Sister Stories - Cornerstone Church Kingston
Plan your visit


Sister Stories

This podcast encourages us to reflect on how the Lord has grown and moulded us into becoming more like Christ.

Spotify logo Apple logo Google logo

S2 - 7. Ting Ting

In this episode, I am interviewing Tingting, who is married to Steve and is a mum of two children. Listen to hear about her journey to faith and her experience moving to the UK from China.

Transcript (Auto-generated)

Welcome everyone to the sister stories podcast.

This podcast's aim is to marvel at god's sovereignty over each of our lives women and to encourage 1 another by sharing our stories.

My name is Sophie, and today I am joined by Tinting.



So first of all, team, can you tell us who you are? Sure.

First of all, thanks for having me.

I'm teaching Anna Marie to Steve.

We've got 2 children, and I'm from Beijing, China.


And what do you do? I used to work for Shell, and that's how I met Steve.

Then the things we got married, and then we got the kids.

So I stopped working, but at the same time, I was doing the I did my another degree for teaching Chinese as a second language.

And then after that I've been just teaching in Singapore and in Beijing.

And here, I'm teaching in a Chinese school as well.

Oh, excellent.


So we're going to be talking about your journey to faith, in Jesus Christ, but can you tell us first of all about your family background and how you were brought up? Yes.


So, my my dad's part, they are, it's my it's my for my grandfather.

He's a Communist Party member, and he's very traditional, very, you know, very, conservative.

About Christian, about the Western culture, but on the other hand, my mom's part, they are, None of them are party member.

And because, because my the other so my mom's father is a businessman, And during a cultural revolution, my mom's family got quite a bit suffered because, so my mom's a teacher, my Aldis Auntie is a doctor.

So everyone who were educated got punished, basically, during a cultural revolution, So my mom and dad are quite different.

But I think back to that history for people married to someone who has this We call it red background or the, you know, the red family.


It's kind of like, is a trend.

You know? So, yeah, so that's that's my mom and dad.

And but my grandmother or my mom said, they are questions.




Was that was that an influence in your life when you were a child? I think definitely, I remember when I was, 10 or 11 years old, I think they were under the under house church, underground church.


So there's a priest, the 1 to my auntie's place to give up sermon and my mom took me there.

And I was so interested, even though I don't really understand a lot, but I was quite interested.

And on the way, actually on the way to the journey, it's kind of miracle happened.

So back to the eighties, people don't really have caught.

They they so my mom went there by bicycle.

And I was I sat at the back, then some accident happened and I fell off.

But my head was landed on the edge of the pavement, and it was quite dangerous.

My mom was quite worried But then for some reason, I felt something really I was not heard, and something was, you know, I thought my mom is like, really soft up under my hair something.

It's just a kind of miracle, but that is on the way to my auntie's place.



So, would your so you said your mom would bring you to these services.

Did she have a belief in god herself, would you say? She eventually become a Christian.

She well, she passed away in 2008.

Because of cancer.

She eventually become a Christian just like 2 months before.

She's always listening, but she never really committed herself to Jesus, which is really sad.

Even after I was baptized as a Catholic, And I was trying to bring my mom to the church and everything, but it seems not she's she thought Christian is all about law.

So she wasn't ready to commit it herself.


But definitely the family, she always brought me to church.

She very supportive, supportive when I went to the church or help with the church.

So, definitely, I think it's, yeah, has influence on me.



It it's amazing, isn't it? How maybe someone who doesn't seem that committed would bring you along together? And you would become committed to the church in some way and then that influences her back anyway.


That's really interesting.



So that was all in China, wasn't it? That's all in Beijing.



Then you said you went to Singapore at some point.

Can you tell us a little bit, what happened in your life, afterwards? Yeah.


So Steve and I got married, 2010.

And, after that, we left for the Hague in in the Netherlands.

And we stayed there for about 6 months, then Steve got a short term contract back to Singapore.

That's how we started our live in Singapore.

And again, it's just the country is being extended.

So, eventually, we stayed in Singapore for 7 years.

So both of the keys were born there.

So when I was in Singapore again, every time when I went to a new place, a new country, I always want to find a church first.

So that's what we did as well in Singapore.

But back then, I was still a Catholic.


And what I found about, like, the Catholic church, we do not have, like, what do we have in Conners doing, like, bible study or home group? So I was there's feel, period of my life.

I was very hungry for for for spiritual food.

Want to learn more but it's for I just don't don't have that.

I don't the church the church doesn't re really apply for that.

And I do remember, like, when we went to the Catholic church, The at the end of the service that the priest will stand at the entrance of the church, shook hands with everyone, then everyone left So we don't know the name.

The the press didn't know our name.

We don't know each other's name, and so it's more like, Russia just, yeah, went to the church on Sunday, received the communion left.

That's all I I felt.

So I don't feel any spiritual growth.



And then what happens gradually, I I started to get drifted away because of, you know, other things when I got young babies and there's no family around.

I got busy.

Then it's just, yeah, Yeah.

Get me away from the church.



And that's right.

If you if you go to a church that encourages people to just consume things and they they don't get to be involved more than that, then it's very easy to drift away and says, indeed.

I really wonder how so you you've talked about Already attending bible studies from a really young age and being interested in that.

I wonder how much you understood of the gospel back then? Would you say you had some understanding or not to as a child? I I think I was too young to really understand it.

And but I always believed that since I was very little, even until now, I always love staring at the sky.

Especially the blue and the white.

I just love it.

I always thinking there is a creator.

I believe that.

Every time I see I remember the first time when I stood on the beach somewhere in the countryside of Beijing, and I even cried because I feel he's so amazing.

The scenery is so big.

You know, I was so little.

You you feel there's so much to to comprehend to comprehend.

So I I I feel like I always feel there's a god there.

There's a creator there.

So I didn't really understand the Bible completely, but I do believe there's a creator, there's a god, yeah.

So when I was a child, indeed, I I don't I didn't really understand fully but I'm glad to hear how, you know, especially the genesis, the creation of the world.


And it's is kind of like, apply to what I believed before someone tell me how the world Yes.

Become You observed this.

I've observed it and be, oh, there was a god.

So I I'm always right.

So so that's always make me feel very touched.

But, yes, so that's that's my yeah.


I'm curious how sorry.

I'm going backwards a little bit.

But I'm curious how you you came to go to a Catholic church and not another type of church.

Wonder whether maybe in China, the Catholic church is a little bit more visible and present.

Is that the case? Yeah.

I think the Catholic is definitely very active.

To compare is the protestant church.

And saying that, like, all my fat, my aunties, they they are protestant.

But I went to the Catholic church because, again, they have so many activities for young people.

Like, the reason I went there is because my mom's my mom is a musical teacher and she had a student who is doing the piano in a Catholic church, and they had this English lesson.

And so it's basically all this volunteer getting their free time to do the lesson.

So that's why I joined them.

And then, of course, during take this opportunity, the priest trying to spread the gospel to all these young people and welcome to to join the church.

And that's how I become become, Catholic.





Can you tell us a little bit about how you came to be in the UK, actually, because I think that was quite recently, wasn't it? Yes.

So we came back to UK: 2000 20 in February, and this is when the COVID started in China.

And we thought we just came back for 3 weeks get a, you know, get a wafer, get this passed for the safety of the the fusion, then we'll we'll we'll make sure we would go back.

Then we didn't expect as it become a pandemic, then there's always, reasons, and, you know, It's a long story, basically, but it's a bit like the the sermon that, Ben gave last Sunday.

You know, we make the plan, but god established every steps.

And indeed, that's exactly happened to us.

We really want we really wanted to go back, actually, because our job is there, preschool is there, to come here is just brought forward our plan to be back to UK, but we're we're not ready.

So physically and, you know, emotionally, I didn't even say goodbye to my family when I left.

So, yes, but for some silly reasons, all kinds of reasons, like, Steve couldn't get a visa back.

Or we couldn't get the flight.

And 1 example, like, we because we knew the flight was really difficult from back from UK back to Beijing, So we booked a field, a different set, and there's 1 is transition in Singapore just 1 day before we we should fly, then Singapore immigrations stopped all transition.

So it just like Ben said, you know, you open the door, you say, oh, here, here I can go out from here, then boom is closed.


Then another 1, boom closed.

So then I've been praying a lot because I really want to know what's going on, especially There's so much, there there was so many uncertainties in our life.



It it is amazing how god's brought you here And, maybe you can tell us a little bit what cornerstone what being in cornerstone changed in your life, but I think We we don't see it when it happens.

We get frustrated or, it's not what I wanted, and and it must be quite, distrustful as well for you to not have been said been able to say goodbye to people as well, but even in that god brings a blessing, or he brings us where he wants us to be, So can you tell us a little bit about what it has changed for you to be in Cornerstone? Yes.

I think the cornerstone Family definitely changed me and changed all of us.

My kids, even Steve, who still Doesn't believe in Jesus yet, but I I I have the confidence 1 day.

He will bow down his knee in front of Jesus.

I think so It is kind of like miracle again to find Cornerstone because when we moved back to Kingston, I've been just praying that God, please help me to find the church.

And I've been wrong before, and I don't want to get on the wrong path again because I do not have much time left.

You know, and I think, it's it's not we don't have many I'm 40 this year.

I don't we don't have many years, you know, to waste.

So, you have been praying and, So 1 day, I I I knocked the door, and some of the of our church family already heard the story.


I knocked the door, then opened the door, and welcomed us, and I said, that's amazing.

This guy's so so kind saying, we'll look for us, you know, we'll He's so Yeah.

Made me feel so personal, like, like, really treat me as a family.


Not like, when I go to Catholic church, we don't know each other.

We don't know praise Priesta didn't know didn't know us either.

Then when we joined the Cornerstone church and I see there's so much going on.

There's so many opportunities for people to hear the gospel, and people really devoted themselves their time, their effort, to help to spread the word for the case for adults.

So we were really touched even for my husband who doesn't who always thought Christian he has this impression about Christian are quite oh, what's the word? I can't I can't remember.

It means they feel better.

They feel better than anyone else.


They feel superior.

They feel yeah.

That's that's his his impression, but When he joined Cornerstone, he didn't see that.

You see this people amazing indeed.

And he he wanted to help too, you know, sometimes.

And he came to the church every Sunday, and he loved to listen to the sermon.

So is is all very is big change all of us, the kids love the church as well.

And what also, the media fast that week really inspired me.

And I start from the 6:30, the Zoom session until during through the the whole day and until the evening when all family get together and talk up, learn the word of of of the Bible.

And it's it's I for that whole week in quite intense, I think, but I feel so, you know, so inspired And since then, I started, every week, we'll do a family preaching, not preaching, but, you know, on the Zoom, I'm not in a kind of like an app, like zoom, we have this meeting with my back to my Chinese family.

And I will fund, I will look for some sermon in Chinese and share the gospel with them.

Oh, that's amazing.

I'm doing this every week, and he's been going for about 2 months.


And would you say that they are willing to hear It it it's it's quite an interesting journey because, at the beginning, they were really keen to listen to it.

And, but they join in for different reason.

For example, my dad, and he said, oh, it's just nice to see all of you on the same screen.

That's the main reason he joined.

And and at the beginning, he probably even falling asleep, you know, on halfway.

But now he even challenged me.

I remember last week we had 2 hours 20 minutes.

He even challenged me when we talk about the love of Jesus, He died, and he forgave people.

And he said, who would be able to do that? That's god.

Right? We cannot do that.

He started even challenge.

Even to the to raise questions is amazing because I I can understand our preachers.

The the it's like a 1 way communication.


If you hear the the the audience has no feedback or or feedback, sometimes quite, this encouraging, really.

So that's what happened at the beginning.

Nobody said anything.


I'm the only 1 saying all the all the sermon, listened to the to the pastor saying something.

When I ask them a question, they are just quiet.

But now they start to give me feedback what they want to listen.


Why is this? Why Jesus is so loving? How we cannot do it because because that's god.

So they're asking, we have some discussion involved.

That's really encouraging to see.


It is.

It's interesting again how because your family They they want to see you.

So they're drawn to joining you, but then it becomes something else, isn't it? It's not just about seeing you, which is lovely, obviously.

But it is about actually finding out who is Jesus and who is god and and that Jesus is god and, you know, understanding that.

So that's amazing.

Isn't it, and that must be really encouraging for you as well.



It's it's really also, it's very comforting that you know, I think we're living in a very turbulent world today.

And the politics in China, I think, you know, it's it's not going the the country start to close again.

So to be honest, I don't really know when we're able to see my dad.

When he's able to get out, you know, like before travel around the world, we don't know when life will be back to normal.

Is quite, sad to think about that.

But I I told my family in Jesus, you know, We have hope.

So, you know, we have memory to look back.

That's our past.

But for the future, is really comforting to know there's something you could look forward to.

You have a hope, you know, you have you have a hope in your heart.

And I told my family that my mom has a way, but now I think I think about my mom, I'm not feeling that sad anymore.

Of course, I miss her for sure every day.

Definitely, you know, I won't wish that the kids see their grandmother.

She could teach them piano.

But all this will not happen, but I have a hope that 1 day will get united with her.

You know, And this is the same thing to my father.

I said, when you start to think about really important questions in your life, about, you know, about love and death, these kind of questions.



That's really important, isn't it? Yeah.

Oh, great.

Thank you so much for showing up.

That's really encouraging, actually.

So I want to move on to maybe a bit of a closer time, and especially this last couple of years, is there anything in particular that you feel you have learned, in this last year, let's say, roughly? Yes.

I think there there are 2 things, I've learned.

First of all, I think, as I said, because of my Catholic background, I didn't have that, like Cornerstone church.

We have these many opportunities to learn the gospel or the personal, contact with each other who is in the family church then I drifted away.

As you said, it's very easy to give it away because you have the, you know, your busy life and the temptation from the world, definitely.

It's quite quite powerful, I have to say.

It's difficult to recede sometimes So if you don't have the farm the church, you know, as your family, very easy to get lost, like, they lost the sheep.

So I think 2 things really important.

So number 1, we shouldn't always connect you to the to the body of Christ.


Always be part of the church, always involved with the church family.

And the second is leave trust in the lord that trust that every everything he he's in control, not us, I think this this COVID is told, everyone of us, a great lesson about that.

Yeah, that's the 2 lessons, important lessons I've learned.

Oh, that's great.

Thank you.

And, if you had to give some advice to younger Christians, what would you say to them? Nothing new.

Just as I said, be part of the church family.

2nd is always trust the lord.

And like the sermon said, what's your plan to the lord? Discuss it with him.

Trust everything in his hand, because he is sovereign He has higher wisdom than than us.

He can see much further than than we could.


That's that's That's it.

Thank you so much, Tingting.

Thank you for sharing your story with us today.

That's all for today's episode.

The stories, but join us again next time.


Previous episode Next episode