My Illiterate Mother Leads Nine Children to Jesus

By CCD contributor: Jacob Zhao , May 17, 2018 06:05 AM

Group of Jacob Zhao's big family, taken on his wedding day in 1985(Provided by Jacob Zhao )

As the Mother's Day that falls on the second Sunday of May approaches, I write this article to honor the memory of my deceased mother as well as to encourage myself to live a devout life worthy of my mother's love.

My mother was a Christian, who died at 86. She raised up nine children among whom I'm the youngest.

Apart from God, my mother was greater than any other people in my eyes. Ill-educated, she could barely read the Bible.

I remembered the first time when she preached the gospel to me. She told me that Jesus, the savior, died on the cross to save us. As a non-Christian, I challenged her with a question when he said. She replied that she had no idea.

Pondering for a while, she asked me a topic irrelevant to the faith. "Answer me: do I treat you well?"

"It's a needless question. Mother would sacrifice your own life for me."

She got pregnant with me at almost 50 and risked her life to bring me to the world. Among all the brothers and sisters, she cared for me the most. When I encountered financial difficulties, she secretly saved the money other children gave to honor her and offered it to me. She also prayed for me. 

Recalling the past scenes, I said in tears, "Mom, you are sweeter than anybody else in the world."

Feeling gratified, she asked again, "Will I give bad things to you?"

"No."

"My child, since you know what I give you is good, why can't you take my advice? Accepting Jesus as our Lord? If it is bad to believe in the Lord, will I let you convert? Will a mother harm her child?"

All of a sudden, my mind was opened. I understood the simple truth. I believed in Jesus she talked about.

Afterward, her decision made all the big family convert to Christianity. After reform and opening up that started in 1978, my hometown had a church. Knowing this, my parents insisted on returning to the hometown. Since then, they became two voluntary doorperson-in-residence of the church.

On New Year's day and other festivals, we visited our parents. Whatever ideas we held, our big family had to go to church and often attended services. Eventually, each of us became a Christian. 

My mother told all of the siblings to love one another. She said, "If you don't your own brothers and sisters, it's a lie to say that you have love."

Regarding a husband and wife relationship, she exhorted us to pay attention to the spouse's comments. She said, "There is no need for other people to tell whether you are good or bad. What your family judges about you is the truest."

Due to many factors, I often had problems with my wife during the ministry years in the church. Not able to share it with outsiders, I wanted to air my grievances to her, things like my life didn't love going to church or result in any transformation. 

However, she criticized me. "Why do think that you have the right to tell her to change yet you don't change at all? ... You who can read should often read the Bible. Doesn't God tell you to love your wife? She will know if you are really good to her. Sometimes she quarreled with you because she didn't treat you as an outsider. She expected you to understand and pay more attention to her."

She suggested me to suspend my ministry service, otherwise, there might be back-stabbing.

I always wished my parents to live a good life but it didn't happen. It was God who fulfilled my wish. The days when my parents lived in the church was her happiest time she cherished. At an old age, she could sing many hymns.

- Translated by Karen Luo

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