GARDEN CITY, MI – When you hear the name Daniel you probably don’t think of a young man from the Shandong Province of China. As you might have guessed, Daniel has a Chinese name as well but to make it easier for Americans, he simply goes by the name Daniel while here in the United States.
Daniel’s story is not unique. He was sent to America as a visiting scholar by the Chinese government to conduct research at Wayne State University. In order to come he had to leave behind his wife and daughter and everything and everyone else he knew. Like most visiting scholars, he was chosen to come and had little to say in the matter. Of course, looking back, if he had been given a choice knowing then what he knows now I have little doubt that he would have jumped at the chance to come.
Where Daniel’s story is unique is that unlike so many other international students, he met a group of Christians who love the Lord and were willing to reach out him with the gospel. Daniel’s life while polished on the outside was slowly falling apart on the inside. He says in his own words speaking about his life before coming to America, “As I was achieving each and every goal of my life, I found myself unable to find the meaning of life. Moreover, the strong belief that I had in the government and communism was slowly crumbling.” He went on to say, “The passion and devotion that I had towards my career were substituted with heartlessness and discouragement. I exchanged the love for my wife and child with anger and insensitivity.”
The message of God’s grace and the gift of life that Jesus offers literally brought tears to Daniel’s eyes from the first time he heard it. He said, “Jesus’ precious blood covered all my sin and rescued my soul. God used his love to lead me back to Him.”
The changes in Daniel’s life since coming to faith in Christ have been amazing. He can’t stop telling people about Jesus, and really struggles to understand why anyone would ever reject God’s love once it’s offered to them. In fact, his relationship with his wife and daughter has been miraculously restored. He shares, “The Holy Spirit reformed me. He patiently taught me the real meaning of love and how to love my family. Genesis 2:24 reads: ‘That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.’ Through this verse, I understood how important my wife is to me and I am now able to love her beyond the flesh. I used to not answer my wife’s telephone calls, but now I yearn for my phone to ring. Our short routine dialogue increased to an hour, two hours, or even three hours of loving conversations. The Holy Spirit taught me how to love my brothers and sisters in Christ. How great it is to be able to experience every day the sweetness of love! Praise the Lord!”
Daniel will leave to go back to China in May and his biggest prayer request is that his wife and daughter, who have heard the gospel message and seen the changes in his life, will respond in faith. Tears fill his eyes each time he speaks of his love for them and how, so far, they have not placed their own faith and trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Daniel’s passion for sharing the Gospel leaves the question, whom will we tell?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rob Parsons is College Pastor at Merriman Road Baptist Church in Garden City Michigan and Collegiate Director for the Greater Detroit Baptist Association. Rob and his wife Kelley are self-supported NAMB MSC missionaries who work together on the campuses of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan; Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan and Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan.