Dear brothers, sisters and friends,
As I write this letter, I suddenly remembered that it has now been 25 years since I graduated from Mac (1991 July )and left Canada for Asia. 25 years: a quarter of a century. It only seems like yesterday. I remember the laying on of hands at old Calvary Baptist Church Oakville (Now Harvest Bible Chapel). I remember saying goodbye to friends at Hamilton Chinese Christian Fellowship and collegues at McMaster. I remember heading to China via Taiwan and Hong Kong. In Taiwan I met a young lady Xiuman Wu and was introduced by an English language student Esther to a couple (Barnabus Wang Tian You and his wife Priscilla): all people who would play an important role in my life. I remember arriving in Hong Kong where I expected to receive from Tsing-Hua University the promised form necessary to finish processing my visa to China. Instead, a phone call to Beijing resulted in the answer: funding for your position was denied. I remember the confusion that set into my heart but the encouragement I received from brothers and sisters: especially Becky, Richard, Tracy, Timothy & Raindy, to name a few. Wonderful memories....
Another school year is about to begin. This year marks a big change from the previous year. As a family, we have decided to take a one-year leave of absence from work in Taiwan. My mother remains at St. Joseph's Villa, but we are also trying to take her out to her house in Bronte on weekends when the regular staff is not in. We are visiting during the week as the staffing at St. Joseph's Villa lacks the time necessary to care for so many patients.
Thanks to God:
We have a chance to come back together as a family (our eldest daughter (Aien) is back with us after 2 years of living with John and Sherry Livingstone and helping to care for my mother). Xiuman (my wife) is thankful that we are staying, this time, at my mother's house in Bronte (rather than Hamilton). This is much easier for her than staying at our house in Hamilton as other people are living there as well and we can bring my mother out here. The children are happy. Sharon is happy. She is proud that she is much thinner (lost 5kg, 11 lbs) and is looking good (lots of exercise: biking not motorbiking; no Taiwan snacks just Oatmeal for breakfast; some lunchtime fasting and prayer; less time on internet). The children are happy. Sharon is happy. (I am tired but happy!)
Aien attended summer school to complete her Grade 12 English. The younger children attended a free English literacy day camp (sponsored by the Rotary club) for 3 weeks, a Christian camp (Camp Cherith) for 1 week, and 2 weeks of Vacation Bible School (VBS). The last week of VBS was at Wentworth Baptist Church (downtown Hamilton). I had the joy of serving with my daughter at the VBS. (See picture). Aien also passed her next level of driving test and can now drive the car by herself!
Have had my mother out from the Long Term Care Facility on average about 3 days per week. It is sad to see how dementia is affecting my mother. Sometimes she is clear. Mother: "it is awful, it is awful" Jon:"What?" Mother: "this disease that I have"/. She will be singing the hymns in church from memory. Other times, she has no idea where she is and who we are. I really think this is good for our children to be able to interact regularly with their grandmother. As my sister Janette says, "little eyes are watching". I pray that in the way we treat our elders they will see Christ in us. Praises:
1) she no longer needs a wheelchair and is walking again. 2) After loosing much weight she is gaining it again.
- our family will be faithful in doing what God wishes us to do in each day.
- I will be courageous in sharing my faith.
- Short term: In September, I will return to Taiwan for a few weeks to help my students. Please remember my wife as she cares for the 3 younger children.
- Xiuman's adaption to Canada. Generally she is quite happy although LINE messages from Taiwan tend to upset her on occasions especially as related to education.
- One year later: Reintegration children's education in Taiwan system after 1 year (Big concern for Xiuman and one on which we have disagreements).
Jonathon David White(白小明上)