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Canaan 1st anniversary testimony (by Henry Chen)

Henry Chen visited Canaan last Easter, decided to follow Jesus, and was baptized last August! Here are his reflections after a year of growing his faith. — Tim Tseng


I came to Canaan on 2010 Easter, and it has been approximately a year since I joined Canaan. Last week Thursday, while I was driving back to home I asked myself whether Christianity has really changed me. One of the most important things I’ve learned from Christianity is that it gives me hope whenever I feel disappointed or down. Last year at this time, I was so hopeless. I didn’t know how I should proceed with life. There were so much stuffs to do like GRE exam, admission applications, but I just didn’t know why I was doing those. Without hope, there’s no determination to do anything. Since I became a Christian, I have become much more optimistic about life. The very first thing I learned is to forgive people. I think I discussed about it when I was fellow-shipping in John’s house. At first, I wasn’t able to forgive the person who hurt me so terribly. After thinking about it for a few times, I concluded that people do things for different reasons. I don’t know the reasons, but if I were her, I might have done the same thing. I don’t want to put everyone in my shoe and judge them. That doesn’t really make my life any easier.

Since the beginning of this quarter, I have been extremely busy. In addition to taking three classes, I was also trying to complete 32 hours of volunteer work at Salvation Army. Beside volunteer work, I also collect surveys at Salvation Army. There are also a lot of homework, and some problems literally take hours to solve, and doing the homework doesn’t really prepare me for the exam. lol. On Thursday night as I drove back to home, I was so tired and kind of lost hope for a moment. I started to think why my life was so different from others. There are two other students in the house, and they seem to eat and sleep well. Coincidentally, I didn’t get to eat any food until 6PM that day. I also wasn’t sure what I was going to do this summer, and it gives additional pressure. A few tears just dropped as I was driving back to home. But then, I wiped the tears and told myself that God will always be there for me. He just wants to make life harder so that I can learn something out of it. So, I was still pretty pump up to read the scripture on Good Friday, participate in Easter Path, and study for the upcoming midterm.

One of the things that I do when I wake up is to read the emails. On Monday, I opened the email, and I realized that I was invited to east coast to do the project this summer. I was so excited! I gave full credit to God because it wouldn’t have happened without him. I don’t think my statement of purpose has anything extraordinary. I will share more about project after I get back from east coast because being invited to the project doesn’t really mean anything until the project is successfully done.

There were a few times when I really thought life was overrated. I then thought about God, and I told myself there must be a purpose in life. Whenever I felt tired or down, I just updated Facebook status to encourage, and cheer myself. To be honest, I created this Facebook account 4 or 5 years ago, but I’ve never added friends or update the status until last year. I didn’t really care what people were doing until my previous relationship fell apart, and realized that I need to socialize with people. 😀

I’ve learned how to forgive, and I think that as long as life revolves around God and hope, it is still good. What I want to learn this year is to make myself talk more! When I was young, I thought talking a lot of things is a waste of breath and energy. So, I didn’t talk more than I think I need to, and it has become a bad habit. That also makes me look like I am not a friendly person. Actually, I am very friendly, I just don’t know what to talk. I might be able to find some fixes to this problem from Chris. I am happy to know all the good people at YAF [Young Adults Fellowship].

Thank you God.

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About Tim Tseng, Ph.D.

I am Pacific Area Director of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship's Graduate and Faculty Ministries. I'm also a historian, theological educator, and pastor.

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