Newsletter May, 2003

MAY, 2003

The Birth 

When I first heard the gospel, I was about fifteen. At that time, although I went to church occasionally, I never decided to accept Jesus as my Lord. I did not feel the need of having a Savior as my Master, because I was my own master. My pride prevented me from reaching out to the Lord. I really thought that I could stand firm by myself. That was my sin!

After Herold and I got married in 1985, I knew that we would have to immigrate to the U.S. someday, because his family was in Orlando, where his parents operated a small motel at that time. Every time when his parents asked when we would move, I told Herod, "You can go, but do not count on me." I just could not see myself work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year in a small motel. I was very reluctant and unwilling to move, because my family, my friends and my career were all in Hong Kong. I really had a very decent job there at the time. I was a so-called "super-woman", finding no reason to sacrifice all and move.

However, because of the job I had the chance to fly to New York every year. When I finished the business I always flew down to Orlando to see my in-laws. I found they were getting older and older, really in need of Herold's help. One summer we came here for vacation. Once Herold saw his aging father at the airport, his tears came down. That scene deeply moved my heart. So after being married for ten years, I agreed to move to Orlando. About three months later a miracle took place: I got pregnant. At that time I had been married for more than ten years. I always loved children, and wanted to have my own, but it never happened. Now it finally happened, and you can imagine how overjoyed I was.

We flew here in the summer of 1996 when I was seven month pregnant. I planned to deliver my baby here. But I could not adjust to the hot weather, and got asthma with a bad cough. I needed to see a doctor, but no one would accept me because we were not in the medical network. Finally, we went to the emergency room. But the medicine did not help, and I could not sleep at all. So we decided to return to Hong Kong after being here only eight days.

After I gave birth to my daughter Karen, Herold still wanted to move to Orlando. Because of my bad experience with the American medical system, I agreed that if he could find a job with medical coverage, then I could join him later. So he returned to Orlando again when Karen was only four month old. She was a difficult baby, never slept through till she was four. She was always sick and needed to see a doctor almost weekly, sometimes with a cold or flu, sometimes for allergy or eye infection. Because of this situation, my family was not very understanding why I let Herold go. They felt that he should wait till Karen was a bit older. What made it worse was that I had to work, because it was very expensive to live in Hong Kong. All Hong Kong people are crazy workers, when working from eight in the morning to nine at night was normal. If I left my office earlier than eight, my boss would ask me why I left so early. So you can imagine how hard and stressful it was for me, and you know why I am so skinny.

At that time I hated that motel, the one Herold's parents were operating. Because they could not sell it, Herold had to leave us and went to help. But, as the Bible says, "All things work together for the good of those who love God," (Rom. 8:28). It was at that time God opened my eyes to realize that I could not stand firm on my own. I could not trust myself anymore, as every thing was not under my control, but in God's hand. Thank God for His mercy to a mother's heart, because He took care of Karen when I could not. After Herold left, Karen never got sick again when we were alone in Hong Kong. It was really a miracle of His grace and His mercy. And I finally understood that because of His love and mercy, I could overcome that difficult period of my life. And that was why I decided to be baptized in His Name as soon as I arrived here. (Joannie)

Nurturing Young Faith

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth, it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning, just inside the door of the store. We waited, some patiently, others irritated, because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens, washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running and splashing, so carefree as a child, come pouring in, as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in: "Mom, let's run through the rain," she said. "What?" Mom asked. "Let 's run through the rain!" She repeated. "No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied. This young child waited about another minute and repeated: "Mom, let's run through the rain." "We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said. "No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," The young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm. "This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?" "Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, "If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!" The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently.

No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's' life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith. "Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If God let's us get wet, Well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said. Then off they ran.

We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars, and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, They can take away your money, And they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories... So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memory everyday. (From internet)


The Last Date

After 21 years of marriage, I discovered a new way of keeping alive the spark of love. A little while ago I had started to go out with another woman. It was really my wife's idea. "I know that you love her," she said one day, taking me by surprise. "But I love YOU," I protested. "I know, but you also love her."

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my mother, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and movie. "What's wrong, are you well?" she asked. My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. "I thought that it would be pleasant to pass some time with you," I responded. "Just the two of us." She thought about it for a moment then said, " I would like that very much."

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel's. "I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed," she said, as she got into the car. "They can't wait to hear about our meeting".

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entree, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. "It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small," she said. "Then it's time that you relax and let me return the favor," I responded. During the dinner we had an agreeable conversation -- nothing extraordinary -- but catching up on recent events of each other's life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said "I'll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you." I agreed. "How was your dinner date?" asked my wife when I got home. "Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined," I answered.

A few days later my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn't have a chance to do anything for her. Some time later I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: "I paid this bill in advance. I was almost sure that I couldn't be there but, nevertheless, I paid for two plates -- one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you." At that moment I understood the importance of saying, in time: "I LOVE YOU" and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than God and your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off to "some other time". (From internet)