An 8th grade student looked like a sloth so his classmates gave him the nickname, “Sloth”. Along with few other students, Sloth comes to our Saturday Champions Youth Group. He is quiet when among his classmates but to our surprise, Sloth always shares openly and is the first one to answer the Bible questions. Like other students, Sloth loves to stay behind for games after the youth program. Reluctantly, we would urge him to go home as soon as the youth group finished; otherwise Sloth’s Dad would come with an angry face, scolding Sloth and dragging him home.
In September 2015, Sloth’s Dad had a minor stroke and was hospitalized. Due to a heavy school workload, Sloth seldom went to visit his Dad. One Saturday after youth group Wayne took Sloth to see his Dad in hospital. When Sloth’s Dad saw Sloth, his eyes were filled with tears, saying, “You (Wayne) know how to teach him (Sloth). Thank-you.” The visit was not long. At the end, Sloth’s Dad urged Wayne to pray for him before sending Sloth back home.
Since then Wayne went weekly to share Bible stories with Sloth’s Dad and he began to ask meaningful questions. Sloth’s Dad also started listening to an audio Bible. Within one month, Sloth’s Mom arranged for Sloth’s Dad to be baptized in a local church. Sloth’s Dad had became Christian!
In the following 2 months, Sloth’s Dad got rid of his 7 idols that he faithfully worshipped. Then with the help of a Serve Asia short-term team, we helped the Sloth-family clean up the shrine where the idols were placed and turned it into a bright spacious storage room. During the cleaning time, Sloth’s Dad looked worried and dared not come closer. Occasionally, he peeped in to check on the cleaning progress. When we had finally finished and invited him to come see the difference. He felt released, striding in with his walking stick, wearing a big smile on his face. That smile continues to this day.
After the stroke, Sloth’s Dad cannot sit too long so he felt it was inconvenient for him to come to our Sunday Worship. Therefore Wayne offered to hold a ‘house worship’ at his home on Saturday nights. 3 months after Sloth-Dad’s stroke the ‘Sloth-family house church’ was established. Gradually, Sloth’s siblings joined in and Sloth-Mom led during Chinese New Year break while we were away for holiday.
It has never been easy for a traditional Taiwanese working class man to become a Christian. It is was even harder for Sloth’s Dad because of his long history of idol worship and his experience as a spirit medium in his young age. For God nothing is impossible!
Step-by-step, we have seen the red light in a household shrine turned into a cross. There is more to come! We are laboring towards this vision. It is such a huge task that we cannot do it on our own but relying on large amounts of prayers. Do remember to pray for Sloth’s family to be a light in their community and be a blessing to many. Also if you are in Taiwan and pass houses with a little red light next to their family altar, pray that it will one day be replaced with a cross!
PS: Sloth was baptized on 27 March 2016.
Wayne & Angela – Puxin