My popo (maternal grandmother) is great.
She’s smart despite never really going to school (she learned to read Mandarin all by herself!), resourceful and thrifty.
She makes the best fried eggs and milo in the whole world, and seems to know the remedy to every ailment I’ve ever had.
I am thoroughly blessed to be living a few minutes away from her because every evening, I walk to her house to enjoy an awesome home-cooked dinner.
One evening, while having dinner as usual, the thought of, “If popo leaves us, I’ll never get to eat her dinners ever again” hit me like a train.
At that moment, I felt the weight of mortality and a huge burden in my heart for my popo as well as my ah-ma and ah-gong (paternal grandparents), who are all non-Christian.
That night, I prayed for their hearts to soften and for God to use any avenue at all to reveal Himself to them.
My heart was so heavy for my unbelieving grandparents that I cried out to God, pleading for Him to make a way for them to accept Him as their Lord and Saviour.
When I shared all this with my mentor, she spoke to me about the similar burden she had for her own grandparents.
Her grandparents live in Malaysia, so whenever she visits them, she would use every opportunity to tell them about Jesus.
She told me that it takes intentionality and partnership with God to reach out to someone.
Beyond just praying for my grandparents, my mentor challenged me to intentionally reach out to my grandparents in tangible ways that would help them experience God’s love and goodness.
I’ve been learning to do that over the past few weeks, and here are some ways that I think work well in trying to reach out to our grandparents.
How to reach out to grandparents
1. Show your love for them practically
I see my popo almost everyday, but not my ah-ma and ah-gong, who live much further away.
It dawned upon me how little I initiate meetings with my beloved grandparents; I had to reflect on just how much I love and care for them.
Hence, I began phoning my ah-ma every few days. In every single call, she tells me that whenever I call her, it makes her day, and that I should call her more often because she’s really happy when I do.
So, of course I did. And every call makes my day too!
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:12)
The age-old cliche of “they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” rings true even for the elderly.
My grandparents experience the love of Christ through the way I love them tangibly.
I am trusting that with every act of love, God is softening their hearts towards Him bit by bit.
… it takes intentionality and partnership with God to reach out to someone.
Moreover, to love my grandparents is to let them know the love Christ has for them.
Hence, I’ve made it a personal mission to memorise the Bridge Diagram in Mandarin.
One day, when God gives me the opportunity to share the Gospel with them, I’ll be more than ready.
2. Stand firm in your faith
Don’t spend so much time at church ah. I’ve heard this sentence countless times from my popo.
She means it well and has my best interests at heart; she simply wants me to rest more at home and invest more time in my studies.
In the past, my response would be a simple “okay…” so as to avoid The Lecture on being too committed to religion (one that I’ve heard too many times) or having to explain how time spent at church isn’t a “waste”.
But in recent times, what I’ve learnt is that these moments are prime opportunities for me to explain who God is to me.
Each conversation is a chance to go beyond the surface level and share why I actually go to church every week.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)
I’m convicted that we must do anything and everything – short of sin – to show our grandparents that we truly love and live for God.
When we take God seriously, we will see the need to help our loved ones understand God’s place in our lives. We wouldn’t want to keep quiet about His goodness.
The hope is that they will eventually come to realise how important God is to us. We must aim to spark curiosity in them about this God who is “taking up so much” of our time!
3. Partner with God
At the end of the day, we need to remember that God is working in the hearts of our grandparents. After all, they are His beloved children too, and He longs to be reunited with them one day.
As such, partnering with God may look like…
- Praying for our grandparents daily
- Seeking God for wisdom to approach the topic of faith with them
- Asking God to create opportunities for our grandparents to come to know Him
Reaching out to our non-believing grandparents takes commitment and time. Unless a miracle happens, they are unlikely to accept Christ overnight.
Hence, as we faithfully reach out to our grandparents daily, we must also trust that God is working behind the scenes.
Reaching out to our grandparents will involve effort.
We may have to go out of our way to spend time with them or struggle in conversations with our Mandarin or dialects.
However, I can assure you that loving them reaps greater reward than sitting idly by.
Personally, I’m learning to walk wisely and hoping that my grandparents will come to know and accept Christ in time.
My grandparents’ salvation may not be guaranteed, but I’m not letting that deter me from doing anything I can to spread the love of Christ to them.
Young or old, we all need Jesus. So, let’s not forget about our grandparents. As long as they’re still here, it’s never too late!
- Do your grandparents know the Lord?
- What is one thing that stood out to you from the article? Why?
- Pray that God would prepare the hearts of your non-believing family members for the Gospel.
- Then act to share the Good News with them!