Dear brothers and sisters, 

How are you all doing? The third anniversary of Tony’s passing is here! I haven’t gone anywhere since my Hawaiian trip. Yet my life in Houston is adventurous and enriching under His TLC. 

God has been offering me chances for volunteering work in the past two years. Meanwhile, I discover that He has been providing me everything I need, as long as I am responding him ceaselessly and “making the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:16)…..thus witnessing again His words “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” 

There are four advantages I can think of about volunteering: 

Learning on the job – 

Cancer hospital volunteers have to participate in continuing education events annually. There are many topics which I found very interesting. One of them is the integrative medicine program – traditional treatments along with Tai Chi, Yoga, laughing Yoga, acupuncture, music and art therapy, spiritual life, etc. The purpose is to offer a better quality of life to patients. I’ve acquired plenty of new medical knowledge such as clinical trial and stem cell transplant. Also I get to developing more computer skills to employ in the cancer association promotions. 

Learning how to care for others –

I get the warmth of being cared for simultaneously as I care for others. Every patient, survivor, and volunteer has his or her own story. I can be able to build up a deeper interpersonal relationship with them as long as I am willing to open up myself. I try to let them feel comfortable with me and there is actually somebody who really cares about them. Many patients are willing to share their experiences, feelings, worries, and fear. The point is whether I am willing to initiate the approach. Jesus Christ initiated to reach out mankind, setting a very good example for us. I’ve been trying to keep in contact with some patients-calling, emailing, or visiting them. They are delighted because they know that I remember them in my heart. Patients appreciate what I am doing and may set a life time friendship with me. One-on-one relationship takes plenty of time, manpower, and thoughts, but it’s worthwhile and very effective. 

Learning to help those in need –

There are a lot of challenges involved, investing in lots of time and energy, yet I feel contented and gratifying. I’ve helped a patient as a translator in a hospital once. We waited for almost four hours before we could see the doctor. Later we found out she had to go to another hospital for some other treatment and I accompanied her again. Also I’ve never imagined it would be helpful taking Tai Chi and praise dancing classes. Patients are glad to do the exercises with us during our monthly meetings. These exercises help them feeling relaxed and less stressful. 

Learning to witness the Lord –

Many stories are very touching, meantime, my story touches others as well. I could not stop my tears twice at meetings when I was trying to witness Him. I refrained from doing that later on because “though I stumble, I will not fall, for the Lord upholds me with His hand.” Once I realized the Holy Spirit was really touching a patient through my written testimony to her because she was still reading it when I went to visit her the next time. 

I used to be scared of talking in front of a large group. But since Tony’s passing, I’ve got many chances to stand up and witness the Lord. God gave me 14 months of training on how to take care of a cancer patient. He humorously arranges me to volunteer in a hospital, which is 34 miles round trip from my house, though He knows I hate driving and germs. I even came across a TB active patient once. 

Our God is an awesome God. I have been figuring out solutions to solve problems my way involuntarily. When my grandma was in a critical condition in August, I was very upset and distressed because she was not a Christian yet. I asked our pastor for help, hoping he would invite some pastors in Hong Kong to see her before I go back and talk to her. Amazingly God had His way…...she died the very next morning, the day I was planning to book the air ticket! I was heartbroken and I complained to God why He didn’t give me two more days – according to my plan, she would have accepted Christ if I had arrived by her side in time. 

Then my sisters called and confirmed that grandma had already told a church coworker some time ago that she believed. I told her about Christ and brought her to my friend’s church when I was in Hong Kong two years ago. What I did not know was the good Lord had actually been working on her! Even my non-Christian brother and sisters started to appreciate our God. They said everything seemed to have been planned so well - from getting grandma to the hospital without delay to her funeral - the incredible part was they hardly knew anybody in the memorial service since most attendants were from that church. They also told me grandma looked like a baby, with her skin turning fair and soft by the time she passed away. She was never in a coma and she didn’t have any pain or medication. It was just like she was sleeping peacefully on her way home in heaven. Sing Hallelujah to the Lord! The incidence reminded me once again that His way is higher than my way and His thoughts than my thoughts. I’m sooooooo sorry, Lord! 

Apostle Paul talked about a faithful soldier, a victorious athlete, and a hardworking farmer… will get the victor’s crown in heaven if one pays the price for it. Holding onto God’s faithful promises, I’ll be courageous to face all challenges and trials he put me through. Affliction and pain are temporary, God and His truth is eternal. This glorious truth of the blessed God is worth for us to keep and tell. In this way, we will not be ungrateful for the gospel He entrusted to us. 

I have blessedly and securely gone through hurricane Ike. However, God is leading me through another hurricane. “The battle is the Lord’s”. He is the righteous Judge and he will win consequently. He will contend for me and vindicate me in His righteousness. I am ready to put on the armor of God and stand firm. I’m enduring all hardship with a joyful heart because I know God is sharing the bitterness and suffering with me. 

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; 
he delivers them from all their troubles. 
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, 
and saved those who are crushed in spirit. 
A righteous man may have many troubles, 
but the Lord delivers him from them all. Psalm 34: 17-19 

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; 
do not fret when men succeed in their ways, 
when they carry out their wicked schemes 
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; 
do not fret-it leads only to evil. 
For evil men will be cut off, 
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. Psalm 37: 7-9 

By faith I can survive every showdown with Satan. “….And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever, Amen.” (2 Timothy 4:17-18) 

Rossana Lai, November 2008