Do you know why Papa and Mama work so hard to keep ourselves healthy and fit? We wish to do our best in loving you responsibly by living a fit lifestyle so that if God so willing, we can still manage to see your children. Meanwhile, we will also have good energy to take care and nurture you. I think by now, you all know why Kong Kong and Wai Kong are missing. Both of your grandpas were ill and passed away during our young adulthood.
Who is Wai Kong?
Wai Kong was a tender hearted and sentimental man. Po Po had to work while Wai Kong stayed at home to take care of mummy and your aunties after his business had failed. This was a period during my early teenage years. I recall eagerly awaiting Ah Kong’s ‘Mercedes’-an ancient bicycle after school and we would go for lunch at the hawker centre. He would cook for us almost daily, a favourite dish of mine is his egg omelette filled with minced meat and soaked in dark soy sauce. He always welcomes us with a smile and asked how our day was. He plays badminton with us and lets me win, bring us shopping for even our growing up needs. Po Po had to always work extra hard to provide us with $. It was not easy for the family. Mummy and aunties always took turns to help Ah Kong in the household chores and cooking. I vividly recollect one day, when he took me aside and presented a digital watch for me. I was thrilled as I needed one and wanted that model! It was not cheap. I treasured that watch and kept it till now. Ah Kong always keeps a lookout for mummy since he feels I am the most ‘simple-minded’ as I always speak up honestly. He worries I would get cheated easily.
Do you know, Ah Kong and Po po sings very well? Ah Kong was also handsome and gentlemanly. He always reminds us to treat others with respect and love. When he disciplines us with the cane, he does it with good reason. To break our bad attitudes and disobedience. Thereafter, he would explain to us why he had taken that measure and reconcile with us with balms for our wounds. Ah Kong also tests if we were telling the truth by doing unexpected spot checks to see if we were truly at the place we claimed to be. In spite of all Ah Kong’s discipline, we adored and respected him for his firm hand and moral values. Your aunties and mummy learnt the value of trustworthiness, loyalty and compassion from Ah Kong.
Ah Kong’s Cancer Battle
Just before I entered University and stayed in the hostel, Ah Kong was diagnosed with a relapse of his colon cancer. He braved through 3 operations and 5 sessions of Chemotherapy for a year. I made extra effort to be with him before my hostel stay. When I moved to my hostel, mummy often break down in my hostel. I still tried my best to schedule in time and accompany Ah Kong to the hospital. I was on bursary education and had to fulfil my obligation. I knew staying in the hostel was the only way to function and focus on my studies. During that period, mummy wakes up at 6 or sometimes 5am to pray, read the bible and jogged daily to relieve stress. Throughout this period, we were hopeful that Ah Kong’s condition could improve until the doctor advised us to cease the chemotherapy as it was no longer effective. This meant that he had only another year to live. That year passed by in a blur. I distinctly remember a friend asking why am I always so sad? Why can’t I be happier and think positively? In my heart, I knew she couldn’t understand what it felt like to wake up daily and wonder ‘ Is Ah Kong going to die today?’’ Yet to all these, I was grateful to have a living relationship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit became my comfort and peace when I entrusted Ah Kong each day to Him above. I experienced how as humans, we are helpless but God is sovereign in all these.
Ah Kong’s Death
‘ Sorrow is not selfish in itself. But many persons who are in sorrow are entirely selfish. It makes them so important in their own eyes that they seem to have a claim upon all that people can do for them.’ (The Lady’s Confession by George Macdonald)
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me, and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matt 10: 37-38
Prior to Ah Kong’s death, the Lord had been preparing me with plenty of reminders of His sovereignty, His omni-potence (All-Powerful) and reminded me to choose either selfish-piteous sorrow or surrender my life- my wilfulness to Him.
‘ He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.’ Psalm 112:7
‘Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’
Just 2 months before, I was challenged with this devotional thought.
‘ We must never fear the will of God. We are not right with Him until we can pray heartily, “Thy Will be done!” – heartily, not in sad submission. When we wish what he does not wish, we are not only against Him, but against our real selves. Only the will of God is desirable. Nothing else will satisfy us, no matter how it seems that other things can.
1 month before : 2am. I had a dream that Ah Kong was in critical stage. He cannot survive said the Doctor and I was not able to see him. But somehow in the end, he was sustained. What does that mean? I called home and your Lao Kou answered instead. She broke the bad news that Ah Kong had worsened and left with 2 months. You know, I pleaded with God to let me be with him when he goes off and of course, I begged and interceded for his salvation in Christ Jesus.
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God’s character, we do not yet know Him………
Is there anyone “save Jesus only” in your cloud? If so, it will get darker; you must get to the place where there is “no one anymore save Jesus Only.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest July 29)
You know my dear children, just the day before, I had been reading George Macdonald’s story on ‘A Daughter’s Devotion’. It was about a daughter’s father leaving earth and giving words of wisdom and truth to her daughter Mary. It was like our Heavenly Father’s preparation for me and asking me to TRUST & TRUST… Was I willing?
The next day I received the call that Ah Kong had gone. The last time I saw him was the night before. I had prayed for him.
Despite all that I have received from God, I was angry that
- God did not let me see him the last moments of his life
- Ah Kong did not (to my knowledge) become a christian
- I did not muster the courage to speak to him about the gospel (though I had been trying to testify during my christian journey I wanted to speak plainly about the gospel)
- he is gone forever from my side physically. No more smiles, eating out together with him….
- people made presumptions of his possible salvation
It was strange to go through life without Ah Kong. Mummy carried this heavy lock questioning God why He did not save Ah Kong before he died. What was worse? people whom I know seem to be giving such awesome testimonies on how So-and So received Christ into their lives ‘last minute’ before they passed on. I became bitter and resentful, Why not your Ah Kong? Many a times I wrestled with God in prayer, demanding an answer and crying out to Him for understanding. Each time, silence. Until one day, He spoke to my heart this startling truth.
‘ My child, if you cannot save yourself from your own sin, what makes you think you can help deliver salvation to your papa? I saved you with the blood of Jesus, and you had to make a choice to receive the holy spirit into your life and be born again. If you as a sinner, is saved only by grace, how can you demand salvation of your papa? Only through Jesus’ can anyone be cleansed and saved from one’s sinfulness. Your Papa has to make the choice himself. You cannot save. Only Jesus can. Let my will be done, not yours. Are you willing to submit and fully surrender to my will?’
With that, I fell facedown and humbled myself before God overwhelmed by His presence and peace.
‘All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give.’ AJE, that moment of revelation opened my spiritual eyes and set my spirit free from all my bitterness and anger. After 1 year of strife, I ceased to fret if Ah Kong is in heaven or not. It is up to God.
Victory over Death
My dears, why do I share the above? One day, you too, will have to face the lost of your loved ones. Mummy and daddy will have to face death. We won’t have much inheritance to pass down except this legacy of faith, hope and love. We pray this living faith in Christ that has tided mummy (and daddy) through the tough times, will live on in each of you as you encounter Him yourselves. When we do pass on, you need not be bereaved like the heathen, for we will be facing our beloved Lord Jesus face to face in our heavenly haven! Our salvation is sure, based on the scriptures and our earnest living in the Lord.
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”[f] 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”[g]
Matthew 7: 24-27
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
You will be sad and grieved like I was. In fact, 10years later I was still sad when I see how grandpas can enjoy their grandchildren. But guess what? 3 years ago we discovered Ah Kong had been baptised in church before! That gave me a glimmer of hope that the seed of salvation could still be intact. However, Let God be God. He is in charge. So my children, take heart and find comfort in the hope of our eternity in Christ Jesus. And We shall meet again in heaven when the time comes. Remember, God will carry each one of you through. Psalm 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me.
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
You will never walk alone.
Always proud of the 3 of you,
Mummy (and Daddy)
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