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By CCD contributor: Li Daonan
on February 24, 2017 02:02 AM
My elder sister was a so-called cartilage person who was easy to be bullied by other gods. For example, the soul of ancestors or fairies passing by may make her uncomfortable and whiny.
The cartilage often has problems with their physical or mental health. In the 1980s there were many cartilage people in rural areas. As a result, every village had a witch at that time.
My sister was born in the early 1970s. Hunger was still the theme of that age. As a girl, she was not welcomed in the family. My father left the family to work with the production team a few days after her birth. My mother and sister huddled with each other in the cold winter.
When it came to 1980s, the household contract responsibility system was applied. At that time my elder sister was eight years old and in the second grade of primary school.
My father planted a lot of vegetables. In the late autumn and early winter he would sell the vegetables at the market. My father valued the male child only. My elder sister stopped schooling early and followed my father to sell vegetables at the market. The tired childhood buried a bomb in her body. She suffered from leg varicose veins in her thirties.
My sister was quite smart when she went to school. She always ranked among the best students in her class. So up to now she still complained about dropping out of school. She thinks that if she continues to study, she will live a better life. My sister had a strong personality. She never showed mercy to those in the wrong when justice was on her side. So she had a tense relationship and her spirit was also in a bad state.
When I was born, my mother suffered from a toothache for a long time. She visited different witches around the village. Finally she was cured. She followed the witch's advice and started to worship four female immortals.
Our family must burn incense and kowtow on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. After my elder sister got married, she started to take on the burden of the family and deal with the complex relationship with her mother-in-law. Physical and mental discomfort often occurs to her.
My family members thought of feng shui first. They invited some feng shui masters to inspect my elder sister's house and help renovate it. However, it didn't work.
My elder sister still often felt dizzy and vomited. My family was very big. I had a loose relationship with my father due to my father's bad character.
My aunt was the only Christian in my family. She started to believe in God when she was a young lady. However, after I was born, we broke the relationship. The relationship was recovered when I went to study in the town. So my aunt's faith did not leave us any deep impression.
There were several Christians in the village. However, they only prayed in times of drought and sickness. They sang and dance during the Spring Festival. They didn't leave me any deep impression either.
Their activities were excluded in the village because they have delayed the time for farming. So believers were usually the elderly or the sick who couldn't work in the field.
My sister's Christian faith was established around 2000. I accepted gospel under my teacher's guidance during the same year. My elder sister's neighbor spread the gospel to her and told her the message of Jesus' death and resurrection. She also started to know that God brings us peace.
Other doctrines are simply incomprehensible for the poorly educated rural women. At that time, it was the peace of Jesus that attracted my elder sister. Later on my sister followed her neighbor to the church party. Her relationship with her neighbors also became better.
The size of the rural church was generally not large. There were only a dozen of believers. Due to the poor conditions of transport, the believers were usually from the nearby villages. The church in the town could gather more believers because many villagers could go to the fair conveniently in the town. My elder sister's church can accommodate more than 200 people and is close to the town. So there are more believers in her church. They are mainly female believers. Some active sisters organized a yangko team. The yangko team performed at Christmas and during the Spring Festival. They also perform at weddings in the village for free. Their yangko team, which is made up of a dozen of people, was warmly welcomed because villagers all want a happy wedding. The team practices regularly during the slack period.
My elder sister was baptized and became a Christian six months after attending the church meeting. Then she joined the yangko team. This yangko team has changed my elder sister a lot. She has her own communication circle and fixed activities. Every time she performed with the team, the hosts of the weddings will be grateful to her, which make her feel important.
My parents used to believe in four fairies. My sister was strongly against their faith after being baptized. However, she didn't change my parents' attitude. Once upon a time my cousin had a dispute with the neighbor and drank pesticide. Luckily, he didn't kill himself. My uncle went to ask a well-known witch in our village why it happened. The witch said that one of our family members started to believe in God. So one of the four fairies had nowhere to go. She chose my cousin.
In villagers' concept, once the fairy has chosen you, you must be tortured for some time. You might be sick or mad. My uncle used money to invite Guanyin Bodhisattva. My parents turned to believe in Jesus since then.
My elder sister has changed a lot after attending the church. She had a better relationship with others. What's more, her spirit became loose. Although her voice was still high, she seldom quarreled with people. Instead, she told funny jokes.
The relaxation of spirit brought about physical changes. The physical discomfort happens less frequently than before. The blessing of Jesus has made my family life smoother. The gospel plays an important role in our family.
When the child was sick, they used to kowtow before the witch. Now they pray and bring children to the doctor. They no longer invite feng shui masters any more.
Every time I see my sister listen to gospel and pastor's preaching, I do not object to her. I think Christianity has brought about great benefits to her including health, and spiritual comfort. After all she lives more happily than before. Those witchcrafts can't bring about benefits to her.
Although Sister and my parents may treat gospel just like shaman's witchcraft due to limited education and closed growth environment, they no longer burn incense or kowtow now. They no longer spend money on praying to unknown gods. They became cheerful after they believed in Jesus. Their relationship with neighbors was more harmonious than before. The family became much happier.This is the power of the gospel!
I oppose religious control of believers, but I never exclude the comfort and change that religion brings. I am against pastors who force others to believe in God with the so-called orthodox doctrine. They have ignored the benefits and circumstances of his religion. There is no doubt that religion has its benefits.
The power of the gospel is to bring comfort and change to people in different situations. Gospel makes us learn to respect people and think about other person's needs!
Translated by Emma Ma
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