Monday, March 09, 2009

"Hau shufu"

That means, "Very comfortable..." in Chinese. But the expression is often used even to refer to any situation when you feel right at home.

That's how I felt today, visiting with my very dear friend Jean Lin. Jean was my very first translator during our weekly Bible studies. She was also the head of the art department, so over time, we got to work together very closely. We also became very good friends and prayer partners. Jean got to travel to South Africa on a work trip with another friend (Silvija) and I, and over the years, her family grew very dear to my heart. In fact, her dad shared his coveted beef noodle soup starter with me. :)

Today, I got to sit down and catch up with Jean. It's been years. (I very briefly saw her when I was on the island three-and-a-half years ago en route to Kenya.) But I hadn't seen her otherwise, nor have I heard much from this super-super-busy woman. Turns out she's spent much of the past few years doing ministry in Moscow. As we sat and visited, two hours passed in the blink of an eye. We laughed together at memories of when we first became friends, when I was a naive 25-year-old, and rejoiced together about news of years of prayers having been answered.

I look forward to catching up with her family soon, before Jean heads back to Moscow for a while. But for now, it did my heart well to visit with someone who's known me well, who's tread deep tracks in my heart, who has prayed much for me and with me.

And as we sat and prayed together in Starbucks, Jean's hands as strong as her faith, holding mine in prayer, simple tears of joy rolled down my cheeks. As we said "So long," I had a smile on my face and in my heart.

I know I won't get to see Jean much. It's just like that. But spending a couple of hours visiting with a dear old friend was comfortable. Very, very comfortable.

Jean (standing in the back) with friends and Bible study group members. This photo was taken in January 1996.

In February of that same year, Jean traveled to South Africa with me, and got to visit my cousin Andries and his family on their corn farm. (That's his son Tielman next to Jean.)


  1. I feel so honored I'm in that Bible Study photo! :) :) Was that... really... 15... years ago?!?!?!

  2. Yip, that makes me 25 in the photo, and you? You were still in high school, back from England for a visit, eh? (Or was it Japan then?)

  3. aww, that's awesome. :) i'm so glad you were able to spend some refreshing time with dear beauty. :)

  4. Beautiful. Treasures of the heart. Thanks for sharing. And looking forward to getting to know you more now that we're on the same island. :)