My name is Andrew and I come from Malaysia. I grew up in a rural village, of Chinese Malaysian parents. I was raised in Chinese Buddhist/Taoist culture but after a long personal journey, I became a Christian. This is a little of my story. I grew up in the early 1960’s in a rural village […]
My name is Andrew and I come from Malaysia. I grew up in a rural village, of Chinese Malaysian parents. I was raised in Chinese Buddhist/Taoist culture but after a long personal journey, I became a Christian. This is a little of my story.
I grew up in the early 1960’s in a rural village in Malaysia. I spent my days playing and running around with the other children in my village. One day a pastor noticed me as he was passing. He noticed the sores on my legs, from insect bites and scratches (usual for children in my village) and was so concerned that he took me to a mobile clinic. The clinic was part of a community mission at a nearby church. I was given medication and was also introduced to the church’s Sunday school.
From Sunday school I progressed to joining the Boy’s Brigade which was very active, and from there I transitioned to joining the youth program. I wanted to be baptised but my first attempt was aborted because of my parent’s objection and I was stopped from going through with it. My parents thought I had been possessed, so they took me to a medium who forced me to drink all sorts of concoctions, hoping that I might come to my senses.
I am the eldest son in my family and in a Chinese family like mine, I am responsible for leading important religious rituals, particularly funeral rites. There is a lot of importance and responsibility placed on the eldest son.
I was able to be baptised about two years later, when I was 17 years old, thanks to the Lord. It was still a difficult thing to do as I was almost chased out of the house. At that time (about 40 years ago) it was very hard in my culture to accept conversions to Christianity. In Chinese Buddhist culture, religion and culture are intertwined very closely. Most Chinese families are very religious. They pray every day without fail, very fervently and there are many festivals, at least two every month. I was brought up in this environment. Without being too overcritical, Taoism is almost like the days of Paul whereby the people pray to so many objects (“you look to the left and right and anything you see, you pray about it”) to the point where they even pray ‘to an unknown god’. To me, I see this is the great difference – there is no central God that you really know, whom you can have a personal relationship. You only pray, but you don’t really feel there is a God that you can deeply relate with.
People have become more open over time. My parents have accepted my conversion because my wife and I continue to show them love. I have shown them that I became a Christian, not because I want to leave the family or abandon them as parents, but because I discovered there is a greater way of learning to love. My youngest sister is also now a Christian, as well as her whole family. During family gatherings, my other non-Christian family members now insist we offer prayer of thanksgiving to God before meals and they sometimes join us in our special church services.
Praise be to God for His redeeming grace that has brought me this great sense of liberation from the yoke of condemnation and also for experiencing His love, that I may share it with others.
Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to www.lca.org.au/international-mission/act-now/pray
Read more stories about our partner churches in Malaysia at https://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/malaysia-peninsula/