HEARTS AFLAME: DIVINE PROMISE AND POWER
Salvation of Asian Elderly Parents
By WONG KRON JOO
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
My parents’ generation of Asian Chinese descent had always perceived Christianity as a “Western religion” even though God’s desire in 2 Peter 3:9 is for people of all races and cultural groups to be reconciled to Christ. I had been mindful of the cultural context of my parents’ generation in my evangelistic outreach to my parents (who only understand Mandarin and Chinese dialects) for over more than twenty years.
Claiming 2 Peter 3:9 by faith in persevering prayer, I had intentionally exposed them to the gospel through the sharing and testimonies of Christians from their same ethnic and cultural background, instead of using translations of Western evangelists. This was helpful especially in discussing how the Chinese Christians addressed issues such as filial piety and ancestral worship. As a Board member of SCGM, I resonate with its vision and important strategic thrust of contextualising the gospel in Asian contexts through ongoing research and advocacy.
In God’s sovereignty and perfect timing, I had the privilege of sharing the text from 2 Peter 3:9 with my elderly dad and highlighting God’s desire for all to experience salvation. Dad was 88 years at that time and was in ICU in August 2019 after suffering a stroke. The fact that he could hear my sharing and responded by raising his arm twice to confirm his commitment in Christ attests to the power and grace of God at work as He had promised. Within the same week, in the presence of all the family members, he willingly expressed his desire (through hand signals) to be baptised in the hospital by my church pastor. He returned home to the Lord in October 2019 after being baptised. Praise God indeed!
Despite my late dad’s embrace of Christ, my mother of 83 years was not ready to follow suit, citing her need to discharge her filial duty of praying to the family ancestors. Praise God that during an outreach visitation in January 2020 by a Mandarin ministry team, the preacher from my church was able to share with my mother and helped her overcome her concern and cross the cultural divide. He reassured her that the act of filial piety and offering of joss sticks to her ancestors is commendable and should not be a hindrance to her faith in Christ. She felt at peace, and decided to give her life to Christ that day. Two months later in March 2020, mom transferred the ancestral tablets from her home to the temple on her own accord as she decided to follow Christ wholeheartedly.
Thank God that the verse from 2 Peter 3:9 has indeed become real to me in God’s own “kairos” time for the salvation of both my parents!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
MR WONG KRON JOO is a finance director in an institute of higher education and serves as the honorary treasurer of SCGM Council as well as on the boards of several Christian organisations, including Perspectives Singapore.
SCGM 40TH ANNIVERSARY DEVOTIONAL CAMPAIGN
40 FRiends of SCGM have been invited to take part in our 40-Day Devotional Project to help raise funds for SCGM’s 40th Anniversary. Each day starting 20 November 2020 to 31 December 2020, SCGM will publish one devotion written by our 40 FRiends in our FundRaising effort and celebration of God’s goodness and provision over the last 40 years!
Through their devotional reflections, we pray that our FRiends of SCGM40 will bless and encourage many to reflect upon God’s Presence, Protection, Provision, Purification and Power in Missions.