Testimony By Caroline Ho—Miami, Florida, USA
GOD IS IN AMERICA
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I testify. My search for Christ began when I moved to the United States.
When I arrived in Miami, Florida, the first thing I noticed was how much more civilized Americans were compared to the Chinese. Even though Chinese history reached farther back in time, Americans were able to progress and develop much more efficiently. As I considered this, I also concluded that their success was the result of their religion.
Americans seem to entrust their national welfare to God. Their faith in a higher authority to protect and guide them is evident as they ask that “God bless America.” The four words printed on the United States currency serve as a declaration and reminder that it is “in God we trust.” So I guess God gave this nation abundant blessings.
While exploring America, I also began to look for a church because I could see that this God was with His people. The problem wasn’t my determination but the multitude of churches in the United States. Not knowing which church was the right church, I prayed to God to lead me to where He dwelt.
We know that if we want to eat real Chinese food, we go to where Chinese people gather. There are only two places in America where you can get really good Chinese food—California and New York: the two states most heavily populated with Asians.
This was the “guide” I relied on when I needed to find the right church. Since Christianity came from the West, it seemed most logical for me to turn to the West. So the first church I visited was a Catholic Church. The floors were marbled, the windows were glass stained, and the choir sang angelically.
Then I went to a Baptist Church, a Presbyterian Church, and many other denominations. They generally had large congregations, and everybody ate buffet-style.
One day, I read a report that identified the State of Utah to be the safest State in the country, so I thought about the Mormons. The next day, I encountered two Mormons on bicycles. They gave me a Mormon Bible and I started to read from it. For about a period of six months, I also studied with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In the end, I returned to the Catholic Church because I found their services to be the most reverent. I was serious about my search for God and I didn’t want to give up the opportunity to find Him.
FINDING SPIRITUAL FRIENDS
On one encounter, someone told me that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of God, and when you receive it you will speak in a different tongue. I couldn’t sleep that night because I thought, “If this is true, then God is a true God and not imagined!”
I was eager to get in touch with someone who had received the Holy Spirit. Who could such a person be, and what makes this person especially loved by God?
But the discouraging notion that, among thousands of Christians, only a few will receive it disheartened me.
Whenever I met a Christian, I would ask if he or she spoke a different tongue. If their notion of the Holy Spirit differed from mine, I would stop listening to them.
In July 1992, one of my friends came for a visit. The night she arrived, I went to meet up with her at another friend’s home. It was then that she introduced me to a friend of hers. This friend, Brother Lin, told me how his wife and her whole family were very devout Christians. They had been members of the True Jesus Church for the past two years.
At the time, his wife was still in Taiwan, so I requested that he ask his wife about the Holy Spirit the next time he spoke with her. He said, “I don’t need to ask—I know that the Holy Spirit is true and that we will receive if we ask.” But I remembered that only a few out of thousands have the Holy Spirit, so I thought his answer was not right.
When I got home that evening, someone had broken into my house and turned everything upside down. All my wedding jewelry had been stolen. When the police left, I sat in the garage and cried. If I had not stayed at my friend’s house and talked about the Holy Spirit, this would not have happened.
A couple of months after the burglary, I recovered from the shock and returned to the subject of the Holy Spirit. When I finally met up with Brother Lin’s wife, Sister Lin, she told me that the True Jesus Church baptizes in living water. She emphasized that they pursue after the Holy Spirit. She turned to the Bible for evidence of the Holy Spirit, but when I asked her why living water was essential to baptism, she didn’t know how to answer me.
When I got home that day I opened the Bible, and the first page that turned up was the baptism of Jesus Christ. I was really moved because I don’t believe in coincidences—I believe this was the guidance of God.
I decided to attend service with this sister and her husband. Between the three of us, we had only one hymnbook, but we sang and prayed together. At the time, the three of us did not have the Holy Spirit. In prayer, we said only “Hallelujah.”
In May 1993, a pastor from California and a few brothers and sisters visited my house for the time. That was also the first time I saw and heard what the Holy Spirit was all about.
One month later, we held another service at my house. I really wanted to be baptized, but the True Jesus Church encourages truthseekers to wait until they have fully accepted and understood the Truth before receiving baptism.
During that service, I could not concentrate on the sermon because all I could think about was receiving baptism. The minister then turned to Acts 22:16:
“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
At the end of the service, I decided to bring up the matter even though it was too soon to ask for baptism. Thank God, they agreed to baptize me.
There was a spiritual convocation coming up in Tampa, Florida, where I was to receive baptism. I was told that a spiritual convocation offered a good opportunity to receive the Holy Spirit because it is several days long, and you can listen to sermons and pray throughout the day. Furthermore, there will be ministers present who will lay hands on you and pray for you.
Going to Tampa created much strife between my husband and me. At the time, I was in the first trimester of pregnancy, and since I miscarried before, the physician told me that I had to be bedridden. My husband would not let me go, saying that I’ll have to bear the consequences alone if I put my unborn child in jeopardy.
But I decided to go because I thought, “Life is from the Lord. If my heart seeks after Him, He will not let me suffer a miscarriage.” Carrying that determination, Bro. Lin, Sis. Lin and I drove to Tampa, Florida, to attend the spiritual convocation.
The place of worship was a small office that accommodated about twenty to thirty people. It was a bit cramped, and with my pregnancy, I had a
headache and couldn’t concentrate.
That night, I started to bleed and my stomach was in great pain. When I called my husband, he was very angry and ordered me to go back home immediately. I crumpled into tears.
Everything was unfamiliar to me, and having sought after God for so long, He still didn’t protect me. I risked the chance of another miscarriage, and He still did not care. This God is too hard to please. I didn’t know what else I had to do to show God that I really wanted to draw closer to Him.
The next day, the pastor brought a few brothers and sisters to my motel room to pray. I prayed very hard for the Holy Spirit, putting all my worries aside. All I could think about were the sins of my past. Things that I had long forgotten flooded back into my mind, and I was deeply aware of what a sinner I was.
After the baptism, we drove back to Miami, and I received the Holy Spirit the next day. Thank God!
VISIONS OF COMFORT
While we were in Tampa, a sister saw a vision during one of the evangelical services. She first saw me dressed in white, holding a naked baby. After that, she saw a faceless figure dressed in white with two wings coming to hold the baby, and the baby was now dressed in light blue.
Two large tears trickled down the child’s cheeks. Then, the hands disappeared and the child was suspended in air against a white backdrop. A third pair of hands came back to hold the baby, but the face of the hands’ owner was indistinguishable. The next day, another sister saw the identical vision, but they both did not tell anyone because they did not want to testify to a large group of people.
These visions took place during the spiritual convocation when I was only six weeks pregnant. It was only after I had endured a difficult labor that I understood the visions and became deeply convinced that this God is a living God.
The person in the first vision was me, and I was dressed in white because I had been cleansed through baptism. At first I was holding my child, but then I disappeared from the picture and another pair of hands held the child. The baby had two teardrops because I was to endure a very difficult labor.
After I gave birth, I hemorrhaged for many months. The doctor said that I could not care for my child nor do any housework. So for the first few months after I gave birth to my baby boy, I was unable to take care of him or my husband, and I felt so helpless.
I know now it was because I could not care for my baby that the angel’s hands came to hold him—comforting me that God will take care of everything.
In the last vision, it was I who returned to hold the baby. When I went to Tampa to attend the spiritual convocation I sat in front of the sisters who saw the visions. I had run my hands through my hair, and the sisters recognized that it was the exact same pair of hands that returned to hold the baby. The fact that I came back to hold the baby meant that I would recover.
Whenever I think about this, I am greatly encouraged. Soon after my recovery, I was able to get out of bed and take care of my family. The doctor said I couldn’t deliver any more babies, but, because of the vision, I chose not to have my tubes tied.
In 1995, I went to another spiritual convocation in North Carolina. There, I asked God for another baby, and He gave me a girl.
Thank the Lord that, in the process of finding Him, He has guided and protected me. He affirmed for me that this is the true church. He never appeared to me in all the other churches that I visited.
I thank God for leading me to the church that He prophesied, and I am filled with joy for having received the Holy Spirit. I also thank God for making me a mother. When I see my child, I see the love of God in my life.
After I became a mother, I understood more deeply the immense love of Jesus Christ. May all glory be unto the Lord God. Amen.