Testimony of Liu Yali, China National Women’s Soccer Team, Defender.
Liu Yali was born in Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province. She discovered her fondness for soccer at a tender age of 8 years old. In 1999, she gained entry to China’s National Youth Soccer Team. Shortly after a year, she was selected for China’s National Women’s Soccer Team. Her talent as a defender is undeniable and her career appears to progress smoothly. As a national player, Yali shares the same dream as her team mates – to play for her country – to win the Women’s World Cup and the Women’s Asian Cup for China!
In 2006, Yali’s sixth year with the national team, she was injured during a training session. Her recovery after surgery was slow. These unexpected events hit Yali very hard. The team was gearing up for the Women’s Asian Cup 2006 and the Women’s World Cup 2007. It is unthinkable for her to miss out on these two important games after so many years of preparation.
While still recuperating from her injury, Yali met a Christian team mate, Han Duan, who was also resting in the same ward. The doctor reckoned that Han Duan would take at least a month to get well. Defying human judgment, she made a surprise recovery in 10 days, played for the team and even scored a goal! Yali was greatly encouraged and a prayer flowed from her heart – “If you are real, God, please help me.”
After Yali prayed, peace filled her heart and she started to read the Bible. Yali soon found that every Word in the Bible was speaking to her personally. She came to know Jesus Christ and accepted Him as her Lord and Savior. Her dreams were also fulfilled when she played for her country in the Women’s Asian Cup 2006 and the Women’s World Cup 2007. China won the Women’s Asian Cup 2006 championship.
Despite her busy training and competition schedules, Yali disciplines herself to read the Bible daily. God’s Word gives her strength to live. The Bible tells her that she has a hope and a future; guides her in her daily living; and instructs her in her actions. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living…” (2 Timothy 3:16).
In the area of personal relationships, it is not surprising that there may sometimes be disagreements. Although people endeavor to use good principles to resolve differences, it is not easy to define what these good principles are. To carry out reconciliation is difficult. After receiving Jesus, Yali found her answer in the Bible, “Hate stirs up trouble, but love forgives all offenses.” (Proverbs 10:12) She learns that “Love” is the best principle. When she does not know how to handle relationships, the Bible will help her, teach her and guide her in practical ways. “Do for others what you want them to do for you…” (Matthew 7:12). “The more you talk, the more likely you are to sin. If you are wise, you will keep quiet.” (Proverbs 10:19)
Today, Liu Yali has found peace in her heart. She does not boast about her success, nor is she discouraged by disappointments. She firmly believes, “We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.” (Roman 8:28).
2002 Algarve Cup Champion in Portugal
2002 Runner-up in Busan Asian Games
2003 Runner-up in Asian Cup
2003 Fifth place in World Cup
2004 Champion in Olympic Football Tournament AFC Preliminaries
2006 Champion in Asian Cup
Testimony translated by:
Ms YEO Tan Tan, Program Manager
United Bible Societies, China Partnership
(Special thanks to Ms. Liu Yali for the use of her photograph)