Out of all the Chinese New Year (CNY) goodies, love letters are my favourite because of their unique backstory – as a means of relaying messages of affection.
But have you ever wondered: If God were to write a love letter to our pre-believing family members, how would He do that?
In his letter to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul told the Corinthians that they were a “letter from Christ”, written with the “Spirit of the living God” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3). Like those early believers, we, too, are the love letters God uses to convey His message of love to those who have yet to receive Him.
But what does that look like practically?
During CNY last year, the leaders in my campus ministry wanted to bless our pre-believing parents, so we visited each other’s homes to spend time and get to know them and have meaningful conversations about Christ where possible.
One year on, I caught up with one of the friends whose home we visited. We didn’t know it then, but as Kun Hong’s parents opened up their physical doors to us, God was opening up the spiritual doors of their hearts.
Here is his story.
I first accepted Christ into my life in 2013 and I’m the first believer in my family.
All this while, my parents were not very agreeable to my faith. So when my leader asked me if my parents would be keen in opening up their house for a visit during CNY, I did not think that they would be receptive to the idea of having my church friends coming over.
To my surprise, they agreed!
It turned out to be an eye-opening visit for my parents.
My dad had a negative experience with a believer who tried to reach out to him during his National Service (NS) days, and his social circle consisted mainly of pre-believers. He never had the opportunity to experience a positive interaction with a believer.
As for my mum, a testimony shared by a believer left her with the impression that Christianity was a faith only for people in need of help. Her lack of interaction with believers didn’t give her the opportunity to clarify that assumption.
But as my church friends spent time with my family, that helped to neutralise the negative experience that my dad had harboured for years.
My mum also saw that my spiritual community did not have very obvious needs that made them accept Christ into their lives. As such, she concluded that there must be more to this Christian faith.
During the visit, my church friends were also very intentional in sharing with parents about what I do in church, telling them how I would play the guitar and sing.
This was news for my parents because I wasn’t courageous enough to sing Christian songs or worship God in front of them. I’d usually close the door and worship God in the comfort of my room.
My spiritual family then asked me to play the guitar and sing for my parents. One of them even spontaneously played the cajon with me. It was almost as if my parents were enjoying a live gig in their living room.
Towards the end of the session, we even sang “Amazing Grace”. My parents seemed to have enjoyed themselves – they had videoed the guitar session.
Honestly, if it wasn’t for my church friends who encouraged me to play the guitar and sing for my parents, I wouldn’t have done it. I felt supported, and their presence gave me the courage to do things that I wouldn’t have dared to do alone.
With hindsight, the interaction between my parents and my spiritual family was much needed. There was no way that I would have been able to shift their views about my faith single-handedly.
Additionally, sometime before the team came over to my house for the CNY visit, I had actually brought my mum to an evangelistic service. But because of my busy school schedule, I didn’t have the chance to check in with her on how she felt about it.
Thankfully, my spiritual family took the initiative to use this CNY visit as a platform for spiritual conversations. They were genuinely curious to find out more about her thoughts on the evangelistic service.
My mum told them that she was actually interested in going back to church, but her son had not asked to bring her back! That was a good wake-up call for me to be more intentional and invested in the eternal lives of my pre-believing parents and brother.
I’m heartened as I reflect on how God used such a simple CNY visit to open the spiritual doors of my parents’ hearts. They are now more receptive to this relationship that I have with Christ, and I’ve been able to engage in deeper conversations with them about my faith.
If not for the visit, the blindspots of my faith would not have been revealed. But now I’ve learnt so much more about how I can be salt and light back at home.
That was Kun’s story. But what will ours be?
I’m super pumped up for CNY this year, as we’ll be making these visits again. In this festive season where physical doors are open for visitations, let’s remember that God can also use us to open the spiritual doors of hearts through being His love letters!
As we overflow with gratitude when we reflect on His love and grace for us, my hope is that we’ll be able to be a great blessing to our loved ones around us.
- What is Chinese New Year (CNY) typically like for your family?
- What is one way you can intentionally change the spiritual atmosphere of your CNY visits?
- Who is one person you will reach out to this CNY?