On July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife, and his sister-in-law went crashing headlong into the Atlantic in a small private plane. News of their tragic death brought to my mind Ecclesiastes 9:5-6:
For the living know that they will die;
But the dead know nothing,
And they have no more reward
For the memory of them is forgotten.
Also their love, their hatred, and their
envy have now perished;
Nevermore will they have a share
In anything done under the sun.
Before I accepted Jesus into my heart, I frequently pondered over the meaning of life. What if I encounter a fatal accident tomorrow? Will I be reincarnated? Is there heaven and hell? Was I simply created through the process of evolution? These questions, which I had no answers to, often worried me.
A Turning Point
I grew up in an atheist family. As my husband Zion grew up, he and his family were members of the True Jesus Church. After Zion and I married, we attended church only once. Whenever there was an evangelical service, my mother-in-law would always urge us to attend and to seek the truth. Because of our long work hours we were unwilling to give up valuable rest time, so we always declined her offer.
When December 1997 rolled around, again my mother-in-law asked us to attend an evangelical service. At that time we had a fairly long vacation from work, so we decided to give the services a try because there weas "nothing better to do."
Grace, a close friend of ours, was attending church for the first time. Not wanting her to be surprised by the prayer in tongues, Zion and I explained to her what little we knew about the Holy Spirit.
During the service, I felt as if the Lord opened our hearts and we absorbed the truth with great interest.
Does God Really Exist?
From that point on, we began seeking the truth. Although Zion had grown up attending church every Sabbath with his parents, it really had been a weekly routine, and he had never quite grasped a genuine understanding of the truth.
During the 1998 evangelical services at Baldwin Park church, in his prayer Zion asked the Lord to allow Grace, my cousin, and me to experience the Holy Spirit if He truly exists. He dared not ask for the gift for himself, because he felt that he wasn't yet worthy and hadn't repented fully.
After the prayer, Zion was surprised to hear the pastor announce that three people had received the Holy Spirit that night. When he learned that the three were Grace, my cousin, and I, he was further amazed. God had answered him exactly as he had requested. He would never again doubt the Lord's presence.
More Added to the Fold
After understanding the importance of believing in the Lord Jesus for salvation, I began to be concerned for my family. Among my three siblings, I thought that my brother Charlie would have the hardest time accepting Christ. But I noticed that Charlie listened to his wife Rio, so I thought that if Rio accepted Christ, there would be hope for Charlie.
I was also concerned about my grandmother. Not only did she have a hearing problem due to her age, but she also had been a devout Buddhist all her life. It was difficult to convey the gospel to her without using a combination of writing and loud speech. After I finally explained the truth to her, she was hesitant about giving up her Buddhist beliefs because it had been her religion for as long as she could remember.
So Grace, Zion, and I all prayed very diligently for my siblings, Rio, and my grandmother. Thanks to the Lord, they all accepted Jesus with a simple heart. Rio received the Holy Spirit shortly after her baptism. My grandmother cleared her house of the idols she used to worship. Later, my sister Jean and my brother John accepted the Lord Jesus and were both baptized in the church after more long prayers asking the Lord to open their hearts.
God listens to our prayers. We must pray persistently and not give up, just like the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8). If you are concerned about your loved ones and others who have not yet accepted Jesus, you must convince them not only through example but though prayer. Our abilities are infinitely minute compared to the almighty Lord. Remember that the Lord hears the desire of the humble and listens to their cries (Psalm 10:17).
No one knows the exact moment when we will leave this world and face the judgment of Christ. John F. Kennedy, Jr. left his house on a happy trip, not knowing that it would be his last. The Lord gave and took away what he had in this world. For this reason, we must remain alert and pray for others, like the five wise virgins who prepared oil and waited for the arrival of the Bridegroom (Matt 25:1-13).
I thank the Lord that I was introduced to the True Jesus Church. After understanding the truth, being baptized, and receiving the Holy Spirit, I have felt true peace of mind.