Last week, a rural church in Datong, Shanxi, held a memorial service for one of its members, Geng Fengshan. His family has produced five pastors, and one of his sons is an important Christian leader in Shanghai.
The memorial service was held on July 8 in Hunyuan County. On that day, more than 300 church members, as well as pastors and church workers from Datong City and Linfen City in Shanghai and Inner Mongolia, came to attend the service.
Geng Fengshan was born in 1935 and died at the age of 89. His second son, Rev. Geng Weizhong, studied abroad and is currently the president of Shanghai Christian Council; his daughter, Rev. Geng Fuqin, and son-in-law, Rev. Huang Hailin, are the key members of Linfen and Yaodu CC&TSPM, respectively; and his grandson, Han Yu, a Ph.D. student at Fudan University, is also the pastor of Gulou Church (Drum Tower Church) in Hangzhou.
The memorial service was conducted by Rev. Huang Hailin. In the service, Rev. Geng Weizhong preached a sermon entitled “The Legacy My Father Left” and spent a few moments reminiscing about his father's life.
Then his eldest son, Geng Baozhong, gave a speech to share his father's testimony of salvation. Their mother came from a Christian family, but their father did not believe in God. As the six children grew up, the family became financially strained. At the same time, several things happened: the family's only cattle died unexpectedly, and a fire destroyed all the farm tools and almost all their possessions. In the face of these blows, their strong and powerful father finally broke down. At that time, the family had nothing but a few basic utensils and a well-worn Bible, which was their mother's only dowry.
Gradually, their father began to read the Bible whenever he could not sleep. Through reading the Bible, their father, who had received no formal education from any school, began to change. One day, out of the blue, their introverted father asked their mother, “Will I be with you and the children after I die?” Very surprised, their mother explained to him that according to the Bible, those who believe in God will go to heaven after they die, while those who do not will go to hell. Upon hearing these words, their father replied, “I want to believe in Jesus, too!” And the next day, he went to the church to register. After becoming a Christian, by the grace of God, his health was also restored.
In the days that followed, their father and mother served the Lord in a united spirit and were happy to receive other brothers and sisters in Christ at home. They once invited Rev. Tian from Huairen to their home; he stayed for over a week, and many believers came to listen to his preaching. When their mother went to visit other members, their father supported her by taking care of the family without complaining.
After listening to the pastor's sharing, I am so touched and determined to do one thing: Now that I have received the most wonderful blessing in my life, I will definitely pass it on to my children so that they will also be blessed in their lives.
(This article was written by a guest writer for the Gospel Times.)
- Translated by Joyce Leung