Farewell, Till We Meet Again

By Rick Kirk

Dedicated to sister Helena Tan Guad Dee, 61 years.

Sister Helena Tan Guad Dee was baptised into Christ on July 30, 1983. She got to know Jesus, the Son of God, through her husband Chris Ooi.

Since then, she had been a faithful Christian serving as a Sunday School teacher for many years, especially in the Cradle Roll for young babies. She also served as one of the editors of The Christian Message, the weekly bulletin of the Klang Church of Christ. Her contributions in these areas were exemplary because of her love for babies, and passion for careful and accurate information in the bulletin.

Helena was not afraid to speak her mind. Her open, honest and gentle demeanor endeared her to many of us. She lived very much as encouraged in 1 Peter 3:1-6. She was  a submissive wife, chaste and simple in her fear of the Lord, quietly attired and most of all, she fully trusted God. She advised the young women in the church (Titus 2:4) and sometimes offered her humble motherly opinion to some men as a sister in Christ due to her deep concern for their spiritual welfare.

Her spirit, trust and faith in Jesus never waned at any time despite the pain, suffering and agony she underwent. Even when she had to ask for more pain killers during her last hour, she remained strong. On the occasions when my wife and I visited her at home or the hospital, she never once complained “Why me?” In fact she was very positive in her outlook. She knew very well that there is a much better place she was heading to, into the bosom of Abraham.

Sister Helena Tan Guad Dee passed away on Monday, May 15, 2017. It was exactly a month to the day when her son, Daniel, was married. She had very much wished to be present at the wedding reception even though she was going through a very difficult period in her life. She was fighting the dreaded big C. From her hospital bed, she had planned and requested leave for a few days off so that she can attend the wedding of her son. Her appeal was granted. However, a day or two before the wedding she was taken ill and had to be hospitalized again. She missed the auspicious event and was content to watch the lunch reception through a live coverage arranged by her daughter, Debbie.

In the last six months, Chris and Debbie were at Helena’s side 24/7. They took turns to keep her company to tend to her needs. Debbie endured the night shifts, sleeping by the corridor on a makeshift bed in the hospital. She rested during the day when Chris took over the ministering. Their love, dedication and commitment in their care and attention to Helena is truly heartwarming. Despite the demands of tending to Helena, Chris and Debbie always have a cheerful countenance about them.

Chris lived as exhorted in Col 3:19:“Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.” And Debbie is a great example of living as commanded in verse 20: “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord” and Matt 15:4: “For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother.”

Farewell, sister Helena. It has been our humble and honored privilege to know you. You are a sister in Christ who had shown us a fine example of what it means to remain faithful unto death. Till we meet again at Jesus feet.