Run Away To Church



Sung sneaked way to church and brought her family with her.


Sung Yeon Yang (soon Ye-HWN Yang) lives with her mother, Father, and younger sister in the island of Taiwan, off the eastern coast of China.  When Sung was little, her family worshiped Buddha.  But then God led Sung to help her family learn about Jesus.

When sung was in the first grade, her parents enrolled her in an English-language class after school.  Even though learning English was difficult, Sung enjoyed it.  The English-Language class was sponsored by the Adventist church in her town.

One day Sung heard her teacher talking about the church’s worship services on Saturday.   Sung asked her teacher if she could attend the church too.  The teacher told her she was welcome to come.  That Saturday morning Sung skipped away from home and ran to the little church.  She enjoyed the Sabbath School so much that she attended nearly every week. Her parents thought she was taking part in a school activity, so they did not question where Sung was.

One day the teacher invited Sung to join the children’s choir, which often sang for church.  Sung loved to sing, and she eagerly joined the choir.  This meant that at times she would have to stay for the church service so she could sing in the choir.

Don’t tell Mother

One week Sung invited her sister to go to church with her.  “But don’t tell Mother and don’t tell Father where we are going!”  Sung warned.  The sisters slipped away and ran to the church.  When church ended, the girls hurried home.

When they arrived home, Mother asked where they had been.  Usually when mother asked this question Sung would make up a story so Mother and Father would not be angry. But this time Sung told the truth.  “I have joined a children’s choir at the Adventist church, and they sang today for worship,” Sung said.

Mother was willing to let the girls go to church, but Father was not.  “No, you may not go to any Christian church!”  He told them.  “We are Buddhists, and Buddhists do not attend Christian churches—even to sing in the choir.”  Mother felt bad that the girls could not go, so she allowed them to attend church when Father was not home.  When Sung’s Father learned that the girls were still going to church, he was angry at first.  Then Mother explained that at the church the girls had learned how to obey and be kind.  She was sure attending church was helping them.  Reluctantly Father allowed the girls to go to church.


Mother and Father visit

Six months later, Sung’s Mother met one of the church members in town.  The woman invited the family to visit the church.  Mother told Father that she thought it was time they go to the church to see what their daughters were learning.  The girls were thrilled when their mother and father agreed to go to church with them on Sabbath.

Mother and Father found the church service very different from anything they had experience before, and they were embarrassed and did not know what to do, but the members offered them songbooks and smiled at them.  In spite of the members’ efforts to be friendly, Mother and Father were not eager to return to the Christin church again.  But Mother’s friend kept inviting the family.

Then a woman from the church moved to their apartment building.  Every morning she called the family and invited them to come to her apartment for worship.  Sung’s parents were pleased that someone cared enough about them to invite them to pray.  For six months Sung’s family went to the woman’s house for prayer.  Then Sung’s Mother suggested that the family begin having worship in their own apartment every morning.  They had already learned how to worship and pray on their own.

Sung’s Father began reading the Bible with the pastor several times during the week.  As he learned more about God and his love, he became more eager to worship the God of Creation.  He threw away his large collection of his Buddhist books, he threw away his prayer beads, and he began praying from his heart.  He went from being the leader of a Buddhist home to being the spiritual leader of a Christian home.

Eighteen months after Sung ran away to church, her entire family became Adventist Christians.  Father has become a gentler, happy man. Mother enjoys worshiping with the family, for she did not go to the Buddhist temple when Father went to pray.  And Sung and her sister love to sing praises to Jesus in the children’s choir.  She is glad she ran away to church.


Charlotte Ishkanian