2020 is proving to be an unforgettable year for the entire world as countries battle on all fronts the COVID-19 Pandemic (‘Novel Coronavirus 2019’). Nearer home, my siblings and I have another reason to find 2020 an unforgettable year – our long desire was fulfilled and prayers answered. Our dad, Donny Au, at age 75, accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour!
Family strife without God
Donny was born into a Roman Catholic family. Although he grew up under strict parenting, the absence of a father figure in his formative years left him feeling strongly that the pursuit of happiness meant only one thing… looking after his own needs.
It was evident in how dad lived his life when he was married to mum. I grew up often witnessing their arguing and quarrelling that eventually culminated in dad leaving mum heart-broken, and his children feeling hollow. Sadly for us, he started another family that were steep in idol worship and it led him to turn to other gods.
In the course of time, mum was brought to Christ by a dear sister who was her colleague in her younger days. We thank God for His great mercies that drew mum to Him. Subsequently, and in God’s timing, each of my siblings and I encountered Jesus.
After knowing Christ, we began to see the nature of the fallen world. At the same time, God worked in our hearts… and we were no longer angry at dad but had compassion for him. We began to pray for reconciliation, but it was not without strife and disappointments in our efforts to rekindle the relationship. We often felt discouraged.
God is sovereign and faithful
But praise be to God who is sovereign and faithful. He showed us that He was working in our family in a dream that came to me of dad huddling with all of us in our living room. I immediately recognised that God was working to reconcile our family. The unstoppable God never stops working!
“God showed us that He was working in our
family in a dream that came to me of dad
huddling with all of us in our living room.”
A brief family reunion
Not long after, during one of our Chinese New Year gatherings that he often missed, dad came home. It was such an emotional gathering! We huddled together as a family weeping tears of joy and praising God for His grace and mercies. From then on, we started praying for dad’s salvation.
Donny’s daughter with her family in prayers for her dad.
An arduous but rewarding journey
The road to restoration was not always easy. Some years were difficult when we had to deal with past hurts or unmet expectations. Some years were stagnant mostly because we were busy. But we thank God that He is sovereign and His timing is perfect.
Today as we look back, we acknowledge that God allowed the challenges because He was equipping us and revealing what was hidden to us. God continues to mould and transform us individually and as a family.
“..we acknowledge that God allowed the
challenges because He was equipping us
and revealing what was hidden to us.”
God turns adversity into opportunity
Recently, dad had a fall in Malaysia and broke his hip that needed surgery to insert a metal piece in the hip. Although the COVID-19 lockdown prevented us from returning to Malaysia, we communicated with him and the doctors through telephone calls. At the same time, we were sensing that God wanted us to share with him about repentance and turning back to God. Without hesitation, my sister living in Malaysia went to the hospital to share God’s message of salvation through Christ with him. But alas, she was hindered by the presence of dad’s other family and the time constraint placed on hospital visiting hours by COVID-19.
With a sense of urgency in my heart, I turned to God in prayer. As I prayed, I felt God’s empowerment to call dad and to boldly share the good news of Christ’s gift of salvation and God’s love for him. By God’s grace and mercy, dad heard the message and responded by accepting Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. He was overcome by a brief moment of tears of joy and we prayed.
“With a sense of urgency in my heart,
I turned to God in prayer.”
Our God is unstoppable
Distance and lockdown cannot stop God’s will for the salvation of His people!
Today, my dad is learning to walk with a walking aide. He is high spirited, trusting that God will restore him and provide for his every need, both physical and spiritual.
“Distance and lockdown cannot stop God’s
will for the salvation of His people!”
I praise God for His unfailing love and thank Him for His grace and mercy upon my family. Indeed this year marks an unforgettable year because we have an unstoppable God.
Edited by Ms Tham Peck Hoon