Monday, March 29, 2010

bro. liu

"are you crying?: kuya asked me. "yeah." i shamelessly admitted, while quickly wiping away my tears before anyone else at church could notice. my heart was moved greatly while listening to this frail, old man speaking in front. i've known Bro. Liu almost all my life, my grandparents were good friends of his, my lolo being a co-worker in the church. i recall back when i was small, every time we would bump into him and his lively wife, my parents would make me go to him to greet him "great uncle", as a sign of respect and the close ties we have with him. Bro. Liu would immediately burst out with a string of terms in chinese in his high-pitched voice, none of which i could understand but could only describe to be as maybe praises, basing on how my parents would smile in embarrassment, then after which, Bro. Liu would bend over and plant on me a very wet kiss on the cheek. this is how i remember this old man, kind, tender, full of love. so much love, that he departed his home in Taiwan, left the comforts of his family, his children, and together with his wife, slaved over thousand upon thousands of Filipinos, doing their evangelical work. not being able to speak a single word of Tagalog or English was not an excuse for them to be unfaithful to this, what was their divine cause. They traveled from north to south and set up meeting after meeting, training after training, for thirty years, evangelizing every nook and cranny they could go to, until their physical bodies wore down, until Bro. Liu had to battle cancer, and become incapacitated because of it, until his lively wife succumbed to a similar illness and passed away last year.

Bro. Liu is 91 now. he sat on his wheelchair and was speaking in front of the congregation, in the same high-pitched voice i have always remembered him to have. his voice, though this time was weaker, and broke every now and then, as he held back his own tears, his body shaking, as he said his goodbyes to us, the people he had dedicated a good part of his life to, the people he offered his beloved wife to, the people he was more than willing to give his own life to. He flies home with his son today, back to Taiwan, his heart however still here, remembering coming to this country to a group of only 15 people, but now having thousands scattered all over the country, owning their now found faith to the service of this now very frail man. 30 years, that's how long he labored, that's how old i am now.

"hudson taylor said, if he had 1000 lives live, all of it he would give to china." his parting words to us, quoting from the famous English evangelist, on his departure from China more than a century ago. 1000 lives to offer to the evangelical work in the Philippines... until the very last minute, Bro. Lui showed no waning in his love for the mission.


Tristan Tan said...

This is sweet Jamie.

Dhon said...

Wow... A life dedicated to serving other people...

I admire him and his courage..