Denis Tian Yue Tang is a Chinese student member of our Mandarin congregation. He was recently baptised, and told our Canon Missioner, the Revd Canon Robert Vun, the story of how he came to faith:
‘Faith of my (grand) Fathers’
I heard about Christianity for quite a long time since my grandparents are Christians. They took me to church to attend Sunday Service when I was a young child. At that time, I only saw the church as a place for people to go to sing songs and where young children are looked after.
Actually, my grandparents used to be Buddhists. Once, my uncle was sick and was treated by a church pastor and was healed. Amazingly, my grandparents believed in Christ – because they experienced God’s blessing.
Before my baptism, I was an atheist. I could not be convinced by the proof of God’s existence. The books I read told me that God was only an imagination of the human mind. My atheistic thinking was actually contradicting my family’s Christian faith. This caused me to struggle for some time.
I grew up in an environment which did not pay much attention to education. I did not develop a good habit of reading books when I was a child. I liked to watch movies, fairy tales, and cartoons, etc., – which did not enhance my knowledge greatly. My high school results were not good. Fortunately, I worked hard in the final year of my high school and entered a fairly good university. However, I was still confused about my faith in God.
‘I felt called to worship at St Paul’s’
Then I came to Australia. This brought significant changes to my life. The unfamiliar environment provoked my negative feelings. I felt lonely, as my family members were not with me. Suddenly, I heard a voice calling me to go to a church. I followed the voice and walked into St. Paul’s Cathedral. When I sat down in the Service, I found that I could calm my anxieties down. Whenever I walked into the Cathedral, I was no longer upset. I started to pay attention to the people and things around me. I was gradually filled with joy in this new environment. I believe that it is the Lord who released me from my fears and anxieties.
‘My baptism was an incredible change’
When my attitude becomes more positive, I decided to accept baptism and become a Christian. I chose to be immersed instead of being sprinkled. I hoped that my baptism could be in the same way as my Lord Jesus Christ was baptized. As soon as I entered the baptistery, the coldness of the water hits me. But the Canon Robert’s warm smile told me that the water was warm. I seemed not to feel the coldness anymore. When I came out of the water, I felt particularly magical. At that very moment, I felt that the world had become clear and bright in my eyes. There are no longer any impurities. I felt like a kind of new energy had been injected into my life. I confessed my sins and completely surrendered myself to God.
‘Peace and joy (and also much hard work) followed’
After baptism, my tertiary study became more intensive. Because my English is not so good, I have difficulties in adjusting to the way lessons are taught and learned. If I had not been baptised, I would have certainly complained about my busy study life in Australia. But now I can positively accept and enjoy my life here. Although I still feel tired when I finished my daily tasks related to my studies, my heart is filled with the peace and joy from the Lord.
Our Mandarin congregations meets every Sunday at 1pm, and is led by our Canon Missioner, the Revd Canon Robert Vun.