I think we would qualify to be frequent flyers in the month of April. At the beginning of the month my grandpa passed away, so we went back to Vancouver for the funeral and to be with family. Mark stayed one week, and was supposed to return to Central Asia on April 15. But remember that darn volcano and the whole chaos its spewing ash brought? Well, turns out Mark was on his very long layover in Amsterdam when the ash began to cause trouble. When he returned to the airport from the city ready to get on his next leg of the journey, he found that EVERYTHING was canceled. By God’s grace, Mark comes from a Dutch family and he has some relatives not too far from the airport! So for the next 6 days he stayed with them, toured the Netherlands’ countryside, biked around Amsterdam, ate pickled herring, etc.
While Mark was enjoying unexpected family time, I stayed in Vancouver and also enjoyed some very nice family time.
We both returned to Central Asia late last week. And now we are preparing for another trans- Atlantic trip to America on Friday. We’ll be having some meetings in Chicago and we’ll be there for about a week. We will also get to see some dear old friends while in Chicago, and we’re very much looking forward to that!
Last week Thursday night Vancouver time my grandpa left this world to be with his Savior. He was 91 years old and was a follower of Christ. We of course are sad and will miss him greatly. But because of the death and resurrection of Christ, we do not mourn as those without hope.
Grandpa came to know Christ later in life, maybe in his 50’s(?). He was no theologian or scholar, but he would always freely attribute everything he has in life, including my grandma, to God’s grace. God preserved his life through 2 major wars, one against the Japanese during WWII and one against the Communist Party in China. He was badly wounded several times, but miraculously survived. Later, after my grandparents moved to Taiwan, they again experienced many hardships. But when looking back he would always say it was God’s grace that carried them through. He was very conscious of evidences of God’s faithfulness and kindness in his life. I loved that about Grandpa.
I grew up with my grandparents and practically lived with them or in very close proximity to them until just a few years ago. I will miss Grandpa very much, his smiles, his famous sayings, his love for food, his deep and rough voice, his Shandong accent…
If you can read Chinese, check out my Dad’s tribute to Grandpa .
Mark and I are traveling to Vancouver this week. Please lift up my family, especially my Grandma, during this time. We miss him, but we praise God for all He has done in Grandpa’s life and for taking him home.
Men here are quite talented with balancing things on their head. They carry baskets filled with layers of simit or sandwiches like this gentleman in the picture and meander through crowds and traffic with ease and speed.