In our trip to Melaka in May last month, Rosalind joined us in the Agapecare Seniors Club to share her testimony about her elderly parents’ story. Her testimony appeared in Asian Beacon in 23 Feb. 2014.
My father was an executive for a large multinational company, was on the prestigious board of trustees of a large, well known temple in Melaka, and a respected elder among the many worshippers there. He had received awards from the Governor of Melaka and even from the King in recognition of his contributions to school boards and the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA). My parents were staunch, devout Taoists.
When I became a Christian at a youth camp, I repeatedly claimed the promise the Lord gave in Acts 16:31: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” Coupled with this were assurances from Jer. 24:7: “I will give Oh Bah Chee and Chua Geok Bee (I substituted with the names of my dad and mum) a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” And 2 Cor. 10:5: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought of Oh Bah Chee and Chua Geok Bee to make it obedient to Christ.”
I had no idea how much my patience would be tested.
RESISTANCE FROM ALL SIDES
In December 1999, my father who was diabetic and due for a bypass, was diagnosed with liver cancer. He was 79 years of age.
Four years later, as the growth in his liver became bigger, he was admitted to hospital with severe back pain. He lost his appetite and had difficulty swallowing food even in liquid form. I urged my church to pray with me for his salvation.
Opposition abounded in my family, mainly from Mum who was very unhappy about me being a Christian and trying to share my faith with Dad. He said, “I want to believe but I don’t want to offend Mum. She has been a good mother and wife.” I assured him, “God understands. You just go ahead and make your peace with God and ask Him for strength to stand firm.” He accepted Jesus when my pastor led him in prayer in the hospital.
After that he prayed a few times, always repeating after us. One day, he prayed aloud by himself for the first time. That night, he went to heaven. We did not have a Christian funeral because of strong opposition from my mother and the rest of the family, but I had assured Dad that it did not matter what they did with his body as long as he was reconciled to God.
One week after Dad’s death, Mum underwent a gastroscopy and was given the sad news that she had a cancerous growth in her stomach. That caused me to increase my efforts in prayer. Knowing her hostile attitude toward Dad’s conversion, I knew we had to demolish the stronghold of anti-Christian mindsets built up through the many years of following her family’s religious traditions.
Mom was a diabetic and her cancer caused blood loss so that she became very anaemic. The cancer caused fluid to collect in her lungs. She became breathless and could not swallow solid food. Even morphine could not relieve her pain. My Aunt Alice talked to her and led her in the prayer of salvation. Mum told her that a doctor in her palliative ward had also suggested she call on Jesus. In this way, God sent different people to sow the seed of salvation.
However, when my pastor visited, Mum told her, “I want to remain a Buddhist. I pray to my Goddess of Mercy twice a month and she helps me. I don’t want to be a Christian.” When she reported the pastor’s visit to my brother he flared up, “You Christians are taking advantage of sick people!” Though terribly upset, I managed to keep my mouth shut.
Our prayers for Mum intensified. The brethren in my church waged spiritual warfare to demolish the strongholds surrounding her. One night, I heard Mum pleading agitatedly to her deities, “Go away, don’t disturb me!” She asked me, “What are you doing? Are you praying for me?” I told her that I was. Unlike before, she did not resist. Unprepared and inexperienced, I could only pray to calm her.
By the next morning, she was very quiet, tired and did not say much. At 3am the following day, my husband, Michael, and I prayed for her and shared verses of assurance with her. We told her, “Don’t worry about where you’ll be buried and what they’ll do with your body. Dad has gone to be with Jesus and will be waiting for you. We will all meet again in Heaven one day.” She did not resist.
By 5am, she experienced difficulty breathing and went into a coma. I summoned all the family members. Hearing how people prayed for those on their deathbed even when they were in a coma taught me that hearing is the last faculty to go. So I told Mum the story of the thief on the cross; how at the last moment of his life, Jesus received him when he cried out to Him. Michael and I continued to speak assurance into her ears: “Do not fear men. Don’t worry about my brother. We will be reconciled. Everything will be all right.”
I was desperate to know if Mum was truly saved so I asked the Lord for a sign. At 8pm that same night, Mum suddenly gripped my hand tightly, pulled off her oxygen mask and tried to speak. Even though no words came, I believed this was the confirmation I had asked for. Half an hour later she passed away peacefully, fulfilling her wish that she be surrounded by her children, their spouses and her loved ones. She was 81.
The next morning, I told my pastor that I needed confirmation about Mum’s salvation. God gave me more than I requested. During her family devotion time a few days earlier, my aunt saw Mum on her back, her hands reaching up to Jesus’ hands. Another sign was given when my uncle was in a prayer meeting. He saw a vision of Mum smiling, surrounded by angels. A third confirmation came when another aunt who was not at the hospital kept praying, “Lord, receive her soul” at the exact moment Mum breathed her last.
I see now that Mum wanted to believe in Jesus but because of the fear of men, she dared not admit it publicly. God, who knew her spirit was willing even though her flesh was weak, mercifully received her.
Not only was Mum reconciled with her Creator, my brother was also reconciled with me. On the day of the funeral he called me to Mum’s coffin, hugged me and apologised. I assured him, “You are my brother and I love you very much. I’ve already forgiven you.” I added, “I told Mum that we will be reconciled. She will be very happy to know we are.” Our family has promised to meet at least two to three times a year even though our parents are no longer here. I am assured that God’s promise that the whole Oh clan will come to know the Lord will come to pass one day.
Since then, two of Rosalind’s brothers and a sister-in-law accepted Jesus Christ and were baptized.
Rosalind Oh Leo was a London-trained secretary
who held various administrative posts in the
marketplace and church organisations. She is
You and Your Household by Rosalind Oh Leo | Published February 23, 2014 | Author Asian Beacon | Original Source: asianbeacon.org "You and Your Household | Asian Beacon"
* Reprinted by permission.
Do you have an issue you need advice on? Write to Dear Goldie at email@example.com for her godly counsel. Selected questions may be featured in this column. If you leave an email address, you will have your question answered, whether it’s published or not.