From the first prayer, I believed in Christ
Author: Jiming Lindal Photo: Jiming Lindal
"I'm Jiming Lindal, a child of God, a Christian who loves God, loves life and pursues the truth, a screenwriter and writer."
Since my father became a believer during his adolescence, I was born into a Christian family during the end of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The Chinese Cultural Revolution was a ten-year period from 1966 to 1976, a political movement where intellectuals and artists were persecuted; many were beaten to death or committed suicide.
Though my parents were Shanghainese, they couldn’t find a place to give birth to me there. So, I was born in a little town of An-qing city, in a fertilizer storage room. Later, my parents were persecuted and sent to a mine in An-hui province, and I spent my childhood there.
During Christmas, my mother would bring home pine branches, and decorate them with cotton balls, mimicking snow. My father would chalk the lyrics of hymns on the back of the door. The song I remember most was the English carol <Away in a manger> “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed; the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head…”. We closed the curtains and sang under my father’s direction. Christians couldn’t worship in public during that time, let alone to celebrate Christmas, so we celebrated it in private. In the memory of my childhood, these were happy and the earliest moments when I encountered Christianity.
I believe the time I accepted Christ was when my father taught me to pray. I was four years old. My father asked me to kneel down and pray to Jesus that our case would be overturned and we could go back to our home in Shanghai. My father was convinced that a child is pure in heart, so their prayers are the most intimate and pleasing to God. I knelt down and prayed to the Lord every day. My father had faith and hope, and I looked up to him and prayed with equal faith and hope.
God answered our prayers. When I was seven years old, our case was overturned, and we returned to Shanghai. I grew up there until I graduated from college. When I was 23 years old, I was baptized in a sprinkling ceremony by then Senior Pastor Shi, qi-gui of the Shanghai Community Church. It was a special baptism: there’s no one else at the ceremony except for Pastor Shi, my father, and me. Pastor Shi asked me why I wanted to get baptized. I answered with John 3:16 “God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I said I am the only child of the family, and my parents love me dearly, that they couldn’t bear to see me suffer; if our God can send His only son to die for us, how great a love that is! Pastor Shi nodded and sprinkled water on my head in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
I came to the US alone afterward. It’s in this country that I studied, worked, immigrated, married, and gave birth. My life has its peaks and valleys, but I’m so blessed that I have believed in God at an early age, and have experienced His faithfulness. In my faith journey, He never abandons me, and I depend on Him throughout. During life’s trials and tribulations, I love to sing the hymn <What a friend we have in Jesus> “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear…”. I also like to sing “Day by Day” and “His eyes on the sparrow.” I feel that I’m just like a sparrow: though lowly, God has mercy on me and cares for me, and I rely on Him every day.