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My dream has always been, since coming out of the womb, is to be rich and
Because it was everything we didn't have.
I'm a product of date ***, and my father deserted us.
Grew up in a single family home before that was fashionable in America.
I had no supervision, no father image.
I really was rebellious.
By the time I was 15, I was out of the house.
I got shipped to Taiwan, ostensibly so I could learn Chinese, because I told
my mother over and over, I hated Chinese, I hated to be Chinese.
I told her I wanted to be white.
In Mount Joy, Iowa, there were no other Chinese people.
And I wanted to so much I wanted to fit in, and
basically I had no identity.
So here I am in Taiwan, and now I got worse problems because where I felt so
Chinese in Iowa, and so foreign and not fitting in, now I'm really not
fitting in, because I am in China and I am so American.
I got snookered into going to a Baptist youth camp in Taiwan, and I
heard about Jesus in a different way.
I just heard a basic message, Jesus loves me and He has a plan for me.
I mean I was just a sucker for love.
I remember standing up and saying I want to become a Christian.
you know, who wouldn't want to be a Christian, basically, at that camp.
So, I just went along with the crowd as usual.
As soon as I got home to the United States, of course, I forgot
everything about it.
And then went to UCLA, joined a Jewish fraternity, and I remember that in the
middle of the '60s, a guy named Hal Lindsey came to town.
He converted three of our fraternity brothers out of a Jewish fraternity.
They all joined in, in making fun of them and ridiculing them, and to my
shame, I joined in that.
But I knew in my heart that there was something real, and if these guys that
we respected who were Jewish would accept this Jesus as their Messiah,
for me to ridicule that, to join the crowd and to be basically ashamed, not
to mention that I actually had an experience with them myself when I was
15, that was an embarrassment.
To make a long story short, I crammed four years into five.
Got into trouble with the draft, joined ROTC.
Before I knew it, I was in Giessen, Germany on a missile site watching the
East German border in case the Russians ever attacked us.
Pulling 24-hour duty.
And of course, that kind of got old after a while because Russians never
did come, and here I am in Giessen, Germany, and no meaning to my life.
Just a loser.
Just not functioning in life.
All the guys in Germany were back from Vietnam, here they are talking about
killing *** in Nam.
I'm looking in the mirror saying, wait a minute.
I think I'm a *** to these guys, and could not fit in.
So, I got real alienated.
I'm *** all the time, and now my wife's leaving me.
And I was just at the low point in my life.
That's when a couple named June and David Otis.
They were Department of Defense civilians, and they picked us up.
What I mean by picking us up, they just became our friends.
We had no friends.
Invited us to their home and just shared their lives with us.
One night over dinner, my wife says, "why are you guys so different from
"Why are we different?
Well, we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."
And they just started talking about it as if it was like a friend or a
college buddy or somebody, that He was living next door.
So my wife got so interested, and you know, I started to
see her life change.
We were no longer fighting.
She was looking at me differently, and it was just inevitable, I just
And I think as I think about that time, I just remember being in a
coffee house downtown Giessen, and there were candles on the table and
there was just so much love in the room.
I just felt the love of God.
It was so strong and it just overwhelmed me.
I went home, I just went home that night, and I said, "I'm just really not
proud of what I am and I just need help.
I mean, I just don't know how to live.
I just don't know how to live properly.
I don't know how to function in this job, and if you're out there and I
think if you love me, I'd like to be included."
I'd like to be--
I don't know if I understood this family stuff.
I mean I don't know if I really understood Him as a Father, but I
really wanted Him.
As the Christians say, I think I accepted Him.
I think it's a joke me accepting Him.
I think I was asking Him to accept me.
I think that was what it really was.
It's amazing what happened.
I don't know, you can't explain it.
Just the world looked different.
I knew I was a new creature.
[Lee Yih later received an army commendation medal for his work in race relations. ]
[And later went to work for the financial firms Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.]
Anyway, my life went straight up.
I mean it was weird.
Then I got a job at Goldman Sachs.
I made so much money that, actually, I achieved my dream.
I achieved what I was just hoping to.
But I knew that this was not what life is to be about.
I mean, I think everything.
And that's what I had to learn.
We have to fill this void, this God-shaped void.
You can't just be happy with materialism.
It doesn't satisfy you.
There's just countless stories about guys who have given up their lives to
follow Jesus, and that is the secret of life.
When you put your life down and you say you're second, when you let go and
take His life, that is when you find it.
I've always thought I always knew better-- that's my life story.
But it's just great to really think that your friend actually
knows better than you.
It's better to even go it's counterintuitive sometime.
It's better to follow.
I think the word follow is what I do.
My name is Lee Yih, and I am Second.