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Judy Huan-Chun Linton's testimony

Genesis 50: You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

My Taiwanese name is Lin Huan-Chun. My English name is Judy. I was born in Taipei, Taiwan. I had a very loving family: my parents, my grandmother, and two sisters who were twins, 3 years younger than me. Even when I was very young, I knew that I was my grandmother's favorite. She loved me, spoiled me, and I went with her everywhere, including the Buddhist temples she would visit. My grandmother was a very devout Buddhist and together we would go to temples to burn incense, bow down to the idols, offer sacrifices.

Life seemed carefree and easy until I was about 8 years old. Taiwan at the time was going through a lot of political turmoil. The country was under martial law and there was a lot of fear amongst the people. My dad was a human rights activist and involved in an underground newspaper. The government hated him and eventually put him in jail for his democratic ideals. Nobody told me that my father had gone to jail. He just disappeared one day, and people told me he had gone to the army. But little kids are smart. I knew something was very wrong.

Then several months later, on February 28, 1980, the event happened that would forever change our lives. I walked home from school and rang the doorbell and strangely enough, no one answered the door. I kept ringing and ringing and then sat down on the front step to wait for someone to answer the door.

A long time went by and then a stranger opened the door from the inside. I was used to our house having lots of guests, so I thought nothing of the stranger. I went inside and headed straight for my bedroom, only thinking of laying down my very heavy bookbag.

As I went into my bedroom, all of a sudden I felt like I needed to quickly swerve. I believe it was God warning me. I swerved just as the stranger plunged at me with a knife. If I hadn't swerved at that moment, and if I hadn't had my bookbag on, that first stab would have been fatal. The man continued to stab me as I tried to hide under the table and pleaded with him to stop. After he had stabbed me seven, eight times, my grandmother came into the house and called for me. The man locked me in my room so that no one would be able to reach me. Then he went out to my grandmother and I heard them struggle in a fight. I heard my grandmother scream my name, "Huan-Chun!" I tried to answer her, but I was too weak to make any sounds. I didn't know it at the time, but my grandmother died with 13 stabs on her body. To this day I know my grandmother loved me very much because my name were her last words.

Meanwhile, I was bleeding a lot in my room and I thought of getting help. Right outside of my bedroom window was a fence and beyond the fence was the street. There was a market right across the street. I thought that if I could just climb up on the window and hop over the fence, people would see me on the street and come and help us. So I tried to jump from my window, but my body was too weak. I landed between the window and the fence. Then I thought, "OK, if I'm going to die, then I want to die on my parents' bed." So I crawled to the backdoor of my parents' bedroom and onto their bed and awaited death.

All this time, my mother had been visiting my father in jail. She had been calling our house and was getting worried because nobody was answering the phone. She sent my dad's former secretary to come and check up on us. The secretary discovered me on my parents' bed. I told her a thief had come to our house and that I was very thirsty. She let me sip a little water from a handkerchief and called the ambulance and I was sent to the hospital. I spent a long time at the hospital, and by the grace of God I lived.

My parents tried to keep me from knowing the terrible things that had happened. But about a year later, my mother took me aside and told me that my grandmother had died and that both of my sisters were also killed. I wept and wept that day. How I longed for just five more minutes with them to tell them that I loved them. I cried for many hours. After I finished crying, I got up and made a vow: I'm going to be strong for my parents and I'm never going to cry again. Even though I was only 8 or 9 years old at the time, I was determined to never cry, and never be vulnerable again.

And indeed, I didn't cry for many years. I hardened my heart and began to grow bitter. Even at a young age, I would sometimes lie awake and try to remember what the murderer's face looked like. I wanted to remember his face so that one day when I grew up, I would find him and shoot him myself. I became fiercely independent.

Two years later, my mother and I came to the United States. I started going to church and my heart began to be softened. I had great youth group leaders and Sunday school teachers and through the Bible they began to introduce me to Jesus Christ.

As I studied the Bible, God's truth began to penetrate me and it seemed like God Himself was asking me questions: "Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Do you believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world? Do you believe that God loves you so much that he died for you? Do you want God to come into your heart and be your Lord?" As I continued to read the Bible and consider carefully, I became convinced of the Truth. And as God gave me faith to believe, I began to answer those questions, "Yes, I believe the Bible is true. Yes, I believe that Jesus is the only true Savior. Yes, I want Jesus to come into my heart and I want to follow him as my Lord." So sometime in high school, through a gradual process, I believed in Jesus Christ and became a Christian.

I've been a Christian for ten years now. God has continued to love me and draw me to Himself. God has never abandoned me and he has continued to work on my heart. I'd like to share with you three things that God has taught me.

  1. 1. The first thing: Remember that resolve I made 8 years earlier, that I was never going to cry again? For 8 years I closed my heart and refused to cry. Well, God melted my hard heart and began to show me how to cry again. As I would share with people about God and how much he had brought me through, I actually started to cry. And as I cried, an amazing thing happened, I became vulnerable again and I was healed. God taught me how to cry and healed me.
  2. The second thing: I began to have forgiveness in my heart. This was incredible, that I was actually able to forgive this murderer who had hurt my family so much. God removed my hatred and bitterness and replaced it with his love and his forgiveness. There is absolutely no way that I was able to forgive this man on my own strength. It was God's doing alone.
  3. The third thing: I learned that I was a sinner. As I began my life with God, I learned that God loved me so much that he sacrificed his one and only son for me. Why such sacrifice? Why did Jesus have to die on the cross for me? Because I am a sinner. I am full of pride instead of humility. I am self-centered instead of other-centered. I hate instead of love. I am full of sin. And yet, God loves me, the sinner. Instead of me, Judy, paying for my own deserved punishment, God sent Jesus to pay for my sins by dying for me. And because I have put my faith in Jesus, I am forgiven. His sacrifice, his blood, washes me clean of all my sins.

On my wedding CD, I sing a favorite hymn of mine called "There is a Fountain." The first verse says, "There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel's veins." This fountain is filled with Jesus' precious blood. "And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains." When we plunge or dive into this fountain, his blood washes us clean. Everyone of us is a sinner. What we need is to be forgiven. And what we need is a Savior, Jesus Christ.

In conclusion, I want to share a verse from Genesis with you, Genesis 50:20. The end of Genesis is about the life of Joseph, a man who experienced lots of tragedy in his life. His brothers sold him into slavery, he was falsely accused and spent a long time in prison. Yet God eventually brought him from the depths into an exalted position, where he became Second-in-Command to Egypt's Pharaoh. God used Joseph in his position to store up lots of food. Then when 7 years of severe famine hit, Joseph was able to save the people from starving to death. God used Joseph to save lots of lives. Eventually, Joseph met his brothers again, the same brothers who hated him and sold him into slavery. The brothers were afraid that Joseph was going to seek revenge. But instead, this is what Joseph replied in Genesis 50:20, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."

This is how I view my past. Though I've had tragedies in my life, God intended it for good. I can look back on my life and say "Thank you God for bringing me from darkness to light. Thank you God for healing me and bringing me joy and purpose in life. Thank you God for loving me so much and forgiving me through Jesus."

I hope that my story will encourage everyone of you to search and find that Jesus Christ is real. He is the Savior. He is the truth. All who believe on him will never perish but have eternal life.

This is my testimony to the greatness of God.

If you wish to read more, or to share with a non-Christian Taiwanese or Chinese friend, please get a copy of my Mandarin-language book.

You can see a picture of the gravesite (and a satellite image) where my sisters and grandmother are buried. My parents and I showed my husband-to-be the gravesite on February 28, 1998, the anniversary of the tragedy.

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This testimony may not be published in part, or in full without the written permission of Judy Linton. But you are welcome to print it out and copy it for distribution to friends you want to share it with.