Newsletter May, 2001

ORLANDO CHINESE CHURCH MONTHLY NEWSLETTER 
MAY, 2001


God's Grace

I was blessed to have an early opportunity to know the Lord through a Sunday school teacher who was a neighbor during my childhood. Every Sunday morning she would come to pick me up and we went to church together. At that time none in my family knew God. My father was a busy physician, but he did not object to my going to church. He said, "I am open-minded, believing in the freedom of religion. As long as the religion teaches you to be good, I am not against it."

Because of this, I learned about our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. I continued to go to church, and then on Easter Sunday of my sophomore year in high school, I asked to be baptized to become a child of God. However, my spiritual life did not advance because I did not spend time to learn the Scriptures nor to pray.

In 1982, I went to California for a year during which God had provided me with a learning environment and an opportunity to serve Him. In 1983, I came to Orlando. At that time, the Orlando Chinese Church had merely a few families, and my family joined them. Thank God for allowing me to witness the miraculous growth of the church through all the fellowship meetings and Bible study groups. Even now, I continue to see God's awesome blessings in our church for growth.

All these years my family went through a lot of difficulties, which greatly distressed my heart. But God's grace, mercy and faithfulness, through brothers and sisters' prayers and support, were sufficient for me. Through prayer, I commit all my burdens and weariness to the Almighty God and let Him guide me through the valley.

Psalm 37:5 "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this."

1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

Hebrews 4:3 "Now we who have believed enter that rest..."

God's Word never changes and He has given a precious promise to those who rely on Him: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer"(Matthew 21:22 ). Even though I am weak but my God is omnipotent. May God help me pray for the following:

 

  1. To believe that God is Almighty,
  2. To devote all my heart, soul and mind to my God, and
  3. To remember always that whatever happens to me is for my good.

Through the toils I have learned how to be close to God and rely on Him, truly understanding that there is no other way but to trust and obey. Only then we can taste His faithfulness, love and mercy. With His unlimited compassion and love He will forgive our sins and gradually changing our lives.

I will commit myself to scripture reading, prayer and fellowship with all the brothers and sisters. I owe my gratitude to those who have helped me in a special way. To me, Orlando Chinese Church is a gift from God and a place for me to learn how to love and grow.

Thank you Lord!

72 Letters From Mother 

On the day when Fang was celebrating her 20th birthday with her grandparents, she was all excited, eagerly waiting for the postman to come. It happened every year for the past 17 years. She knew that her mother would send her a letter from the United States to congratulate her on her birthday. Fang barely remembered that when she was very young, her mother left her for the United States alone. That was what the grandparents told her.

Fang still remembered how her mother held her in the arms, looking at her with all her love. That was the sweetest memory Fang had, and that beautiful picture appeared repeatedly in her dream. However, as the memory started to fade away, Fang began to have mixed feelings in her heart. On one hand she was longing for her mother and on the other hand, she blamed her for leaving her alone. As she understood, her mother had a broken marriage. She forsook Fang irresponsibly. When Fang was young, whenever she thought of her mother and wanted to go to United States to see her, the grandparents would tell her tearfully, "Your mother is very busy with her business in the United States. She also misses you but she cannot be with you at this time. Please forgive your mother and one day, you will understand."

While Fang was still waiting on this 20th birthday of hers, she opened the box that contained all the letters of her mother since her young age. She took one out, and the paper already looked yellowish. It was the letter she received from her mother when she started kindergarten at six, "It is now time for you to go to kindergarten. You will have a lot of friends to play with. Be good to them, dress properly and keep your hair and nails clean". Another letter for her sixteenth birthday as she was ready for high school read, "Of course the result of the entrance exam is important, but how far you can go in your career depends on how much you learn in school". All those neatly-written letters reflected the abundant love of a mother which words cannot describe. The instructions became the life principles of a growing-up and the only trace of communication with her mother. During many sleepless nights of reflection, Fang would hold on tight to the box. "Mother! Where are you? Don't you know how lonely I am and how much I miss you? Why don't you come to see your daughter? Without an address or phone number, how am I going to even find you?"

Finally the postman delivered the 72nd letter. As before, Fang opened it anxiously. So were the grandparents, as if something dramatic was to happen. Fang thought it was strange because the letter looked even older than all the other early ones, except the handwriting this time was not as clear but crooked and weak. The letter read, "Fang, please forgive your mother. I cannot come to your 20th birthday celebration. In fact, I wish I could come to your birthday party every year. However if you knew that your mother passed away due to cancer when you were 3 years old, you would understand why I did not come to celebrate with you or accompany you while you grow up. .…Please forgive your unfortunate mother! When I found out that my illness had no cure, and then I saw you play happily by my side, how regrettable I am for having to miss all your growing-up years".

"I am not afraid to die but, as a mother, I feel sorry for unable to take up the responsibility of teaching and raising you. I want to use all my remaining strength and spend days and nights to write you these 72 letters of encouragement for the difficult years of your life. I gave them to your uncle in the United States and asked him to send them to you on each of these important days. Although I am now gone, I hope these letters will draw us together forever."

"Now, as I watching you playing with all the letters that I have written, a great sorrow comes upon me because you would know I only have a few more days to live. And you have no way of knowing that you are going to receive these letters with my own handwriting for the next 17 years. Oh, how much I love you and do not want to leave you alone. The only thing I can do is to use my remaining time to picture what you will be like at age 20. This is the last word I write but my love for you has no end."

Fang could not hold herself back anymore but broke into tears in the bosom of her grandparents. The letter fell off Fang's hand and a yellowish picture fell to the ground. In the picture, Fang's mother, looking pale but with a gentle smile, was staring at Fang while she was playing with a stack of letters. On the back of the picture it was written, "Happy Birthday to Fang, 1997"

All the parents in the world love their children. There are no problematic parents but only parent problems. Please show your understanding to your parents. There are two things in the world that cannot wait: Doing good, and loving your parents.