Testimony of the Week: Rebecca Yang

November 15, 2016

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Rebecca is a fourth year Biology major graduating this quarter (woop!) and pursuing physical therapy. In addition to Jesus, she loves long runs, hiking, British accents, B-plate, dessert, and talking to people—so come say hi!

If you did not know already, I was born into a non-Christian home in Taiwan and immigrated to America when I was 2. I grew up in San Jose with my grandparents taking care of me and my siblings because my mom was always working and my dad worked in Taiwan. I was never exposed to the gospel or God. I had some conception of right and wrong, but I lived with a greater focus on the latter. I engaged in petty shoplifting and cheated on tests throughout elementary school and middle school. I felt that I needed to compromise my academic integrity to please my parents and meet their standards. I understood, to a certain extent, why they wanted us to work hard in school since we all immigrated to America. Once I entered high school, however, I felt compelled to live my life with integrity and gave up cheating and stopped shoplifting. But other sins began to manifest. I worshipped the boyfriends I had, my academic achievements, my officer positions, and my successes in running. Though I experienced disappointment when my relationships failed me, I was fairly content with life. During high school, I went to church a few times primarily to socialize with people. I did not give any thought to God or religion in my life. My dad was Buddhist, but never shared his beliefs with me.

Going into college, I had no intention to join a Christian fellowship. I began involving myself in what I was interested in—running club, CampMed, volunteering at the hospital, etc. I became close with 4 other girls in running club and we always had a good time together. At times, I would go to parties with my floormates, but I’m thankful I never found tremendous pleasure in that. Halfway into winter quarter, one of my friends from running club invited me to GOC’s Frosh-soph sleepover. I figured since I had a free weekend, I might as well attend. Back-tracking…God placed a few GOCers in my life, like on my floor, from high school, and in my classes. Because of my pride, I figured I knew enough people that going would not be awkward. That night, I met many GOCers and enjoyed my time at the sleepover. I was shocked by how nice everyone was! Their love was very attractive to me, so I continued coming back. By God’s grace, someone on Welcome and Follow-Up (Woohoo! Shameless plug: consider serving on W/F my friends!) followed up with me and asked me if I wanted to join a small group. I ended up meeting up with her and joining. It was in small group that I first heard the gospel clearly, as we went over the book of John. My small group leader was extremely patient and used many illustrations to help me and the other small groupie understand. I soaked all the information in like a sponge since I virtually knew nothing about Christianity. However, the gospel remained as head knowledge for quite some time.

Near the beginning of spring quarter, I began taking my pursuit of Christianity more seriously and God gave me a desire to be a Christian. I fought sleepiness at church and tried to take notes and think more about the sermons. At one point, I expressed my frustration to my small group leader that nothing was changing in my life. She encouraged me to ask God for understanding and faith. It felt strange, but I prayed about it. Halfway through spring quarter, God sovereignly brought me to GOC’s quarter cookout event. As people stood in line for 25 cent hotdogs, GOCers evangelized to them. Not knowing I wasn’t a believer, a third year asked me if I wanted to go evangelize with her. I ended up sharing the gospel with a girl since I knew it well intellectually. Afterwards, I expressed my concern that I probably should not have shared the gospel if I was not Christian. The girl challenged me to think about what was holding me back from believing. Prior to that day, my small group leader asked me where I was in terms of believing in the gospel. I always responded that I wanted to read the entire Bible before committing my life to Christ. However, I was making empty excuses. Honestly, I was consumed with fear. I was afraid of how radically my life would change and the uncertainty that lay ahead. I have always been the type of person who likes planning and having control over situations, which is still a sin I struggle with. To give control of my life to this God was foreign to me, and I knew I would have to make sacrifices. But God is good and He is merciful. He started opening my eyes to see the reality of my sin and my need for a Savior. Christ did not simply die for these people, but every one of my sins drove the nails into his hands. He helped me realize that any sacrifice I would make in this world is NOTHING in comparison to Christ’s sacrifice for me. Truly “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21). Though I did not fully understand what that verse entailed at the time, God graciously gave me faith and I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior near the end of my freshman year.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:3-5).

The years following my conversion have truly been endless examples of His steadfast love, faithfulness, and grace in my life. He has given me a boldness and joy to proclaim my testimony and the gospel to my unbelieving friends and family. I am so blessed to have these non-Christians to reach out to. However, it has been difficult considering how to continue sharing and living out my faith before them when they are uninterested. He has been good to remind me that He alone has the power to save. If He could save Paul—who persecuted Christians and viewed himself as the foremost of all sinners (1 Tim 1:15), if He could save me—who was dead in my trespasses and “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Rom 1:25), then He can save anyone. Striving to be faithful to Him, while trusting in Him for the outcome has been a difficult challenge, but He has been so good to sanctify me through the process. He has also been stretching me in finding value in eternal things and my identity in Christ, truly understanding His love and how to love others unconditionally and sacrificially, trusting in His sovereign plan for me…I could go on and on. But above all else, I know that He uses these sins to magnify His name by increasing my understanding of His grace and drive me to the cross. I thank God each day for the death Christ paid at calvary, and I entreat you to also consider the significance of the gospel for your life! “Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness…let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150: 2,6).

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