Editor's Note: Teacher Xiling Wang has been involved in serving the senior ministry of Jilin Dongfeng Church, from 2016 to the present. There are currently about two hundred elderly people in the senior ministry, and at every weekly meeting, Wang brings the Sunday pastor's sermon to every elderly believer who cannot attend the offline meeting. In addition, she and her co-workers would go over to visit one by one during some festival holidays, especially for those who live in orphanages, which they visit more frequently.
Gradually, Ms. Wang and the elderly people become so integrated that she feels they are one big family and need each other. She also hears many stories of simple faith that happened to the elderly believers. One of them, the faith story of a century-old couple, touched Wang deeply.
Dongsheng Liu is 98 years old who accepted his Christian faith at the age of 73. Yunying Li is 101 years old who became a Christian at 67. When Teacher Wang befriended them, they had already had faith for more than ten years, but the husband was not yet very enthusiastic about faith. He had been a surgeon in a local hospital with much earthly knowledge filling his brain, so it was difficult to learn to obey God even after more than ten years of conversion to Christianity.
In the less than two years that Teacher Wang has been meeting with them, she has seen a change in Liu's faith. As they grow older, his wife would have occasional headaches, suffer from heart and stomach problems, and even faint after walking a few steps. At first, he thought he could cure his wife's illness through doctors, but many times he did not see any improvements. They began to pray and ask God to cure, and miraculously, Li's health began to improve, which made the retired doctor husband see his own limitations and the power of God. Therefore, he humbled himself before God, confessing his limitations and shortcomings. At the same time, a beautiful confession of "I can't, but God can" came out of the old brother's heart.
After the husband truly accepted the faith, his character also came to change. He used to be a very argumentative and critical person, probably because of his status and occupation and had a tendency to clarify everything. However, when he really came to know God, his heart changed as a result of reading God's word. Once Liu had an unpleasant argument with his son-in-law, and his son-in-law didn't talk to him for a long time afterward, but every time Liu saw his son-in-law, he would initiate to talk to him. He said that he had to forgive him because the Bible says to embrace people with love.
Liu's growth in faith would not have been possible without his wife's prayer and guidance. Li came to faith earlier than her husband and has always been focusing on her relationship with God and praying daily in devotion. Li often prays for her family and asks God to watch over her family.
And Li, herself, also experienced God's preservation. At the age of 88, she had acute appendicitis and was sent to the hospital for surgery, but the doctor said that the surgery was very risky because she was too old. Gratefully, God kept her safe from the operating table and free from the pains of the surgery.
What touches Wang's heart the most is the way they lived a life of love for each other in faith, following the teaching of the truth. The Bible tells us about the relationship between husband and wife in terms of submitting to and loving one another.
The wife often keeps an eye on her husband's changes in daily life. When Liu is in a mood, she reminds him to rely on God and brings him to God in prayer with her. She never confronts her husband in the daily life. For example, the wife likes to watch TV very much, but she often accompanies him to watch his favorite news program; if her husband says to stop watching TV and go rest, she will obey him. She said that serving her husband was serving God.
One time when her husband was sick in the hospital, the sister was 99 years old then. Teacher Wang saw the old wife taking care of her husband, so she suggested that Li should go home to rest and ask her children to take care of him. The old sister said she had often served him and knew his specific needs, so she was willing to stay and take care of her husband.
A little deaf and unable to hear people clearly, Liu always observes his wife's behavior. The elderly sister, 101 years old, occasionally gets a little dizzy and confused due to lack of rest, so he often accompanies his wife to the bathroom, hands her a comb when she combs her hair, and a towel when she washes her face. Liu also often testifies with Wang that his wife is not only a devout Christian but also a virtuous wife. The couple also often affirmed the importance of each other in the home in front of their children.
Teacher Wang said, "People often show their good side to outsiders and leave their temperament to those closest to them. It is normal for a wife to receive compliments from others, but if she receives appreciation from her husband, it is evident that this wife is indeed a virtuous and godly wife."
- Translated by Wille Sun