Hallelujah, in the name of Jesus Christ, I bear this testimony.
On March 19, 2012, at 2:42 a.m., gravel ship Haixiang 8 set off towards Hualien Harbor, carrying about 4700 tons of earth and a total of fifteen crew members.
I worked as a helmsman on board. That night, I was on duty from 12:00 midnight to 4:00 a.m. At about 3:45 a.m., the next crew member (who happened to be my cousin) took over. Before I handed over my shift duties, the captain specifically reminded me to pay attention to the tilt angle on the right side of the ship.
After returning to the bedroom from the cockpit, I prayed and went to bed. Somehow I was filled with a foreboding and dared not fall asleep. Unexpectedly, about half an hour later, I heard the captain's announcement: "Attention all crew, wear your life jackets and report to the cockpit to receive further instructions!” The captain also told my cousin to rush to every bedroom to wake up all the crew members. The crew bedrooms were two to four floors below deck, which meant all the members were in great danger.
When I heard the radio announcement, I knew that disaster had struck. In panic, I hurriedly put on my diving suit, stuffed some important documents and a bottle of mineral water into my pockets, and pulled on the life jacket as I ran upstairs. It was then about 4:45 a.m., and the ship had already tilted fifteen degrees to the right. Sensing the critical situation, the captain had already alerted the Port Authority Coast Guard to summon help.
My cousin, who had experienced shipwreck before, immediately ordered us to head to the stern (the rear part of the ship) to escape. Seeing that the ship was about to capsize, we held tight to the barrier cables and swayed with the vessel. The ship was traveling at seven knots, and it went bow first into the water. The hull of the ship looked as though it would also sink in a mere six seconds. Everything was a stunning repeat of the sinking of the legendary Titanic, except that our ship was going under at an alarming speed.
Just before the ship sank, my cousin shouted: "Jump! Jump!" and disappeared as he leapt into the water. As I was about to jump, the front cable came loose and dangled down. I hesitated and waited for the cable to detach completely for fear of being entangled by the cable. Once the cable was completely detached, I released my grip on it and jumped into the water shouting: "Hallelujah, Lord! Save me!"
When I entered the water, a powerful wave of water swept me far away from the sinking bow of the ship. Before I knew it, I was just next to my cousin. When I touched his shoulder, he turned around and was shocked to see me. He said: "Are you such a good swimmer you could catch up with me so quickly?!” My cousin had been swimming desperately away from the ship since hitting the water.
As seamen, we had often heard veterans explain how a sinking ship would create a whirlpool effect and suck everything down with it in a spiral as it sinks into the ocean. That was why everyone had been desperately swimming, trying to get as far away from the sinking ship as possible. As my cousin and I turned around, we saw the lights of the sinking ship disappear. Almost like a movie scene, the whole sea was suddenly plunged into darkness, eerie silence punctuated only by the sound of waves, gusts of wind, interspersed with our shipmates’ sorrowful shouts for help.
The temperature of the water was about ten degrees Celsius; the sea waves were about four to six meters high (very rough conditions) while the wind speed was about sixty to seventy kilometers per hour (equivalent to a gale). The water felt bitterly cold. My cousin and I took out the distress lights from our life jackets and waved them about, hoping to attract attention to ourselves. Not too far away, we spotted some other distress signals, probably from some of our shipmates who were also floating in the sea, struggling to survive while waiting to be rescued. Gradually, these intermittent shrill cries for help became softer. Then it was all quiet, and we could only hear the sound of the waves and the raging winds. My cousin muttered: “Dead!” At this point, I was both sad and terrified, and I felt myself trembling helplessly.
My cousin and I were wearing wetsuits, anti-freeze caps and lifejackets, and all these had temporarily kept us warm. We redoubled our efforts to swim farther away from the shipwreck site, all the while praying, “Dear Lord, save us!” I thought to myself, “I have fallen so short of the glory of God, how can I face Him now?” I pleaded in my heart, “Dear Lord, give me one more chance, let me do more work for You!” I started to sing the hymn "Jesus Loves Me" over and over, alternating it with prayers of supplication as I swam along. I do not remember now how long this went on.
I was so cold and scared; I could feel my lips trembling and my teeth rattling. So I shouted out the hymn "Lead me, lead me, Savior, lead me, lest I stray; gently down the stream of time…Lead me, Savior, all the way.”
Then, something miraculous happened—a strong wave swept toward us a plank of wood about forty-five centimeter wide, two hundred fifty centimeter long, and about five centimeter thick. Since I had no energy left to swim towards it, I asked my cousin to swim and grab the piece of wood. Both of us then gripped the plank on both sides with our left arms. This helped us to stay afloat without too much effort, and we could finally relax a little. We continued to pray and sing hymns, and, in our hearts, we were jumping for joy and thankfulness to the Lord Jesus.
About fifteen minutes later, another wave swept over an identical plank of wood, and once again, my cousin retrieved the plank, and we used two instead of one piece of wood for improved stability. At that moment, our distress lights stopped working. We were not sure how long we would have to wait before someone discovered us. So to conserve energy, we did not attempt to swim anymore, but simply let our bodies float in the water, swaying with the waves.
Again I prayed earnestly: “Dear Lord, save us, save us!” I thought of the divine work to be done. Then, after about twenty minutes, another wave brought along a long bench, floating inverted with its legs in the air. Since it was not far from us, I urged my cousin to go grab it for us. When we put the two wooden planks perpendicular to the long bench in between the legs of the bench, the bench suddenly flipped into an upright position. Amazingly, the two planks remained firmly in place. We quickly "sat" astride the bench. In this way, though our bodies were still immersed in water, our heads were above water and we did not have to risk swallowing more seawater.
After more than an hour, a shimmer of light appeared in the horizon, and the sky started to brighten. We could see the surroundings, and saw that the sea was a dense mass of grease. My cousin said: "When a ship sinks, all the oil and grease will surface to the top." Indeed, this was true for us; we let out a sigh of shock when we saw that our hands and necks were all covered with black oil.
Soon, the sky had completely brightened. Suddenly we saw a freighter in front of us—Asia Cement No. 3 had come to render help after the distress signals were dispatched. Hope gave us new strength—we waved, shouted for help, and swam energetically towards the freighter. Finally, the crew aboard Asia Cement No. 3 spotted us and threw us life buoys. But the current was too strong, and we could not grab hold of the life buoys. Asia Cement No. 3 then tried to approach us stern side, but the rotation of the rear blades formed strong currents and carried us even farther away from the freight. However, this also meant that the black oil was effectively dispersed from the water around us. Once the freighter realized this difficulty, it decided to remain stationary. Thank God, at this time, although we were still bobbing in the water, the sea around us had been rid of the black oil and grease, so we did not inhale any more toxic fumes.
Finally, at 6:13 a.m., the coast guard rescued my cousin and me. Our hearts were full of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. As it turned out, we were the first crew members to be rescued. The Lord Jesus had preserved us, so we could respond to the questions posed by the examining doctors. We went through X-rays, electrocardiogram, blood tests, and blood pressure monitoring. The blood pressure actually soared to two hundred millimeter mercury, but the doctor reassured us and said it was due to the state of fear we had been in, so there was nothing to worry about. After a series of thorough checks, we were diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia.
As for the other crew members, our captain died from hypothermia, while a few of our colleagues who were rescued had to be treated in the intensive care unit. The final tally revealed that, out of fifteen crew members, seven were rescued, six died, and two were still missing.
During our hospitalization, my cousin and I received much care and prayer support from Zheng Bin church. May the Lord Jesus remember their love. I also thank the Lord for somehow arranging for my cousin to be on the same ship with me, for the instruction to run to the stern during the emergency and for providing me with earlier opportunities to work at sea. The latter had taught me to take precautionary measures during shipwrecks, e.g. putting on a wetsuit, taking along mineral water, and keeping a life jacket by my bed so that it would be ready to be grabbed at a moment’s notice.
While we were waiting to be rescued, my cousin and I had drunk mineral water to replenish water in our body. To keep ourselves calm, we sang and prayed together, relying on the promise that God would deliver us. This greatly helped us to overcome the extreme cold and fear and to survive the dark and long night.
Praise the Lord! I was sixty-two years old when the disaster struck, and without God’s love and care, I could not have taken only one minute to wear the diving suit, don the lifejacket, and run to the cockpit. It took less than five minutes for the ship to tilt from ten to fifteen degrees, and then to forty-five degrees. In that moment of life and death, God enabled me to calmly see the loosening cable and prevented me from being entangled—what amazing grace!
“But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord!" (Ps 115:18)
May all glory and honor be unto our Lord and Savior. Amen!
Hallelujah, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I testify. In April 2001,God received a very close relative in my family: my aunt, sister Shek, a deacon's wife. She was also a mother, a wife, and a sister in Christ. In 1999, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away at the age of fifty.
When I was nine years old, one of my aunts, a Roman Catholic nun, gave my elder brother a Good News Bible. My brother was not interested in it; I was. Seeing that it was an English book containing many pictures, I thought it would be a great way for me to learn English. It worked.
Besides just picking up English, I came to learn that there was a God called Jesus. He was very powerful and loved children. I told myself that I was going to worship this God when I grew up.
A few years later, when the same aunt realized that I was still interested in the book, she gave me a Catholic Bible. Unlike the earlier one, this Bible had only words. Lots of words! I didn’t know where to start reading. Through the index, I found the Ten Commandments, so I started with that.
I was stumped when I came to the commandment that baldly stated that we must not worship man-made idols. I saw many hand-made statues whenever I entered a Catholic chapel. Worse, I was taught that I could worship the true God by praying through these statues. So who was right? This nagging doubt deterred me from getting baptized in the Catholic Church.
INVITED BY A FRIEND
Years later, I graduated from university and began working as an auditor. In June 1999, I went to a company to carry out an audit assignment. During our lunch break, the secretary of one of the company directors asked me whether I had any religious affiliation. I told her that I read the Bible on my own but did not attend any church because I didn’t know which one was the true church. In reply, she invited me to go to her church, which, she said with full conviction, was the true church.
I accepted her invitation and went to her church—the True Jesus Church—on the following Saturday. Everything seemed pretty normal when I stepped into the church. Then, a loud and strange sound suddenly came over the public announcement system. It sounded like human voices, but they were quite unlike anything I had heard before.
I could feel my whole face turn white in fear. The sister who invited me must have seen my shock. Quickly, she explained that it was just the sound of people praying and that there was no need to be alarmed.
We then went up to the second floor and entered the chapel. The service began. When the congregation knelt down for the first prayer, I was still very frightened, but I didn’t want to leave after being there for barely half an hour.
Remembering how powerful Jesus was, I knelt down too and prayed to Him in my heart. I told the Lord I did not know where I had brought myself and what I had gotten myself into; I asked Him to come and save me quickly! However, when the preacher started to deliver his sermon, my fear subsided somewhat because I noticed that he quoted often from the Bible.
REASSURED BY A VISION
I continued to attend services at True Jesus Church. One Sabbath in December 1999, a special fasting and prayer session was scheduled. The aim was to seek God’s guidance and abidance for the annual year-end Spiritual Meeting that was going to be held one week later.
This prayer was to be held after the afternoon Sabbath service. I had intended to sneak away, but before I could get very far, the wife of Preacher Chang KuoChing, the resident preacher then, invited me to join them in prayer. Not exactly keen to stay, I gave her the excuse that I had not fasted. She replied that I need not worry about that since God looks at our heart.
My brain couldn’t work up another excuse fast enough, so I reluctantly agreed to stay. The prayer was longer than the normal prayers. It wasn’t long before I started to feel my whole body ache with fatigue. I kept wondering, “Why is the preacher not ringing the bell to stop the prayer yet?”
Even as I wondered, another thought crossed my mind, “Why are these people praying so hard?” As I asked myself this question, I saw a cross in the distance. A figure hung on the cross. The whole vision was very dark, and there was light only around the cross.
Tears started to flow down my cheeks. Things I had only read about before in the Bible were now shown directly to me … amazing love, how could it be, that the Son of God, the Lord Jesus died for me. He died for all of us.
It was grace indeed that sinful man could be reconciled to Him. And prayer was the way that we could communicate directly with Him. I no longer dared, no longer wanted, to wonder why the preacher was not ringing the bell to end the prayer.
The following week, I attended the Spiritual Convocation at Adam Road Church. At the end of the first service, anyone who wanted to pray for the Holy Spirit and to experience God was invited to pray at the front of the chapel. The sister who brought me to True Jesus Church encouraged me to go to the front. So, I went.
At that time, I was still not baptized. I dared not pray for the Holy Spirit, as I felt unworthy. In my prayer, I merely asked God to tell me if this was His true church.
Suddenly, my surroundings became brighter and brighter. Words fail to capture this wonderful light—so very powerful, yet so extremely gentle and comforting that it was not glaring at all. The thought flashed into my mind, “My father on earth may not love me, but my Father in heaven loves me dearly.”
My tears flowed freely again. The Lord Jesus had not answered my question directly. Somehow, I knew He wanted me to find the answer myself, and He reassured me that I could find Him in True Jesus Church.
CLEANSED BY THE BLOOD
On June 11, 2000, I received baptism. After we returned to the church, all of the newly baptized were told to go to the front for the laying on of hands.
A few minutes into the prayer, I still had not received the Holy Spirit. I then told God in my heart, “Lord Jesus, I have just been baptized, and I am at my cleanest now. Please give me the Holy Spirit. If not, I will sin again once I step out of the church, and I will no longer be as clean as I am now.”
As I was making this simple plea, my heart started to open up. Indeed, I could feel it blossom as a flower does. Although I did not receive the Holy Spirit in that prayer, the feeling of being sinless was very real and left a lasting impression on me.
A FLASHBACK TO MOPS
Some time after my baptism, I finally realized how the Lord had answered my question on whether I had come to the true church.
One afternoon in late 1998, before I had heard anything about True Jesus Church, I was on a bus when it stopped at a bus stop opposite a church. What caught my eye was the “arrogant” name “True Jesus Church.” Although I was not attending any church at that time, I was quite offended by the sign. I thought to myself, “Hey, do you think that only your Jesus is true? My Jesus is also true!”
But the name also intrigued me. So after passing True Jesus Church that afternoon, in my infrequent prayers, I would ask the Lord Jesus to guide me to His true church.
One night I had a dream. In that dream, I came to a place where I felt great peace and joy. Somehow, I knew that I had come to the house of God. When I woke, I couldn’t remember much about what the place looked like, but I distinctly recalled there was a fence on the premises, and there was a row of mops hanging on the fence.
Much later, after I had started to attend True Jesus Church, I went to the Adam Road church for the first time. The occasion was a truth-seekers’ gathering; we had a tea reception in the dining area. As I strolled by the side of the dining area, I suddenly gasped—there was a row of mops hanging on the fence exactly as it had appeared it my dream! So through a most interesting channel, the good Lord had already shown His true church.
Today, the Lord Jesus continues to guide me and bless me in many ways. Each time I look back at how He has gently called me and brought me back to Him, to His Truth and His church, I can only repeat to myself—indeed, my Father loves me dearly.
Testimonies of God’s Grace and Power
Manna 72: Love—the Bond of Perfection
Ah ZhaCeMui and Daniel CeMui—Mae Mor, Lampang Province, Northern Thailand
Ah ZhaCeMui (born 1985) and Daniel CeMui (born 1995) are members of the True Jesus Church in Thailand. They were both born in the Akha village in Myanmar but now live in Mae Mor, Northern Thailand.
RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT
by Ah ZhaCeMui
I am from the Akha tribe of Myanmar, and I travel frequently between the mountainous border of southern Myanmar and northern Thailand. Before my first visit to the Mae Mor True Jesus Church, I was already a Christian.
In May 2007, the True Jesus Church conducted a spiritual and evangelistic convocation at a rented metal shack in Mae Mor village. During that convocation, a preacher from Taiwan bore testimony of the gospel of Jesus. After the sermon, another preacher led everyone in prayer. He asked everyone to pray earnestly and loudly in the name of the Lord Jesus for the Holy Spirit from the true God. When they knelt down to pray, many spoke in a language that I did not understand, and their bodies vibrated. I was truly amazed, for I had never seen prayers like this. In fact, I found the prayer rather strange and comical.
Subsequently, I knelt down to pray together with them. I prayed very earnestly. Approximately four minutes into the prayer, I saw a glorious light. I saw Jesus nailed on the cross and immediately, I wept. I felt a profound sorrow to see Jesus dying in such a painful way for us sinners. My tears flowed ceaselessly and I cried out loudly. Then, I began to speak in an unknown language.
When the prayer ended, I was still weeping. Through an interpreter, one of the preachers asked me why I was in tears. I then told everyone the vision I had seen during my prayer. Later, the preacher studied the Bible with me and showed me records in the Bible of people who spoke in tongues and whose bodies vibrated when they received the Holy Spirit. The actions of the people in prayer that I had initially considered comical were actually the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit.
Thank the Lord Jesus for His grace. Had it not been for the vision that the Lord Jesus allowed me to see and the bestowing of the precious Holy Spirit, I would not have known that the True Jesus Church is the church where God abides through the presence of the Holy Spirit and that this church can truly lead one unto salvation. After that spiritual and evangelistic convocation, I received the correct form of baptism in accordance with the Bible and became a member of the church that is saved.
May all glory be given unto the holy name of the Lord Jesus. Hallelujah, Amen.
A SERIOUS ACCIDENT
by Daniel CeMui
In 2006, when I was eleven years old, my family moved from Myanmar to northern Thailand. In order to adapt to the local life and to integrate better into the society, I began attending a Thai school. I also took up Chinese lessons at a Chinese school.
In 2011, I asked my parents to transfer me to another school because I did not like the school that I was attending. When they refused, I angrily told them I would stop attending school. Thinking that this was just a passing whim, my parents did not take my request seriously. But when the school semester was about to commence, I still refused to register at the school and told my parents that I wanted to work instead. It was then that they realized that I was adamant about switching schools. After some thought, they asked me what would persuade me to continue attending that school. I negotiated for a motorcycle. A month later, my new motorcycle arrived and I happily rode to school on it every day.
In 2011, one day after class, a teacher asked me to send her to another school. After dropping my teacher off on my motorcycle, I sped home. Because I was speeding, I was unable to stop in time when a car suddenly emerged from a small lane. I crashed into the car. The impact was so great that my new motorcycle was totally wrecked and I lost consciousness on the spot. When I woke up, I realized that both my arms were fractured. I was in such agony that I cried out loudly to God to deliver me. Unable to move, all I could do was to close my eyes and pray to God in great misery. The residents nearby sent me to the hospital.
My parents rushed to the hospital to see me. They prayed with me and encouraged me to rely on God. After our prayer, I told my father that I did not want any metal pins inserted in my arms. The doctor insisted that the metal pins were an indispensable form of support for my arms to speed up the recovery process. However, later, in the operating theatre, when the doctor removed the splint to prepare for the operation he found to his utter amazement that my left arm had healed. The doctor was stunned and perplexed because the x-ray of my left arm clearly showed a fracture. How could it be that at this point in time, my arm was perfectly fine? I knew immediately that this was God’s healing. I was so moved that I wept there.
The other arm was, however, still fractured and the doctor insisted once again that metal pins had to be inserted. However, I was even more adamant about not undergoing surgery. Seeing that I was so resolute, the doctor had no other choice but to allow me to return home to recuperate.
After I returned home, I used herbal medicine to treat my arms and prayed continuously for the healing of the Lord. Soon, the injuries to my right arm and on my legs healed. However, I was still unable to bend my index finger and to write with my right hand. Hoping to recover even faster, I prayed earnestly to God. Thank God for listening to my prayers! Within a short span of time, my index finger recovered. Soon, I was able to resume attending services. God is indeed the almighty doctor.
This incident taught me how to rely on God and helped me to grow tremendously in my faith. Now I understand that the accident was part of God’s grace to enable me to understand His great love and power. I have truly learned to pray ceaselessly, because prayer is such an important means for us to experience God and to rely on Him.
May all glory be given to the holy name of the Lord Jesus. Hallelujah, Amen.
SAVED FROM DROWNING
by Daniel CeMui
One day in February 2013, I arranged with six of my classmates—five girls and a boy—to go out together after our classes. With the exception of my male classmate, all of us are from the True Jesus Church. It was a fine and sunny afternoon. As we were riding around, we spotted a reservoir near our school. None of us knew the topography of the reservoir sandbank as well as the water depth. But the sparkling water looked so inviting, we excitedly decided to spend the rest of the afternoon there.
Soon everyone was having a great time swimming and horsing around in the cool water. One of the girls, Ye Lisha, was enjoying herself in the water so much that she did not realize that she was getting farther and farther away from the bank. It was only when she lost her footing that she suddenly realized that she had reached a very deep part of the reservoir. Not knowing how to swim, she went under very quickly. Another classmate, Zhang Huiya, who had been standing closest to her, grabbed her but was pulled down into the water as well.A third classmate, LuoHuiling who saw Lisha and Huiya thrashing about in the water, initially thought they were fooling around. When she realized that they were in trouble, she rushed over to try to save them. But she too was pulled underwater amidst the chaos and confusion.
Subsequently, my male classmate heard their pleas for help. He quickly dived in to try to save them but was also unsuccessful. When I noticed them sinking one by one, I dived in with no second thought and quickly swam over. Since I was the strongest, all four of them clung onto me very tightly and struggled to float to the surface. Their collective weight caused me to be completely submerged. I was terrified knowing that I was about to die. I tried to shout for help but swallowed lots of water the minute I opened my mouth. At that instant, I prayed to God in my heart, “Lord Jesus please save me! Today, if You do not save us, we will all drown.”
All this time, the two younger classmates left on shore, Zhang Huali and Zhang Huixian, had been continually shouting for help, but there was no one near the reservoir. They too were worried to death. Unable to do anything else, they could only remain on shore and cry to God for help.
At this precarious moment between life and death, the Lord heard our prayers and stretched out His almighty hands. Amazingly, all of us who had sunk into the water were literally catapulted to the shore one by one (this was personally witnessed by the two classmates who had remained on the shore). We knew nothing of this because the five of us in the water had already become unconscious. When we regained consciousness, we found ourselves lying on the reservoir shore.
This was indeed the great deliverance of the Lord Jesus. Not only did He save us, He did it in the most remarkable way. Without this mighty Savior, we would not be here testifying to His amazing grace today. I shall surely remember His goodness and mercy all the days of my life.May all glory be given to the holy name of the Lord Jesus.
Witnessed the Lord’s catapult: Zhang Huali, Zhang Huixia
Rescued by the Lord from the watery depths.: Ye Lisha, Zhang Huiya, Luo Huiling, Daniel (Ah Luo) Ce Mui