Good morning everyone, a special welcome to my family who have driven in from Toowoomba to be here this morning, to friends and to people visiting Rosalie. For those who don’t know me, g’day I’m Lewis.
I’m a Toowoomba boy through and through born and bred in East Toowoomba. I’ve grown up in a very close and supportive family with my Mum and Dad and two older sisters. We were never really involved with any sort of religion, I sort of looked at church as this foreign place and didn’t really know what the go with it was. I’ll admit I never gave religion the time of day and this ignoring continued until a year ago. I lived with Dan and Trent in student accommodation for the last two years and kept seeing Dan disappear of a Sunday morning to Church and one day he invited me along. I was really nervous and not sure what to expect but I was made comfortable straight away after meeting Joe. Over this past year I’ve learnt a lot about the Gospel and the role Jesus plays in our lives through Church, through hassling Dan and Trent for answers and through my life experiences.
Looking back three years ago I was travelling in Nepal and had the eye opening experience of visiting Belbhanjyang primary school in a third world country. Three years later I’m one year away from being a qualified primary teacher and I’m loving every minute of it. This original experience put in front of me by Jesus, the greatest teacher of all time has brought me to Brisbane, to awesome friendships, to Rosalie Baptist Church and closer to our Lord himself, Jesus Christ. This is just one of my many life experiences shaped by Jesus.
I have lived an unreal life and been very blessed but not everything that has happened has been perfect, we all make mistakes and my greatest mistake of all was not letting God into my life. But Jesus has saved me by taking my sins and giving his own life allowing me to live a life in which I can never be thankful enough for.
I stand here today with Jesus in my heart and I feel like no matter what task I face, big or small I can have faith knowing that whatever happens has happened because Jesus is shaping who I am and who I’m going to become. It’s this faith in the lord that has made me incredibly excited at what’s to come in the future while also making me incredibly thankful for him.
Thank you to everybody for allowing me to share this special day in my life with you.
Lawrence Wong – Baptised August 2016
Good morning everyone, my name is Lawrence. I want to share my testimony to you all on such a significant day for me. There is nothing special about it other than the fact that I have Asian background. Just in case you do not know, I am from China originally. I came to Australia for study about two and half years ago. I am not from a Christian family in china. As a matter of fact, I was still a sceptic three years ago.
I was born and raised in Guangzhou, AKA, Canton, to most of the western countries. The very first time when I heard about Christianity was from my mum. My parents divorced when I was 10, and my father went to Hong Kong and just moved back recently. So I lived with my mum before I came here. The government in China does not encourage people to be religious, the policy is not just aiming at Christianity but to all other religions as well. So if you are not from a Christian family, you would hardly know anything about Christianity. However, the government does not ban the people from preaching their religions. My mum is nothing like a traditional woman in China, she always has her own minds on different matters. So when I first heard about Christianity from her, I was not paying attention at all because I thought that just another one of her fancy ideas. But then I realized, she was obsessed by Christianity and she would spend every bit of her free time on reading the Bible. I also noticed that the ways she dealt with different matters were changed. Instead of being so irritable as she was before, she became more patient and tolerant. She then started to encourage me to pick up the Bible as well. However, I also had my own thoughts back on the days, there were a lot of supernatural stories in the Bible that I just could not force myself to believe. During that time, I still had doubts towards Christianity. That being said, the significant shifts of my mum’s attitudes definitely convinced me that God can shape me into a better person. So I started to go to church with my mum every Sunday.
When I first came to Brisbane, I was alone without any friend or relative. I stayed in a host family which influenced my spiritual journey significantly. Everyone in the family is devout Christian. They were so nice to me and treated me like a member of the family. I felt so warm and blessed in an entirely different environment. I could not thank them enough for that. And then I could not help to wonder why would they treat me like that, I was just an ordinary student who had been assigned to them. They could have just done what they had to do, like giving me food, providing me accommodation and nothing else than that. But the reality was that I truly felt like I am part of the family. I was invited in every single family gathering. It was not long before I realized God has done some works on them, we are all brothers and sisters before God just like a family. At that point, I was still finding the physical evidence which could close the gap between God and me. I said to God, if you want me to follow you, you have to show me something. There was one day, when Patrick, the son of my host, showed me a video of his friends went onto the street and healed an elder’s knee. The old man could not even walk properly for years, but after Patrick’s friends praying for him, God answered the prayer right away, the pain was gone. He then tried to walk for a few steps and he could even leap. The video completely freaked me out. This was the real-life story that was directly copied from the Bible. After that, I was convinced and started to follow God.
However, after a short while, I was told by my mum that my grandfather was in critical condition. He slipped on the tile inside the bathroom and hit his head on the wall. He was not fit before the accident. In fact, he just had a stomach surgery a few months ago. No one noticed he passed out until my grandmother went into the bathroom 20 minutes later. After hanging up my mum, I refrained from tears and prayed for him. A day after, he passed away for cerebral haemorrhage. After I finished my first-year study in Brisbane, I went back to visit my grandmother right away. She had a depression and had been diagnosed renal failure after my grandfather’s death. She was stoked when she saw me, I had always been her favourite grandson. She raised me for 3 years when my parents were too busy for works and were not around me much. Since I was not living in the same city as her and I was staying with mum in Canton, so after checking that she was fine, I went back to Canton. I prayed for her every day and hoped I could take her to Australia some day. But a week after, she was feeling extremely unwell and had been moved to ICU. I was heartbroken and booked the first train in the morning to see her. She looked like an entirely different person a week after. Instead of putting a smile on her face, she looked pale and could barely speak. My mum and my aunts were too busy to get away from works so I was the only kin in the hospital. I was told by the doctor that she was in grave danger and he could do nothing about it. I prayed to God and wished God could use his power to save my grandmother. Unfortunately, miracle did not end up coming. She passed away on Christmas Eve. I was frustrated afterwards, the doubts came across my minds again. I could not help to question myself, where was God when I needed him?
When I was struggling to hold on to my faith, I met Peter at Uni. After learning my thoughts towards Christianity, he offered to help me by having a regular meeting with me once a week in order to give me some guidance. We discussed the verses from the Bible in a particular order which helps me get back on track and truly know God. His mentoring sessions were tremendously helpful for me. I was completely filled to the holy spirit after a semester’s efforts.
Getting baptised means a lot to me. Jesus sacrificed himself in order to wash over our sins, this is only because of God’s amazing grace. I admit that I was a sinner, I have done some sinful things before. But since I trusted Jesus, all my sins have been forgiven and so I am getting baptized to declare that reality. I want to declare my faith to God and become a servant of God from now on. Just as said in Romans Chapter 6, Verse 4: “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, we too may live a new life.” And I am ready to embrace my new life.