By Tek Chong
In the last few weeks, we farewelled several well-known Christian leaders like Ravi Zacharias & David Pawson who have gone home to their reward. I also farewelled a beloved long-time friend Jeanette Hui. I worked together with Jeanette for several years in Melaka Wesley Church, Asian Beacon and Pusat Latihan Kristian Melaka (PLKM, the English section which was later to become the Malaysian Bible Seminary).
It is Jeanette’s voice from the WhatsApp audio……. gentle & soft with a trace of breathlessness. It was a farewell message – a solemn goodbye. But I could detect a strong note of expectancy… ‘see you there’. She is going before us and would wait for us at the heavenly banquet hall to attend the promised wedding feast of the Lamb.
“Hi, everyone, I want to thank you so much for your prayer, your love & concern. Now I think the time has come for me to go. Goodbye see you all there. Love. Jeanette.”
We knew Jeanette was not feeling well for some time. She was in pain. Her legs were swelling. Her surgeon wanted to have a long, tedious surgical procedure with possible months of rehabilitation.
Reports came that she was deteriorating rapidly. Her kidneys were failing. Then news came that she has made a decision not to undergo dialysis. She would go to the hospice.
Hence the gentle farewell voice message.
In the hospice she slept peacefully most of the time . But she remained alert & lucid . Her niece wrote:
“ Her attending physician said she is so amazed (& sad) that J is so calm, smiling and dignified while facing such a battle of pain and knowing her condition of imminent death. She is the first such patient she has come across. She is not able as a doctor ( therapeutic boundary) to express her love for J but asked me to let her know.”
In her deteriorating condition, in between her sleeping, she enjoyed her oolong tea listening to her favourite hymn “ What a friend we have in Jesus.”
On 25 April, Jeanette went home peacefully. Because of the covid19 lockdown, a private family funeral cremation service was held on 27 April. A memorial service is planned for later.
Jeanette left Melaka to get her Masters degree from Wheaton College US. Then she joined the staff of Discipleship Training Centre of Singapore, lecturing in Biblical Theology, Introduction to Asian Religions, Old Testament, etc.
As DTC promoted the vision of Christian community living for the students, Jeanette became a friend, teacher, mentor, advisor and even the grandmother to the hundreds of christian pastors, church leaders and their families from many nations. Even when she was in severe pain, in the last few weeks before her admission to hospital, she was entertaining her students in her home.
Dr Tek CHONG was the editor of Asian Beacon and chairman of PLKM who worked closely with Jeanette when they lived in Melaka in the 1970s.