VANCOUVER - Local famous car dealer, Ludia Li, has received the title of Canadian BMW Sales Master nine years in a row, and has been known as the “Queen of BMW”. In 2008, she was chosen to represent BMW internationally, where she was picked out of many candidates from various countries. What was the path like behind all her successes?
Li was invited to the Richmond Grace Missionary Alliance to share her testimony, where she spoke of her life’s experiences. The most touching part of her story is that God has never left her, even in the toughest days of her life, until this day.
Ensnared by the evil spirit for 20 odd years, even immigrating with her
Li was born in a poor family in Hong Kong, and had not received fatherly love since a young age. Thus she married a much older husband during her teens. “Before I believed in God, I was always ensnared by the evil spirit, and from time to time, I was scared by spirits. Every time something happened, the spirit would ask me to take my own life, by jumping or hanging, etc.” She said.
Before immigrating to Canada, Li was diagnosed with heart disease which required surgery. She stayed in the intensive care unit after her surgery. Before discharge, she felt much confusion, where she heard people scolding her, and this saddened her deeply.
“A doctor would come by to visit every other day and ask me to grab onto his finger. I would grab on tight, and he would say that I had a tendency to attack, then send me to Queen Mary hospital’s Psychiatry ward. Once inside Queen Mary hospital, the situation got worse. I heard people screaming, and I saw the evil spirit.” Her brother gave her a Bible subsequently, and she had held onto this Bible ever since. Her heart condition healed after some time, and she moved to Canada with her entire family.
Tough immigration life, establishing a restaurant in icy and snowy Alberta
In 1989, Li and her husband brought their three young children to Alberta, where they established a restaurant. At that time, they worked from 5 am to 10 or 11 pm. Not knowing full well how to run a business, and not being fluent in English, they had not been able to make much money, only enough to cover the basic life’s expenses. Her husband did not know how to drive, and she had to look after the family and business, therefore there were many obstacles in life that they had to face, and they fought often.
Once, Li’s younger brother, who was living in Vancouver, told her that Chinese Christian Mission (CCM) evangelism team will be visiting Alberta, and she agreed to let the ministry's director Rev. Theodore Zai-lai Chan stay at her house. She shared her experience of being ensnared by the evil spirit with Chan, and he told her that only Jesus Christ could help her and invited her to attend church. From that time on, Li would drive four hours every Sunday to Edmonton to attend worship, which meant eight hours of traveling time to and fro.
The turning point of her life, the spiritual war before baptism
After attending church, Li confessed her sins and repented, and subsequently applied to be baptized. A month before her baptism, the lights would flicker every day when she read the Bible. She would have nightmares every night that repeated her past faults. When she woke up, she would hear the devil telling her: “Even though you believe in Christ, you are still like your past.”
Subsequently, the CCM workers taught her to command it away in the name of Jesus Christ every time the spirit appeared, which she did as told. She testified, saying, “There is no greater name than the name of Jesus Christ. Ever since my baptism, I have not seen the spirit any more until this day.”
The path of faith in Jesus Christ is by no means smooth. Alberta’s winter is very cold; the lowest temperature can drop to negative 50 degrees Celsius. Li said that even a ski outfit could not block the cold.
Running a restaurant in such cold weather made life very tough. Li fell sick after a while, and needed a thyroid surgery. Trial after trial, she finally decided that she could not live in Alberta any longer. They decided to sell the restaurant and move to Vancouver.
Miraculous sale of the restaurant, the whole family moved to Vancouver
“Being able to sell the restaurant was a God-given miracle!” Li recalled, “The restaurant was an old building. Once we shut the back door, the front door could not be opened. When it got cold in the winter, the toilet would explode and cause a flood in the basement. Business was not great at that time, and it was very difficult to sell.”
Li could not see the future and prayed, “God, please save me. I need to sell this restaurant, otherwise I will die here.” Not long after, a person came to look at the restaurant. Every time this person came to inspect, the restaurant was buzzing with business, and it was eventually sold.
Afterwards, her whole family moved to Vancouver, hoping to start a new life. However, her husband was not used to the lifestyle in Vancouver, and ultimately filed a divorce with her.
“Our restaurant did not make any money. Others could take 30 orders for a turkey, where we were taking 6 orders. My husband wanted to return to China, thus divided the money with me.” And so, Li relied on this small chunk of money and reared three children in Vancouver.
Broken marriage, raising three children alone
“I worked in two restaurants everyday at that time, from morning until afternoon in one, and afternoon until 11 pm in another. It was a very hard life, and the money earned was not enough. My children were still very young.” Thus, she prayed once more, “God, you said you would look after me, and now I am in trouble, please give me a more stable job with a steady income for my family.”
Subsequently, a friend introduced her to a car dealership to be a salesman,
“They were willing to hire me. I did not even believe it!” Ludia said, “Selling cars was a male’s job. There were no women in 1995 when I joined the industry. Also, on the day of my interview, I had just brought my daughter to play merry-go-round, and thus I was feeling dizzy and appeared pale. I talked about my experience working in a restaurant, and the manager hired me.”
Starting as a car dealer, establishing her career peak
From a restaurant owner to a car dealer, she had to learn everything anew. Li worked twice as hard, learning new knowledge such as the characteristics of different car types, memorizing information about different models, learning English and terminology that was used in selling cars, etc. With her efforts, honesty, and friendliness, God led her towards success step by step.
In 1999, she joined BMW. In the first year, she became the dealer with the best performance. Until now, she has received nine consecutive annual titles of Canadian BMW Sales Master. This is a prestigious title awarded to the top 10 dealers with the highest sales in a year.
Recalling the past with endless gratitude, handing everything over to God
Recalling her life, Li said she is very grateful. “Although my life’s happenings were not smooth, with many trials and tribulations. Within a year, my mother and son passed away, two car accidents happened, my face received 62 stitches, plus many other pains. However, God was with me and did not abandon me. I thank God for guiding my every step. My sufferings were my training ground, to make me more suited for the work I have now, and to help me grow.”
Li also shared that in the past year she was diagnosed with moderate depression, because she was worried about many things, including whether or not she could make car sales as well as in the past. She went to see few psychiatrists, but to no avail, God miraculously reminded her through a winter gathering: “You must remember all that you have experienced in the past. God has always guided you. Why then are you worried? Why do I fear? Why not rely on this powerful God?”
Finally, she encouraged the audience by quoting a Chinese New Year couplet “If God is with me, why fear the storm”, in hopes that they will accept God’s salvation and completely rely on Him.
[Editor's note: Carol Lee translated the article.]