This is the story of a believer in Southeast Asia, shared with us by our Southeast Asia Field Leader.
Mr. H is about 70 years old, a retired man. He came to know the Lord a few years ago, but he was the only Christian in his whole village. The community kicked him and his family out, and they were forced to live on the edge of the village.
His own family gave him a fair bit of trouble. Because of him, they became outcasts.
Being the eldest in the family, much was expected of Mr. H. In Asian cultures, being an eldest, especially an eldest son, carries with it a lot of responsibilities and duties. One duty is maintaining the family altar.
For every pagan festival, every death, every anniversary, and every family occasion, Mr. H’s family and friends would come over and complain to him because he would no longer burn joss-sticks or incense, or do any of the other normal things connected with ancestral worship.
Mr. H could not read very well, so somebody gave him a cassette player and some tapes. One tape was the Gospel of Matthew. Mr. H played this tape again and again. Often his family and neighbours would come to switch the tape off as soon as he switched it on. This had been happening for a while, until one day when they came to switch it off, the tape was in the middle of a parable. For whatever reason, the person who had come over was gripped by the story and sat down to listen to the rest of it.
Soon other villagers began coming to his house every afternoon, sometimes in groups, sometimes alone, to hear the Gospel of Matthew. They have accepted the fact that Mr. H is ‘different’.
I don’t think Mr. H will be alone in his faith in that village much longer. The word of God never returns void. Let’s pray for Mr. H and his village together.