As a millennial born in China’s central Hubei Province, a male believer surnamed Chen used to drink and play games and cards with friends after work every day. Recalling his nine-year faith journey beginning in 2013, Chen was thankful for being chosen by God who helped him find value and meaning in life and build a wonderful family.
As an excavator operator, he rested on rainy days when he might spend a whole day in the Internet cafe. On weekdays, after getting off work at six or seven o’clock, he and his friends would also play games in an Internet cafe until around the early morning. "At that time, it seemed that nothing interested me except gaming," he said.
In 2013, he fell in love with a girl, which didn't stop him from playing games. Besides, he often went to play cards, drink and sing songs in the karaoke bar with his friends.
Though his Christian girlfriend took him to the church before they were to get married, Chen, an atheist who was not interested in faith at first, just came to worship God to please her. After gathering, he found that there was a difference between unbelievers and worshippers who were full of love.
One year after they fell in love, they wanted to enter into marriage, which was opposed by his girlfriend’s family. Chen said that her mother was a strongly opinioned person with opposition to their romantic relationships. Due to pressure, his wife went to work in another city, while Chen was in their hometown.
During the year of separation, Chen grew in faith, seeking God on his own initiative from being urged to attend services. Though they prayed together for marriage in different places, Chen thought his mother-in-law would never agree to their marriage, asking her to steal her residence book from her house.
They developed their faith in God in two separate places. After one year’s prayer, his wife’s mother agreed with them to get married, which convinced Chen that God really exists, so he sought Him more earnestly.
"When your time is occupied by meeting, you won't think about playing games anymore." Chen said that going to gatherings was his first step in breaking away from his previous lifestyle, as it helped him get out of the bad situation. He declined the invitations from his friends due to attending services, and after a few times, his friends stopped asking him to play games or drink wine.
"To get rid of a bad hobby, you should foster a new hobby," Chen said this was the key to his escape from the game world. Finding that he was very interested in the praise during his long-term participation in the church, Chen signed up for the guitar class with encouragement from his wife, practicing guitar in his spare time. After a while, Chen joined the church worship team. Since then, Chen has completely disconnected from games.
Now he has not only given up gaming but also forsaken his habit of playing cards and drinking.
His friends gave witness to his faith, saying his family was harmonious, which was seldom seen in other families around.
As they had taken the pre-marital counseling course before the marriage, he and his wife sustained daily family worship in the habit of praising, praying, reading, and studying the Bible. Their eldest daughter can finish one chapter of the Bible every day.
- Translated by Abigail Wu