Ms. J, Our Mom and Grandma for Our Children

In Memory of Sister J.

Ms. J passed last Saturday. She was in the car brother B drove. Suddenly brother B found she was gone. The departure was that peaceful at least for her. Yesterday was the funeral. My wife and I went there. Wow! There were so many people; we had to stand in the back among many. It seemed that most of them knew her very well and, furthermore, got some benefits from her good works and great Christian character.

My family is one who got the greatest benefit from her. Since we met her at JG for me to work as a preacher for a year, she had been always so friendly, kind and also caring for us. One Sunday, she and brother B invited my family to a very special picnic. They prepared bread and sausage to make hotdogs. They took us to a farm and we made fire with woods. It was humble place and there was nothing special except that they were with us. What was very interesting was the sticks to cook sausages in the fire. Ms. J brought iron hangers. You know as they are straightened they turn into long sticks, by which we can put sausages at the one end and put it in fire grabbing the other end. She was creative.

She empathized my wife especially. She encouraged her a lot. She might have compassion for her especially because she cannot express herself freely in English. She was right: my wife’s life here in the US is like being imprisoned but not many people empathize her for it. I felt that Ms. J felt a lot of compassion to her. The story she told us one day made it pretty sure. When Ms. J was a child, there was a girl in her class who was bullied by some other children. One day, she saw that the girl was being bullied but she couldn’t do anything against it for kind of fear. After she had come back home, she regretted and repented of that, and she made up her mind to stand beside the girl in bullying situations. The next day she went to school. But the girl was not there; she was told that the girl was killed in a house fire the previous night. So, she said, she felt a big guilt and she was still feeling sorry for that even when she was telling us the story that day. She also told us that it was the first time in her life to tell the story to someone.

As we were coming back home from JG, my wife and I were talking about that. I thought, probably Ms. J wanted to get freed from a sadness or, maybe, a kind of guilty feeling that she might have had, by opening her heart regarding that by telling us the story and ‘confessing’ her old shame on that. So, I prayed for her peace even though I believed she had become already free from the guilty feeling she had had when she had made up her mind to stand beside for the girl. Even though there had been something that she should feel a guilt about, the life that she had been living must have washed it away long time ago—she was living as an angel of the Lord. She was so compassionate and merciful. She was so to my family, especially to my wife.

She was always concerned about our visa situation. She often expressed her wish that my family could stay here and do work of the Lord. One day she said, “If we can adopt you as our children, we will do it. If there is anything we can do for you, just let us know.” We have a big work of quilt at my house that Ms. Joan made and gave us as a gift a couple of weeks later after we met her. We put it on the wall and on it we put our family photo frame. It is so pretty in pinkish and it is always inspiring Spring and hope. We really enjoy it as a monument that reminds us of the great Christian love given to us by her. We will miss her a lot; we will miss her love the more. These stories are just a few among many about her character and love for people. 

We believe that she is with us and continues what she began to do for us even now. As we arrived at her funeral late, the parking lot was already full, even on the grasses and sides. Wow! So many people came to her funeral. But I went into deeper toward back since it was oneway. As the car reached the end of the section, suddenly a car, parked right in front of us, moved out. We parked without any searching or waiting. My wife and I felt like she was welcoming us. We lost her bodily presence here; but she is freed to go anywhere to help those whom she loved.

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