April 3rd, 2017

By:Paul Lai

 ranslated by:Edwina Leung



Yvonne Believed She Was Her Father’s Favorite Child


Yvonne had three sisters.? Among the sisters, she was the most filial towards her father.? She would take care of the housework; whether it be washing the dishes or sweeping the floor, she did it all.? When she brewed coffee in the morning, she always gave the first brew of coffee to her father.? Then she would brew a second pot for herself.? While he was enjoying his coffee, Yvonne would run down from their three-story home into the street market to buy a freshly baked baguette for him.? (That’s why I would always give Yvonne the first brew of coffee.? I did this after we married as a treat because she was such a filial daughter.)


To avoid jealousy or conflict among the children, Yvonne’s father never mentioned whether he had a favorite daughter.? Naturally, all of the children thought they were his favorite.? Of course, Yvonne also believed with certainty that she was his favorite child.? But why?? It was because of their deep conversations.? In particular, he asked her to take care of her three sisters. Because she had been accepted into a school in France, he asked that she do everything she could to help her sisters prepare for the same course of study overseas.? Yvonne met this promise.? Within a year, she helped her third-youngest sister move to France.? She also helped enroll her youngest sister into a French high school in Ottawa, where we lived at the time.? Unfortunately, when her sister and her father received the airplane tickets in the mail, Phnom Pehn was in a stage of political unrest, and they were unable to fly to Ottawa.  


“You Never Bat an Eye at Me When You are Preaching”


Yvonne once candidly told me, “When you’re preaching on stage, I sit in the congregation praying incessantly for the Lord to give you strength in your message and in your preaching.? I always look up and give you a smile, but you’re always so focused on preaching, you never bat an eye.”


I immediately answered, “It’s not that I don’t want to look at you, but if I did, I’d be afraid I’d smile back.? Then I’d probably become distracted from my message.? Therefore I can’t; I have to be responsible to God and to the audience.”


In Sermon Preparation and in My Writings, Yvonne Helped Me a Lot


As pastors, we often have the opportunity to further our studies.? The same goes for pastors’ wives.? Once, a guest speaker said that in preaching, one of the most important factors is attention to cultural themes and applying spiritual truths from the Bible.? Yvonne heard this advice and understood immediately.? When she was studying French language and culture, she learned the relationship between the culture and the language, and therefore she understood the art of Scriptural translation.? Therefore, Yvonne helped me in preparing numerous sermons, as well as drafts for my writings.


Because Yvonne spent a great deal of time in France, her thoughts and speech reflected that of a Westerner.?? She often asked “Do you love me?”? To which I would reply, “Well of course, why do I need to say it out loud!”? She said, “Love needs to be acknowledged by saying it out loud!”? That’s why she would tell me “I say ‘I love you’ many more times than you.”




I Can Learn a Lot From Yvonne!


She easily forgives.? You can tell what she thinks about someone because she is honest and tells it like it is.? But I am lacking her eloquent and graceful display of godly character!? She says “I love you,” “sorry,” and “thank you,” countless times more than I say these to her, and that is why we only had a handful of arguments over the years.? I’ve done things offensive to her, and miscommunicated with her many more times than she has to me!? This, I think, must come from the traditional Chinese idea to “man up” and run the house!


“Yvonne is so Westernized!”


In my early days at Phnom Penh, a brother said to me, “Yvonne is so Westernized!? Why are you dating her?? Aren’t you afraid she will spread her Western influence to you?”? I really didn’t understand his reasoning at the time.? Maybe he was being influenced by the popular Communist education in Cambodia!? I think it was wrong for him to have prejudice against Western education.? In fact, it is quite the opposite of what he was thinking!


Why Do You Only Ask for 10 Years?


Before I became ill, I was really impressed by the book “10 Years with Blood Cancer.”? When my doctor told me I was in stage three and not quite stage four of cancer, I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to extend my life for 10 more years.? Yvonne heard this and immediately asked me to take back my prayer; she said I was naive because 10 years is too short.? “You shouldn’t pray like that!? You need to have more faith!” she said.? Thank God for her advice and reminder.


Yvonne’s Remarkable Dream


 About one year ago, Yvonne had a dream.? She dreamt that she was like a princess, riding into town.? The people around her were waving, welcoming her with much excitement.? At that time, I thought her dream symbolized the possibility of moving to a new mission field where we were being welcomed by the crowds.


It hadn’t crossed my mind to compare her dream to her inevitable passing and entering into the Lord’s embrace.? Now that I think about it, I sense God used Yvonne’s dream to give her a glimpse of her heavenly home.? Therefore, Yvonne experienced a deep sense of peace ten days before she passed; she was ready to go to her heavenly home.


The night before we held her last fellowship meeting in our home, she said the hymn “God Prepares” was impressed upon her.? She was inspired by God to know that it was time to go home, and in the middle of the night, she asked that we sing this song together.? She requested we sing the second phrase “Whether now, or later, God prepares.? Although it is not according to my timing, not according to my timing, it is according to His timing.”? When to live?? When to die?? It is all according to God’s perfect timeline.? We only need to accept it.


That amazing hymn is one that I haven’t sung in years.? So on that night of fellowship, she invited the brothers and sisters to sing “God Prepares.”





  1. Whether this way, or that way, God prepares.? Although it is not according to my plans, or your plans, He has His plan, He prepares.


  1. Whether now, or later, God prepares.? Although it is not according to my time, or according to your time, He has His timing, He prepares.”



I depend on Him, because He prepares.? I wholeheartedly depend on Him, because He prepares.

Categories: 生命再思
Comments are closed.