A few days ago, Wu Zexin, a deacon from Linfen, Shanxi Province, told of his mother's testimony of gratitude and her faith in Jesus. In his extraordinary experience, he saw with his own eyes how his mother changed her life by believing in Jesus. She led the whole family back to God, and also influenced the surrounding neighbors in positive ways.
His testimony was summarized as follows:
My mother's name is Zhou Chunliang. She lives in Yaodu District, Linfen City. She is 79 years old. My mother received the Gospel in 1987, when my father was hospitalized. She was at his beside every day. An elderly believer in the ward preached the Gospel to them, and they learned to trust in God and pray. My mother loved my father. Every time she cooked something delicious, she would let my father eat first. My father was hospitalized many times before he died. I was only 16 and in my second year of junior high; the second elder brother in my family is 18 years old; my sister is five years older than I; my eldest brother is 12 years older than me. Now I have a family and my child is 4. My eldest sister worked in Linfang, and my second elder brother worked in place of my father. We had only three rooms and no other source of income. My mother took us with her. We suffered a lot and shed a lot of tears. Although life was very hard, she always looked up to the Lord.
Later, she was baptized and four sisters from the same village were also baptized in the old chapel (East Courtyard) in the city. That afternoon, they walked more than 30 miles back home, their hearts full of joy.
After that, my mother kept on praying, trusting God for everything. For every little thing around her, she felt the love and mercy of God, and she knew that God really listens to her prayers. One day, in front of the mill at home, she had to pour out the wheat first to pick out pieces of dirt, branches and leaves and other impurities. She had to carry a bag of grain weighing 50 kilograms, which she really is not strong enough to carry. My mother said a silent prayer in her heart, and then she moved the bag, only to see it fall just into the right place.
One of my neighbors had a weekly church service at home, and mother never missed it, no matter how busy she was. Every Sunday, she would go to the town church, no matter what happened. Every Sunday she would be called by the faithful sisters of the village. Together they would talk and laugh, singing hymns and beaming with joy. I saw that my mother's faith in God had really changed her. She used to be sad and angry, but now she felt much better, and often thanked God for his blessing.
One Christmas, my mother took me to a worship service. I was ignorant and did not know what was said. I also did not know what to say. I only thought they were very happy and enjoyed singing and dancing. When I came back, I looked at the Bible and began to read the first few chapters of Genesis, which gave me a rough idea of the story of God's creation. It was like reading a book that came from heaven.
Time went by, and soon it was time for the wife of my second elder brother to have the "confinement in childbirth". Due to difficult labor, she could not give birth for a long time. At that time, the whole family was in a panic. Only my mother knelt down quietly and prayed that the Lord would keep her safe. As expected, God listened to her prayer, and the baby finally was born safely. My mother was so happy that she held a special Thanksgiving meeting at home.
She was zealous in preaching the Gospel and bringing people to the Lord. Her mother-in-law had trouble walking. My mother preached the Gospel to her she was baptized. My mother's love has also influenced my sister, who often attends church services and is active in the church. Now my family has become a host family. In addition, her words and deeds were greatly changed. She showed filial piety to her parents-in-law and served them with all her heart. She took special care of her mother-in-law who was paralyzed and in bed for ten years. It is a touching story told all around, which is also a glorious witness to the Lord.
With the help and encouragement of my mother, I was baptized and kept pursuing my faith. My mother always taught me to pray, read the Bible, and attend church every week. Every time we talk on the phone, we are constantly reminded that we are members of God's family and need to live a life that pleases God. Later, I joined a service team that helps the disabled, and was appointed as a deacon by the church. I am grateful for God's care.
Thanks to my mother's words and deeds, all my family believe in God. She put God's words into practice with her deeds. Her wonderful change made the neighbors see the true and living God. A neighbor in the front and back yard had a dispute with my family over the problem of their house. Later, my mother took the initiative to seek peace. The two families reconciled and that family also believes in Jesus now.
Today, my mother is almost eighty-years old. Her vision is a little blurry and she is a bit deaf, but physically she is fine. She usually works in her small vegetable garden, and grows all kinds of organic vegetables. If she has too many vegetables, my mother gives them to neighbors for free. Whenever she has time, she will sing songs of praise to God with her old sisters.
Every year before Christmas, she and her sisters will begin early to write, direct and act in their own Christmas programs. They rehearse these in the small yard which is filled with laughter. Because of her age the church in town is a bit far for her, but she will still go every week. Together with her elderly sister friends, she takes frequent breaks along the way. Because I long for the words of God, I write them down every time I hear them. During the epidemic, she could not go to worship in the church, so she and her sisters watched the webcast sermon with their mobile phones. Every time they listened to the sermon, they felt greatly satisfied. I saw in my mother her love for God and her devotion to her faith.
My mother is both ordinary and great. This reminds me of Psalm 92:12-15:The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
- Translated by Nicolas Cao