The Kindness That Leads to the Lord


When a church group helped Li Yan, head coach of the Chinese national speedskating team, find a place to live and a car to drive, she was completely moved. Who were these people, and who was their God?

"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? And when did we see You a stranger and welcome You, or naked and clothe You? And when did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me.’" Matthew 25:37-40 (ESV)

Li Yan, the head coach of the Chinese national short track speedskating team, loves the speed and the competition. “I love the entire competitive process,” she says.

During her younger years, Li Yan thought only about winning when she competed. She and the other skaters even prayed to a force beyond themselves for strength and the power to win the competition. She was the first Chinese athlete to win a short track speedskating medal.

She hoped good fortune would come to her, but she never learned about the role genuine faith could play in her life. That changed when she moved to a small town in Europe and started coaching speedskaters there.

On Sundays she went to church with her friends. After living there, she wondered why so many people from all different backgrounds would have the same kind of faith. Why did they all believe in this God? “At that point I had many questions, and started to really think, why did everyone have this kind of sincere faith?”

Then Li Yan moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to become the head coach of the USA national speedskating team. When friends invited her to church with them, she agreed to go. They joined a Chinese-speaking group. Afterward, members of the group helped Li Yan find a place to live and a car to drive.

Li Yan was so emotionally moved by their kindness that she asked one of the men how she could return their kindness. He told her to help other people. Finally, at the end of her first summer, having experienced the kindness and seen the faith of the Christians around them, Li Yan and her husband prayed and received Christ.

Question: Through the kindness of new friends, Li Yan and her husband learned about true faith. You, too, can demonstrate your faith by being kind to the people around you. Who has God placed in your life that you can show kindness to today?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to show kindness to the people I meet today. Show me where I can help someone who has a need. Thank You for the friends You have given me who show me Your kindness.

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