“I came to faith in Jesus at the kitchen sink. When I was five, I attended a boarding school in Malaysia and did all my primary school there. Then I went to high school in the Philippines. My parents were OMF missionaries in Taiwan, and I lived in Asia until I was 17.
After every four months in Malaysia, I came home to my parents in Taiwan. I would be angelic for the first two weeks to please them. Then my behavior would slowly deteriorate. One night back in Taiwan (during the deteriorating phase), I did the dishes with Mom.
She asked, “Does your heart feel like this dirty plate?”
I nodded sadly and said yes. Then she put the plate in the water and washed it. She took it out of the water and said, “Jesus can cleanse your heart.”
I became a Christian there, by the sink. I was seven years old. I was young, but it was the moment God used. For me, it was the concept of forgiveness. Before that, I wondered at school, perhaps because of an excellent teacher who loved us and taught the Bible well. A few years later, when I was 11, I fully recognized Jesus as Lord.
As a teenager, I heard glamorous testimonials from other people who came to faith… and I would have felt that mine wasn’t very dramatic. It was so common I was almost ashamed. But my testimony always felt normal.
But also, from an early age, I wanted to be a missionary. I was surrounded by ministers—school staff, parents, and children. Maybe I didn’t know you could be anything else. So I forced myself to do difficult things—pray aloud or read Bible. I knew it would help me prepare. And I’ve seen that God makes it possible when you strengthen your obedience muscle. He enables you to serve him.
But as a teenager, I never imagined where God would lead me. I ended up serving 22 years at OMF in southern Taiwan. I was a church planter, but it was also very ordinary and not glamorous. I lived in a small town in the south that no one had ever heard of. It was not an important place. I spent a lot of time just going to the market, talking to people… the vegetable sellers and the small business owners. All these years, I drank tea with people and spoke to them. I tried to take care of them in their daily struggle. And all the time, I told them Bible stories. It was very ordinary. In 22 years, we saw very little fruit. Perhaps every year, two people came to faith in Jesus. But I have to rely on God’s timing. He is the one who opens their hearts. And he allows you to be there at the right time and tell about Jesus.
It has taken a long time, but I am grateful for my ordinary testimony. I have realized that it has been a long, steady process to get to know Jesus better. And I’ve learned more and more that it’s not about me; it’s about who God is. I am now back in Australia, a challenge after 22 years in Taiwan. It was such a big part of my identity. But it’s the same here in Australia. I have to trust that God has me here. God is still at work here, and the people still need to hear about Jesus. So I’m involved in all the ordinary things again. I recently joined a birdwatching club, and I meet people on the streets of Sydney, looking for opportunities to tell the greatest story of them all.
One of my life verses is from 1 Corinthians 1:27-29: “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the humble things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to bring to nothing the things that are, so that no one can boast before him.'”
Christine’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, curated by Naomi Reed. Click here for more faith stories.