Learning and Growing in Faith

By First Dallas Staff

Growing up in Beijing, Lucia Yu was shaped by the complexities of life in modern China. “I grew up in a broken family, and my mom used to believe in Buddhism. It was hard economically and we had no hope for what was to come on the next day,” she recalls. Amidst economic struggles and a culture where academic success overshadowed spiritual pursuits, Lucia longed for something more.

During college, she met Mr. Bill Burkett, an American missionary who she describes as “like the apostle Paul, answered God’s call and came to teach my English class.” Lucia vividly remembers the impact of hearing God’s Word for the first time, describing it as “the most delicious cake I had ever tasted.” Mr. Bill’s teachings and embodiment of Christ’s love deeply touched her, leading Lucia to make a life-changing decision for Christ.

Once Lucia received the gift of salvation, she felt compelled to share it with others, starting with her mother. “I brought my mom to church when I became a believer, and when she heard the first hymn, she was so touched,” says Lucia. She continues, “My mother was filled with joy because of praising God and accepted Christ.” Then, “Once I became a mother myself,” she said, “I was determined to do whatever I could to pass on this precious gift to my dear son.” However, living out the Christian faith in China presented numerous challenges for Lucia and her family. “We visited underground churches, hoping to find a way to send my son to a Christian school. One pastor’s wife shared a harrowing experience to prepare me for the hardships they face in choosing a Christian education. She described how primary students were having class upstairs while church leaders gathered downstairs. Suddenly, the police broke in, arresting many church leaders. The teachers, terrified, instructed the students to keep quiet to avoid detection. The children hid under their desks, barely daring to breathe, and couldn’t even go to the toilet for several hours.” Every time Lucia recalls this scene, tears well up in her eyes. She decided to homeschool her son because she didn’t want him to endure such fear and potentially develop severe psychological issues. Despite the risks, she chose to homeschool her son using a Christian curriculum.

God continued to be faithful, eventually paving the way for Lucia’s family to move to the  United States last August. Lucia explains, “By God’s grace, my husband left his career at a publishing company, and our family moved to Dallas, where he has become a seminary student at Dallas Theological Seminary.” It was there that a student recommended they visit First Baptist Dallas.

Immediately, Lucia and her family knew First Baptist Dallas was where God wanted them to be. Lucia says, “I’m profoundly grateful for this wonderful church. Every time I pray to the Lord, it brings me to tears to express my gratitude for this opportunity to be equipped with such abundant resources, which I could never have dreamed of when I was in China.”

Lucia also found a supportive community within the Women’s Ministry at First Baptist Dallas. She describes her experience, saying, “I feel like a spiritually starving woman in the desert who has suddenly been provided with abundant, delicious food and water. And our Bible Study is this yummy food and water.” Every week, Lucia joins other godly women in a small group, where she says, “Their teachings, verse by verse, have greatly deepened my biblical knowledge and strengthened my faith in Christ.” Lucia loves fellowshipping and leaning on these women so much that she says, “You would feel like you have lost one million dollars if you don’t seize this opportunity to study God’s Word.”

Thinking back on the journey that brought her to our church, Lucia says, “For me, everything feels like heaven on earth. No amount of tears shed in thankfulness could adequately express my gratitude. I am determined not to miss any opportunity to study biblical truth here.”

In just one year, Lucia traveled from Beijing to Dallas and experienced a spiritual hunger to abundance. Through her involvement at First Baptist Dallas and the Women’s Bible Study, Lucia feels more courageous to face life’s challenges. She hopes to inspire others with a takeaway from her studies: “Courage to overcome all circumstances comes from a strong conviction regarding God’s sovereignty.” By sharing her story, Lucia emphasizes the importance of learning and growing in faith and expresses gratitude to God and to this country, where they can freely live out God’s will for their lives. 

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