2017.05.02 Remain

Dear Friends:White Family picture April 15, 2017

Aien (Charity Grace) turns 18 (May 1, 11:42pm Canada time; May 2 11:42am Taiwan time). It seems only yesterday that we were in Xian, China. Hsiuman (my wife) was making trips back to Taiwan to check on her health: “Would the baby be healthy? Would cancer return to Hsiu-man’s body?” Definitely Aien has been a blessing from God.

Ten months have flew by since my family came to Canada to spend time caring for my mother and reconnecting with Aien. I am thankful each day for God’s blessing. The children enjoy school – their English level improves daily. Hsiuman’s enjoying Bible and ESL classes (3 days/week).

God has been using my mother’s dementia to refine our character and to make us more Christlike. It seems that my mother’s dementia, although difficult for her, is a blessing for our family. Her prayer: “LORD, help us to be thankful for everything, even though we don’t understand why it has to be this way.” is a model for how we need to trust God even when we don’t understand..

We pray for renewal of my mother’s mind – she is better than she was (certainly physically, but also mentally) when we returned to Canada last year. Last Saturday she was much clearer than normal which was nice. The side affect of this is that she felt she had no need for our care anymore!

Summarizing God’s teaching to me in 1 word: “remain (menō)” Remain in communion/ relationship with God. God has hit me with the same message in personal devotions, sermons (Sean on John 15), group Bible study (Blackaby’s Experiencing God) and life experience with mother and family. Actually this seems to be the essence of Jesus’ teaching – it is strange how this has drifted from my mind in the past few years. My wrong thinking can be summarized: “I desire to ‘Be involved in ministry’ but feel frustration that I am limited due to caring for my mother.” Jesus’s parable in Matthew 7: “So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” The fruits, what others see, reflect the inner quality of life and our relationship with the Father – it is impossible for a healthy tree to have bad fruit and a sick tree to have good fruit. God’s teaching for me is “Don’t be concerned and struggling to produce fruit but rather focus on remaining in God. The fruit will follow.”

Praise items...

  1. Hsiuman (?) -- from negativity in coming to Canada last June to enjoying her time here.
  2. Aien (18) – looking forward to university in the fall.
  3. Johann (almost 12) – piano, clarinet and basketball are his three interests. Language is a struggle.
  4. Lien (9) – gifted with many talents, but often lazy to work.
  5. Ruth (7) – rapid progress in language: enjoying both English and French.

Prayer: timing return to Taiwan Current plan: Aien stays in Canada, I return to Taiwan mid-August. Sharon and remaining 3 children’s return to Taiwan timing not yet confirmed.

Jonathon David White(白小明上)