Staff
     
 
Bie Hwa Chen Ma
University Librarian
925-323-8078
  Idealist:

In the Confucianism dominated culture in Taiwan decades ago, the students of secondary schools and above were required to recite Confucius’ words in all kinds of tests. During my high school and college years, I felt proud of being a Chinese because Confucianism originated from China. I tried to live a life like a saint, a perfect person, according to the teaching from Confucius’ moral standard.

Just Live:

After a period of time, I grew frustrated by my personal failure to be able to sustain Confucius’ standards and by the darkness I observed in the world. I came to realize that the words and actions of people were often conflicted and, to my disappointment, I found that same hypocrisy within myself. As a result of these internal struggles, my heart gradually became numb and my dreams of personal perfection dwindled. Nonetheless, I continued to live a normal life; I married, worked a job, and raised my children.

Turning point:

My situation started to change when a couple invited my family to an evangelical church in the Los Angeles area, where my husband was pursuing his graduate degree. At that time, I could not understand why the belief in Jesus was of such great importance in the couple’s lives. However, I soon became eager to learn more about God and Jesus as the speaker’s sermon struck me when he asked "Why do you reject Jesus when you know nothing about Him?"

Paradise in the World:

A few months after this challenging encounter, my family and I moved to San Francisco Bay Area and a friend, newly converted to a belief in Jesus Christ, invited me to a women’s Bible study. While there, I was surprised to hear that most of the teaching reminded me of my previous dreams. I came to believe that the Bible had the best philosophy that would solve most of the problems of human beings, but I could not accept the ‘supernatural stories’. Six months later, my whole family was invited to two consecutive weeks of sermons, church activities, and gatherings at private homes. My husband, Jeffrey, had prepared some tough questions to ask about Christianity at some of these sessions, yet he had remained silent until the end of one session when he made this comment; “Christians’ activities seem more meaningful than other activities in our society.” It was incredible to me that there was such a real world, full of loving, peaceful, and joyful people. I felt like I had found my lost paradise back in my heart again.

Critical Point toward Baptism:

While I was still overwhelmed by the changes God had made in us, Jeffrey expressed his interest in taking the Saturday baptism class, which was intended for those who were ready for the Thanksgiving baptism two weeks later. I decided to attend the class with him. Among the ten participants, I was the only one who was not ready to accept Christ because I was still looking for the proof and I still had feelings of being disconnected from Him. My husband asked me why I had been able to believe in the ridiculous rumors about ghosts without any proof, but did not believe in the God who had revealed so much undeniable truth to me. I prayed to the Lord and told Him that I wanted to make the big step of faith to accept and experience Him, even though I still had so many questions. I thought that, if He is the true God, He would come to find me and connect with me. Jeffrey and I were baptized together in 1990.

Experienced God:

As a young Christian, I diligently obtained Bible knowledge from Sunday Schools, conventions, workshops, Women’s Bible Study Fellowship, and cell groups. But, emotionally, I did not experience God’s love much until I had to solve the problems of my teenage children alone, as my husband was away for many years, working in Taiwan. During this time, I learned how to trust and obey Him in my daily life. I realized how true His Word stands and how our prayers can move His heart. With His grace, mercy, faithfulness, power, and guidance, I can not only face tomorrow, but also live my life to the fullest. I would say that the belief in Christ is the best and right thing for my life.

Recommitment:

My youngest child left for college last year. In reflection, I am grateful that God gave me some difficult times while raising my children. Through those times, I was able to see His glory and I committed myself more to Him. I want to continue to seek His will for decisions and follow His direction, because I know His goodness and mercy will follow me for the rest of my life.

 
 
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