Love Deeper, Love Sweeter

Horace Fan, Chinese Pastor

Port Moody Pacific Grace MB Church

I accepted Christ in Hong Kong while I was a teenager, yet I did not ever mature, never prayed to God for my future spouse. One day while I was on duty at the dormitory of Salvation Army, I noticed a new colleague by the name Lee. Other than being curious how she got her days off after getting on the job for a few days only, I never dreamed one day this would be the girl that eventually became my partner for life. God brought her into my life. We are now married for 35 years.

After leaving Salvation Army, I went on to study social work at Polytech University, and after graduating I was employed at Correctional Services as a correctional officer. After getting married, I was then sent to station at the Ma Po Ping Prison of Lantau Island. I still remember that day, my wife, who was pregnant then, took a long trip from the city to my work station to help me settle, and leaving together thereafter. The cell phones those years had no camera function, otherwise I could have taken pictures to show my daughter what it was like to her mother while she was yet un-born. These images can only exist in our memories nowadays.

Time to immigrate: after shedding tears at Kai Tak Airport, saying farewell to our parents and friends, my family stepped out on our journey to Vancouver. It was my wife, holding a rice cooker, stepped into the plane and stayed by me, watching me in watery eyes. From the day we stepped into our house in Coquitlam, it has been almost 30 years now, it is my wife who has been making sacrifices quietly, bringing up, watching our daughter grow, watching our family. In 1996, we got our son, this brought more work to her. One night in 2001, I wrote down the following:

It’s 11:00 pm, I can see my wife asleep, slumbering on the carpet against the sofa. I know she is truly exhausted. As I watch her, I cannot stop but thinking about the last ten plus years that she has put into our family, I can no longer hold my tears. Back then, she was the young woman who decided to entrust herself to me, a woman who has now spent her youth and blended her life into mine. Age has caught up with her, but has added a flavor of maturity due to past life events. Her hair that is in disarray only proves the lack of time for herself, adding a sense of need to be loved.

On the day of 20th wedding ceremony, I wrote her the following:

“On March 28, 2007, I bought her roses that are not supposed to last long, I bought her a ceramic portrait that is soon to break, to show my long-lasting unbreaking love. There are only two chairs in the portrait, there we sit and relax, chat about our lives, discuss about God’s matters, argumentative at times but can be quiet in other moments, silently watching God’s creation. One of us, either you or me, may part early, but do not fear, God will fill in the blank, because He walks all the way with us.”

In May of that same year, she got cancer. I still remember the time after she got her results, the moment she got into the car heading home, by the look of her I already knew it. “Yes, I got it”, that is what she said, we were speechless, we hugged each other. The morning of May 30th, while we were waiting at the reception area of Eagle Ridge Hospital, missioner Chun Kwok Ma came and offered us much needed prayers, the hospital staff then came and accompanied my wife into pre-op room. When time came, I was supposed to leave, I watched my wife at the elevator, accompanied by nursing staff, and one of them said softly, “Give your honey a kiss before the operation!” My wife then stepped forward and we hugged and I gave her a kiss on her cheek before letting go of my hands. She was then accompanied by the staff into the elevator, she turned around one more time before the elevator door closed. I still remember her eyes at that moment. I went out to the hospital cafeteria by myself, bought myself breakfast, got a seat, picked up a coffee, closed my eyes, seeing my wife on the operation table, tears came out of my eyes.

My wife is strong. With God’s grace, she endured all chemotherapies, all kinds of medications, and eventually got back to her life.

In 2014, she accompanied me to visit my parents in Hong Kong, and later we took trip to Hangzhou, leaving a sweet memory at the lake front of Xihu. That same year, I was admitted to Canada Chinese Seminary, and graduated in 2019, she then became a pastor’s wife. In 2020, we got our first grandson and she became a grandma. For her birthday this year, I particularly bought her roses numbered to match her age, and this time she kissed me on my cheek!

Dear heavenly father, I have nothing to repay you, not only that you have given me my Savior, you have also given me a wife who shares the walk of my life. Thank you for healing her. All my services, and all of me that people see, have always shadowed her and her support. May our one-hearted service be acceptable in Your eyes, glory be to Your Name!