Lin Wenfeng was my grandfather who was born in Libidou Village, Banzai Town, Pinghe County, Zhangzhou City, Fujian Province. When he was young, he worked as a bearer in Banzai Town and didn't get married until he was in his thirties. Soon after he got married, his first wife got sick and died. When my grandfather was 33 years old, he was introduced to his second wife. Unfortunately, his second wife also passed away within a year of their marriage.
My grandfather Lin Wenfeng experienced a great deal of pain after the loss of his two wives. He spent much money inviting some monks to chant scripture in his home. After his second wife died, my grandfather suffered a relapse of a stomach illness. When he was suffering the extreme pain of his life, Pastor Lin Zhicheng, the father of Lin Yutang (a famous Chinese writer), came to his house and spread the gospel to him. Later, my grandfather was baptized in the Banzai Church.
In 1903, my grandfather married Laichun, a maidservant, thanks to the introduction of Pastor Lin Zhicheng. In 1906, Lin Qinmin, the first son of my grandfather, was born in Wumei House (also known as Oxtail House) in Banzai. My grandparents carried him to the Banzai Church to baptize him because they wanted to devote their first son to the Lord and decided to work for the Lord for a lifetime.
My grandpa was sent to study at Shengdao School in Quanzhou thanks to the recommendation of the Pinghe Church. After graduation, he successively preached in Banzai, Xiazhai, and Daxi. Later, recommended by Pastor Lin Zhicheng, my grandpa became a chaplain at Neerbosch Hospital, built by the local church. At that time, my grandfather lived a poor life. All six of his family members lived in the Caoping House (the site of the present Pinghe Hotel), which was 50 meters away from the hospital.
In November 1949, my grandpa rested in the arms of the Lord in Neerbosch Hospital, aged 84. The pageant of Lin's funeral was reported in the 118th Annual Report of the Board of World Missions of the Reformed Church in America published in 1950. "In November, the faithful preacher of the Sio-khe Hospital died at the age of eighty-four and his funeral was attended by a thousand people."
Grandpa once told all his descendants: "Whoever does not believe in Jesus is not a descendant of the Lin family." He asked us to follow the example of Abraham and trust God with our lives!
My uncle Lin Qinmin (who used to be the director of Dongbanhou Church of Zhangzhou City) inscribed "Pastor Abraham Lin Wenfeng" on the original tombstone of my grandfather in the Zhangzhou Christian Cemetery, in memory of him.
(The author is a guest/freelance writer and a member of a church in Fuzhou, Fujian Province.)
- Translated by Nicolas Cao