Hao* welcomes waves of people into his home today. Friends crowd his sitting room sipping on the hot green tea his wife prepared for them. He smiles and nods at the turnout, feeling honored that so many have come to honor the death anniversary of both his father and his older brother. After having tea and exchanging a few words with everyone, Hao leads his guests next door to his brother’s house where more guests have arrived. They all head upstairs where an ornate cabinet holds the family altar. Situated on the altar is a bountiful arrangement of fruit, rice wine, beer, cigarettes, candy, and a full meal of boiled chicken and rice. Pictures of Hao’s father and brother adorn both ends of the elaborate altar. Hao begins the ceremony by bowing and worshipping the spirits of his loved ones, then he watches as each of his friends do the same. The smell of burning incense fills the room as people pay homage to the dead. Afterward Hao joyfully serves his guests a nice meal as they exchange fond memories of the deceased. Every year, Hao and his family will commemorate the death anniversaries of those who have gone before. In some Vietnamese families, these anniversaries are more important than birthday celebrations.
Pray for Vietnamese people who daily worship the spirits of their ancestors. Ask that God will reveal the truth of the gospel to them.
Pray that one day Vietnamese people will celebrate eternal life found only in Jesus Christ rather than the anniversaries of death.
*Name changed for security