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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Reunion (06/05/08)

TITLE: Painful Reunion
By Edmond Ng


It was once again the time of the year when all members in the family come together for a reunion dinner on the eve of the New Year festival, a celebration following Asian traditions according to the lunar calendar. Sumptuous food have been be prepared for the annual event, and all members of the family have gathered together to celebrate the occasion with pleasurable feasting, but before that, it was customary for all food prepared for the feast to first be offered at the altar in worship to the family's ancestors and the 'god' of the house, a graven image made by man to represent the god of the Taoists.

"Here, it's your turn to pray to your grandfather for a smooth year ahead," instructed my mother as she handed me three joss sticks, indicating I should bow down in reverence to the picture of my deceased grandfather at the altar.

"But, mom," I muttered softly, "I can't do that. I'm a Christian now, and I don't pray to the dead."

My mother stared at me with disbelief at my defiance, her face expressing aggravation.

"Desmond, you are not showing respect to your ancestor, and if you persist not to honor your grandfather, I will punish you!"

"Sorry Mom, but I can't."

My mother became angry, took up a cane, and whipped at my legs again and again till I yelled and cried out in pain.

"Mom, pleaseee stop!" I stammered in my speech and begged her mercy.

"You useless and unfilial son! Unless you pay homage and show respect to your ancestor, you will not be my son from this day forward!"

My father, who was also angered at my becoming a Christian, lifted up his fist and hit me on the face so hard I fell on the ground, so my brothers, Elbert and Franz quickly held his arms, while my eldest brother Hal pulled me aside.

"Go quickly to the room," Hal said to me. "Let me handle the situation here."

Hal, Elbert, and Franz tried to calm my parents, but they were too angry to accept any explanation or reasoning. My mother was apparently deeply grieved and my father was totally disappointed with me.

"Martha, forget this son of ours," said my father to my mother. "From this day onwards, he will no longer be a part of this family, and we will not need him to be around to do any rites when we die."

I was then just a kid at the age of 16, years before I was old enough to make my own decisions legally. For the past many years before the event, I have celebrated the annual family reunion with much joy and participated along with my brothers in offering incense to our ancestors and house idols, but on that particular year after I received the Lord as my Savior, I have decided to defy my parents in following the family’s traditional practices, and refused any form of ancestral or idol worship. As a result, I was locked-up in my bedroom by my father and was starved for the night while the rest of my family celebrated the occasion with feasting.

That was the first family reunion I had after I became a Christian, and that was also the family reunion that started a series of persecution spanning many years before my parents accepted me for what I believed.

Who [then] will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35 NAS)

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 38-39 NAS)

NOTE: The story in this article is fictional, although based on a true story. Names of characters have been changed to protect their identities.

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This article has been read 849 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Patricia Turner06/12/08
A very good and chilling story and a sobering reminder of those who face persecution for Christ's sake, even from their own families. Thank you for sharing.
Yvonne Blake 06/14/08
Wow! In America, we don't realize the price many Christians over the world have to pay for their faith.
Thank you for writing this.
Joanne Sher 06/16/08
Very powerful. You showed very well the persecution your MC went through. Sobering for sure. Thank you for sharing it.
Holly Westefeld06/16/08
A heart-wrenching story. I can only hope, should my faith be so tested, that I may stand firm in Him.
Debbie Wistrom06/16/08
Your Scripute tie ins are strong as is this entry. Keep writing.
Mariane Holbrook 06/18/08
An amazing story! And very well told! Kudos!
Sara Harricharan 06/18/08
Painful indeed! This is heart-breaking! The pain and emotion of your MC came through very well and I felt for him, having to deal with that from his own family. ^_^
Beckie Stewart06/18/08
I know this is real with some people. I think we need more of this in the USA so more Christians would count the cost for following the Lord more seriously. Well done.
Joshua Janoski06/18/08
You often hear stories of Christians being persecuted in other countries, but I hadn't given much thought to how the families of the Christians might react to their change in beliefs. This story was a real eye opener for me.

We should all count our blessings and be thankful that we can worship our God freely.

Thank you for sharing this well-written piece with us all.
Catrina Bradley 06/18/08
Thank you for this reminder of how good we have it in America, and how much we take that for granted. Powerful story - had me quaking!