ForeverMissed
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Madeline's writings: 
The Bruised Reed (in English, Chinese to come): *https://www.dropbox.com/s/t6gdbaaw3o69fdn/Bruised%20Reed.pdf?dl=0
This is My Story, This is My Song
**https://www.dropbox.com/s/64t18yg9ckcdz14/This%20is%20My%20Story.pdf?dl=0

If you were a newcomer to Terrace Gardens senior apartments in Milpitas or too sick to get to donut time, you would have been greeted or visited by Madeline, their “Sunshine Girl.” Although unable to carry on conversations after a stroke in 2016, she still greeted everyone with big smiles and made each one feel special. Her beloved husband and son welcomed her to heaven on March 4, 2020, with loving family by her side.

Madeline Siu May Lee Tan was born in Toisan, China to Stephen Tin Oye Lee and Ying Tom Lee. During World War II, she went to school in Toisan City, Hong Kong, Macau, Guilin and Guangzhou. Since her father served in the American Army during WWII, she was able to immigrate in 1947 and attend UC Berkeley to obtain her teaching credential. At her graduation party in 1951, she met and later married Gilbert Tan. Their plan was to serve God as a missionary doctor and teacher team. In 1958 Gilbert finished his residency but died from leukemia. Before passing, he asked Madeline to write her testimony of God’s faithfulness in helping her raise their three children under 5 years of age, Stephen, Winston and Teresa. In 1971, she fulfilled Gilbert’s request to write that testimony called, “The Bruised Reed.”*  She also wrote “This is My Story,“** and “The Training of Kingdom Citizens.”***

Madeline taught in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Berkeley for 20 years and developed a bilingual Chinese/English education program at Jefferson School, Berkeley as a master teacher. She helped found a Christian community in British Columbia and then worked to establish church schools across the world, from Alaska to South America and Taiwan to Europe.  Madeline had a passion to serve God and bring together church, school and home so children would benefit the greatest from that unity.

She was a great listener who also gave you Biblical advice. She knew her Bible and would apply it to your life’s dilemma. “Seek first the kingdom of God…,” “All things work together for the good…” Many would go to her for her counsel or to study the Bible with her. She loved to crochet things for those in need.   She lived in San Jose and Milpitas from 1995 to 2020 and loved having small church groups in her apartment.  She would often remind us what our father told her, ”Wherever you are, be all there.” Give your full attention to who you are with. She practiced what she preached.

She is survived by devoted children, Winston (Julie) Tan of Liberty Lake, WA and Teri (Jeff) Yeung of San Jose, CA, daughter-in-law Bernice Tan of Clovis, CA, grandchildren: David (Mica) Tan, Jeffrey Tan, Michael Tan, Madison Tan, Pamela Yeung (Rafael) Ribeiro, Andy Yeung and Jason Yeung,  and great-grandsons Asher and Levi Tan. She is also survived by brothers, Herman Lee and Raymond (Su) Lee. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Gilbert W. Tan, MD and son Stephen S. Tan.  

Celebration of her life will be determined at a later time when restrictions on gatherings and travel have been lifted. Interment will be with her beloved husband at East Lawn Cemetery 4300 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA.

*https://www.dropbox.com/s/t6gdbaaw3o69fdn/Bruised%20Reed.pdf?dl=0
** https://www.dropbox.com/s/64t18yg9ckcdz14/This%20is%20My%20Story.pdf?dl=0
***https://www.dropbox.com/s/avqpioc74l2slya/Training%20of%20Kingdom%20Citizens%20by%20Madeline%20Tan.pdf?dl=0
Posted by John Hinson on March 31, 2020
Madelyn Tan was a very noble woman. She was always an encouragement to me.  She stood for righteousness and rejoicing in the Lord, and her children rose up and called her blessed------plus me, her brother, I rise up and call her blessed.
Yours in Christ,
John Hinson and CHOIR
Posted by Jonathan Mitchell on March 31, 2020
Our prayers and condolences to all of you in the loss of an amazing and precious lady that we had the joy and privilege of knowing. I first met Sister Madeline at a 10-day teacher training seminar at Bowen's Mill in spring of 1980. My mother, Evelyn Mitchell, "dragged" me, a 16-year-old guy, to this seminar because she had nothing else to do with me for the 10 days (plus 5 more for convention following). Not what I wanted to be doing. Was not a teacher??!! One of the major, incredible highlights of this seminar was meeting this little Chinese lady, Madeline Tan, with the warmest heart and sweetest spirit, and I believe her son, Steve, was with her. They were two of the most amazing people I've ever met. Sister Madeline was so passionate about teaching, about the Lord, about children, my life was forever changed as a result of that conference. I'm grateful to my mom for taking me. I'm a CPA by trade, but have been teaching full-time for 20 years in community college! Seeds were sown 40 years ago that have borne so much fruit and joy. I am forever grateful to have met and known and loved Sister Madeline and precious Steve also. I only very recently learned that Steve had passed also. Wow is heaven brighter having these two souls there! Thanks to her amazing family for sharing her with all of us. I have met Winston and Julie a few times, also precious. What a great and amazing family. Time may have separated us physically, but hearts are forever intertwined with the love of God expressed through these awesome people. Love and blessings to all of you!
Posted by Edith Nee on March 30, 2020
Aunty Madeline left a legacy of faith for the generations of family who follow her. Her relationship with our God and her desire to spread the Christian message to others were her priorities in life. She was strong yet gentle. And she was always loving towards those around her. In 2008, when my kidney was failing, she asked her doctor if she could donate one of her kidneys to me. The doctor said "no" because of her age. That's the kind of love she has for others in need. I will miss everything about her. Her mission on this earth is now over and she can rest in peace with Uncle Gilbert and Stephen.
Posted by Ray Cheng on March 29, 2020
We will miss you forever.
Posted by Margaret Chau on March 28, 2020
I met Madeline some 15 years ago while I was living in Milpitas, we had a fellowship of bible study at her place until I moved out to Stockton . But occasionally , I called her and she would ask me about my Faith , or sometimes  I called her and asked for help in understanding some verses . Nevertheless, after this medical need after her stroke , i had a chance to work as a caregiver for her here and there whenever I could . Although her physical and mental conditions had been affected but she always knew that The lord would never leave her or me . As much as she wanted to share with me about her Faith , she would use her body languages to communicate with me , that I must pray for all the cars lining up at the back side of her unit , and she also wanted me to pray for our country as she used her figure to point out so that I was able to see an American flag hidden behind the tall big tree . It was beautiful to witness that she loved the world and she was so loved as well , There are many memories of which we spent time together by doing what she loved to do just 6 months before she finally had joined her loved one in Heaven , She had been a blessing in my life all along till I day i will see her again . Blessings to those who have known her and continuing to live our life to His glory as Madeline had always taught us .
Posted by Teri Yeung on March 28, 2020
From May Ling Shen:

Dear Teri, Winston, Bernice and Family,

Madeline was an incredible woman of God and an inspiration as is the family she raised. The Tan family was instrumental in my salvation. Their faith was a testament to God's blessings and care over the years. You welcomed me into your home when I visited the Oakland church where I accepted salvation. Madeline has left a great legacy of service to Jesus and an example of faithfulness that her family can be forever inspired by.

Love,
May Ling

P.S. It was fun visiting you at Shiloh and going to convention in Texas with your family.
Posted by Andrew Giles on March 28, 2020
Sister Madeline visited Ireland and left with us the indelible memory of a praising, God-fearing, joyful saint. We thank God for her and the beautiful example she was. We send our love and sympathy to her family. From Andrew and Kathy and the family of God in Blessington
Posted by Fred Vanderhoof on March 27, 2020
Sister Madeline was one of the finest women I knew. Always had a smile and a kind word. She will be missed by everyone that was blessed to know her. A had three fine children, which is a real testimony these days. My love to those of her family that I knew--Lord bless Fred
Posted by Gary Young on March 26, 2020
Aunt Madeline took my mom to a church meeting - must be 50 years ago. My mom came back a different person. She seemed to have more peace. Sometimes she would disappear and we would find that she locked herself into the bathroom so she could read her Bible. That was the beginning of the transformation of our family. We are so thankful that her life touched ours in such a profound way.
Posted by Tom Rowe on March 25, 2020
Madeline Tan crisscrossed the Nation and the world, taking a message of hope and love to a people with a heart for Kingdom culture. From the frozen tundra of Alaska to the jungles of South America; from the white cliffs of Dover to the lush green hills of Ireland and Scotland; from the canals of Amsterdam to the plains of Spain; from Atlanta to Asia; from Sequim, Washington to Searsport, Maine; from Canada to Colombia, and cities and towns in between, multitudes have been taught, trained, and transformed, thanks to the faithfulness of a little widow woman, Madeline Lee Tan, who had caught a vision which extended beyond her own house and impacted a generation of ministers (like me), parents, teachers and young people across the globe. We love you, Sister Madeline, and thank God for bringing you into our lives. We will miss you, but we know where you are, and we will meet again.

Tom R. Rowe, Jr.
March 2020
Posted by Betty Eng on March 25, 2020
Flowers from our garden cultivated by our parents:
Posted by Dori Fox Faust on March 25, 2020
I first met Madeline Tan at North Valley Christian Church. I remember her at the women’sBible study always with such wise words and amazing insights to share. I remember going to her apartment for some type of gathering and she was such a gracious hostess serving us tea and cookies. I had a great admirationfor this great lady of God. She will be forever missed but her wonderful spirit will live on in her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. What a beautiful and godly legacy she leaves.
Posted by Raymond Lee on March 24, 2020
My sister was a teacher by profession but, more importantly, she was a teacher by example. The life of my sister was a teachable life.  Few people walked the path of life my sister walked, few walked in her shoes. And fewer people walked through with such grace and good cheer. My sister is a testament to and an affirmation of courage, grace, and the indomitable human spirit. A tree is best measured when fallen and few stood taller than my sister. Her journey is over, whether she's in a better place, I don't know, but I know the pain of the human condition is behind her now. She paid her rent for existence on this planet and left the joint better than when she came on board. I love you, Sis. It's cruise control from here on. Some flowers don't just bloom once or twice, they bloom forever. Bloom on Sis!
Posted by Betty Eng on March 24, 2020
Celebration of Life: Madeline Lee Tan
March 18, 2020
Madeline and our family were cousins, but I think I saw her as my first Asian American big older sister. Herman, Madeline’s brother, told me that our paternal Grandmother was the daughter of their Great-Grandmother. I was about six years of age and my brother, Ben, about five when we and our mother immigrated to the U.S. from Toishan, China to be reunited with our father. Madeline’s father, “Uncle Stephen”, and my father, “Uncle Jimmy”, were partners in the grocery store, “Big Town Market” in Sacramento.
Madeline was already married with children when we first met around 1955. She was happily married to Gilbert, an M.D., with a growing family, Stevie, Winsty and Teri. I remember Gilbert’s generous and warm smile who shared his enthusiastic laughter with everyone. As a young immigrant child, I saw Madeline as a “model” for how the American experience could be lived: educated, professional, married, children….
When Gilbert died unexpectedly, everything changed as Madeline became a widow and single mother. In her books The Bruised Reed and This is my Story, This is my Song (2010), Madeline movingly chronicles the narratives of her life with Gilbert and family. She is strong, resilient, and brave.
It is her faith and belief in God that guides and shapes her life and family. Her devotion and deep commitment to God is inspiring and life affirming. She writes: “When I am weak, I am strong because it is no longer that I live, but Christ that lives in me.”
When my father passed on, Madeline kindly telephoned my mother frequently to express her care and concern as well as reached out through email messages. Extending her own experience as a widow, Madeline wanted my mother to know that she will not be a broken bruised reed and to move forward with hope.
Madeline is in our hearts forever and leaves a legacy of her faith in her children, Teri and Winsty and her many grandchildren.
Betty & Leung
Sacramento, California

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by John Hinson on March 31, 2020
Madelyn Tan was a very noble woman. She was always an encouragement to me.  She stood for righteousness and rejoicing in the Lord, and her children rose up and called her blessed------plus me, her brother, I rise up and call her blessed.
Yours in Christ,
John Hinson and CHOIR
Posted by Jonathan Mitchell on March 31, 2020
Our prayers and condolences to all of you in the loss of an amazing and precious lady that we had the joy and privilege of knowing. I first met Sister Madeline at a 10-day teacher training seminar at Bowen's Mill in spring of 1980. My mother, Evelyn Mitchell, "dragged" me, a 16-year-old guy, to this seminar because she had nothing else to do with me for the 10 days (plus 5 more for convention following). Not what I wanted to be doing. Was not a teacher??!! One of the major, incredible highlights of this seminar was meeting this little Chinese lady, Madeline Tan, with the warmest heart and sweetest spirit, and I believe her son, Steve, was with her. They were two of the most amazing people I've ever met. Sister Madeline was so passionate about teaching, about the Lord, about children, my life was forever changed as a result of that conference. I'm grateful to my mom for taking me. I'm a CPA by trade, but have been teaching full-time for 20 years in community college! Seeds were sown 40 years ago that have borne so much fruit and joy. I am forever grateful to have met and known and loved Sister Madeline and precious Steve also. I only very recently learned that Steve had passed also. Wow is heaven brighter having these two souls there! Thanks to her amazing family for sharing her with all of us. I have met Winston and Julie a few times, also precious. What a great and amazing family. Time may have separated us physically, but hearts are forever intertwined with the love of God expressed through these awesome people. Love and blessings to all of you!
Posted by Edith Nee on March 30, 2020
Aunty Madeline left a legacy of faith for the generations of family who follow her. Her relationship with our God and her desire to spread the Christian message to others were her priorities in life. She was strong yet gentle. And she was always loving towards those around her. In 2008, when my kidney was failing, she asked her doctor if she could donate one of her kidneys to me. The doctor said "no" because of her age. That's the kind of love she has for others in need. I will miss everything about her. Her mission on this earth is now over and she can rest in peace with Uncle Gilbert and Stephen.
her Life

TRIBUTE TO MADELINE TAN: A Proverbs 31 Woman

By Tom R Rowe, Jr.

Few qualify as a Proverbs 31 woman. Madeline Tan is one who does.

Madeline was born in Toisan, Guangdong, China, to Ying Tom and Stephen Sing Wat Lee. Her early childhood education was in the Far East, excelling in her subjects to meet the demands of her strict father, who expected and encouraged her to do her best in every endeavor. Madeline often said the fact she attended a Christian school in Hong Kong and her mother’s strong faith, planted Holy seeds in the field of her heart.

Madeline left China in 1947, arriving in America in March of that year to complete her college work at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1951. She soon met her future husband, Gilbert Tan, a medical student from Hong Kong, Gilbert and Madeline married in 1952. They established a family altar and worshipped the Living Christ from the day of their marriage until Gilbert’s untimely death from leukemia in 1958, leaving Madeline a widow with three small children to raise on her own.

Though the ensuing years were fraught with hardship, Madeline’s faith did not waver. She continued family devotions daily, just as she and Gilbert had, and was faithful to see that her children were nurtured in the admonition of the Lord and were diligent in scholastics, and social interaction. Stephen, Winston, and Teri were taught obedience and respect, a discipline found in most Asian households.

Madeline taught school and provided all of the necessities of life for her children. They were active in the Berkeley Chinese Community Church and participated in the activities Madeline felt would foster Spiritual growth in them, but she was quick to resist those activities, that might lead them down a path of aggrandizement. The three siblings were all taught violin and became accomplished musicians. They were invited to appear on The San Francisco Talent Show; however, Madeline’s response was a firm “NO,” declaring her intention for investing in their music education was for them to praise and worship the Lord, not to draw attention to self.  

In 1971, during a time of prayer, Madeline experienced a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon her with the Biblical evidence of speaking in tongues, language heaven sent to her for praise and worship. Soon her teenaged children shared her experience and entered as a family into a new dimension of faith and blessings from the Lord. 

I had the privilege of meeting Madeline shortly thereafter while I was ministering at a fellowship in Oakland, California. Her hunger for the word and her enthusiastic response deeply moved me. Following that meeting, she shared with me some of her story and expressed a desire for me to meet her three children. That wish was granted when I met them at a convention in Canton, Ohio, in 1972. It was clearly a Kairos moment, and I knew this was a family with whom I would establish a life-long friendship.

In 1975, the Tan family left California to become a part of a Christian community of about one hundred fifty people in British Columbia, Canada, called Shiloh. 

The following is Madeline’s own words about their twelve years there: 

“This was such a radical change. It was almost impossible for the human mind to comprehend why a well-established woman would suddenly sell out, give up houses, job, children’s education, and other sources of security. Still, I was convinced that God had something to teach my family and me at Shiloh…I spent twelve years of my life in this wilderness Christian community. It was indeed a very special place to learn to trust God for every need: from physical healing to sunshine and rain for the crops for food…We lived, worked, and worshiped together, to exercise the principle of faith, to submit to one another, and to receive the dealing of God in our daily lives.”

Madeline’s experience and expertise as a teacher were enhanced by the anointing the Lord gave her to train teachers by holding workshops throughout the more than two hundred thirty-five schools established in our network of churches throughout the world. In 1978, Madeline made her first trip to Alaska to help train teachers, but her mission extended beyond the need of teachers. She found herself in the shoes of an evangelist as elders, husbands and wives, and people at enmity with others in the community began repenting, asking for forgiveness, and crying out for broken relationships to be healed. One of the communities in our circuit had a virtual revival when sixteen children confessed Christ as savior. Many of those children, now grown adults with children of their own, are still happily serving the Lord with gladness, 

After Shiloh Community closed in 1987, Madeline was already established and respected among the Ministerial leadership and the Body of Christ at large around the world. Her three children were soon married, and grandchildren were being born (eventually seven), which increased her joy and brought great satisfaction to her busy life.  Much like the Apostle Paul, Madeline would often spend lengths of time in various places, walking along side those she was training. Whether it was for two weeks, a month, or longer Madeline believed (like Jim Elliot) that wherever you are, be all there. A large portion of her time was spent in Taiwan teaching English as a Second Language. While in the cities of Trujillo and Pucallpa, Peru she took a team composed of volunteers from eight different countries to conduct A Teacher/Training Seminar and opening a school in Peru. Her unselfish attitude and solid commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, was at the heart of her ministry. She loved people and always served the Lord with gladness.

Madeline Tan crisscrossed the Nation and the world, taking a message of hope and love to a people with a heart for Kingdom culture. From the frozen tundra of Alaska to the jungles of South America; from the white cliffs of Dover to the lush green hills of Ireland; from the canals of Amsterdam to the plains of Spain; from Atlanta to Asia; from Sequim, Washington to Searsport, Maine; from Canada to Colombia, and cities and towns in between, multitudes have been taught, trained, and transformed, thanks to the faithfulness of a little widow woman, Madeline Lee Tan, who had caught a vision which extended beyond her own house and impacted a generation of ministers (like me), parents, teachers and young people across the globe. We love you, Sister Madeline, and thank God for bringing you into our lives. We will miss you, but we know where you are, and we will meet again.

Tom R. Rowe, Jr.
March 2020

Recent stories
Shared by Winston Tan on March 30, 2020
The Stephen Lee family
Shared by Winston Tan on March 30, 2020
The Gilbert Tan family with the entire KH Tan family.  Hong Kong, 1962
Shared by Winston Tan on March 30, 2020
Mom and her two younger brothers, Herman and Raymond