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Walking with Jesus into freedom
December 08, 2003
Macau, China — With the noonday sun shining down on them and the breeze off the Pearl River Delta ruffling their clothes, A-Bik, a Macau Chinese woman, and her aged mother reached into the bag again and again.
They take out handfuls of splintered wood and fling them far out onto the waves. Earlier in the day, they had gone to a temple ancestral hall to retrieve the name plaque of the husband and father of the family who had died about twenty years earlier.
Although A-Bik and her mother had long ago stopped worshipping the soul of their loved one, her mother had recently been agitating A-Bik to go and “take care of” that remaining plaque. Following a recent seminar on deliverance at our church, A-Bik realized that it was important to deal with this. Now just that morning, they had invited my husband George and I to go along to get it, help them renounce all spiritual ties to that worship and then break the plaque and dispose of it.
A-Bik is a single mother, living in Macau government housing and raising two sons, aged 17 and 11. She works as one of the janitorial staff at a large school near her home. She also cleans at the Mennonite Centre. The day after we went to “take care of” the ancestor plaque, we sat down for the following interview.
Q: How did you first come to know Jesus?
A: I grew up in a Buddhist family that worshipped anything and everything: ancestors, gods, goddesses, and at any little shrine along the road. I heard about Jesus even when I was very little. I would attend the Catholic church and even take along some of my cousins. When I was pregnant with my youngest child twelve years ago, I was very distressed. A school social worker talked with me and then introduced me to a pastor who counseled me.
Q: What are the difficulties you face in your life as a single mom in Macau and how do you find support?
A: I have financial challenges in terms of all the needs there are with two boys in school. I find encouragement and support from church. (Church members and a short-term team have helped her practically in her home with repairs and painting.)
Q: How have you seen God’s grace in your life?
A: When I first accepted Jesus it was because my life was so difficult and so I wanted eternal life and I wanted it right away. Then I came to realize that Jesus has prepared a way for me to walk, that He wants to set me free here and now, so I am in the process of changing. I still have so many areas in which I need to be set free!
Q: What has motivated you to pray for your children and invite other mothers to pray too? (A-Bik and I started meeting to study and pray. We now have a small group of women, most invited by A-Bik.)
A: I believe that as a Christian parent, praying for my children is my responsibility and a good way to bless them. I want to not only bless my own children, but also to pray for the children of others as well. My vision is that the group of women that meet together now, will in twenty years look back at how God has answered our prayers!
Q: How can the Christian women in North America pray for you?
A: Please pray for my economic situation. Pray that my children do well in school and that they will walk in God’s way. I desire that they also marry Christian women. Pray also for my relationship with my mother.
Tobia and George Veith (Cornerstone Mennonite, Saskatoon) are Mennonite Church Canada workers in Macau. In summer, 2004, they will be joined by MC Canada workers Tim and Cindy Buhler (Northview Community Church, Abbotsford, BC) transferring from their current ministry with Agape Mennonite Church, a congregation of the Chinese Mennonite Conference of Hong Kong. The Veiths, who have ministered in Macau for 7 years, are thankful for the prospect of help. The Buhlers look forward to the change, and request prayers for a smooth transition and for the Hong Kong ministry they will leave behind. Shirley Liem (Mennonite Church in Kudus, Indonesia) also works with the Macau team. The Veiths, Buhlers, and Shirley Liem receive financial support from MC Canada for their ministry.