It is such a privilege to testify the work God has done in my life. I grew up in a non-religious family and was told that there was no God in this world. However, in my heart, I believed that there is someone controlling the universe. Since I came to Australia to study, I started to have some Christian friends and occasionally visited their church. Over time, I started to feel God’s power, mercy and love as I experienced more of His presence in my life.
One of the many times when God demonstrated His incredible plan, guidance and protection was when I was required to deliver a thesis presentation and rebuttal at the end of my Master’s Degree. This assessment was the determining factor for my eligibility to apply for a PhD scholarship. Due to language barrier, doing a presentation was an extremely challenging task for me, and I only had one day to prepare for it after I submitted my thesis. By God’s grace, I delivered a fantastic presentation that day, in a fluent and clear manner. I knew this would have been impossible for me to achieve without God’s power. Consequently, I was eligible to apply for a scholarship. However, instead of pursuing a PhD, I wanted to find a job and enjoy my life. I did not think it would be too difficult for me to find a job as I already had a year of working experience in a pharmaceutical company, and also two years in a university research laboratory. Yet after submitting numerous job applications, nothing came out of it.
As a result, I decided to apply for PhD scholarship to three universities, and to my surprise – all of them gave me offers to pursue my PhD. Out of the three, I liked the university, projects and the supervisor at Australian National University (ANU) the most, but there were various considerations that I had to take into account. One major factor was in relocating to another city, where my husband and I had no friends or support, and the uncertainty of whether there would be a Hope Church. It was a very difficult decision to make as I did not want to change the church environment I was used to. After discussing with my husband, we agreed that if there was a Hope Church in Canberra, we would move. We started praying and asking God to show us His direction clearly. Just a minute later, I received a phone call from my life group leader, and the first sentence she said was, “Hey Camilia, I just checked with Ps Brendan and would like to tell you that there is a Hope Church in Canberra.” Both my husband and I were shocked as we had never thought that God could respond in such a short time with such a clear answer. I confidently chose ANU.
Consequently, during the 3.5 years of study, I suffered an illness and experienced many challenges that I almost gave up. Yet at the same time, I felt God’s power, mercy, and love in every situation. I believe that as long as we give our best to do things according to God’s purpose, God will protect us and do the rest for us. I have since completed my PhD and found a job! My language and interpersonal skills have improved, and most importantly my spiritual life has also grown significantly. God is truly faithful, merciful and at work in our lives!
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV), “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Dr. Camilia Yang Xi
Elevate S5, St Lucia Morning Service