! Thanks so much for sharing. It truly blessed me.

Your story reminds all of us the importance of inviting other people to church and following the Lord’s leading when he prompts us to speak to other people. Sometimes we never know the impact that a simple invitation will have on another.

I found this line especially touching:

I felt like big hands came down from above into my heart.

What a sweet way of describing the Lord’s tenderness to us. He knew exactly how to reach you, and when to reach you…and he can do the same for every other person.

I also really appreciate this line:

I did not get to know God a lot in those two months, but what touched me most was their love for me, and the God who has such an inclusive love.

Something that I like to remember is that the greatest apologetic of all is love - and I think your testimony shows why :slight_smile:

Reading your story after your salvation is so exciting! It shows how the Lord is so faithful and good to us. I’m so happy that your mother and son also came to know Jesus, and that the Lord has given you a godly husband. And how exciting to have your platform expanding.

I really like this:

The kitchen is my seminary.

That reveals such a great attitude and a determination to do what the Lord has called you to do. It’s like sanctification of the ordinary places of our lives because we can learn about God wherever we are. I’m going to remember that - this gives me a whole new outlook on learning about the Lord and I’m really glad you mentioned that.

Finally, I appreciate that you say,

I don’t know how long it can last, but as long as I can share His story, I am going to continue.

May all of us have the same attitude!

Many blessings. Thanks so much for sharing how God has worked in your life - it made me pause to reflect on the ways that the Lord has been faithful to me. Your story truly encouraged me :slight_smile:

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This is an incredible testimony. Thank you for sharing with us. I am happy for you and your family and I am so inspired by your passion :heart:

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@goodellena thanks so much for sharing your story. I was so blessed to read this and am so grateful for how God is using you in China. God is SO good.

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@goodellena, I am so amazed by how God has led you and expanded your sphere of influence as you turned to Him! That it was the love and presence of God that convicted you tells me where the focus needs to be the most. May His presence overflow in our lives just as in that prayerful house-church! Finding time with 9 children is itself a miracle. :slight_smile: Thank you for sharing! I look forward to reading more from the many experiences God has taken you through as you contribute here on the forums. Thanks again!

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Shu @goodellena,

What an incredible testimony and thank you for sharing. You never really know what a simple invitation can do like how Jesus made a straightforward invitation of “Come, follow Me.” I am encouraged to keep inviting others too who I may not know is asking God for direction at that point. I am also reminded that sometimes it’s about the love shown to a person that is the apologetic that will ultimately persuade a person of the love of God. I pray to God that He will powerfully use You more in sharing your testimony to as many people as possible.

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Shu, what a blessing to hear of God’s merciful, powerful hand in your life! Your testimony makes me want to sing “Love Lifted Me!” Thank you for sharing here.

Blessings!

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