One of Acts of love that churches in Asia do to show God’s love to their communities is helping with funerals. This is a tough time for the family of the deceased person, not only have they lost their loved one but they are also under tremendous financial pressure. As is custom, they have to kill one or two cows to feed everyone, provide alcohol, and pay those who help carry the coffin as well as the witch doctor who charges a very high fee. All these rituals force families to go door to door begging for help from members of the community.
In one area, there are two Christian families living in a non-Christian village, even though they are in the minority and are under much pressure from others in the community, they still stand firm in the faith. A few months ago, one of their relatives died and he was not a believer. As immediate relatives to this man, these two Christian families were responsible for organizing the funeral according to the traditional ritual of their tribe. Because of the financial burden and the obligation to follow ritual, which is against Christian faith, they didn’t know what to do. They shared this problem with church leaders from another village.
They said they wanted to have a Christian funeral but didn’t know how. If they followed their tradition then they wouldn’t have enough money to pay the witch doctor who would charge them $750 plus half of a cow. Not mention that they needed to pay for coffin bearers and other random expenses. This funeral could cost them $3,000 at the minimum and leave them in much debt for the years to come.
Seeing the great need of these families, the church decided to help with the funeral. For three days, most people in the church left their work to come help without being begged. They did everything from digging the grave to building a coffin, from collecting rice to feeding everyone to burying the body. The non-believers only came around mealtime to eat but they didn’t help with anything. There were no words to express how thankful the families were to the people in the church. Not only did they come to help for free but they also provided food and money to cover other expenses. After this funeral, three more families accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior because they saw the love of God expressed through the lives of His people. They were so moved because even though people in the church were not related to these families and came from different tribes, they treated them as if they were family. They are a living testimony about the love of God for everyone and they want to be part of this family.