Once a lost soul in China, Jenny rediscovered herself and her love of writing after immigrated to
the US, and later became a published religious writer.
Jenny always loved to read and write, but her love for these two pastimes was lost in China. In 2003, at 35-years-old, Jenny reflected on her life. She used to work in a hostess bar, had an affair with a married man and was able to spend 3,000 U.S. dollars a month on clothes and at the beauty salon. Her eyes used to shine with a love of writing, but they dimmed over time. As tears began to fall, Jenny realized that her life needed to change.
Jenny met Bill, her future husband, on an international religious website in 2005 and moved to America, with her daughter, to be with him. “He’s the only man who prays with me,” Jenny said. “The only one who can communicate with me as a religious soul mate.”
Before coming to the U.S., Jenny took care of her daughter and worked at an insurance company. Life was difficult without much help, but when she moved to Ohio, she found a warm and supportive family. Bill managed a grocery store and Jenny was content with being a housewife, she experienced more love and happiness in the U.S., which inspired her to start writing again. Her love of literature developed when she grew up in the Gobi Desert in Xinjiang, China. The places she read about seemed like a completely different world than the desert she was from. When she moved to the U.S., however, she was surprised that it was not as pretty as what the books described. “The U.S. is like a big countryside!” Jenny laughed.
One day, Jenny stood in front of a window at home and was astonished to see that hundreds of birds flew into their yard. The view was a huge contrast to her life in China, so Jenny began blogging after she was inspired by the magical environment in which she lived. “I just wanted to write down the happiness and the gratitude I felt at that time,” Jenny said.
In 2008, millions of visitors were brought to her blog when it was featured on Yahoo! China. Among the visitors were two single, pregnant Chinese women who were struggling with making a decision about abortion. They saw an article Jenny had written about her life as an unmarried mother and were shocked that Jenny had shared her own story. After they asked Jenny for help, she called them in China and encouraged them to have their babies. Since then, Jenny continued to help others through her writing.
After arriving in the U.S., Jenny wanted to write down her story about how grateful she felt to God and hoped to publish this testimony. Bill took her to Akron Chinese Church where she met Xiao Dong He, a respectable, religious writer. “If Mr. He read my testimony and he didn’t think there was hope to publish it, then I would stop thinking about it,” Jenny said.
Mr. He called before dawn the morning after Jenny had given him her work. “Your testimony is super good!” Mr. He said excitedly. “You must write it down and I will help you find the publisher!” Jenny was surprised by Mr. He’s enthusiasm but was hesitant to write down her shameful past. She withdrew at first but Mr. He called her every day and encouraged her to write her testimony to God.
One day when she turned on the TV, a pastor who was preaching said “You shouldn’t feel ashamed to testify for God.” Jenny broke into tears and felt like she had found the answer. She wanted to help the many women who were lost, just as she once was. “If they read my past experiences, they would know that it’s not the end of the world and everything will be better,” Jenny thought.
Jenny started writing in March 2007 and by April she had signed an agreement with a publication agency. In December 2007, the book, “My Beloved and I,” was published in Taiwan.
Jenny now works as an administrative assistant at the church, along with many other roles. She is a bridge between the leaders of the church and more than 200 Chinese church members. Bill also became a member of the Chinese Church and helps by working as a driver for the church. “This church is where our souls belong,” Jenny said.
For years, Jenny longed to learn formal writing techniques, so when she saw a flyer for a religious writing training through the Genesis Chinese Writing Ministry Institute, she was very interested. In July 2014, Jenny traveled to San Francisco for the writing training. As she looked out the plane window, Jenny marveled at a view more beautiful than what she had read in books. Never had she thought she would come to the U.S., write down her feelings and use her words to heal broken souls. Jenny had found herself again.