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The English Doctor

28 Sep 2021

Prayer Updates / Featured

The English Doctor

        [The writer is a Mainland Chinese believer who has lived in the West since 1995. ]

I am often asked: “When did you become a Christian?” 
Many Chinese become believers in Jesus after they come to the West.  They often have amazing stories to tell about walking into a church out of curiosity and finding God!  Some experience random acts of kindness and hospitality from Christians who model Christ’s love. 

But that’s not my story.  I’m a 4th generation believer from an extended family of Christians who lived (and some still live) in South China’s Guangdong Province.

You will not find the details of our family journey written down anywhere and there are no photographs.  Yet the story has been told and retold through the generations.  I have heard it literally hundreds of times from my own Mum as well as from my uncles and aunties. 

The story began sometime between 1890 and 1900 and it started with an English lady.  We have never seen photos of her.  We can only imagine what she looked like.  We know nothing of how she came to China.  All we know is she was connected to a Medical Mission in Shantou and her Chinese friends had given her the name, Dr. Li (黎)

She had come one day with two local colleagues to my great grandmother’s village deep in the Guangdong countryside.  She spoke fluent Chinese but did not preach.  She did not go door to door.  She and her two friend strolled through the village and the fields singing a simple chorus – still sung in China today:

Come to (believe) Jesus, 
come to (believe) Jesus,
come to (believe) Jesus now.
Now come to (believe) Jesus, come to (believe) Jesus now

Great grandma asked her who was this person they were singing about.  Dr. Li told her. 
“Was He stronger than the gods we worshipped at our local village temple?” 
“He is God above all gods - the Creator of the Universe.
“So why should I continue to follow lesser gods” she asked herself and she made an immediate decision. 

That day she received Jesus as her Saviour and began an unbroken family dynasty.  (She was the only one in her village that day who made that commitment.)



      A village in Guangdong Province


How real was this conversion?  Very real!  That same day the village leaders dug a grave just outside the village.  “If you do not return to the temple and worship our gods you will be thrown in and buried alive” they told her. 







Dr. Li quickly escorted my great grandma to Shantou where a new life of blessing and service began.  A story for another day that stretches to 2021 so far.

My family know nothing about Dr. Li but somethings we are sure of!  She was courageous.  She was obedient to God’s call.  She had great faith.  No books have been written about her but her influence has continued down through many generations.  Who knows how many people’s lives were forever changed by this faithful servant.   





Praise/Prayer points

Praise God that the Holy Spirit can use a simple song to touch and change a heart. 

Praise God for the many who have served in mission, seemingly anonymously, yet whom God has used to touch lives through the generations.

Pray that God will raise up more seemingly ordinary workers who will do extraordinary things like Dr. Li.









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