For the past few days, I have been sharing about the wonders of a "ticket" shared by a teacher in Pinghe, Fujian Province. This ticket from earth to heaven was marked with God as the seller, Jesus Christ as the fare, and the departure time was in God's hands.
Talking about this teacher makes me happy because I lived in his house for three years while I was in high school. More than 20 years ago, students of Pinghe No. 1 Middle School used to live in this rented building called the Anren Building in their house. The "Anren Building", was a large, three-story building designed and built by believers in the Lin family, in the late 1980s in memory of Pastor Lin Qinmin (courtesy name "Anren") of the Zhangzhou Christian Dongbanhou Chapel.
Over the past two decades, nearly a hundred students who attended and lived at Pinghe No. 1 Middle School have mostly been admitted into colleges and universities. In fact, the students here have such a high advancement rate due to the management of the landlord in the "Anren Building", which provides a learning environment and atmosphere for the students who live here. The atmosphere is like this: "If you are serious, I want you to be even more serious so that you can catch up with me and get better and better academic results."
The Anren Building is located near Pinghe First Middle School, about a five-minute walk from the school.
The Anren building is a courtyard house. There are five houses with only one gate. In addition to the landlord's own family, there are extra rooms in each house for students from various towns to study at Pinghe First High School. I lived in this building for three years. I came from Wuzhai, but there were other students from Nansheng, Banzai, Guoqiang, and other places.
In this large family living in the Anren Building, there is an old man named Lin, who is over 80 years old. I often went to his room to talk to him and learned that his family also believes in Jesus Christ.
The old man recalled that he once came to our town, Wuzhai, to teach before the liberation. Wuzhai people often invited him to eat home-grown sweet potatoes. He remembered the names of some of his colleagues, one of whom was my fifth aunt. He said she was very beautiful and very good at singing "Hokkien hymns!"
Mr. Lin often encouraged me to study hard and shared his life experiences and truths with me. He used to teach at Pinghe No.1 Middle School and had several sons, daughters-in-law, and grandsons, all of whom are also working as teachers; his granddaughter is a professor at Fujian Normal University, and some are leaders and teachers in a middle school in Fuzhou.
More importantly, he told me that he had been more optimistic throughout his life, that his family had all followed the Lord's footsteps from a young age, and that his family members had lived long lives. In 2005, Master Lin went to Fuzhou to be reunited with his children and died there on the sixth day of the first lunar month of 2012 at the age of 96.
Mr. Lin's wife, Mrs. Cai, stood at the door every day after seven o'clock, urging her students to "be careful on the road and pay attention in class," and so on. Whenever she returned to Anren Building after class, she would ask the students, "Did you make progress today? You have to make the extra effort.
During my daily interactions with Mr. Lin and Mrs. Cai, I realized the importance of a confident "Christian culture," and I think this is also a very important source of my cheerful personality, and my ability to face life with optimism.
I also felt the importance of a Christian family. The couple were both Christians, and they brought both their sons and daughters up in the way of the Lord, from childhood.
Mrs. Cai used her life's words, deeds, and behavior to educate and influence her next generation. At 19:35 on November 24, 2020, she was called back to her heavenly home at the age of 105!
I finally understood the meaning of Mr. Lin's ticket to heaven. It was the words in the Bible, John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
We hope that each and every one of us who believes in Christ will be able to bring our own family to the Lord Jesus and become a Christian family. Learn from the elderly couple in the "Anren Building ": a lifetime of seeking the Lord, a lifetime of doing good, a lifetime of living together in harmony!
- Translated by Nonye Nancy