1 April 2013 by James Hoh CM –
Jing Xia came to Malaysia from China in seek of a better job which would give her more money and less pressure. She worked as foot masseur. Here, Jing Xia tells her story of how God worked a miracle in her life – breaking her smoking addiction… and how she found God.
Jing Xia came here six years ago as a masseur and met her husband Tony Teh who was her frequent customer.
Jesus Christ is not known or heard of in Northern China where Jing Xia comes from. In fact, the only religion that people subscribe to is Buddhism as religious activities were rare under Communism rule.
Not until Tony came into her life that she heard about a man called Jesus Christ.
“I only loved to shop and buy things but Tony shared the Good News with me and took away my precious time for shopping. I thought he had some psychological problems because whenever I shopped, he would share the Gospel,” Jing Xia said.
“No doubt what he shared did have a bit of effect but he persisted for months and years. Finally one day, I gave them a last chance. I told him that it was not necessary to share the gospel with me anymore. And if he continued, he would jeopardize our relationship!
“I even asked if he had psychological problems because he shared the Good News to me when we were shopping. So I decided to spend sometime observing him,” Jing Xia added.
Meanwhile, both of them had developed feelings for each other. Tony asked her to go to church with him and promised to take her shopping after the service.
But she said “I was all the time looking at my watch during the service. I don’t understand a word that they preached. But the best part was a lot of people greeted me with a smile, and I returned them a smile too. But because of my insincere heart, I started to dislike church services.”
One day, she did pay attention to what the pastor preached and she thought found the real meaning of going to church.
“In fact, I not only wanted to go to church, I wanted to open a church in China. Immediately after the service I pulled Tony to the coffee shop and asked him if he wanted to make lots of money. Tony replied, ‘Definitely, who doesn’t want lots of money.’
“Let’s quit our jobs immediately. Let’s return to China!” she told a very puzzled Tony.
“Return to China for what reason?” Tony asked.
Jing Xia happily replied: “Open a church there! I would be truly happy going to my own church. I saw many people digging into their pockets to give offering. I saw people giving the RM100 notes. If you would just give it to me, I would be very happy.”
She explained excitedly, “Let’s say each person can give minimum RM5, and given by hundreds of church members, we would be rich! This business is very good.
“So let’s say when we are back in China, I will rent a big hall and we would do the same. I will invite and recruit people into the church and you will do the preaching. We will collect money in the middle of the service then we would be very rich!” she said.
Tony almost fell off his chair after hearing her plan.
Jing Xia has been a masseur for 23 years and she has been drinking and smoking for more than 20 years influenced by the environment she worked in. She started smoking when she was only 20.
“To cope with the pressure in China, I used to smoke one packet of cigarettes a day. But when I came to Malaysia I thought the situation would be better, but it got worse. I ended up smoking three packets a day,” she said.
She could turn to her parents or relatives when she faced pressures in China but no one would listen to her suffering here. “Cigarettes have been my best friend,” she said.
“One day when I was free in the masseur parlour, I started to recall Tony’s many advices for me to quit smoking. I wanted to quit but I had tried many times and many ways but failed.
“I called Tony to tell him that I wanted to quit smoking. Tony just replied, ‘Why don’t you pray?’
“I was furious. Why every time ‘pray’ seem to be your answer? I hated his religious answers! In my anger, I threw my phone to the floor. I have broken three handphones just because of his persistent same reply, ‘please pray’.”
Jing Xia wanted Tony to advice her how others would. “Couldn’t he say ‘smoke less’ or ‘smoking is no good for you’ or show some concern. Why must he always ask me to pray? His replies made me very mad.”
All he said was, “No. There is no other answer but to pray.” Then he would just hang up the phone.
“So one day, I finally gave in to his advice after my anger had subsided. I called and asked him how I should pray.
“He told me to just tell God whatever is in my heart just like talking to my dad or mom or my friend. But I challenged him. What is Heavenly Father, what is Lord? I am the greatest!”
“Despite my strong statements, my heart was actually soft and willing. I finally told myself, ‘I will try’. I found a corner and give God a chance. I prayed.
“Tony taught me, ‘Dear Father in heaven’ but I said ‘Dear heaven boss!!’” She laughed as she recalled what she said.
“I told God from my heart, ‘I want to quit smoking but You have to help me. I will go to church every Sunday and worship You. Amen.’
It was 8pm then. “Very naturally, I slowly moved to the couch and took out a cigarette. But when I lit up and took a puff, I saw the smoke that came out of my mouth turning into a python. It was strangling me. I couldn’t breathe!
“With all my strength I jumped up and dashed to the window to gasp. The smoke that entered my throat was a python. It was trying to enter me. I managed to cough out everything with all my strength. It was traumatic!” she said.
She drank some water and recovered after a few minutes. She tried another cigarette. But when she took a puff again, the smoke turned into python again.
She said, “This time was worse than the first, the python was strangling me violently! In fact, this time I thought I was going to die. But I threw the cigarette away, rushed toward the window to breathe and managed to cough out the big python.”
Her cigarette addiction was so strong that once she returned to the couch, she was already thinking of taking yet cigarette.
“Again I was so traumatised,” she said, “when I found that my hands couldn’t hold the cigarettes anymore. They simply have softened. There wasn’t strength in my hands. ”
She told herself decidedly, “No, I will not smoke anymore.” She grabbed the ash tray, crushed the cigarette in it and flung the rest into rubbish bin.
“After that I went straight to brush my teeth, wash my face and change my clothes. I felt clean and smelled good. I had never smoked another cigarette since then, Hallelujah!
“The amazing thing is the whole incident took place in less than 15 minutes. I didn’t know so shortly after a small prayer God was already working and answering my prayer!
“I called and told my relatives and parents in China and all of them rejoiced and were very happy because they knew how addicted I was. They knew I smoked more than the men. They celebrated with a great dinner in China. My mom was the happiest!
“I accepted Christ almost immediately after I recognized and understood God’s work within me,” Jing Xia said.
That weekend, she scolded Tony, “I wished you had told me about Jesus Christ earlier, at least I could have stopped my addiction earlier.”
But Tony answered, “It is not too late, a lot of people accepted Jesus Christ in their sick bed.”
She said, “Today, I feel I am a beautiful and happy person.” She laughed as she thanked her husband today for his wise guidance and persistency.
Jing Xia is happily attending FGA KL Chinese church today with a renewed mind. Her sisters and parents have also become Christians not too long after the incident. She gave God all the glory for all that He has done in her!
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