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Confessions of Faith Nov 22 John and Jiangli Jia children baptized

John Jia's journey from unbelief to faith

John Jia, a member at Reformation, San Diego, Calif., has a heart for ministry. As an immigrant from China, he feels a strong desire to share God’s Word with others in the Asian community—especially since he didn’t always know God’s Word himself.

John grew up in a rural area of China, in the Henan province. He says a lack of high-quality universities made it difficult to get a good education—something that is very important in Chinese culture. “There was one good university for millions of people in the Henan province,” he says. “So if you want to go to the university, you have to beat thousands, maybe even ten thousand other people to get in.”

John was not only accepted into the university, but he also went on to graduate school in Shanghai for his PhD. During this time in his life, John says he was very focused on education—and not on religion. “My mother, she is Christian, she always prayed for me for many years,” John says. “She would say, ‘I wish this one will become a Christian someday.’ But since I got the highest degree of my family and had so many years of education and I read a lot of books, it was hard for them to argue with me about faith. So my mother would just say, ‘We put it in God’s hands.’ ”

John’s mindset finally began to change when he discovered he had heart disease and needed surgery. “At that time I was very young. I felt I could beat everything. I was so proud in my heart,” he says. “But then I faced this serious situation, and I felt so weak.” He says the surgery itself was humbling. “As the doctor brought me into the surgery room and gave anesthesia to me, I lost my senses gradually. I thought, Oh I can’t control this! It was a big shock to me.”
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