Lin Hai was born in a rural village in Hubei in 1979. Since his childhood days, he had always been deemed bright and studious, and was the first person from his village to graduate from college. After graduating from college, Lin secured a position at a foreign trading company in Shenzhen due to his fluency in the English language. He enjoyed a high income. Everything was going well for Lin.
Life did not remain rosy. In 2013, during the Spring Festival season, a bitter argument involving Lin, his wife and his extended family led to a divorce between the spouses shortly after. In 2014, Lin resigned from his well-paying job at Shenzhen and left for Ningbo, Zhejiang Province.
Lin recalls, “After the divorce, my ex-wife had a challenging time raising our daughter by herself in Shenzhen. She sought spiritual comfort; and through her friend’s sharing of the Word of God, my ex-wife accepted the Lord.” When Lin returned to Shenzhen in 2015 to visit his daughter, he was enraged to discover that his ex-wife had been sharing God’s Word with their child. This led to the first of countless furious exchanges that took place between the ex-spouses.
“I was raised to think the Bible was a myth. I thought only fools believed what was written in the Bible.” Lin aimed to find ambiguities in the Bible to challenge his ex-wife’s faith, and so began to read the Bible, albeit with a skeptical eye and with scrutiny.
One day, upon invitation from his ex-wife, Lin attended a church service as he was curious to find out what it entailed. An old gentleman shared with him that he had been a believer of another religion for more than 30 years before he decided to accept the Christian faith. The sharing left a deep impression on Lin.
“My ex-wife gave me a copy of ‘Song of a Wanderer’, a devotion material, and after reading the book, I gradually began to believe in the authenticity of and the truths written in the Bible.” Lin began to spend considerable time intensively reading and studying the Word of God. He was compelled to dig deeper into the Word as he read on. He would even drive for hours to the suburban neighbourhoods to attend different church services to hear the Word of God preached.
Lin shares, “The Bible is God’s manual to us; it tells us where we come from, how we should live and even what happens in life beyond death. We need to ask for humility, guidance and wisdom to read, study, understand and apply the truths from the Bible. The Word of God is spiritual nourishment and we must depend on it always.”
The changes in Lin’s beliefs and values saw to transformation in his life. He no longer puts his needs and desires first; instead of asserting his opinions, he tries to practice listening to others first; he does not seek entertainment from KTV lounges and nightlife activities. “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” (Philippians 3:7)
Lin felt a need to improve on his parenting skills. He attended an online course on parent-child relationships. He also tries spending as much time as he can with his daughter. The pastor from his church commended him for being an exemplary model as a parent. An article featuring Lin’s changes as a father was even published in the church magazine!
Lin observed changes in his daughter too. “These days, our daughter prays about almost everything! She not only prays for her own needs, but she has learnt to pray for others as well.” Joy radiated on Lin’s face as he recounts.
Lin and his ex-wife eventually mended their broken relationship and married again in 2017. “My wife had been praying fervently for God to bring us together again in Holy matrimony. What we have today is entirely because of His Grace.” The family of three has since settled in Ningbo.
“Two Scriptures have had the greatest impact on me. The first is from The Gospels in Matthew 24:35, ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away’. The other is from the Book of Hebrews 1:11-12, ‘… they will perish, but You remain… But You are the same, and Your years will have no end’. These verses made me realise the greatness of God and in comparison, how insignificant man is.”
Story: Lydia Zhang and Elaine Ho
Photo: UBS CP
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