The True Way
I pulled up a stool in the kitchen where Ibu Yana was sitting. I had recently attended a prayer vigil many local people hold seven days after someone dies. Ibu Yana told me that these prayers are not an Islamic, but rather a local cultural tradition with roots in Buddhism or Hinduism. Last year her oldest sister died and Ibu Yana's family decided not to hold the seven-day prayers in her sister's rural village. Ibu Yana was criticized as a "city person" who did not understand rural culture. Yet Ibu Yana does understand. She grew up following many traditional practices, such as visiting the graves of wise men to ask for a good harvest. Later, however, she learned that God does not command such customs.
I asked Ibu Yana if she were ready to die. She replied that she is confident that God is her forgiver and provider. She knows God loves her and is merciful. She no longer worries about working hard to receive rewards after she dies.
"But Ibu," I persisted, "you are still separated from God. The Holy Book tells us that the only way to come to God is through Isa al Masih (Jesus Christ). I know it is hard for you when I talk about Isa. You worry about serving more than one God. But I serve the one and only God. Isa al Masih was God's way of saving us who are sinners."
I suggested that Ibu Yana pray daily, asking God to show her if Isa al Masih is the true way. I am confident that God will answer her prayer.
- Pray that God would show Ibu Yana and others like her that God desires us to come to him through Isa al Masih (Jesus Christ).
- Pray that Ibu Yana and others like her would become respected leaders in their communities, teaching their neighbors God's ways, and encouraging them to avoid customs such as prayers for or to the dead.