A story of How Celeste Came to Know God through Her Quest for Truth
Celeste sat on a bench at the bus stop and looked at her wristwatch to see how many minutes she had till the next bus arrived. She pulled out a book on Greek mythology from her bag. Though she wanted to continue reading her book, she couldn’t keep her eyes from wondering away to look at the students and people on the street. She looked down to her school uniform and gazed up at all the other students sharing the same uniform with her. She looked further into the main street as cars rushed by and up to the skyscrapers. Everything she looked at, every person, every car, building and even the mindset of all people seem to share a uniform system. “I can’t be bound to this uniform system, I need to find the Truth,” she thought to herself.
Celeste was born in Kunming, China from hard working parents who earned a good reputation in their small town. Since childhood, she had always been interested in Greek and Arab myth. Though she grew up in atheist family and culture, in her teen years, she decided to follow Buddhism. For five years she immersed herself in Buddhist teaching and followed all it’s religious rituals.
Celeste then went to the Netherlands to study Liberal Arts. One of the courses she took in college was Christianity. It captured her interest, and she started reading the Bible to understand what Christianity was all about. At first she thought the Bible was just a book on the national history of Jews, no different from the Greek mythology books she read before.
“As a regular educated person, at first I couldn’t believe stories like the splitting of the Red Sea, walking on water, turning water to wine and the resurrection. I thought, ‘These can’t be real events’. So I thought the Bible was just another book of mythology.”
Christianity was not only one of the subjects that she studied at university, but also became a major topic that she debated on with local Christians who tried to persuade her. “Of course they failed, how could they defeat a person with words who studied in Liberal Arts? However, the seed of the gospel had been planted in my heart during all those debates, “ she says.
“Even though I was quite familiar with biblical content and the theological perspectives in Christianity, my heart was hard and sometimes I even mocked sincere Christians.” No matter how much she yearned, searched and read many books of mythology and philosophy, her quest for truth was not fulfilled yet.
“Through all the years, what I have been doing is longing for true knowledge and avoiding any boundaries to my rational mind.” She used to think that religion would prevent her free mind from exploring, so she kept clear away from any forms of religious practice for long. “Certainly, I had no idea how arrogant I was; neither had I any understanding of faith.”
One night in 2014, Celeste opened the Bible and decided to read it thoroughly. “I still remember the first time when I opened the Bible, Noah disappointed me so much! How could Abraham do this? “How can David make such mistakes? Shouldn’t the Bible be an ideal book that set examples of how people should live? Why is it filled with stories of people who made mistakes.” She got angry and put her Bible aside. Soon, she realized that she no longer saw the Bible as a novel full of fantasies and fairy tales. “I didn’t see any fictional characters but real people in the Bible. Israelis blamed Moses for lacking food and drink. King David set up an innocent man just for taking his wife. I saw depravity of humanity everywhere in the Bible, as it is in this world, but I also saw love and loyalty in Jonathan, as what I always see in my friends. I continued reading the words of God, and felt something changing gradually. At some point, I realized that I would never be tied up by religion, but would be actually be completely set free through faith.”
Celeste wanted to truly understand the Bible so she read exegesis books. It took her a year to finish thoroughly studying the Bible. She confessed and asked God for his forgiveness and guidance, and decided to follow and serve him ever since.
“And this verse is true to my life; ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’ Jer 29:13”
Celeste knew that she needed to be in the fellowship of people who follow the Bible’s teaching. “I noticed Bible is about relationships, with God and people; I realized I need to participate, so I joined a local church.”
She became active in her church and started to serve with the production team. She told her pastor that she wanted to find a school where she could learn more about the Bible, and gain media skills that could help her become more effective in her service.
Celeste heard about Medialight from her pastor. Her husband (who is not a Christian yet) was also very supportive that she should join Medialight, because, as a sound artist, he believed that the school would teach her skills in filmmaking that could help them partner in their work.
“Before I came to Medialight I never heard the word ‘media missionaries.’ I used to wonder how I could do missions as an introvert. But now media mission is a perfect fit for me as I can be comfortable and share my faith with others.” Celeste believes she is called for spreading God’s word to young educated people who are looking for the truth.
“Looking back on my life, I believe it was God’s will that I go through what I have gone through in my life. Even being a Buddhist for five years became a foundation for me to look and long for truth that I eventually found in Jesus,” she says.This story is originally published on emergemissions.org