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Only God Makes It Grow

‘Do you think we should consider converting to Christianity?’ Mrs Tung asked her daughter. Mrs Tung was a retired farmer and factory worker and a long time worshipper of the goddess of mercy, Guan yin. After a number of ‘chance’ encounters with local Christians and OMF missionaries, this was the big question on Mrs Tung’s mind. It began with a local Christian praying for her while she was in hospital. She refused the Bible offered by the Christian, but was very touched by a stranger praying for her.

Six months later, Mrs Tung met Nancy, an OMF missionary, who was looking for a place to live. As a landlady, Mrs Tung asked Nancy what her job was. As a result, Nancy and a local Christian shared a number of Bible stories with her. After Nancy had rented Mrs. Tung’s apartment for two months, a big typhoon hit. That was how Mrs. Tung came to live with Nancy for nearly a whole month!

Mrs Tung had been travelling near Donggang when the typhoon hit, so she quickly went to stay at Nancy’s home. Mrs Tung yelled, ‘You pray to your God and I’ll pray to mine!’ her voice barely audible above the howling wind and driving rain. While Mrs Tung stood before the double glass balcony doors, arms raised, chanting at the wind, Nancy knelt on the floor in her bedroom and prayed to Jesus.

After the typhoon, Mrs Tung stayed with Nancy to help organise repairs. A few days turned into a week, which turned into two weeks and so on. While Nancy found it a bit stressful having her landlady live with her, she could see God softening Mrs Tung’s heart.

Nancy’s OMF co-worker, Linda, came to visit after the typhoon, met Mrs Tung and shared the story of Zacchaeus. “Jesus sounds like my goddess. They both want to help people” said Mrs Tung. Rather than deny this was true, Linda offered to share some stories about Jesus’ ancestors. “These stories will help you know what God is like and you can tell me if He really is the same as your goddess or not”. A few days later, after hearing Linda share the story of Creation, Mrs Tung was driven to read Genesis 1-3. She declared “Linda, this book is the same as the story you just told me!” She continued to read the Bible.

Mrs Tung kept asking Nancy questions – “What are you doing?”

“I’m preparing a Bible story to share with my friend.”

“Tell me the story”.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m praying” said Nancy.

“Can I listen? I have never heard a Christian pray before”.

“What are you watching on TV?”

“I’m watching my favorite Christian teacher”.

Mrs. Tung also watched intently.

She even attended a local church service, but seemed to prefer listening to Bible stories and watching the local Christian TV station.

It came time for Mrs. Tung to return home to Chiayi, a few hours north of Donggang. Nancy immediately thought of some OMF co-workers, the Gibsons, who also lived in Chiayi. Mrs. Tung has been to visit the Gibson’s and plans to join in their Friday night fellowship group – which, much to Mrs. Tung’s delight, is a group of Taiwanese people (not foreigners), some of whom are seekers like herself.

There are so many God ordained ‘coincidences’ here that it is no surprise that Mrs. Tung is asking ‘Should I follow Jesus?’ Please pray for Mrs. Tung, her family and community that they will trust in Jesus.

Linda McKerrell – Donggang

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