In the first grade, I asked my teacher “Where did human beings come from?” She said, “I don’t know. Many people are trying to discover the origins of life and everyone has a different belief.”

I wasn’t the smartest kid in public school. In third grade, I was diagnosed with ADHD by a psychologist. I was placed in a special learning class and a class for English as a second language. As an Asian child, that was a huge disgrace for my family. But, in my junior year, I left special education to join regular classes and was no longer diagnosed with ADHD. I was considered a trouble-maker in school. Often, when I did not get what I wanted, I would get angry and violent until I succeeded in getting my own way. I became quite spoiled and manipulated my parents and used them and my siblings. During this rebellious period of my life, people had to call the cops on me. I had a really bad temper and became quite angry if things didn’t go my way and I showed no respect for authorities nor my parents.

Throughout my early adolescence, I followed my mom’s belief in Buddhism. That meant worshipping idols and praying to Buddha. It was mostly nominal on my part and to some degree the same goes for my mom except when special religious events took place. I had committed many sins throughout my life, yet I never saw myself as a wretched sinner. All my friends were involved in drugs, immoral parties, drunkenness, and illicit relationships.

I attended a different high school than many of my friends, and that meant that I had to make new friends which was difficult for me.  All my life, I had been overweight and now I was being hassled because of it. I didn’t take my grades seriously in my senior high school years nor did I care much about my future.

The first time I ever heard about Jesus was at a Christmas play. My aunt Linda brought me to it while I was still very young. I laughed and joked about it since I had no idea why this baby Jesus was so important. I hated the thought of Jesus and considered His followers hypocrites.

One time in particular, I can recall being told by my uncle that I needed to believe in Jesus or experience the consequence of my sins in hell. I asked my uncle many questions, and his answers left me furious and I never wanted my uncle to speak to me ever again. Little did I know that six months later I would become a Christian and share this exciting news with him. However, God still had a few lessons for me to learn before that happened.

Before that, I sought my own answers about the purpose of life and became somewhat introspective about my own relationships. I thought about my behaviour and my treatment of my parents which left me feeling guilty and restless. I had mixed views about who God was. So much around me seemed to point to Him. I concluded that all religions must be correct. I began to look at the trees, the sky, the plants and animals. I said to myself “There must be a creator, but who?”

In my search for answers to life, I thought not only about Buddha but Allah, Jesus, Mary and every other type of god known. I checked my horoscope daily.  My interest in religion grew to the point that I investigated many kinds of philosophies, religions and cults like Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Protestantism, evolution, Islam, Jehovah Witness and Mormons. It was when I became interested in the teachings of Jesus, that things began to make sense to me. Sin and the Ten Commandments were of particular interest to me since I discovered that due to my sinful nature that I would be punished in Hell because of it. I read the entire gospel of John and learned about Jesus’ miracles and the reason He had to die, to set us free from sin’s punishment and make the only way open to us to receive eternal life. It was then that I believed the gospel and repented of my sins and learned what life is really about. I experienced great joy, so much so, that I read the entire gospel of John in one day! In the time that followed, I read more of the Bible, I found many answers that I previously had not known. I began to grow in God’s Word. I went to my family’s Vietnamese Church where my uncle taught me about the different teachings in the Bible. I soon apologized to my parents and siblings about the way I treated them in the past.

My life from that point on underwent real changes. I began attending Emmanuel Baptist Church and several Bible Studies to grow in my new found faith. I was a regular at our prayer and worship meetings and participated in evangelistic outreaches by sharing the gospel and giving out tracts at Parliament, parades, Canada Day, youth work and university outreach.

I’m going back to school this January, and continue to serve God in all facets of my faith in our Church. I continue to pray, fellowship, worship, live my life in accordance to God’s Word, study and share my faith. This is my journey in the LORD JESUS CHRIST. I never want to depart from the Gospel and His grace. This is my testimony of how God saved me!

Andy Tran

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