My father has always been a traditional Chinese dad. We come from a Buddhist background and worships our ancestors faithfully as an act of filial piety. My dad is the eldest and only son in the family and hence he plays a major role in taking care of my 92 year old grandma and our family.
A year ago, my father was hospitalized for pneumonia. It was then that we discovered he was only surviving on less than 10% of his lungs and there would be no sign of recovery as it’s a chronic lung disease where 90% of his lungs had already hardened. I knew that our time with him is short and he really needs to know the Lord.
I was crying out to God for the salvation of my father. It was difficult just for me to believe he would get saved because I had already reached out to him multiple times over the years. In the Chinese tradition, he cannot turn to Christ because he had to be the son to handle my grandmother’s funeral when she dies. His name was already in the temple plague and his “seat was secured” in the temple. The stronghold for my father was real, and strong. But I know no matter how impossible the situation seems, our God is still the God of the impossible. He loves my father and desires for my father to turn to Christ more than I do.
After months of praying, I was getting desperate. I know that time is short and I had come to the point where I wondered, “Would prayer make any difference?”. The Holy Spirit gave me an inspiration to do a video for my father one day. Since he wouldn’t allow me to share the gospel with him nor allow a pastor to visit him, I’ll record a pastor preaching the gospel to him and arrange a time to show it to him. The enemy knew what I was doing and constantly messed up my schedule so that it was difficult to show the video to him. He, through my father’s friend, sent him a video of a Taoist monk being possessed by a god just before I showed my Gospel video. It was a battle for my father’s soul. After some difficulty, my father finally watched the video for 15 minutes but there was no conversion.
On the 14th of Feb, my father was once again hospitalized for pneumonia. The doctor had told us to prepare for the worst. I was pleading to God for the opportunity for my father to respond for salvation. That day, God displayed his miraculous work. My only Christian aunt spoke to him about Jesus once again and it was the first time my father said he is willing to believe but will only do so if my grandma allow him. My backslidden brother encouraged my father to make the decision to turn to Christ and even told him about the great salvation Christ has come to give. Miraculously, my grandma called my father that evening and gave him permission to believe in Jesus. With my mum and brother, we led my father to Christ at the end of the day! My aunt who has been praying for my father for 39 years broke into tears.
The next day morning, I got a call from the hospital that my father is dying. The whole family went to the hospital and I was in time to bring Pastor Kevin Graves to the ward for his water baptism. God was so powerful to arrange in such a way that all the extended family members, mostly Buddhists, were present to witness my father’s confession of his decision to follow Christ and be baptized! Even my grandmother who initially refused to visit my father at the hospital because he was getting baptized!
The water baptism was not just a ceremony but a display of God’s resurrection power. Instead of being on morphine and dying, my father’s oxygen level soared up to a record percentage since months ago! He experienced peace and joy and had rosy cheeks by evening time. Instead of collecting my father’s death certificate that day, we collected his water baptism certificate! My father was raised from death to life and was discharged from the hospital 2 days later!
1 week later, during my morning prayer, I saw Jesus holding the hands of my father. Soon after, I got a call from my mum that my dad is not doing well. This was the third time we brought my father to the hospital for pneumonia. He was placed in a ward where one of our church members, Grace Tan, was the nurse for night shift. I knew that our good Father was in control.
On the evening of 24th of February, the Lord told me a few things and that my father will pass away tomorrow. I knew that God was fully in control and true enough, the call came at 2.45am on the 25th of Feb that my father is no longer responding. We didn’t make it in time to be with my father as he takes his last breath, but God provided for Grace to be there to minister to him as he left this world. Grace played a Hokkien song for my dad to hear, not knowing that it was the exact same song that my husband wanted to play for my dad to hear. God is so good.
My father passed away on the 25th of February. God brought much comfort to the family members as I shared about what God had revealed to me to my non-believing relatives. God wanted me to show my relatives that He is a God who loves, who cares, who is alive and who speaks to us. It was a glorious departure as the testimony of Christ was shared and His grace displayed through the sequence of events.
My father’s salvation was a breakthrough in my extended relatives. His name shall not be written in the Buddhist temple’s plague but in the Book of life. There was no certificate of death until the certification of water baptism was collected. God knew every step my father was going to take and He made provision for everything and He wanted to let the entire family know God is right in the midst of everything. Even through the funeral, my father’s wake was the first christian wake in my family line. The Gospel was preached to relatives and friends who has never heard the Gospel before.
I want to testify and encourage many who are still praying for your family members to never give up. Prayer Can Change Your Family! Our God can move miraculously in your family. When God revealed to me that my father will come to salvation 1 week before he actually did, I learnt that it was a breakthrough in prayer and a victory won in the Spirit for a soul! Matt 7:7 “Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you…” Don’t give up!