After graduating from school in Mainland China, Stephen* was fortunate to gain a full scholarship to a university in Macau. Six months into his accounting studies he was selected to do a year of his studies at a university abroad. Stephen had always been very studious but had often become very anxious leading up to exams. After just five months of study Stephen was facing his first lot of examinations in a foreign country. Without the support of his family and friends Stephen’s anxiety quickly led to deep depression and he contemplated ending his life. One day, feeling extremely depressed, he slumped down onto the seat of a train wondering if now was the time to end it all. Little did he know that God had other plans! The man he sat down next to was a follower of Jesus who had previously lived for many years in Hong Kong. He quickly engaged Stephen in conversation about how God could give him hope and new meaning in his life. Feeling there was no other option, Stephen committed his life to Jesus. His depression lifted and Stephen, with the help of his new-found friend, began a life of following Jesus. He was quickly introduced to a community of faith on campus who encouraged and discipled him.
After his year abroad it was time to return to Macau and resume his studies there. Stephen quickly became part of Oasis International Church and a committed member of a home group. While Stephen does from time to time feel a little anxious, especially around exam times, he has never come close to the pits of despair he had previously felt. Stephen credits his relationship with Jesus and the value he has found in God, along with the support and encouragement of his home group and church, as being the key things that have helped him discover and live “life in all its fullness” (John 10:10).
Story from Neil
Neil serves in East Asia with his wife Barb
* For security reasons we have not used Stephen’s real name.