Living out faith in love
Posted on: 30th May 2022
CMS workers Malcolm and Leanne teach at a Bible College in South East Asia. Malcolm recently met James* after church, and he shares an insight into the cultural challenges for local people to come to faith.
People here don’t talk about conversion as becoming a Christian or coming to faith, but this culturally nuanced phrase—‘believing in God’. One counter-cultural aspect for new Christians here is that they now also believe in God. People in our location generally don’t consider themselves religious and they don’t generally believe in any God. Most perceive the prayers and offerings at their family altar or their worship at the temple as a cultural, not a religious practice.
One morning he was woken early by the Holy Spirit and felt prompted to talk to his parents immediately. For the first time they were open to discussing God with him and since then they have been more open to the gospel.
The first year of being a Christian was difficult for James. His parents would not talk to him because of his new belief in God. They were hurt and offended by his unwillingness to make offerings at the family or temple.
Demonstrating faith through love
Then things happened. His brother, a banker in the burgeoning middle class, succumbed to a significant gambling addiction. His gambling debts meant the family had to sell their traditional home—a culturally important place for family gatherings and where ancestor practices are performed.
James did what he could, including helping to pay the many debts. This demonstrated to his parents his enduring love for his family.
Listening to God’s prompting
One morning he was woken early by the Holy Spirit and felt prompted to talk to his parents immediately. For the first time they were open to discussing God with him and since then they have been more open to the gospel. They have now given him the freedom not to partake in the traditional worship rituals.
Please pray for James as he continues to share the gospel with his family, and for Malcolm and Leanne as they seek to support new believers in their location.
* Name changed for privacy reasons.
There are many opportunities to serve in mission in South East Asia. There are needs for English teachers, pastors, student workers, theological lecturers, and many other professional workers. Contact your CMS branch about serving in South East Asia.