During a trip to the Far East, I visited an unusual shrine made up of hundreds of statues. According to our guide, worshipers would pick the statue that looked the most like an ancestor and pray to it.

A few years ago, I read about a student named Le Thai. An ancestor worshiper, he found great comfort in praying to his deceased grandmother. Because he was praying to someone he knew and loved, he found this to be personal and intimate.

But when he came from Vietnam to the US to study, Le Thai was introduced to Christianity. It sounded like a fairy tale based on American thinking. To him, it was the worship of a foreign God (see Acts 17:18).

Then a Christian friend invited him to visit his home on Christmas. He saw a Christian family in action and heard again the story of Jesus. Le Thai listened. He read John 3 about being “born again” and asked questions. He began to feel the pull of the Holy Spirit. Finally, he realized that Christianity was true. He trusted Jesus as his personal Savior.

When friends see Christianity as foreign worship, we need to respect their heritage while sharing the gospel graciously and giving them time to explore Christianity. And then trust the Spirit to do His work.