Author Archive

There’s no place like home (x3)

Li Si Cai home again3

For those who watched The Wizard of Oz and felt the joy and satisfaction that Dorothy felt, after that long journey, when she finally got to click her shoes and go home, let me just say that’s how I felt when I got to see LSC resting, working, living in the home he’s grown up in and loved all his life. I want to thank all of you who walked with LSC through this journey, praying for him, asking about him, as he got sick, got to Kunming, got treatment and got to go home all over again. This is the second time LSC has travelled this road from relapse to recovery. And I’ll be honest, there is, within my heart, along with the joy and gratitude that he is healed, a fear that there will be a third or even a fourth time. And that is why I am asking that, as you pray for LSC, you will pray not merely that he stays well mentally. Please pray that he can be like Horatio Spafford, who in the depths of his sorrow and darkness of circumstance, cried out “It is well wilth my soul”. I do not know how many times LSC will relapse. I do not know how many times he will get better only to get worse. But I do know we can be pr-ing that he hopes in our Father all day long. And that his parents will do the same. That we hope in what is eternal, and in doing so, hallow His name.


A Factitious Disorder?

The imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit

The imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit


A faithful and loving husband

A faithful and loving husband


The filial son

The filial son


Daughter-in-law, grand daughter

Daughter-in-law, grand daughter


I’ve included everyone’s pictures in this post, from caring field-worker, to concerned husband, to filial children. And left out my patient’s picture. I am baffled. She was suffering from schizophrenia and recovering so well. She was conversing, helping around the house, living what I thought was a fruitful and joyful life with her supportive family. Then recently they called me saying she was suffering from tremors. She could no longer get out of bed. She was very discouraged.
When we visited I realized every time I was able to distract her she would stop shaking. If she was deep in thought or conversation, the tremors would go away. I’ve seen this in several of our women patients and one male patient. I don’t understand this very well. When they are this way, their entire family rallies around them, family members have to work extra hard because they now have also to perform the chores of their loved one whose ‘ill’. Meanwhile the caregivers themselves are exhausted, wearied from the extra chores and burdens, wondering if the person they are caring for will ever get well.
I don’t really know how to react to this. How should we pr for such patients and friends? What would be helpful behaviour and response?


He Di Hua

Meet my friend HDH

Meet my friend HDH


HeDiHua lovingly watches over his brother
HeDiHua lovingly watches over his brother 2HeDiHua group picFor some reason I felt really discouraged hearing the story of yet another child who had to give up going to school to look after a younger brother. HDH obviously loves his brother. Everything we gave him he’d let his brother go at it first. I want so much to believe his sacrifice (of not getting an education) will not be in vain. That this younger brother (ten times brattier and more willful) will cherish what has been done for him.


for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard

measuring tapes and levellers

measuring tapes and levellers

they stayed till 2 in the morning for 2 nights.

they stayed till 2 in the morning for 2 nights.

food and beverage

food and beverage

many said the photos were exquisite!

many said the photos were exquisite!

moving portraits

moving portraits

i wish all of them could have been there!

i wish all of them could have been there!

i hope James makes it someday to Fugong too

i hope James makes it someday to Fugong too

But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard."

But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”


It took me a long time to put this up. What to say when you hear others come up to tell you their own powerful stories of loss and hope and grief? What to say when you ask Him to lift Himself up in this and then He does what you’ve asked and shines so bright and dazzling? What to say when you experience grace upon grace?
I arrived back in FG yesterday only to be told stories of the amazing things that have happened to some of our patients. Most of them were not in the exhibition photos because they’d felt or were really too ill to come to our thanksgiving cum photo-taking celebrations. But to be told that they were joyfully doing meaningful work (instead of laying in bed ruminating), or reading the good book on their own, or enthusiastically singing hymns and learning to sing them better, and all while I was away too! Under the capable servant-hearted hands of our project leader LXH, and our cheerful colleagues, our patients have flourished.
May we, whether as patients experiencing His mercies new every morning, or as workers in the field for our Lord of the harvest, hallow His name everyday.


Don’t waste your mental illness

A Deng and a very relaxed, relieved dad

A Deng and a very relaxed, relieved dad


I visited A Deng yesterday. He has completed 8 sessions of ECT and doctors feel treatment has been successful. His “Ah Ba” as you can see from the picture is relieved and rested and all smiles. Though he feels that Ah Deng still speaks very haltingly, he is much better in every other aspect. Both would like to return to their home in LMZK as soon as possible.
Yesterday I asked A Deng what he’d been doing during his free time in the hospital. He talked about reading the book. But not in Lisu because he can articulate the words but not understand the meaning. He understands it better in Chinese.
His younger brother, on the other hand, who’d come to Kmg to help take care of A Deng, has not been doing so well. He spent most of his time drinking, and then trying to pick fights. His dad had no choice but to send him home.
Thank you so much for remembering this family all these months. A Deng himself is aware that many of been lifting him up. He thanks all of you too.


Da Gong

da gongda gong2
Today my tender-hearted nine year old friend told me that some 60 men and women from our village left home to find work in far off provinces. He said his class mates, whose parents have gone, must be feeling sad and lonely. Another of our wise and capable 10 year friend has had her mother leave them 2 years before, then her step-mother recently (as a result of being rejected by her husband), and now her own father just today.

These days, there are more children ‘orphaned’ by parents going off to find work in hopes of making loads of money, than death or divorce or desertion.

What do we do?


Updates on Li Si Cai

Li Si Cai in hospital
For those who have been praying for Ah Deng, a heartfelt thanks. Ah Deng has had 2 ECT (electro-convulsive therapy) treatments so far. He’s better. Starting to speak and eat, although doctors have noted that the improvements (he suffers from catatonic schizophrenia) are not as great as they expected. So they have slated him for 8 more ECT sessions.

If anyone wonders if ECT today is like anything portrayed on One Flew Over the CUckoo’s Nest, well, it’s not quite the same. For one, much more is done today to ensure that the patient is comfortable and not in pain. As you lift him up please also remember his father who cares for him all round the clock. We pray too that they will lift Him up in the hospital, so that patients and doctors alike may see the love and devotion of Ah Deng and his family and know our Father in heaven.


A K7 BE


FSM is growing into a beauty inside and out. When I first met KLB I couldn’t tell if she was a boy or girl. Now she is the spunkiest, girliest girl I know and love. Her niece Ana is growing into a beauty too.


The Goose is Getting Fat…


We are celebrating YE-SU Vn PV in a few weeks time. ‘A’ decided this is the year she will join in the dancing with our church ladies. We have a very stern teacher and almost everyone takes learning the moves very seriously. Well…almost everyone…


Not Wasting Her Cancer


A precious friend whom we got to know incidentally in October in our county hospital. Our patient and friend A Deng had been there because his catatonia was presenting itself in him not eating or drinking. That’s when we met Ma You (Lisu for ‘Auntie). Her husband asked us if anything else could be done for her g.i problems. Not knowing how serious her condition, we asked the doctors. That’s when we found out she was suffering from cancer. And that there was nothing more the doctors could do for her.
In the last few weeks we’ve witness her doubt her own salvation. Her husband and her own confidence had been shaken by a ‘prophet’ who told her she had offended demons many years before because she had not killed a pig the right way. She wondered if all her sins were truly forgiven. There have been moments when she was in excruciating pain. Three days ago she was also bleeding internally. But what wonderful opportunity to work out her S with fear and trembling. Today she said although she does not dance nor really enjoy it, she loves singing the hymns. And now to see her place her trust in Him.
The patients in the same ward as her come and go. But they see her hope is in the One who never changes. They see her clinging on to Him, praising Him, lifting Him. Some are indifferent. Others wonder why she would continue to trust Him when He does not seem to be healing her. Many are encouraged and moved.
She is certainly not wasting her cancer. Neither should we waste the moments in our lives where we can lift Him high in times of suffering and pain.