I went through relationship after relationship searching for happiness but found myself lonelier than when I started. So I began experimenting with drugs and dealt drugs to pay for my habit. I tried to live this double life of school and parties, but it did not work. After being expelled from school, when I was to receive my doctorate, I pursued the euphoria of decadence as I moved to Atlanta and became a major drug supplier in the southeast.
But my mother, like the persistent widow in the Bible, kept bombarding heaven with her desperate pleas. She began praying a bold prayer that God would do whatever it takes to bring me into a relationship with Jesus. The answer came one day with a knock on my door. It was twelve DEA agents, Atlanta police, and two German shepherd dogs. They confi scated a shipment equivalent to the street value of 9.1 tons of marijuana. Sitting in jail, I quickly realized who my true friends were when no one accepted my collect calls. As a last resort, I dialed home, dreading the response on the other side. But God ad already prepared my mom for that phone call. Her fi rst words were, “Christopher, are you okay?”
As difficult as it was, Mom knew without a doubt that this was God’s answer. She took a piece of paper and wrote down this fi rst blessing, “Christopher is in a safe place compared to before and he called home for the fi rst time.” The next day my mother fl ew to Atlanta to visit me in jail and before she left, we pressed our hands up against the glass separating us and she prayed over me. As the days and weeks and months passed, other diffi cult news came, such as learning about my six-year sentence and that I was HIV positive. But my mother stood firm and continued to count the blessings in the midst of diffi culties. Her list of blessings which she started that first day of my incarceration is now longer and taller than she is.
The Lord continued to work in my life while I was in prison. I was released in July, 2001, entered Moody Bible Institute in August, and graduated in May, 2005. In 2007, I graduated with an M.A. in Biblical Exegesis from Wheaton College Graduate School, and I am in my second year of teaching the Bible at Moody Bible Institute.
Though my story is dramatic, a powerful message of encouragement lies in my mother’s testimony of persistence. When things seemed hopeless, she did not focus on my circumstances but clung to God’s Word. What is more powerful than the miracle of my transformation is my mother—a faithful woman of the Word, a mighty prayer warrior, and a beautiful monument of His grace!
(Leon & Angela Yuan Born in Szechuan province, China, Angela Yuan immigrated to the United States in 1964 where she married Leon Yuan and had two sons, Christopher and Steven. She is the founder of I-CARE [Illinois Chinese- American Residence for the Elderly] and has been very involved with Bible Study Fellowship International being in leadership for over thirteen years.)
(Christopher Yuan A passionate minister with a heart for those living with HIV/AIDS and those struggling with sexual brokenness, Professor Christopher Yuan from Moody Bible Institute, speaks locally and internationally to youth, on college campuses, in churches and in prisons. Yuan graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2005 and Wheaton College Graduate School in 2007 with a Master of Arts in Biblical Exegesis.)