My name is Chris Yip. I’m 16 years old, currently studying at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts. I’m really excited to share with you my testimony and how God came into my life. As I hope that it’ll encourage you to place your faith in God’s hands and realise that it is just amazing to have God in your life.
Before I came to Central Baptist Church, I attended The Salvation Army, Hurstville. Around the ages of 6-8 years old…I don’t remember exactly how old but I remember I was quite little. I was that one hyperactive kid you’d see running, screaming around the church playing hide and go seek tips. And during that time I didn’t know God personally. I’d learn about him, attend Sunday school…but God wasn’t part of my life yet, it was just another fairy-tale told to me. Around 2012, something happened at the Salvation Army, and my mum decided that we’re going to move to a different church, the church our auntie goes to which is Central Baptist Church. And during that time…I was furious…I was frustrated because I’d never get to see my friends ever again and I feel like I wouldn’t fit in with this new church. Begging, crying and arguing to my parents for me to stay at this church. My mindset was all about making friends being the centre of attention…and not on God.
Coming into CBC, I was nervous…I wasn’t that outgoing and energetic guy you see now. I was really shy for the first time coming into BLAZE. I didn’t know anyone. Walking into the room, I sat on the side where the chairs were stacked and saw two groups on either side of the room….a group of guys in a circle having a conversation….and a group of girls having a conversation. Then you have me…just sitting there, speechless. On that day, I had my first bible study… Back at my old church, we never had actual study books for us to write in and answer questions. It was more of a, flick to this part of the bible and think what this passage is talking about. But when doing bible studies at Blaze, I got a clearer and better understanding on who God was, and made me interested in wanting to know more.
After seeing many people get baptised, the idea of wanting to get baptised has been in my head for quite some time. But there were things which bugged me in life preventing me in making that choice due to the guilt and shame that I have for the sins I’ve committed in the past. I could never forgive myself or I was just frightened to ask God to forgive me because I felt really bad. There were a few major things which I felt really guilty for….and during this time I didn’t blame God if He punished me. .
1) I swear a lot than usual…at church I wouldn’t swear at all….but at school and at home…it’s a completely different story. Every now and then, when I talk at school and at home, I manage to slip in a large amount of abusive and swearing adjectives in my everyday language. Usually it’ll be like: Oh yeah I’m really excited for Jurassic World! I can’t wait….but now it’s like…I can’t f..ing wait for Jurassic…F..ing World…I’m so…f..ing exited etc. When reflecting, I realised that swearing serves no purpose. Literally it does nothing except to create a bad character and reputation.
2) I’m a compulsive liar…on many occasions I would lie on a regular basis….it could be just me telling my mum that I did my homework saying that I’ve completed it or lying that I didn’t eat the last Tim Tam in the fridge and didn’t chuck the wrapper. But the thing is I would lie about big things to prevent myself getting into trouble. And many times I wouldn’t notice myself lying until after 5 minutes later realising that I just lied, meaning I just believed what I lied about…believing it was true. But in reality…it was a lie made up by myself.
3) I’m a thief…It first started during Years 5 -6 in Primary School when I was jealous that other people had great food from the canteen… and all I had was a dull sandwich. I decided to steal change from my dad’s work jeans and eventually bought like burgers that costed 5 dollars. Eventually I was caught in the act, and my dad told me not to do it again. I wasn’t satisfied and I continued to steal, but not from my dad’s jeans, now it’s stealing from my mum’s wallet….around 5 dollars a week….and yet I got still caught and they told me to stop. However, during Years 8- 9 I had a plan in which no one ever caught me stealing….not even my parents know…until today. I had an English tutor who would usually go overtime in her classes. The lessons cost 30 dollars an hour and she tends to forget to collect our fees. The first time I actually forgot, but then that’s when the idea came up. The idea was to steal money through tuition fees. I knew I couldn’t do it every week…so it was pay 2 weeks, take 1 week, and this process went on for many years. People would ask me, Oh Chris where do you get so much money from? So I lied saying it was Chinese New Year money saved up, birthday money saved up…or even allowance saved up. Every now and then when I look at my movie collection or objects in my house…I’d always remember which products were bought with stolen money and which weren’t. So I stopped….I felt so dishonest, and guilty and I realised it was the wrong thing. I shouldn’t steal in the first place and felt really guilty for cheating on my tutor and my parents.
4) This may be hilarious for some, and some may debate that this isn’t a sin. I didn’t know what this was until late Year 9 of high school. People in high school made fun of me as I didn’t know what masturbation was and asked people and they’d laugh. I was too scared to search it up on the internet as I thought it was something really bad or inappropriate. It got to the point where people started spreading “Oh…Chris doesn’t masturbate etc.” And I felt really embarrassed. So I asked a friend and he told me what it was…and I did it…I just went on ahead and did it…And all the embarrassment was gone…however after that one time, I was latched onto this addiction. Many people said it’s normal to get yourself attached to masturbation and pornography. Although it was rare for me to masturbate to pornography, I feel tempted to do it even when I say I want to quit. I feel really guilty about it, although the bible doesn’t clearly mention about masturbation being a sin. I still feel really bad doing and feel like its disrespecting God.
What motivated me to know Christ? So at the end of the day, what made me decide to get baptised on this very morning? What motivated me to share my testimony?
At Youth Getaway 2015, our speaker Mark Costa on the third talk, shared the story of Peter and how he rejected Jesus Christ three times. And during this talk, I was thinking…yes I’ve heard this story over and over again. And thought I was going to get nothing new out of it…until, he told us to spend some time to think about our guilt and regrets ….and place our feet in Peter’s shoes…how regretful he would’ve felt to reject Him.
And all the guilt I mentioned earlier flashed at me within a few seconds before communion. I shed a tear and wanted to spend my life with God, but I didn’t want to get baptised because I felt guilty, so I talked to one of leaders in BLAZE, Gavin that night. It was around midnight and it was him and me casually talking and I shared my thoughts on the talk that Mark shared…and told him I was heavily impacted. I shared with him my struggles and how that was restricting me from wanting to get baptised. I was crying so much…not only was I crying because I felt guilty and crying for forgiveness…I cried because I felt so happy that I could finally share to someone about my guilt and struggles that bothered me. It was from that talk that made me say, I love you Jesus, You are my saviour. I believe that You died on the cross and resurrected. I want to spend the rest of my life with You. Although I still struggle with these things I mentioned earlier, I know that I can’t do this alone and I need Jesus in my life.