Daily Archives: December 7, 2020

Brought back his wallet with $900

Will Wang is lucky to be alive. Because of China’s one-child-per-family law, Will should have been aborted. China allowed families to have more than one child only if they pay a huge sum of money to the government.

His parents weighed their decision carefully. It was a lot of money, but they made the sacrifice.

Originally, Will pursued math but in his senior year of high school he grew more fond of English. Being from Shanghai, the metropolitan coastal city, he had the chance to meet and talk to expats. One was Nick, an American with whom he could practice English and enjoy friendship. Nick was a Christian and this intrigued Will.

“I used to be a pretty bad man on the streets,” Nick told him. “It is God of the Bible who has transformed me into what I am today.”

China teaches atheism. Believing in God gives people something other than the government to hope in. A communist, totalitarian government cannot allow any competition.

So Will didn’t, couldn’t believe easily in God. He had been drilled about the preeminence and reliability of science.

“To me reading the Bible was like fairytales and it wasn’t anything real,” Will says.

Will applied and was accepted into college in Detroit Michigan. A Chinese church took him in; he loved the people, but when it came to the Bible studies he was practically dozing off. Making a Christian friend on campus, Will started to believe in God — a little bit.

But what pushed him over the top was placing his wallet — with $900 in cash and credit cards on top of his trunk at the gas station and forgetting it after he filled up, driving away.

“I was really really really upset,” he remembers. “I was blaming God. Why would You make my wallet lost today? That’s a lot of money.”

He did his best to not be gloomy.

The next day, someone came to the dorm looking for him, but he was out and had to be informed. Will waited the following day for him. He was a Black man. (Most Chinese feel some amount of bias towards Blacks, Will says. He overcame his own biases instantly; the guy gave him his wallet.)

“I started hugging him,” Will remembers.

After Will thanked him profusely, the man turned to walk away. But he couldn’t resist asking a question.

“You know sir, um, I’m just curious,” he said. “Why would you return my wallet back to me with the money in it? Most people wouldn’t return it.”

“I’m a Christian,” the man replied. “God wants us to love each other as brothers and sisters. I hope what I have done to you today, you will do to others one day.”

The power of the man’s example of living out his faith with integrity caused Will’s faith to become complete. The wallet was the tipping point. After virtually a lifetime of God calling him out of Buddhism, he knew it was time to surrender completely to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Read the rest: Chinese student find Jesus when man brings him back his wallet with $900.

Preaching in the ‘devil’s den,’ Mohammad Yamout pastors at risk of life in Tyre

Mohammad Yamout barely escaped Beirut with his life, so why would he go back into the chaos of Lebanon embroiled in strife four years later and begin witnessing for Christ?

“There was a girl I was in love with. I could have gotten married to her and stayed. I could have taken these job offers,” Mahammad says on a Your Living Manna video. “But somehow I went back and when I went back in 1989 it was war in Lebanon.”

Mohammad’s dad was Palestinian involved in fighting Israel who took refuge in Lebanon and married Mohammad’s mother. When he disappeared, mom had to work two jobs to support the three kids, and Mohammad, lacking parental supervision, frequented the streets.

There was a nearby church that took in the local kids for Sunday school, and Mohammad, who was Muslim, attended for the entertainment and free food. At age 14, he was challenged to receive Jesus, but he waited until he got home in his bed to do it.

There on the plastic sheet he slept on, he asked Jesus into his heart at 3:00 a.m.

“Lord Jesus, please help me,” he prayed. “I am desperate. I’m helpless. I’m hopeless. I cannot take it anymore. I need you and with tears at that time and then within half an hour I slept, and I woke up in the morning excited. I took one of the many New Testaments from Sunday school and put it in my school bag and went to school and started telling people about my experience.”

He was thrilled that he had found the answers to his troubling questions, not where he expected in Islam, but in Christianity, and he boldly told everyone about Jesus. This turned more than a few heads.

“Everybody was wondering why this was happening?” he says. “I was on fire at that time and I couldn’t be quiet. I had to talk. I had to tell people what happened with me. I felt at rest, I felt at peace. All the answers came to the questions that made my life a dilemma and were traumatizing me because being raised without a father is traumatizing to you. God wanted to save me because God had a plan.”

His overly zealous evangelism earned the ire of his neighbors, who pressured his mother to do the Muslim thing: to kick him out. That was no problem for Mohammad. He began sleeping in the warehouse where he worked.

After extremists tried to kill him his pastor hid him for six months in his hometown. When he returned, he continued his bold witness for Christ. He joined an evangelical teacher in street evangelism in Beirut until the teacher got killed.

“You’re next,” his pastor warned him and made arrangements for him to travel to the United States with a student visa to get his undergraduate degree from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina in 1986.

Mohammad graduated with an accounting degree in 1989 and was offered a job by Arthur Andersen to work in New York and another by Price Waterhouse in Cairo due to his fluency in Arabic. He was in love with a pretty girl too.

“But somehow the Lord did not let me take these jobs and did not let me stay in the U.S. I felt that I needed to go back.”

Lebanon was in the throes of armed conflict, and Mohammad’s old church was almost non-existent. The pastor had fled, as had most of the members. Only four older women still met together.

Undaunted, Mohammad began ministering in the streets and visiting the brethren of the church, encouraging them to regroup and the Lord brought the increase to 100 members in 1991 when the pastor returned and took charge. Out of the church, Mohammad married a Christian convert, one to whom he witnessed incessantly at Beirut’s American University.

But now that pastor had returned and took charge of the church, Mohammad felt the desire to prove himself in business. Today, he recognizes that this is the part of his history where he veered slightly off course because God was calling him to full time ministry.

“There was ambition and I wanted to pursue that dream, and I was trying to convince God of that dream,” he acknowledges. “Since the day he saved me, he called me into the ministry. I knew that he gave me the talent, he gave me the burden. He gave me the vision to reaching out to people, but I refused to answer God’s call. I wanted to do it my way.”

At age 25, he quickly accumulated half a million dollars in assets, including a factory and several stores. He bankrolled the church and helped needy people, but he felt he wasn’t at the center of God’s will for his life.

Then in 1995, “God got out the big stick,” Mohammad says.

From $500,000 he plummeted down to nothing. Faced with debts and lawsuits, he went bankrupt and to prison for six months. Read the rest: Christian missionary in Lebanon (Mohammad Yamout).

Narnia brought a Harvard atheist to faith

Jordan Manji regarded The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe as fun fantasy. But when she tried to answer tough questions — like where does morality come from? — the proud atheist found herself confronted by Aslan.

“I came to John 19, and as I was reading the crucifixion scene, I said, ‘No Aslan, no,’” she said as a student at Harvard University.

In C.S. Lewis’ Narnia classic about another world where animals talk and ally with four children against an evil army of giants and ogres, Aslan is a lion who saves the day by letting himself be sacrificed on the stone table by the evil witch who fails to grasp that her right to kill the supernatural animal is not the end of the story.

Aslan comes back to life and rescues the Narnians when they are on the verge of certain defeat.

Jordan grew up in an atheist home in which members of the family assigned themselves value based on what they do.

“My family is very competitive, she says. “There’s always been a high priority on being the best. So much of my identity was founded on I’m the smartest one in the room right. I’m not the prettiest. I’m not the most athletic, right?”

That worked well throughout high school, where she dominated. She was so brainy that she made it into Harvard University. That’s where her world started to crumble. She was no longer the smartest in the room.

“One of the hardest things as an atheist is all of these values. Why am I important?” she wondered. “Why should people care about me? A lot of those things come from your own performance.”

Jordan decided to be an atheist at 11 years old, at which time she began calling out Christians in the classroom and embarrassing them with “scientific” and “rational” questions that they didn’t know how to answer.

“I would bring the Bible to school with post-it notes through where all the contradictions were,” she remembers. “When I would say tell me why this is a contradiction, people didn’t really know.”

She delighted in making Christians stumble. But she slowly grew aware of her own contradictions, the points of the atheism worldview that don’t have easy explanations. This realization was irritating. What were the answers?

“Where does morality come from if not from God? Why is something right or wrong? Why do I believe in human rights?” she says. “I don’t believe in a God. So where are these things coming from? I had gone and asked all of these other people and nobody had a good answer.”

So she decided to wait for college. Surely in the environment of so much brain power and collective scholarship, she would find answers that satisfied her internal restlessness.

“I got into Harvard and I’m no longer the smartest person in the room, 95 % of the time,” she remembers.

Since her identity was so wrapped up in her being the best student in class, now her self-worth collapsed.

“It destroyed that sense of my identity and worth, and it made me wonder who I am really am and what makes me valuable,” she says.

As she wrestled with these difficult questions, she became friends with a Christian fellow student. He prompted her to think about still more troubling questions.

“I started seeing: Maybe there are these cracks in my own intellectual framework,” Jordan realized.

To quell all doubts, she enrolled into a metaethics, the study of moral thought and language. She really hoped to strengthen her arguments.

Instead, upon reading an essay by C.S. Lewis, she stumbled even more in her line of reasoning. Simple yet profound truth helped her understand the definition and origin of right and wrong.

“Essentially what he said was God is goodness, and our lives are good when we strive to imitate God,” she remembers. “It was mind-blowing.”

The bulwarks of atheism were crumbling. As a last resort, Jordan turned to the Bible.

But instead of finding ammunition to unleash against Christians, she got shot through the heart herself. The Sermon on the Mount exposed your own hypocrisy. She wasn’t sleeping around, but she realized she had sinned in thought.

“I was a good student. It was very easy for me to think of myself as a good person,” she says. “It was only when I went back to the words of Jesus and I saw ‘no, you’re an angry person. You may not be sleeping around, but you experience lust. You are very arrogant. You think too highly of yourself.’

“Seeing those things made me realize that I wasn’t really a good person.”

As she plowed through the Gospels, she got to the section in John about Jesus’ death. She was stunned by the parallels between The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and the Gospel of John.

Just like Edmund was arrogant and resistant to kind Aslan, so too had she been. As Edmund had been redeemed by Aslan, so too she needed redemption. Read the rest: Narnia brought a Harvard atheist to faith.