Encouraging and challenging. - Mark Ellis is reporting a wonderful story for ASSIST News Service that details the conversion of a Chinese Buddhist to Christianity. The man is Rev. Mariano Yeo.
Today, Rev. Mariano Yeo, is concerned about the idolatry he sees in America. Me too.
Here is Ellis complete story:
Monday, October 4, 2004
BUDDHA FAILS TO SAVE DYING SISTER, BUT A GREAT PHYSICIAN BRINGS HEALING
Filipino worries about idolatry in America
By Mark Ellis
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA (ANS) -- As Chinese immigrants growing up in the Philippines after World War II, his family saw firsthand the effects of Buddhism and Islamic terror. Now he’s worried about the creeping influence of these “twin towers of evil” in the U.S. and believes he must wake up the church to pray against their spiritual strongholds.
“I am an ex-idolater too,” says Rev. Mariano Yeo, founder of the Little Saigon Community Outreach. “Our family suffered because of idol worship,” he says. “So when I see physical idol worship I’m very allergic—I hate it.”
Growing up in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines he witnessed terrifying incidents. “They were killing people in the marketplace,” Yeo recalls. “My mother said, ‘Don’t go out in the streets because the Muslims will kill you.’” In the aftermath of World War II, some Muslims near his home were indoctrinated to kill ‘infidels’ who would not convert to their faith, according to Yeo.
While his mother received some Christian influence growing up in southern China, the family retained their Buddhist practices when they resettled in the Philippines. “I went with my mother to the Buddhist temple and burned incense with her,” he says.
He remembers one fateful afternoon when his younger sister was suffering from a serious illness. “She was literally dying. In another hour she was going to be dead,” Yeo says. “A Filipino doctor was standing there but he couldn’t do anything,” he says.
“My mother was screaming the name of Buddha at the top of her voice to save my sister.”
A missionary named Silas Wong, with the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA), happened to be visiting from Singapore. Yeo’s mother was invited to hear him speak at an evangelistic meeting, but didn’t go. Suddenly she remembered he was staying at a house nearby. At his mother’s urging, Yeo’s brother raced to the neighbor’s home and asked Wong if he would come quickly to pray.
“Wong came rushing into the room,” Yeo recalls. There was pandemonium in the house, and many neighbors by now had rushed over, but no one knew what to do. “I remember very vividly he said, ‘Stop calling the name of Buddha—let’s call the name of Jesus.’”
Everyone knelt to pray by the side of the bed as Yeo’s mother cradled the dying girl in her arms. Wong began praying softly, yet fervently. “My sister was instantly healed,” Yeo exults. “When my mother saw the power of God she decided that day to believe in Jesus Christ,” he says. His mother, now 94, became a pillar of the church in Zamboanga City.
“My sister is still very healthy,” he adds.
Surprisingly, Yeo did not become a Christian until a few years later, during an intensely emotional time. “My father had a mistress, and there was a quarrel between my parents every week. It was like hell--I thought of suicide.” During this time, Yeo cried out to the Lord, and this brought him some measure of peace.
Then he attended an evangelistic meeting in Davao City organized by CMA. “Sitting there I was born again,” he says. “From then I have a new heart and a new life. I looked differently at everything.” A woman with CMA heard about Yeo’s family problems and began to fast and pray for Yeo’s parents. “This lady did a total fast for three days.” Immediately afterward, his father’s mistress left and never came back,” he reports. “That is the power of prayer and fasting.”
After Yeo’s sister was healed from her serious illness, his mother called the elders of the church to remove the Buddha statue from the little girl’s room. “I think that was the cause of the illness,” he says. “It’s a curse.” Some time later, Yeo’s father and brother became Christians.
Now living in Southern California, Yeo is still wary of Buddhist statues. Recently, a $10 million Buddhist temple was completed near his home in Irvine. “Most Western Christians think idols are harmless,” he says. “But idols defile the land and attract demons to come into the area.”
“I’m trying to educate the Body of Christ to pray against this stronghold of idolatry,” he adds.
Yeo believes the Dalai Lama is the world’s foremost proponent of idolatry. “Everywhere he goes disaster follows him,” Yeo observes. “The University of Miami conferred an honorary doctorate on him right before the hurricanes hit,” he notes. Yeo also correlated the unusual timing of earthquakes following Dalai Lama visits to India and Southern California.
In addition to warning the church about the dangers of Buddhism and Islam, Yeo is also actively engaged in a campaign to send used 16 millimeter film projectors overseas for evangelistic purposes.
Recently, one of the projectors he sent to his hometown in the Philippines was used for a Sunday evening open-air showing of a gospel film. “Over 800 showed up and many received the Lord,” he reports. Yeo also donated two projectors to another ministry with seven full-time evangelists traveling throughout the Philippines showing gospel films. “They’ve had 85,000 decisions for Christ through the film showings,” he says. Yeo also sent projectors to Mexico, India, Africa, Thailand, Yugoslavia and Albania.
“There is a spiritual battle going on in the heavenlies,” Yeo notes. “I am a real survivor of idolatry’s curse and Islamic terror,” he says. “I almost died but God saved my life.”Mark Ellis is a Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service. He is also an assistant pastor in Laguna Beach, CA. Contact Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Great Separation continues.