It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving of 2014 is already here! We still remember our last Thanksgiving, in Boston, Massachusetts, spending time together and counting God’s blessings. Wow, one year has just gone! And many things have happened in our family, good and not so good. However, whatever happens, we give praise the Lord for His faithfulness and grace to us. In the beginning of August, Pam and Praisye, our youngest daughter, returned to Taiwan first for Praisye to start school, while Toon and the other kids stayed in Massachusetts. Praisye then moved into her dorm in Taichung. In mid-August, Anna moved into her dorm at Gordon College, and Zephy moved to Framingham State University toward the end of August. At last, our family members had spread out to five different locations. It was unthinkable at first and really made us quite sad. This feeling helped us to relate to so many elderlies who are lonely and perhaps even hopeless. However, as Christians, we are never lonely or hopeless for we have the Lord who is our Father, the Spirit who is our helper, and Christ who is our Brother and Friend.
For quite some time now you have not received our prayer letters, so you have most likely come to realize that after returning to Taipei we have become quite busy. This is indeed true for Toon after he returned from Massachusetts. He has been preparing his lectures, counseling with students, visiting some affiliated churches, attending faculty meetings, joining church planting projects, traveling to other training sites in East Asia… and the list goes on. However, he really enjoys his works and the time he gets with his students. Nevertheless, he has to be more disciplined to get the revision of his thesis. Please remember him in your prayers; that he will have wisdom, enough resources, and sufficient time to finish it by the end of this year. He will return to the States for his defense, and at the same time, will visit Zephy and Anna during the Christmas season.
However, Pam may be even busier than Toon, as she works as a counselor at Friendship church, part-time, and teaches a counseling course at Wesleyan Seminary. She has just finished teaching one long-distance class at Liberty University. She expresses herself and says that it is God’s timing that she can use her training and past ministerial experiences to serve God and to make some money to reduce our financial burden. Recently, she has more opportunity to travel to Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan, to visit her aging parents, especially when Toon is away to do his missions elsewhere. Next week we will visit them again for their 55th anniversary. We are grateful to have our parents around, so we can visit and see them very often. Nevertheless, we undoubtedly understand your feelings and struggles of hoping to spend more time with your aging parent(s) or to see them more frequently. Unfortunately, the distance can act as a barrier to communication. But thank God for the advanced technology; we have Skype, Hangouts, Face-Time to narrow down the gap.
As for our three children, they each have their ups and downs. It must sound familiar to you who are parents. Certainly, those are the opportunities for us to learn to have more patience and to rely on God’s wisdom instead of human wisdom. Zephy is in Framingham State University, and he has improved a lot, Though he still needs lots of prayers from you. Anna is Gordon College, and she enjoys learning many new things from all her courses. Praisye is in Taichung (Taiwan), and she seems to miss us, the family, most of all. She calls home every night, and she really makes dad and mom fell less empty-nested. Do remember them in your prayers.
Blessings, Toon and Pam