Melody* grew up in a family in which relationships had been eroded by two generations of severe marital problems. Like other family members, she was physically and verbally abused as a young girl. To her, avoidance was less painful than having to deal with the hurt that came from interaction with family members. As a result, she experienced loneliness and learnt to become independent, thinking that neither God nor family could be relied upon.
Two teachers she met at college changed Melody’s life. She witnessed how they cared for others and led peaceful lives as Christians. She was attracted to them and her interest for Christianity was aroused. Wanting to know more, Melody began to read books about Christianity.
One day, God revealed Himself to Melody while she was reading a book. “I was shocked to learn that Jesus died on the cross for me,” she remembered. “This was a revolutionary idea, since I had come to believe that there was absolutely no relationship between Jesus and me.”
Melody went on to learn that Jesus promises new life to whoever receives His gift of forgiveness. Recalling the misery in her own life, she badly wanted this new life. She prayed to God and asked Him to heal her family’s situation.
After she became a believer, Melody felt an urge to be reconciled with her family. She courageously told her parents and siblings that she had become a Christian and that she had forgiven them, and in turn asked them for forgiveness.
When her sister saw the change in Melody’s life, she wrote her a note saying, “The lovely God has changed you.” They had not communicated with each other for two years prior to that day.
After seeing how God had radically transformed Melody’s heart, other members of her family started turning to Jesus. Over the next seven years, not only did they become Christians, but their broken relationships were also mended.
In August 2012, Melody stepped into a low point in her spiritual life: A misunderstanding with three of her closest Christian friends led her to confront the reality of life, and a deep desire to distinguish between knowing God and knowing about God grew in her.
Yearning for more of God, Melody cried out, “Lord, I want to experience You, instead of just studying about You!” Nine months later, her prayer was answered and Melody emerged a stronger Christian.
Now at a crossroad in her life, Melody asked God to reveal the next step to her and actively starting seeking opportunities. In April 2013, she met a former colleague who had recently returned from two years on Logos Hope. As Melody enjoys serving people, is able to communicate in English, and has worked in an international organisation for three years, she seemed well suited for the job.
Melody found herself enthusiastically considering this option. Perhaps it was no coincidence that she had spent a considerable amount of time on her grandfather’s and parent’s fishing boats during her childhood, she thought. And whenever she reads the Bible, she is especially fascinated by the boat and fisherman stories: Noah building the ark and surviving the flood; Jonah travelling on a ship and being swallowed by a big fish; Jesus calling fishermen to be His disciples; and Jesus preaching from a boat.
“I believe that God has laid on my heart a concern for peoples of different nations and a natural curiosity about the world,” Melody said.
In October 2014, Melody will join nine other Chinese nationals currently serving on the OM ship. Pray that she would raise the financial support needed for her two-year commitment on board.
*Last name omitted for security reasons