A New Life
Most of us attending the NEWSTART program were not Christians. We worshiped our ancestors or various gods. But I discovered that three Christians were enrolled, and I found myself watching them carefully.
I was flipping through TV channels one day when something caught my eye. I usually don’t pay much attention to TV advertisements, but this one grabbed my attention. A man was talking about healthful living and all of the factors that go into it. He was urging viewers to find out more about a health program called NEWSTART.
I knew instantly that my mother needed what this program promoted. Recently she had undergone two surgeries for cancer, and she needed to live as healthfully as she could. I called the number on the screen and was connected to the Taiwan Adventist Hospital. I enrolled both my mother and myself in the NEWSTART program.
I found just what I needed in the program’s focus on total health, including diet and nutrition, exercise, prayer and more. After two weeks my life had completely changed. I felt more energetic and stronger.
But my mother did not discover what seemed so obvious to me. She was sick and convinced that her life was all but over. She resisted changes that could make her life so much more enjoyable. “I’m old, and I’ve done things this way for many years,” she said. “Why should I change now?”
Example by Living
Most of us attending the NEWSTART program were not Christians. We worshiped our ancestors or various gods. But I discovered that three Christians were enrolled, and I found myself watching them carefully. I noticed that they seemed peaceful and happy. The NEWSTART staff also brought a sense of peace with them. They didn’t receive much pay for their job, yet they were clearly devoted to what they were doing. I was deeply touched by their example. and began wondering what kind of God could make His children so devoted to serving Him. I wanted the peace that these Christians had, and I wanted my mother to experience that peace, too, in spite of her poor health. I decided to learn about this God so my mother would have a chance to learn about Him as well.
A New Start
I asked one of the Christian women in the class to help me understand the Christian God. We began to study the Bible together, and soon I realized that the God in Heaven was the true and living God. I realized that worshiping idols was nothing more than a tradition. The gods we had worshiped could do nothing for us. They offered no hope for the future.
I was amazed to learn that the Christian God was not only powerful, but kind and loving toward His people. He offered hope for eternal life through His Son Jesus. Finally I understood what love and forgiveness were. We loved and forgave others not just because it was the right thing to do, but because God loved and forgave us. It made sense.
The more I learned, the more convinced I was that I must become a Christian—an Adventist Christian. My mother was too sick to attend my baptism, but I invited my husband and my father to attend. They supported my decision, though they said they did not understand it.
I talked to my mother a lot about giving her life to God, but she said she was not interested. Then her cancer returned, and she realized her life would soon end. She became more receptive to my words. I cared for her full-time, making sure she had good food to eat, sunshine every day, and a walk when she was able to go outside. But her cancer was too advanced; she continued to weaken.
One day when she was moaning in pain, I knelt and prayed silently beside her bed. I knew she would not live much longer, and I did not want to lose her forever. I prayed that God would send His Spirit to open my mother’s heart. Before I finished my prayer, my mother asked, “What day is it today?”
“Today is Wednesday, ” I replied.
“I want to be baptized on Friday,”she said.
I was stunned. Did I really hear correctly? Did God answer prayers that quickly?
Mother and I spent the next two days discussing God and His love. On Friday I helped a caretaker transport her to a sanitarium that had a bathtub large enough to baptize her. What a joy to witness my mother’s old life buried in baptism. I dedicated myself to work for God as a medical missionary, sharing His love with everyone I meet.
My mother died a month later. Tears of joy mixed with tears of sorrow, for I knew that I would see her again in the resurrection.
A New Job
After Mother’s death, I took up my new work as a medical missionary, helping others understand the principles of NEWSTART that had helped me so much. I visit people in their homes and answer questions about the principles of health. If someone wants Bible studies, I arrange for that. I am a volunteer, so my pay is the joy of knowing that God has used me to change people’s lives.
My father has taken the NEWSTART program, and my husband follows its principles with me. He has lost 30 pounds (13.6 kg). I encourage my husband and father to eat healthfully; get exercise, sunshine, and fresh air; and to trust in God. I hope that one day they, too, will accept Christ as their Lord.