ForeverMissed
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

Gilbert Tan family 1958

Shared by Winston Tan on March 30, 2020
This photo was the last family picture before my dad passed in 1958, leaving mom to raise three young children by herself.  If you have not already read her story in "The Bruised Reed" I think you will find it to be a blessing and encouragement.  Here is the link:  

https://www.dropbox.com/s/t6gdbaaw3o69fdn/Bruised%20Reed.pdf?dl=0

I never really appreciated this monumental task of being a single parent until I became a parent myself.  From that point on my appreciation has just grown.  Thanks mom!

Getting mail

Shared by Teri Yeung on March 28, 2020
Mom had a routine of going to get her mail and eating weekday dinners at the dining hall of her independent living senior complex. In 2016, she had a stroke after lung surgery.  This picture was her first time to walk to her mailbox with her 3 kids. She had difficulty with verbal communication so Winston sent her photos in his letters every 2-3 days for these last 4 years since she liked getting mail. He also Facetimed her every night or two. I think God blessed her with a pretty awesome son!

Graduation from Hospice 2016

Shared by Winston Tan on March 27, 2020
On Easter, 2016 my mother had a stroke while in the hospital where she was recovering from lung surgery.  The stroke left her paralyzed and unable to swallow.  We thought she was going to be leaving us but experienced an amazing recovery and "graduated" from hospice.  This picture was taken at that time and is a reminder of how we should treasure every day.

We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight

Shared by Winston Tan on March 26, 2020
This is a song that my brother, Steve wrote in 1973.  Mom loved this song and I hope you do too.  

A Bruised Reed by Ellen Chen, Translated by Yu-Ling Yan and Chris Chen

Shared by Teri Yeung on March 25, 2020
March 4, 2020

"Would you like to read this testimony booklet?" When Reverend Tsai picked up the book from the coffee table, I was attracted by the bold words on its cover. I recognized the title, "A Bruised Reed He Will Not Break," as an allusion to Isaiah 42:1-4. That passage prophesied Jesus' work in the world, including the healing of those in sorrow. God's plan to save the world through Jesus was predicted 700 years before Jesus’ birth in the book of Isaiah from the Old Testament.

When I took the book and looked at it carefully, I noticed the author's Chinese brush painting on the cover. The picture depicts light green reeds beside a stream. Two birds are flying in the same direction over the reeds. Three little birds swim in the stream with ease. After I arrived home, I sat down to read and soon finished the book. "What an extraordinary life!" was my sentiment after reading it. I planned to find time to visit the author of the story, Mrs. Madeline Lee Tan (or “Auntie Madeline”).

On a foggy afternoon, I drove up on the highway to meet Auntie Madeline. Upon arrival at Auntie Madeline’s residence, the door opened with an amiable face to welcome me. When Auntie Madeline asked me to sit down, I noticed the desserts which she had prepared on the table. With curiosity, I sat and listened to her story.

In 1951, Auntie Madeline graduated from University of California, Berkeley. She met her future husband, Gilbert W Tan, at her graduation party. Gilbert was studying at Loma Linda University School of Medicine.The two fell in love at first sight, like a love story in a novel. Since both came from conservative Christian families and they had made personal commitments to serve God throughout their lives, they quickly realized that it was God who brought them together. They got married after more than a year of courtship. When the spring of life was blossoming, they worked towards the same goals as Gilbert pursued medicine as a tool for missions. Who would have thought that God had paved a difficulty journey ahead of them?

On July 1, 1958, Gilbert’s first day in his medical residency, he went for a physical examination and found that he had Leukemia. At that time, Auntie Madeline was pregnant, besides having a four-year old son and a ten-month old baby. After hearing about the incurable disease, Auntie Madeline fell into desperation and wanted to die to escape from this cruel reality. She said that she did not understand why God would break up their happy family. Why did God take away the most precious thing in her life? Why would He shatter their dream of serving together?

Amazingly, Gilbert was not afraid to die. He knew that death had no authority over him. He believed that Jesus had risen from the dead and had overcome death for him (1 Corinthians 15: 55-57). He knew that his sins had been forgiven by Jesus' substitutionary death. He had assurance of the eternal life he’d received through faith in Jesus, and understood that this new life starts here on earth and would continue on when he met the Lord. After death, the Lord would be with him forever (Philippians 1:23).

When Auntie Madeline experienced helplessness, God's love was abundantly displayed through Gilbert. Gilbert calmly instructed his wife, "Please do not keep asking God why. This is the will of God. How can we comprehend God ’s transcendent wisdom and plans? Now we only need to believe in faith, to endure, and the rest can wait until you see the Lord before Him! ''

Gilbert continued, "Our situation may seem very tragic in the eyes of the world. I have worked hard to equip myself throughout my life to serve God and people. I have just completed my training and received the Doctor of Medicine degree. This is supposed to be the beginning of my service.However, God is calling me to my heavenly home now. I have elderly parents, a nursing baby, and an unborn child. Even though we don’t understand God’s wonderful plans or why he choose to call me to heaven at this moment, he has other plans for you and those who remain in the world. In the future, you will have the opportunity to write our extraordinary story and to be a witness to the glory of our Lord. You must be strong, stand firm, and act as a child of God, so that our non-believing relatives and friends can see the glory of God through our suffering and endurance. God will take care of you and our children. Don’t be afraid, just believe (Mark 5:36). Let’s entrust our future to God’s plans."

While Gilbert was hospitalized to receive blood transfusions for his anemia, he continually preached the gospel to the patient next to him and eventually led him to the Lord. Gilbert did not let disease stop him from serving God. He said, "As long as I have one day of life, I will do one day's work for God. My parents raised me to become a vessel to treat the sick. I must use what I have learned to fight my final battle with death.”After his discharge from the hospital, Gilbert served as a medical doctor at a high school and opened a medical clinic in Sacramento. He also opened his own medical practice by renting a part of a clinic from Dr. Leslie Lee.

Praise the Lord! Although God had brought suffering to Gilbert, He also brought many relatives to visit. During this time, they enjoyed family fellowship every night after dinner. In order to build a family thathonored God, the children learned to pray as soon as they could speak, and they learned to say, "Thank you, Lord." During their family fellowship time, Gilbert accompanied the children in praise songs and he also taught the children Bible stories. Five months later, Gilbert could no longer delay the destruction of cancer. He battled with death in the hospital for four days before reaching his final rest in God’s embrace. At Gilbert’s death, Auntie Madeline’s heart was also buried in the grave.

Praise the Lord that Auntie Madeline began taking steps towards a better outlook on life. As she wrestled with feelings of desperation, she started to see Gilbert’s image in her children. She said, "I found Gilbert in the little hands of our oldest son, the cheeks of our second son, and the face of our newborn daughter." This made her realize that Gilbert was not dead; his legacy lived on in her three lovely children. On top of her new responsibilities as a single mom, Auntie Madeline found a teaching job where she developed a bilingual Chinese/English education program.

In 1968, it seemed that Auntie Madeline was enthusiastic to serve God, but she felt very empty in spirit. Due to spiritual emptiness and self-disappointment, Auntie Madeline stepped out of her traditional conservative church circles and began to seek God more earnestly in a gathering of Charismatic Christians. Previously, she had opposed charismatic movement, but as she saw many people being healed and set-free, she was not afraid. Praise the Lord for giving Auntie Madeline the ability to discern. She knew that the fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). She recognized the fruits she had seen in the gathering came from the Holy Spirit.

At ten o'clock one evening in 1971, Auntie Madeline knelt alone beside her bed and prayed. Suddenly she was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she could not help repenting before God. As she repented of her sin, self-righteousness, and judgment, she was cleansed by the blood of Jesus, and her tears kept streaming down. She was set free from her sin and was enabled to forgive those whom for years she had been unable to forgive. Without anyone laying hands on her, she miraculously began to speak in tongues. After Auntie Madeline was filled with God's love, joy, and peace, she came out of the bedroom, speaking in tongues, and raising her hands to praise God. Unexpectedly, her mother (who happened to be visiting at the time) also came out of her bedroom and raised her hands to speak in tongues, praising God. Seeing this unusual sight, Auntie Madeline immediately woke up her three children, and the family received the filling of the Holy Spirit together, cheering and praising God together!

After being filled with the Holy Spirit, Auntie Madeline was gifted with the power of prayer and was enabled to obey God's commands. She would not allow any separation between herself and God. As she dealt strictly with herself, the Holy Spirit empowered her to live out her identity in Christ. Through her union with Christ, she experienced the crucifixion of the sinful nature with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24). Now Auntie Madeline was no longer spiritually thirsty, because she found the source of living water. Now Auntie Madeline became a person full of God's love, because she found the source of love. In the same year her oldest son also experienced a great spiritual renewal. He led classmates to preach the gospel in schools and churches. Her second son and daughter also worked alongside their older brother by leading praise songs and preaching the Word. At that time, Auntie Madeline often prayed, sang, and worshiped together with her three children.

Since the publication of the booklet, "The Bruised Reed," Auntie Madeline’s family has often been invited to speak at various churches, fellowships, women's groups, small groups, and class reunions. Gradually, God expanded the reach of Auntie Madeline’s ministry. The family ministry brought them to Alaska, Texas, and Georgia – as well as the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Educational tools which Auntie Madeline learned during her time in Berkeley were fully utilized to teach middle school, elementary school, and bilingual education all over the world.

God is the craftsman of life. Misery became a blessing for Auntie Madeline. God healed Auntie Madeline’s heart and transformed her from a bruised reed into a useful vessel. Gilbert surrendered to God's sovereignty and displayed trust in God when he developed leukemia.Just as Gilbert expected, God was glorified through the raising of their three children, and many friends and relatives witnessed God’s glory through their suffering and perseverance. Every God-given desire was fulfilled one by one. Today, all three of their children have built their own Christian families, and each has served God faithfully. Auntie Madeline’s grandchildren are also serving the Lord in different ways.

Today, Auntie Madeline entrusted herself to the Lord and completed the journey in this world. She trusted the Lord to fulfill the wills from Gilbert. I know she can meet the Lord calmly and meet Gilbert with the intermingling of joy and tears. To God be all the glory!

壓傷的蘆葦 by Ellen Chen

Shared by Teri Yeung on March 24, 2020

3月4日2020年

「你要不要看這本見證集?」當蔡牧師從茶几上拿起了見證集,我被封面上醒目的字眼所吸引。「壓傷的蘆葦祂不折斷」,是出自以賽亞書42:1-4。那段話是預告耶穌在世上的工作,包括醫治心靈憂傷的人。我知道神從猶太人中揀選耶穌。神要透過耶穌拯救世人的救贖計畫,早在耶穌出生之前七百年,在舊約的以賽亞書裡已經預言了。

當我接過書來仔細端詳,原來封面上有一幅作者的毛筆畫。畫中的小溪裡有一叢淺綠色的蘆葦,在蘆葦的上空有兩隻鳥正朝著同個方向飛翔,溪水裡有三隻小鳥怡然自得地游水。回家後,我找時間把書讀完。「好一個不同凡響的生命!」是我讀後的感想。我準備找個時間專程去探訪故事的作者,陳李小薇媽媽。

在一個微微有霧的下午,我開車上了高速公路去見陳媽媽。到了陳媽媽的住處,開門歡迎我的是一張和藹可親的臉龐。當陳媽媽指示我坐下後,我注意到桌上準備好的甜品。懷著好奇的心,我靜坐聆聽她的故事。

1951年陳媽媽從柏克萊大學畢業。在畢業慶祝會裡認識她先生陳衛民。當時衛民正在Loma Linda University醫藥佈道學院讀書。他們兩人一見鍾情,猶如小說裡面的愛情故事一般。由於兩人都是來自保守的基督徒家庭,兩個人都分別在神面許過願要終生服事神,因此他們很快地明白這是神把他們擺在一起。認識一年多後他們結婚。當生命的春天正向他們開花,他們朝著共同的理想,準備在衛民畢業後,同心走上醫療傳道的路,怎麼會想到神為他們鋪陳的是一條坎坷的道路呢?

1958年7月1日,衛民正式當起住院醫師的第一天。衛民去作身體檢查,發現自己得了白血病((Leukemia) 。這時陳媽媽正身懷六甲,除了手中牽著一個四歲的兒子,手裡還抱著一個十個月大的嬰兒。聽到先生得了不治之症,陳媽媽痛不欲生恨不得馬上死掉,好逃避那殘酷無情的事實。她說她不解神為何要把他們這個快樂的家庭拆散? 神為何要把她生命中最寶貴的奪去? 神為何要粉碎他們同心事奉的美夢?

很令人詫異的是衛民並不怕死。他知道死亡在他身上沒有權勢。他相信耶穌已經從死裡復活,耶穌已經為他戰勝死亡(林前15:55-57)。他知道自己的罪因耶穌的救贖已經得著赦免。他因信耶穌得著新的生命,這生命將永遠與主同在(腓1:23)。

就在陳媽媽不知所措時,神的愛卻豐盈的與衛民同在。衛民平和地對陳媽媽說:「請妳不要苦苦地追問神,神的美意本是如此。神超然的智慧和安排哪裡是我們所能理解的呢?現在我們只要信,只要忍耐,其餘的事等到妳見主面時再問祂吧!」

衛民說:「我們的情況在世人眼中看來的確是很悲慘的。我一生勤勞奮鬥充實自己去事奉神,服務人群。如今剛完成訓練,領到醫生執照,那應該是我事奉的開始,神卻要在這個時候接我回天家。我上有高齡父母,下有哺乳嬰兒和和一個尚未生出的胎兒。現在我們完全不瞭解神的奇妙安排,祂為何選擇這時召我回天家,但神對於留在世上的妳卻另有安排與計畫。妳日後有機會,要寫出我們這個不平凡的故事,為主作榮耀的見證。妳要堅強,站立的穩,在行為上顯出妳是神的兒女,好讓不信主的親友,看見我們面臨苦難的堅忍而歸榮耀給神。神一定會看顧妳和孩子,不要怕,只要信。我們把前途交給神讓神來安排。」

這時衛民因為貧血需要住院輸血,他卻奮不顧身在輸血的同時,向隔壁床病危的病人傳福音並領那人歸主。在重病期間衛民沒有讓疾病攔阻他。他說:「我有一天的生命,就要為神作一天的工作。父母栽培我,讓我今日能成為救人肉體的器皿,我一定要盡力用我所學的,我要和死亡作最後的決戰。」出院後,除了在學校當校醫,衛民在沙加緬度市開設醫務所,他還向李雲鷹醫師租了診所的一部分準備開業。

感謝讚美主!神給衛民生命的煎熬,卻帶來很多親人的來訪。那時他們家每天晚飯後都有家庭聚會。為要建立一個尊主為大的家庭,孩子們還未學會說話就先學禱告,學會說「謝謝主」。聚會中衛民為孩子伴奏讚美詩歌,衛民也向孩子講說聖經故事。五個月後,衛民的身體敵不過癌細胞的侵蝕,他在醫院裡與死亡搏鬥了四天,就在主裡安息了。陳媽媽的心也隨著衛民的死埋進墳墓裡。

感謝神!陳媽媽靈裡起死回生的第一步,是在她的孩子身上看到衛民的影子。她說:「我從大兒子的小手上找到衛民,在二兒子的雙頰上找到衛民,在小女兒的臉孔上找到衛民。」這讓她意識到衛民沒有死,衛民仍然活在她三個可愛的孩子身上。然而沒有衛民供養一家生計,逼著陳媽媽出去找了一份教書的工作,並以繁忙的生活填滿那個沒有衛民的日子。

1968年,從外表看來陳媽媽滿有熱心的服事神,但是她在靈裡卻感覺非常的枯乾。因著靈裡枯竭和對自己的失望,陳媽媽從保守教會裡走出來。從此她如飢似渴地的尋求神。從前她對於聖靈運行的聚會持有偏見,現在卻看到許多人在聚會中得著醫治、釋放、能力,和得著愛、喜樂、平安。感謝神賜給陳媽媽分辨的能力,她知道聖靈所結的果子是仁愛、喜樂、和平、忍耐、恩慈、良善、信實、溫柔、節制(加5:22) ,因此她相信在聚會中所看到的果子是從聖靈而來。

1971年有一天晚上十點,陳媽媽一個人跪在床頭禱告。突然間整個人被聖靈充滿,她不由自主地在神面前悔改。當她為罪、為義、為審判、自己責備自己時,她被耶穌的寶血潔淨,眼淚不斷地流下來。因著積壓在心中的罪被主赦免,她得著醫治、釋放、並且饒恕了多年無法饒恕的人。這時沒有人按手,方言卻奇妙的從陳媽媽口中說出來。當時陳媽媽被神的愛、被喜樂、被平安充滿時,她從臥室走出來,一面說方言,一面舉起雙手讚美神。沒想到她的母親(當時正好來小住)也從自己的臥房裡走出來,舉起雙手口說方言讚美神。看到這不尋常的光景,陳媽媽立刻喚醒三個孩子,全家一起領受聖靈的充滿,一同歡呼讚美神!

陳媽媽被聖靈充滿後,禱告大有能力,並有能力遵守神的誡命。她絕不容讓自己和神之間有任何隔閡。她認真的對付自己的生命,因著聖靈加給她力量,她天天把肉體連肉體的邪情思慾,與主一同釘在十字架上(加5:24)。現在陳媽媽不再渴,因她找到活水的泉源。現在陳媽媽成為一個充滿了神的愛的人,因她找到愛的泉源。這一年她的大兒子在靈裡大大復興。他在學校和教會裡帶領同學傳福音領人歸主。她的二兒子和女兒也和哥哥同工,在服事中帶領詩歌,傳揚真理。那時陳媽媽經常和三個孩子在一起禱告、唱詩、和讚美。

自從「壓傷的蘆葦」出版後,陳媽媽的一家經常受邀到不同的教會、團契、婦女會、同學會、和家庭聚會去作見證。以後神擴張陳媽媽的地界。他們家庭團隊的足跡,從阿拉斯加、德州、喬治亞州,到歐洲的荷蘭、比利時,西班牙的馬德里、墨西哥、南美洲的哥倫比亞、中國大陸、台灣、香港、新加坡等地。過去陳媽媽來美國深造所接受的中學、小學和雙語教育(BABEL) ,現在都派上用場。陳媽媽教書時,在柏克萊模範學校開設中英雙語班、編寫教材、和訓練大學實習老師的經歷,也蒙神大大使用。

神是雕琢生命的神。苦難成為陳媽媽化妝的祝福。神醫治了陳媽媽的心,將她從壓傷的蘆葦變成為堅韌的器皿。衛民得白血病時降服神的主權和對神所顯出的信心,衛民對陳媽媽在養育兒女時能為神作榮耀的見證的期許,以及親友能因看見他們面臨苦難的堅忍而歸榮耀給神的願望,都一一實現了。如今陳媽媽三個兒女都成立基督化家庭,並且各在神所安排的崗位上盡忠。陳媽媽孫輩中有被神呼召為全職傳道人。

今天陳媽媽倚靠主走完世上的旅程。她倚靠主完成衛民的託付。我知道她可以坦然見主,更可以在喜樂與淚水交織中坦然見衛民。願將一切的榮耀歸祂! 

English Version to come

McDonald's after church

Shared by Teri Yeung on March 22, 2020
When we lived in El Cerrito, we attended Berkeley Chinese Community Church. After church every Sunday, we would go to McDonald's, and Mom would have a fish filet sandwich and fries. We stopped doing that for decades, but last Mother's Day after worship at Christ Community Church of Milpitas, we decided to go to McD's. Can you tell how much Mom enjoyed repeating that simple pleasure?

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