Hi brother and sisters, I write this testimony specifically to tell you about the amazing things that God has done to me in the last few months. In August this year my father decided to buy a house in Auckland, and a lot of things happened since then. None of them were easy to deal with as I went through, but God has done amazing thing to us and helped me go through every burden. I am not here to celebrate the house; I am here to celebrate God. He’s faithful and generous!
Before I start I should introduce my background a little bit. I came to New Zealand 7 years ago as an international student. After graduating from university, I stayed and worked here. I have a younger brother studying in Auckland. My parents are in China.
This August my dad visited Auckland. He came only for ten days, mainly for checking my brother’s study. Yet after staying with some of his good old friends in western Auckland, he suddenly told me he wanted to buy a house. He thought it was a good time to own a property because the house price was low; the New Zealand dollar was low; and the interest rate was low too. It didn’t sound like a bad idea, but I thought he’s just kidding because: I just lost my job this year as the economy went down; my father is the only one who works in the family. We are not rich at all to afford a big house. So I told him: “Dad, I want to help, but I don’t have a job. If we buy a house, I am concerned about how we are going to pay the mortgage.” It turned out that my father didn’t seem worry at all. He did a lot of calculation. Finally, he said the financial issue could be solved—no problem. So he still decided to buy one. He wanted a house that is big, nice, and cheap.
So after ten days, he went back to China, and I started to search for the “big- nice-cheap” house somewhere in the world for him. By that time I still thought this whole thing was just a big joke. Yet before long I received a ring from an agent, saying that there’s a fairly nice big house in Henderson for sale. The owner lived in it for 30 years and now she just wanted to move, so she’s not fussy about the price. I went to check the house. As soon as I entered the house, the first thing I saw right down the hallway was a canvas, reading: Jesus has done amazing thing for you.
After negotiation, the owner agreed to sell me the house at a price much lower than the average market price. I immediately commenced sighing contract, contacting lawyers, bank, brokers, etc. While doing these, though stressful, I felt very thankful to God for the house. I prayed to God that one day He would lead my parents in front of Him, as He had already looked after them even they hadn’t known Him; and I prayed that God will keep blessing this house and made it somehow used by Him.
After everything was done and the settlement was paid, I was so pleased. I felt I did a good job. I rang up my father to tell him that all the procedures were progressing smoothly. However, I was only happy for five minutes— as my father suddenly asked me: “That’s good. So…how about the mortgage?”
Mortgage? What mortgage? “Oh, you know, we are about to start paying mortgage,” my father said, “You said you were going to help.” I said, “Wait, wait, wait…I told you that ‘I want to help, but I don’t have a job’. Do you know what it means by “I don’t have a job’? And— I’ve warned you about the mortgage, so that’s a very funny question to ask.” “No~” My father said, “I remember you said you were going to help…” Then we started arguing…I ended up yelling over the phone. Finally my dad said, “Oh calm down, calm down…maybe I misunderstood you…So… how are we going to pay the mortgage?” I was like…How do I suppose to know?
Putting down the phone, I was so angry and stressful. I complained to my friends about this odd thing. Some said, “Sounds like your father’s going to sell you!” But it’s not funny. Even if sold by kilo, I wouldn’t worth that much. The mortgage was coming very soon. I rang up property agents and decided to rent out the house immediately. Several tenants came for checking, but none of they were happy about the presentation of the house. After all, the house was thirty years old, and it needed to be refreshed. One agent even said straight to me: “It’s just a waste of time to put it on the market like this.” But how can it be done within short period of time? Also, I had very limited budget from my dad. The money could only cover the materials. That meant the labor work needed to be done by ourselves.
Unfortunately, it ended up that I did most of the work. My brother sometimes came to help, but most of the time I work in the house alone by myself: painting the wall, laying carpet, fixing door handles, changing window locks... Now I realized the house was really “BIG”. These jobs…I’ve never done any of them before. When I had a problem, I went to Miter 10 and asked their staff for advice, or used Google…You will never know how much “fun” I had being DIY.
Day after day, I work from day to night. Quite often, when I got home it was mid-night already. I felt hungry but I didn’t have appetite to eat. I was getting exhausted. I remember the day before the terrible tsunami shocked Samoa, Auckland was getting terribly cold. I didn’t watch the weather report, so I didn’t wear enough clothes. That day around noon time, I felt it freezing in the house. I was tired, hungry and thirsty. I was starving so badly that I couldn’t even drive my car to buy food. At that moment, I was totally overwhelmed by the feeling of depression. I felt very angry towards my father. He just asked for what he wanted and he just listened to what he wanted to hear; He just left me alone to deal with things by myself! And I felt disappointed to myself too. I wished I was stronger to carry things on my shoulder…or even just a bit taller, so that I can paint the ceiling of the house a bit easily. And I remembered some friends joking to me “Wow! Before you were a strong woman, now you are upgrading to a superwoman!” But I don’t want to be a superwoman. I was I just wanted to be looked after; I wanted to be protected. I wanted to be treated as a daughter, as a girl… as a female. I sat on the floor and cried to the Lord: Lord, for 7 years you have taught me not to worry about property and wealth on earth, and I don’t want to worry about it. Actually I don’t even need this house. I just thought this will do my parents something good— but how come I stuck in such a situation? What am I doing in this stupid place? I cried in my heart: Lord, I am here. Please come and help me!
God is faithful. He sent his people. There came two persons— a lady and a man—to check our house. As we talked, I found out that they were from a local church in Henderson. The lady is the pastor’s wife, and the man is a brother from the church, looking for a place for his two little daughters and himself. After they looked at my house, they liked it and wanted to go with it, but they agreed that house needed to be renewed first. I explained to them my situation that I really had done what I could. On hearing that, the pastor’s wife said: “Do you know what we do? We do a lot social work and set up stages for events. We have a team of people who can do painting and carpet! How about this, you provide the materials and we can do the labor job for you!” Very soon we signed agreements in front of agent. I left paint and carpet in the house for them, alongside with the key.
After one week, I went back and check. When I entered the house, I thought I went into a wrong one. The whole house just looked totally different! The carpet was laid and it looked gorgeous; the walls were painted and the interior looked modern and neat; the ceiling was repainted, that the whole house looked much brighter than before. The bedrooms for the girls were decorated in a cute, sweet style with a lot of love from the church people. The brother’s family moved in, and he told me that they were blessed living their. The neighbors were nice to them, offering help to look after the girls.
So, we have a happy ending for this story. As I said, I am not here to celebrate the house but to celebrate God. Looking back to these months, I can’t believe it actually happened. It’s a miracle! God is beyond our wisdom and understanding. The old canvas down the hallway of the house has gone with the old family; but I have put up a new canvas, and on it I wrote the sentence from Philippians 4:6: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
When I put my eyes on God, the things on earth looked so dim. They are nothing comparing to our God. I learnt to depend on God more and more instead of my own strength. I feel grateful, knowing that my heaven Father will never leave me when I call onto His name. As the scripture says: “I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances, I have learnt the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry…I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Praise the Lord!