Tia’s story: Who is the god in my heart?


by Bob Marsh

Na Tianye, Tia, as we call her, is a young woman from China who came into our lives more than a year ago, brought by her husband, Jason, a Chinese-American from the Pittsburgh area. Jason has been a believer for a long time, but his wife was not. They moved to Darmstadt as part of Jason’s work for Merck Pharmaceuticals. Tia is a professional writer and works from their flat directly across the street from our apartment. Both attended the church regularly, came to a Life Group, and Tia met with some women at a Friday-morning Bible study. She expressed that she was not a believer in Jesus, but she liked coming.

God was at work in her life. One evening at Life Group, Tia shared that she had given her life to Jesus, and had asked him to be her Savior. That same evening, she came to Bob and said, “Pastor Bob, we were married in a Chinese civil ceremony, but we I want to get married in the church. Will you do that for us?”  Then she added, “And I want to get baptized at the same time!” Of course, we agreed.

On a beautiful early summer evening, with her family from China and the United States attending, our church gathered for its first wedding ceremony. Jason joined Bob in baptizing her, and Tia shared the following testimony.

"Today I will have my baptism. Since I was a child, I have believed there must be a God in heaven, who is almighty, knows everything and handles everything. That's an intuition of mine, like a hole God put in my heart to be filled.

"As a Chinese person, Buddhism is the first religion I ever heard. I knew a lot about Buddhism, but I didn't think it was the god in my heart. I met Jason in 2010 and, at that time, I knew almost nothing about Christianity, but I was interested in it, so I asked Jason many questions about Christianity, sometimes discussing it with him.

I remember one day, after my curious questions, Jason asked me a question, “So you trust yourself in your life? I said, “Of course, I have no one else to trust besides myself.” And Jason asked, "But you are not perfect?” I said, “I knew that. But I have no choice, all I have is myself. I must rely on myself.” Jason told me, “That's the difference between us. Christians never rely on ourselves, we rely on Lord Jesus.” It sounded unbelievable to me, can you really rely on someone you can't touch and see? But after that, I couldn’t stop thinking about this discussion. It really shocked me, I began to doubt I really could trust and rely on myself? Is Lord Jesus the God in my heart? Then I began to read the Bible, and I wanted to know more about Christianity.

"When we got our marriage certificate, I was still not a believer, because I still trusted in myself, my own judgment, my brain, my logic. According to Chinese marriage law, we went back to my hometown in China to get the certificate. It's not a modern city. I thought there were no Christians in that city at all. That day, after we got the certificate, at noon, we went to a very, very small restaurant for lunch. It's less than 10 square meters, and the food is very cheap. But it's a Christian restaurant; they had Bible story pictures on the wall, and Christian brochures on the table, and some posters on the table under glasses. We were really surprised. That was the first time I felt God blessing our marriage.

"A few months later, we moved here from China. I thought living in a strange country and city must be very hard and lonely, but we found this church. Everyone here is really nice, friendly. We felt like we found a family here. I never knew the life overseas could be so warm and easy. We also went to Life Group at pastor Bob's home every week. There we learned the Bible together, and we could ask any questions about Christianity. The atmosphere is free and open minded. There I got many answers about my doubts about Christianity. Pastor Bob is so knowledgeable and helpful. Gradually, I learned this is not only a religion, this is the truth. Lord Jesus is the god in my heart; I finally understood this. Thanks be to God, who opened my eyes.

"As a person who got used to trusting my own judgment, sometimes I still have questions about this belief. But when I ask my heart, ‘Do you believe him or not?’ The answer is definitely yes! I know him, I have faith in him, I can hear him, I wish to be saved by him. Besides that, I can also ask pastor Bob my questions at any time, and he helps me with the answer. 

"From 2010 to 2015, my life has been totally changed. Thanks to my husband, Jason, who led me to Lord Jesus. Thanks to this church family. But all in all, thank you my dear Lord Jesus who showed mercy to me, blessed me, open my eyes and saved me."  

As you can imagine, there were lots of smiles, and tears of joy as Tia shared her story. There are thousands of international students and professionals in Darmstadt, along with their families, who are lost, lonely and need to hear of the love of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Bob Marsh is church planter/pastor of Converge International Fellowship, Darmstadt, Germany.

    Point - September 2018

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