China | March 17

What About the Idol?

Ah Tan

Ah Tan is 10 years old. She lives in southern China. [Locate China on a map.] She loves to draw pictures. She used to draw pictures of her friends and family, but now she draws pictures of Jesus.

The Idol Guan Yin

It seemed that everyone in Ah Tan’s family was sick. Father had painful kidney stones, and Mother often felt weak and dizzy. And when Ah Tan ran high fevers, her mother had to take her to the doctor. Every doctor visit cost a day’s wages.

Ah Tan’s family had an idol named Guan Yin. It was the only god Ah Tan knew. The family gave gifts to the idol and prayed for better health. But the family members still got sick.

Then one day Ah Tan’s mother found a piece of paper on the family’s doorstep. She picked it up and read it. It was about Jesus. The pamphlet said that Jesus was kind and loving and powerful, the only true God.

Mother talked to Ah Tan about what the paper said. Ah Tan had never heard of Jesus before. She didn’t realize that a god could be kind or loving. Mother wondered, too, whether Guan Yin was worthy of their worship. After all, the idol did not make the family well when they prayed. Perhaps Jesus was more powerful than Guan Yin.

Getting to Know Jesus

Mother decided to learn more about Jesus. She talked to Father about this new God, and Father asked Mother to find out more about this God named Jesus.

Ah Tan’s neighbor was a Christian, so Mother asked her questions about Jesus. The neighbor invited Mother to church the following Saturday. Mother gladly accepted.

Mother went with her neighbor to the simple Adventist church. As she sat listening to the sermon, Mother began to feel sick. She got up and walked outside. Then she walked home. By the time she arrived home, she was feeling better. The next week she went to church with her neighbor again, and again she became sick. But as soon as she left the church she felt better. This happened several times.

But Mother wouldn’t give up. She wanted to know more about God. Soon she realized that Satan was making her sick to keep her from learning about God. Mother decided to become a Christian.

Father began attending church with Mother. When the believers learned about the family’s health problems, they prayed for the family. After that, Mother and Father were not troubled by weakness or pain. Even Ah Tan, who did not yet attend church, stopped having the mysterious fevers.

What About the Idol?

Mother wanted to be baptized, but first she had to destroy the idol, Guan Yin. When Ah Tan learned this, she cried, “Oh, no, Mother! You must not destroy the idol! It is very expensive! Can’t we sell it?”

“If we do not get rid of the idol,” her mother explained, “then we cannot expect Jesus to answer our prayers. We know now that Guan Yin has no power.” Ah Tan thought about this and finally agreed to let Mother destroy the idol. She watched as her mother and father broke the idol and threw it into the trash.

Ah Tan Loves Jesus

Ah Tan wanted to be baptized, but the church leaders explained that the government in China didn’t like it when children were baptized. Disappointed, Ah Tan studied the Bible with her parents. Then a few months ago the church members spent an afternoon at a pond in the countryside. There Ah Tan was baptized. Because of the government’s rules, she didn’t tell her school friends.

Ah Tan is glad that Jesus is her friend now. She wants to encourage children in the whole world to believe in God and trust Him so Satan cannot pull them down.

Let’s pray for the thousands of children in China who need to know that Jesus loves them. And let’s remember to bring our mission offerings so even more children can learn to love Jesus.

[Close with prayer.]

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