Truth in the UK's public square

My Life Story – George Jiang (from China)

I was born in the town of Liaocheng, Shandong Province, China in 2002. I grew up in a family of three: my father, mother and me. My parents are great and hardworking people. They grew up in poverty in Manchuria, but they worked hard and gave me a very comfortable life in my hometown. My parents did well raising me up. They taught me moral lessons, and punished me when I did wrong, like lying, stealing, and swearing. But they don’t know God. My grandparents don’t know God either. They don’t have a belief. My parents never told me how the world started and how humans came to be, because they themselves don’t know. I only learnt in biology class of the evolution theory and the early earth condition, but I never gave serious thoughts to those things. I just lived happily without thinking about these important life questions in my childhood.

I came to Canada after I turned 16, in 2018. First, I went to Vancouver, BC, for three years of high school. These three years were crucial to my development. My understanding of the world around me really started to grow. Not long after I arrived, I asked for a Bible because I thought it was “the religion of Canada” and I wanted to learn about it. I also went to a church, but nothing impressed me, so I stopped going. I never really read the Bible. During those 3 years, I was just busy exploring the new city and studying hard at school. But I was aware I was getting into bad things, things that I wouldn’t think of when I was young. I started to watch awful things on the Internet. I started to swear and have really bad thoughts in my heart, like lust, pride, despising people, greed and hypocrisy. I was aware of them all. Because I practised meditation since I was 12 – although I stopped long ago – I was still used to looking into myself and reflecting. I was aware of the changes in my heart, but I couldn’t get rid of them. Those activities and thoughts sometimes could make me feel good. I was actually enjoying them.

When I was 18, at the end of grade 12 semester, for a few months I was lost. It was the time that I needed to decide for university. I didn’t want to do anything. I started to think about the meaning of life. At that time, I thought to myself: even if I live a long life, I do things that make me happy, what’s the meaning after all, after I die? If I die, everything will be gone; what’s the meaning of my life then? I was deeply troubled and a little depressed. But I couldn’t just figure it out myself and I found no answer. During my time in BC, I also developed a love for nature. More and more I started to appreciate the wonders of nature. Sometimes I would wonder if there’s a higher being behind all the mountains and stars in this great universe.

In the summer of 2021, I crossed Canada and came to Prince Edward Island for University. On the “Warmshowers” website, I found a family in Cornwall, and asked to stay during Covid isolation and while looking for accommodation on PEI. During my first supper with them I found out they are a Christian family. They “gave thanks” for the food in prayer. I thought to myself: that was really nice! They were grateful. At that time, I was still interested in religion and culture. I wanted to learn about their religion (I thought Christianity was just “a religion”). They shared how they became Christians, and some things written in the Bible about heaven, hell, sin and salvation. They told me about future events predicted in the Bible. I took everything in, though I was not sure about those things and whether those stories were really true. I didn’t relate the stories to myself, and take it personally. But I was interested, and I listened to what they said.

Straight after my quarantine, there happened to be a large tent in someone’s field in Cornwall, PEI. I was invited by my host family to hear the gospel preached in this tent. I didn’t even know what gospel meant. They told me it’s “good news”. Anyway, I was interested so I went. In mid-August, two preachers, Scott MacLeod and David Herlihy, preached the gospel of Christ Jesus for two weeks. I still remembered that as I listened, I started to take it seriously. I realised it is a personal message and started to think for myself. Every night, they preached Christ died on the cross for sinners and is alive again from the dead. After 4 evenings, I became aware that I am a sinner in front of God: the things I have done wrong are sins against God. Sinful thoughts came so easily to my mind, and I keep sinning because it is my nature! I learned that hell is for people who die in their sins, and it lasts for eternity. I didn’t want to go to hell. I wanted to go to heaven, where there is rest and enjoyment forever.

On the 4th night, on Thursday, August 19th 2021, after the meeting, the grandma in the host family asked me about my thoughts about salvation. I told her that I wanted to be saved but I don’t know how. She showed me a verse from Old Testament: Isaiah 53:5. I didn’t understand it. Then she showed me Romans 10:9 – “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” It was like a light in my head, I understood from the Bible this is the definition of how to be saved! But it wasn’t until the Saturday that I understood salvation. I was standing on a wharf, thinking about salvation, and a Bible verse came to my mind – Romans 5:6 – “When we were yet without strength, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.” I thought in my head: I am an ungodly sinner, so Christ died for me! That’s the moment I understood what Jesus did for me and I became saved. I was without strength, I couldn’t do anything; but God did everything! He sent his Son to die for me, so I don’t need to die and go to hell.

I am so happy that I know I am going to heaven because the Son of God died for me. What’s more, he is alive now in heaven because God raised him from the dead. The message of the Lord Jesus is a personal message. You need to seriously think about your own condition before God and see for yourself how much God loves you and what has the Lord Jesus done for you. God is holy and righteous but also loving and merciful. This message is also for every living person, because “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Every person is born a sinner, by nature and practice. Just look around the world to see the evil that is there. The important things to find out about Jesus are: Who is he? Why did he die? Where is he now? Now I know and I can assure you that Bible is not a mere “religious text”. Being a born-again Christian is not following a religion. God created this world! His Son Jesus came down and walked on the earth. He did miracles. He died and is alive again! All of this is true and really happened!

After I was saved, I had some doubts, but they were cleared up by the Bible. What is Bible? The New Testament was written by the disciples and apostles after the Lord Jesus went back to heaven. They were the ones who followed Him for three and half years and saw what he did, and witnessed his death and resurrection. They found out who Jesus is and followed him. The Old Testament, given to the nation of Israel, were written by many different prophets across over 1,000 years, inspired by the Spirit of God. They are not only historical recordings and teachings, but also prophecies about the Messiah. All the prophecies pointing to Christ were fulfilled when Jesus came. This is why I put my trust in the authority of Bible, because it is not from men, but God.

Have you thought about the meaning of life and where you would go after death? It is urgent because we don’t know when we will die! My earnest heart and greatest wish for you is that you would think seriously about your own soul, and eternity after death. I hope you would find out for yourself your own condition in front of God, who Jesus is and what he has done for you to save. I hope you will think seriously about salvation and be saved.

Michael J. Penfold – 0345 257 1030 or