By Jie Bai, Japan
I was born into a poor family, so I worked tirelessly with all my heart and soul, wanting to get rid of poverty. My father could not work because of his poor health; therefore, my mother had to support the family by herself. She suffered severe headache problems, however, because we were poor, she often banged her head against the wall when she was in great pain. We had no money to buy new clothes and ate very less every meal, people in the village despised us and our relatives and friends lived very far from us because of that. My mother also cried because she could not give me a better living condition. I vowed secretly to myself: “I must make a lot of money when I grow up. I want to give my parents a better life and not let anyone despise us again!”
At the age of thirteen, a relative preached theof the to mother. Mother’s headache and father’s health started to get better after mother started to believe in the Lord Jesus. But my family’s financial condition didn’t change. Parents still struggled to pay for my school fees. In order to reduce their burden, I had no choice but to work after I graduated from junior high school. I only earned around five hundred Yuan per month back then, I kept fifty Yuan for myself and sent the rest to my family. When I was nineteen, my mother accepted the work of God of the last days, and she also told me about it. I knew believing in God was good, and I also believed that God does exist. But I only wanted to make more money and live a better life, therefore I was not willing to know more about believing in God.
In 2001, by chance, a classmate told me that she went to Japan through a labor dispatch company and had earned quite a lot of money. I was very interested in it, so I went to sign up immediately, and I was shortlisted by luck. Afterward I found out that only six people were selected among eighty or more people. Many people greased the wheels and found people with high position in the company to help them to get selected. This made my wish of making more money abroad more unswerving. The cost of going abroad to work was expensive. So I tried to borrow from my relatives and friends, but once finding I mentioned money, all of them hid from me. Their indifferent attitude only made me strongly believe that I have to depend on myself to make money, live a better life and earn their respect. As I was worrying about going abroad, some sisters from The Church of Almighty God helped me through the difficulties. Comparing to all the apathetic relatives and friends, their actions made me feel loved. Later I set off smoothly.
I started to work in a Japanese printing factory in May 2002. I worked eight hours a day, but I felt I earned too little and wanted overtime. Hence, a colleague and I treated the factory manager meals and invited him to eat dumplings, trying to get close to him. Thereafter, the manager always gave us the opportunity to work overtime. My job is to seal the inspected printing materials, which requires me to move them place to place. After a period of time, my hands started to grow ganglions. No matter how painful or tired, I was not willing to take a break. Even though I was exhausted, I felt happy and thought it was worth doing so when thinking of the high monthly salary. In order to make more and save more money, I lived frugally. I ate half of the box lunch and save the rest for dinner, so that I could save the money for dinner. During the three years in Japan, apart from trying my very best to make money, I also learned Japanese intensively. While the rest of my colleagues were sleeping, chatting and going out to play, I was in the study room learning Japanese. I jotted down unfamiliar words during work and searched them on dictionary for their definitions when I was at home. Hard work pays off, I passed the level two of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test in the three years of self-studying. Afterward, I went back to China. I bought a house in the city area with all the money I earned in that three years and some loans, formed a family and found a job related to Japanese. Since then, my relatives, friends and neighbors wanted to get close to us. They started to look up to us, envy us, visit us initiatively and praise me. Now I can relate to the saying: “In time of prosperity, friends will be plenty.”
Back in China, mother witnessed to me God’s work of the last days again. Though I was willing to know more, I was busy and more focused on work. I did not pay much attention on believing in God. Thinking of the saying: “Money makes the mare go,” I felt that in our society today, no money means no foothold. We need money in order to live a better life, only money can change my destiny. Therefore, I chose to make money and did not go to gatherings.
Just as I was making money wholeheartedly towards a better life, I had to pay for all the loans and expenses due to the instability of my husband’s job. The burden of supporting the family made me breathless. At last, I sold my house. We were back to our hometown. However, my husband did not earn a cent and even got addicted to gambling, his addiction was getting out of hand. In the end, he gambled away all of our savings and owed more than one hundred thousand in debt. I was extremely distressed, and even felt that there is no way for me to live anymore. My mother saw my misfortune and she read a passage of God’s words to me: “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite always rushing and busying about for himself, man remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a creature?” (“Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination”). Through God’s words I realized God presides over the fate of all mankind. We must worship God if we want to have a good fate. Recalling those days without knowing the sovereignty of God, I had only myself to rely on. I had to earn money with my own ability and hands, trying my best to change my own fate. As a result, I failed badly. From that we can see we cannot control our own fate; we have to come before God and submit to His arrangements; then we can get rid of pain and torture. However, because of the debts I had to pay for, I felt that I still have to rely on myself to earn money and solve my problem in reality. It was too hard to break free from financial bondage, so I went to work again.
Later, I worked in a factory, sixty Yuan per day. In order to pay for the debts, I always did overtimes and was the last one to leave. Although I worked insanely, I didn’t save money because they were spent on medication for my child or other family expense. A few years later, I suffered a slipped disc and cervical spondylosis, but for money, I had to grin and bear it.
In February 2016, my husband obtained the work visa to Japan. I was delighted, thinking: “If my husband and I can go to Japan and work together, maybe we can pay off our debts and even make more money so that our relatives can think highly of us.” At that time, I was so pumped up to earn money again, and I could keep going no matter how tiring and painful it caused me. During that period, my mother always wanted me to come before God and continue to, but I insisted on making money with my own ability stubbornly. A sister showed me a passage of God’s words: “‘Money makes the mare go’ is the philosophy of Satan and it prevails among every human society. You could say that it is a trend because it has been imparted to everyone and is now affixed in their heart. People went from not accepting this saying to growing used to it so that when they came into contact with real life, they gradually gave tacit approval to it, acknowledged its existence and finally, they gave it their own seal of approval. … So after Satan uses this trend to corrupt people, how is it manifested in them? Don’t you feel that you couldn’t survive one day in this world without any money, that even one day would just be impossible? (Yes.) People’s status is based on how much money they have as is their respectability. The backs of the poor are bent in shame, while the rich enjoy their high status. They stand tall and proud, speaking loudly and living arrogantly. What does this saying and trend bring to people? Don’t many people see getting money as being worth any cost? Don’t many people sacrifice their dignity and integrity in the pursuit of more money? … What this means is that this saying already controls your behavior and your thoughts, and you would rather have your fate controlled by this saying than give it all up” (“God Himself, the Unique V”). God’s words touched my heart. Recalling these years I always lived with Satan’s philosophies, “Money makes the mare go,” “Money is not everything, but without money we can do nothing,” going after money blindly. I always thought in our society today money can give us foothold, money can give us a better life, and money can help us earn others’ respect. For earning more money, I worked endlessly with no rest; I was able to deal with all the pain and sore. Through God’s words’ disclosure, I realized Satan is the cause of all my pain and torture through these years. Satan used money as baits, made me stray from God and betray God. Satan made me spend all my energy in making money, and at last lost God’s salvation. Thinking back to those times when I rejected God for making money, and that God still showed mercy and tolerance toward me, I felt God’s love is so tremendous. My numb heart was touched by God’s love. I’m willing to make the effort in believing in God.
A sister had to ride almost an hour to my house to fellowship with me since I had to work overtime till very late at night. Two months later, the overloaded schedule caused my waist and cervical vertebra great pain, just like I was carrying a huge stone on my back. When I used the computer, I felt dizzy and sick. I could not carry on anymore, so I resigned. After resigning, I thought my parents were very old, they can’t work anymore. My father still has diabetes, he has to inject many insulin. My child is still schooling, how am I able to lead my life without work? With all these concerns and worries, I prayed to God: “O God, I always worry about my life and future, I do not know how to practice. May God please lead me and guide me, I’m willing to rely on You.” I felt reassured and peaceful after praying with the belief that God will lead me. Then I started going to church after resigning. I had more time with brothers and sisters to fellowship God’s words, interact with them about experiences and be able to use each other’s strengths to make up for our weaknesses. Amazingly, my illness was getting better, my father changed from injecting seventeen insulin to ten, and my family’s monthly expenses decreased a lot. At this moment, I realized God’s deeds, knew the sovereignty of God, and experienced that God will make a way out for us if we truly rely on Him.
Not long after that, my Japanese visa got approved. I went back to Japan in June 2017. My husband has worked for more than a year and has paid off all the debts. In Japan, I often had gatherings and read God’s words with brothers and sisters. I understood some truths, and at the same time experienced profoundly the sovereignty of God and God’s love. I also saw that God is helping us through our difficulties and relieving our pain. Now, I really hate whatever I have done in the past and determine to seek the truth. The only thing I have to do is to entrust everything into God’s hands. I recall a passage of God’s words: “When one looks back upon the road one has walked, when one recollects every phase of one’s journey, one sees that at every step, whether one’s road was arduous or smooth, God was guiding one’s path, planning it out. It was God’s meticulous arrangements, His careful planning, that led one, unknowingly, to today. To be able to accept the Creator’s sovereignty, to receive His salvation—what great fortune that is! … For one sees that when one does not comprehend fate, when one does not understand God’s sovereignty, when one gropes forward willfully, staggering and tottering, through the fog, the journey is too difficult, too heartbreaking. So when people recognize God’s sovereignty over human fate, the smart ones choose to know it and accept it, to bid farewell to the painful days when they tried to build a good life with their own two hands, instead of continuing to struggle against fate and pursue their so-called life goals in their own manner. When one has no God, when one cannot see Him, when one cannot clearly recognize God’s sovereignty, every day is meaningless, worthless, miserable. Wherever one is, whatever one’s job is, one’s means of living and the pursuit of one’s goals bring one nothing but endless heartbreak and irrelievable suffering, such that one cannot bear to look back. Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).
Through all kinds of ups and downs in life, looking back how I based on my own ability to experience those obstacles and difficulties, I realized without God, we will live in great pain and suffering. If not for God’s mercy and tolerance, I would have been devoured and trampled upon by Satan. I rejected God over and over again, but God did not abandon me, even gave me the chance and brought me before Him. I felt God’s earnest intentions and love, and realized that only if we come before God can we live happily beneath God’s care and protection; Only if we admit to His sovereignty and arrangements, can we live meaningfully and worthily. I’m determined to follow God to the end!