My family is not too big on “religion,” but they are more inclined to Buddhism. And I would identify myself towards Atheism, where I strongly detested that any gods or deities even existed. Growing up, I went to some occasional temple visits with my family. They would pray, and I would follow. I had no idea what was going on. Over the years I started to really despise going because I found it to be a waste of time.

Fast forward a few years – to when I was in high school, I remember butting into a conversation between classmates about God. I loathed that there was even a god in the first place. We were debating, and I remember saying that there is all the science in the world to disprove that God is real. The only point I brought up was Darwinism. There was also a time when my cousin and I were approached by Mormons. The moment they mentioned Jesus my cousin coincidentally choked on his drink. After the Mormons left we just laughed and joked about it because we did not believe that any gods existed.

One Friday night, I was invited to hang out at church. I agreed as I was not doing anything else on Friday night. But they were just sitting outside waiting for service to start, so I ended up getting dragged into service. My first service was strange. It was very different from what I had expected to see, as I was expecting something like a Hollywood depiction of a church. What shocked me, even more, was that there was a band playing and people singing along like karaoke. Soon after, I started to sing along in worship with everyone else. The more services I went to, the more I found myself opening up my heart each time.

Then came Ablaze Encounter Night. This was one of the events that turned me over to Christ – the night where I really opened up my heart to God. I remember, during worship, the worship leader was sharing that we were all standing outside the tent and that God was inside, waiting – that we were unsure if we can go in. But God was just waiting for us to come in. So I took the step inside. And that was where I encountered God. During the altar call, I could just feel my heart urging me to respond. So, I raised my hand to respond to God, and I remember being overcome with emotion.

Right after I responded I did not exactly feel like anything had changed. But then I started to feel it, that I could confidently say that I am now a Christian and a child of God. Because God has welcomed me with open arms, and he will surely welcome you with open arms as well.

Chau Tran
Bachelor of Health Sciences
Powerhouse, Ablaze