Santa Barbara Good News – Special Edition 9/7/15 – Featuring Brian Lin

Brian Lin is ready to do great things for God!
 
 
Brian Lin is ready to do great things for God!

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8

 

It is an exciting, yet very sad week for the Santa Barbara Church, as this being the last week we are able to fellowship with our dear brother Brian Lin. After witnessing Brian’s birth in the kingdom just slightly over a year ago, and seeing his exponential growth, the spirit has called him to move on to be trained in Australia under the evangelist Joe Willis, and will be continuing his education at the University of Sydney. Prayfully from there he will be sent out as a part of the Hong Kong Mission Team in 2017! Having a Taiwanese heritage, Brian will be able to use his gifts of speaking mandarin to preach the word of Jesus to the Chinese nation! His dreams do not stop there, but he prays to one day reach out to his family and save his own people in his home country of Taiwan. This weeks good news article features Brian Lin’s powerful testimony on how he was sought by God during his darkest moments in life, which brought him to become now a sold-out disciple of Jesus.

Brian humbly sharing his testimony during communion this Sunday at Church.

Brian humbly sharing his testimony during communion this Sunday at Church.

 

Hello, my name is Brian Lin and this is my testimony. I grew up in the small city of Diamond Bar, California. It is a very quiet place and from what I’ve seen, the dominant demographic is of Asian descent. From a very young age, I was taught that school was very important and that I must put education as my first priority. In addition, my mom also encouraged me to have a love for God and to go to church every Sunday.

I was eight years old when the leaders of the church I was going to asked me if I believed Jesus was my Lord and Savior. I purely responded “yes”, as I did with many other things around that age that I didn’t know much about. As I grew older, still not quite grasping what I was supposed to believe, I went to church disinterested and uncommitted. I would struggle with my belief in Jesus Christ for many years, especially in middle school and high school, where my life did not reflect the life of a sold-out Christian.

For the most part, I did well in school and had a wide range of hobbies such as skateboarding, badminton, piano, guitar, ping pong and basketball. Although in my sophomore year of high school, I was introduced to marijuana and hated it, but I continued to smoke from time to time because I wanted to fit in with people. I eventually found a group of friends that I felt I could identify with because they all loved to skateboard, but in the end most of them ended up smoking marijuana and I would again be pulled into smoking. I never smoked frequently because I believed it was morally wrong, but slowly I began to enjoy the effects of the drug more and more. Now about to graduate high school, I had already narrowed down my choices to two colleges, which were UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara. UC Santa Barbara was the more appealing choice to me not only because of its party reputation, but also because of its top 50 rank. I was excited to begin my new life at UC Santa Barbara with one of my best buddies from my hometown, named Curtis.

We moved into the freshman dorms and even shared a room together! One day, when Curtis and I went downstairs to head toward the dining halls, two guys named Richie and Dale approached us. They invited us to church and challenged us to play a game of ping pong with them. In my prideful head, I knew I had played ping pong quite a bit, so I observed Richie and Dale rallying.  To me, ping pong had always been an Asian sport, so for me to watch a 5’7” black guy and 6’4” white guy playing ping pong, I thought these guys were toast. Yet, they were actually pretty good and both Curtis and I agreed to go to a church service.

 

Brian and Dale, once were competitors at ping pong, now they are brothers in the Lord!

Brian and Dale, once were competitors at ping pong, now they are brothers in the Lord!

We attended the Santa Barbara International Christian Church (SBICC) and thought it was pretty cool, but we believed that our focus had to be more on school and maintaining a decent social life. Richie and Dale spent hours upon hours studying the Bible with us two, but I was just not convinced because my heart was so hardened with sin. I admittedly gave up on studying the Bible with them for about 6 months and went into my own little world. I stopped caring about God and began to think God was holding me back from accomplishing the things I wanted to do. But Richie, Dale, and the rest of the brothers and sisters at Santa Barbara did not give up on me.

One Thursday night, about 7 months after our last bible study, I went to Richie and told him something very traumatic that had happened to me. I was trying to hold back my tears, but couldn’t, I was just so ashamed that I had fallen this hard. I told him that I wanted to get baptized, to be forgiven of all my sins, and he told me something that blew my mind! On Thursday morning, Richie prayed to God that a person who had almost made the decision to be a true sold-out disciple, but just barely slipped away would come back to them and want to be baptized. His faithful prayer became a reality in me, as I came to him that same day at night and told him I was ready!  Richie, Dale, and all the awesome brothers and sisters of SBICC came and supported me.  I was baptized on July 27th, 2014, on the same day as Joshua Galindo, a fellow brother who I will now forever share that awesome moment with.

I still have many friends back in Diamond Bar that I want to reach out to and help to strengthen their relationship with God. I pray that God will use me to reach out to them and to any place in the world that needs to know about Jesus. God’s miracles didn’t stop there. As soon as I returned from our church’s Global Leadership Conference in Palm Desert, I prayed that God would reach out to the Isla Vista community, (where I live by the university) and save people. I went outside to pray and in less than a minute, a guy walked by me and said “Hi”. I introduced myself and gave him a handshake.  We talked a little bit about life and I invited him out to church on Sunday. I told him how awesome it is and it persuaded him! He even offered to give me a ride and said, “Let’s get breakfast before we go”.  After we hugged, I immediately called Richie and Dale and went into my room to pray some more.  I prayed that my family and friends, and the rest of the world would be saved.  I know it may take some time, but I truly believe God will use all of his workers (a.k.a. disciples) to reach out to every part of the world and change lives.  I have a lot of growing to do as a disciple, but the old me is gone! I now put my complete faith in God and know for a fact that Jesus truly is my Lord and Savior.

 

I want to thank all the brothers and sisters at the Santa Barbara International Christian Church, and the rest of the disciples all around the world.  God bless!