On April 6, 2022, my 71-year-old mother passed away peacefully and was taken to heaven by God.
My mother was born in the 1950s and was born in a poor era. She was the eldest child in her family and had two younger brothers. She lost her father at the age of three and her mother at the age of 19. In her first marriage, her husband was an alcoholic and abusive man.
In her second marriage, I was born as an extra birth and my mother lost her job. Due to poverty, different personalities and tastes between my mother and father, the quarrel between them had never stopped during more than 30 years of marriage. Thankfully, in my first year of college, I accepted the faith of Christ and became a Christian. In the days after that, I was doing what I could to serve the church.
After graduation, I became a full-time preacher. At that time, I dared not tell my family about it for the fear that it would frighten them and cause more conflicts, especially my mother who had high blood pressure all year round. Every time on the phone and on the way home, I would glorify Jesus with the good things I had experienced and the achievements I had made in my work, and witness the changes that Jesus had made in my life little by little, hoping that this process could open my mother's heart. One day, after five years of trying, I found that my mother suddenly became very willing to go to church gatherings near her hometown.
Believers in the neighborhood led her to the church, but the first church didn't make a good impression. Later, she was introduced to the newly-built Three-Self Church in her hometown, where she attended church every Sunday. In 2020, my mother said, "My son, I'm going to be baptized." I was very happy to hear this and gave glory to God. From then on, she started to attend regular gatherings.
In the summer of 2021, my mother quarreled with my father several times. My mother had heart and brain vascular problems for many years, in the accumulation of negative emotions, she woke up one morning with her mouth crooked and her eyes glazed. I persuaded her to go to the hospital for treatment as soon as possible, and then my father accompanied my mother to the hospital. However, after being in hospital and taking some medicine for treating thrombosis for half a month, my mother was completely hemiplegic. Finally, my mother went home to recuperate, because she was afraid of pain and refused rehabilitation training. In this way, she became paralyzed for one year and four months, losing her physical freedom and the ability to speak, while my father took care of her and helped her with all kinds of living problems.
There were two groups of co-workers, two in a group, that would come to my mother twice a week, on Monday and Friday, to sing praise and pray for my mother. They also listened to what my father said, and during the process, they preached the Gospel to my father. However, he was a hard-hearted man who seemed to believe nothing. In the second half of 2021, church co-workers came to my mother's home to pray. In the process, my father began to read the hymnbook and learn to pray. Slowly, my father accepted the Gospel of Christ and became a Christian.
I went home to take care of my mother for more than 20 days during the Chinese New Year. After three days, my body ached. At that time, my mother cried when eating, and then coughed. At first, I always criticized her for not being sensible. Later, I knew that this was the reaction of a thrombus compressing the swallowing nerve. When my father was going to feed her, he would recite the Apostolic Creed to her first, and then fed her, which was better than feeding her straight away.
In the third month after returning to work in the South, my mother left the world within minutes of my last video chat with her. My heart was full of sadness and regret because I couldn't go home since my hometown was quarantined and the city was closed. The co-workers of the church at home said to me on video, "We prayed for your mother after your last video chat. After praying, she left peacefully without any suffering. That was a real blessing. Don't worry, we will help your mother leave with God's grace. "
That afternoon, the church co-workers dressed her in white clothes, dressed her holy and beautiful, and then sent her to the funeral parlor. The next day, six sisters from the church held a praise and memorial service in the Christian funeral parlor. Relatives on the scene also witnessed my mother's coffin and the funeral parlor filled with God's blessing and glory.
Although my mother's life was full of many misfortunes and bitterness, thanks to God, her life on earth had a happy ending, and she could confidently enter the next part of life, namely eternal life, which is God's compassion and comfort for the poor.
- Translated by Stephen Huang