WITNESS: No More Battling Alone

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During each Ching Ming Festival I become very emotional. I’m reluctant to visit my father’s grave as my family members would offer the traditional oblations. Apart from kneeling and worshipping our ancestors with joss sticks, they would burn loads of paper money and gifts causing smoky, stuffy air and air pollution. The most hurtful thing is when I look at the cross at the top of his grave, grief and sadness fill my heart.

Could my deceased father in actual fact receive all these offerings? My siblings have wrongly expressed their love and respect to the deceased. They think the deceased can still enjoy the oblations. I wonder when they would realize that is not the case and would be free from the myth of such ancestral rites. I wonder when they would come to know the one true God, the creator of heaven and earth and be saved.

I sincerely wish for this day to come. So I pray that God would forgive and save them. They do these things out of ignorance and most essentially they do not know the true God. They worship idols and spirits instead. I also pray that the Holy Spirit would open their blinded eyes and hearts so that the salvation of Jesus would befall on each of them.

Looking back, I was just like them. I also kneeled and prayed to my deceased father to bless and protect me. I also ate all the food offered to him, thinking it would bless me. Now, I am grateful to God for not forsaking me while I was clouded by ignorance and trapped in the pit of sins. I am grateful to God for delivering me out of the bondage of sins through His beloved Son Jesus Christ. I am grateful to God for leading me to the throne of grace to be His child.

It has been six years that I have not joined in the ancestral rites during Ching Ming festival. Instead I chose to remember my dad by presenting flowers. I prayed to the one true God to thank Him for giving me a good dad and gave thanks for his caring love.

I am also thankful to God for extending His saving grace to other members of my family for the past four years. And thus I am no longer battling alone during Ching Ming Festival. We can now sing hymns praising the victorious name of Jesus Christ in front of the yet-believing family members, and we are bonding as we remember my dad’s love. I am still praying in Jesus’ name that God will save all in my family to be freed from the power of darkness and be moved into the kingdom of true light.

I am hoping that in the near future there won’t be food offering and burning of paper money and gifts in my dad’s grave. I am longing for the day that there will be only songs of praise and prayers of thanksgiving. I hold to this promise, “Believe in Jesus, you and your family will be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

By Ting Yan Yan, Ming Ong Methodist Church, Bintulu
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