Many people desire to serve God but are held back by fears and concerns about family. What will happen to mom and dad if I can’t support them when they are old? They invested so much in my education, can I just throw that all away?
Growing up in a Chinese family in Southeast Asia, I understood two important family values; honoring my elders and having a safe and secure life. We understood that one of the ways to have security was money; and that one of the ways to get money was education.
My parents were staunch Buddhists. As business people, they worked long hours. They were often not home until late at night, leaving us in the care of our nannies. They made sure all their children were enrolled in the most prestigious schools in the city. Our family had high expectations for all of us to make it to university.
We did well in school and my siblings went on to pursue their university studies in America and Canada.
Jesus Entered My Life
I accepted Jesus into my life when I was seventeen years old. A school friend of mine shared the gospel with me and I put my trust in Christ. A few years later, I felt God calling me to full-time mission work.
I struggled with the decision. I was weighed down with the thought that both my parents and all my siblings did not know Jesus yet. I so much wanted them to be saved.
One night while I was wrestling in prayer I felt God say,… “Christine, if you stay to reach your family it will be your strength, but if you go, it will be My strength!”
Needless to say, my parents were not happy with my decision.
She Will Come Home Soon
When I left for my first mission training, my mother thought I was taking a short holiday. She believed I would come to my senses after a few months, and return home when my money ran out.
My first few years in missions were difficult. I had to trust God to provide for my daily needs and my parents were unhappy with my choices to follow God in this way.
God was faithful to send people to provide what I needed and to support me in both prayer and finances. I was obeying God in my calling and was fulfilled and happy.
I Want to Honor My Parents, Lord!
Over the years, I kept in touch with my parents through phone calls and visits whenever I was able. One day, I told the Lord that I wanted to honor my parents by giving them an amount of money on a monthly basis. It was not that they needed my money but was a way to show them I was financially secure and they did not need to worry about me. Miraculously, the Lord provided me with the money to do so.
Over time, mom and dad could see that their daughter was fulfilled and happy in what she was doing for the Lord (even though at that time, they were non-believers).
When My Father Blessed Me
A few years later, my father gave his life to Jesus. Just before I departed for Japan, he laid his hand on me, and prayed “God, please use my daughter to be a blessing to the people in Japan”.
Not long after that, my mother also gave her life to the Lord. She not only became my greatest prayer warrior, praying for me daily, but later brought over 100 people to faith!
All of my aunts and uncles who were angry and upset that my mom had become a believer, all too came to the Lord before they passed away.
My brothers and sisters are also all believers now too, and I have the joy of them praying for and supporting me in my mission work.
I am now married to a wonderful man of God and we have three beautiful children who are young adults. They are all walking with Jesus and loving the Lord. I remember the promise God made me forty years ago.
“If you stay it will be your strength, but if you go it will be My strength”. God kept His promise.
5 Things to Do If Your Family Doesn’t Support Your Missions Interest
- Honor and obey God
- Honor your parents
- Trust God to provide financially for your parents
- Visit and call whenever possible
- Pray for your family
Take a few moments to talk to God about what you read above.
What is the Father saying to you through my story and these five points?
Share in the comments below.