New Life and New Year’s Traditions

After studying the Bible and deciding to follow Jesus, Liu* faced a decision about how to celebrate Chinese New Year, an important holiday in many countries, with traditional activities that are part of family life.

The first year after becoming a Christian, Liu told his parents that he would not go to the temple and worship the local dragon god in order to prevent sickness. While his parents were afraid of the consequences of this change in their tradition, they did not make him go.

As Liu continued to share his faith and the gospel of Jesus Christ with his family, over time both his parents were deeply moved by the change and peace they saw in Liu. Eventually they both decided to take a huge step of faith and follow Jesus and be baptized as well.

With compassion from God’s love, Liu’s mother decided to reach out and serve her aging mother-in-law who was in poor health and lived next door. They had barely spoken to each other for several years. But Liu’s mother wanted to demonstrate her newfound love of Christ.

New Life and New Year’s Traditions Chinese New Year Navigators International Student Ministry The Navigators

The love poured out on Liu’s grandmother made such an impression that she was willing to listen to her daughter-in-law’s testimony. In addition, friends from church came and shared the good news of Christ’s forgiveness with her. Not only did Liu’s grandmother decide to believe, but two other relatives who watched the transformation of this relationship were also convinced of the reality of the gospel by the love that they witnessed.

This year, Liu’s grandmother asked his mother to remove the family idols from their home and declared that their Chinese New Year celebration would be the best ever! Rather than cooking two meals, one for the spirits of deceased relatives and the other for their family, they were only going to cook one meal. According to his grandmother, “Those other gods are not really gods at all.” No more burning paper money. No more fear of the spirits of the deceased. Only freedom in Christ!

“So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

Praise God that the good news of Jesus offers freedom for all people. Pray for those who are discerning how to follow Jesus and respect their family traditions in meaningful ways.

*Name changed.


  1. This is an amazing story of the transforming love of Christ. May God be at work this Chinese New Year in the lives of many to transform them from worshipping idols or ancestors or Buddha to following Christ, experiencing His love in their lives and then loving others with His help.

  2. Paul told us he would by all means save some! God gives us opportunities to reach people in the most inopportune times and places, but, as in Acts 17:24-26, God prepares both the times and places for people to “seek the Lord, and haply find Him.”

  3. What incredible power there is in the freedom Christ gives! It motivates me to keep on praying for our “alumni” who return to the really hard places and life a life that cannot be quenched!

  4. I recently had a similar experience. After getting over my initial frustration, I decided that perhaps my comments were meant for one of those overhearing the conversation and not necessarily for the person to whom my comments were directed.

  5. Really Brave, as well as having abilities to do the above testimony.
    One time in a group, I began talking to one person, which somehow became inclusion of 4 or 5 persons who got off the subject. Most of the others who came into the 1st conversation are Catholics and were verbally against whatever it was that I was tryI ding to say to one person (whom I only saw at the quilt etc mtgs. I had no way to keep it to the one person nor to say anything that didn’t just cause an uprising. So, I stopped trying. After all, most of the voices were Catholic, and therefor believers in God and Jesus. I don’t know what I was going to say at the time, but it didn’t stay between the other person and myself. Since they all believe in God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, apparently who was I to disagree with the format of the Catholic Church. Of course, I was supposed to somehow be together with the one person without others around so we could have had a calm conversation of the subject. And when Looking back over life, errors not always initiated by me, in life can make a person hesitant in conversations.

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