Blog, Laimi Caah, Open Letters

my grandma, a strong woman of God.

February 28, 2012

12:18 am, we are still waiting to hear back from Burma to see how my grandma is doing. and when i say ‘waiting’, it only means one thing. one thing that will keep us separate physically for eternal. the doctors have given up. all the medical equipments in the room are all taken away. last time i heard, she was throwing up in blood. now, she is barely breathing. she wouldn’t let go of her life easily because she never did! she is not the type who will let go of things easily. life has taught her so much about perseverance, and why not use it until her last breathe? that is my grandmother.

there are just three things that i want to attribute about my grandma (in Chin-Burmese, i call her ‘Ka Pi’):

a widow: my grandpa passed away when i was about four, i think. i was the first born of my grandma’s grandchildren because my mother got married earlier than all her siblings. Ka Pi then took care of all her seven children by herself. my grandpa was set up by his co-worker and was accused of taking money from the school that he worked for, so the judge took away whatever we owned, and it left my family just empty-handed. my mother still blames on this accusation that it was the reason why my grandpa died in distress. Chin is a small state in Burma, and the town we lived in was even smaller, and news spread so fast. everyone was making fun of her children and especially this widow. my grandma, with her tears and sweats, she raised her children. she would go to India on foot to do business and feed her family, no she would not give up. she would keep seeking ways and passing through out days. my mom would tell me that even though my grandpa was gone, it was as if he never left because grandma definitely filled up the duty as a father too. looking up to my grandma, my mom learned to stand up for herself and self-dependence. my grandmother – she was a mother, a father and a widow.

a prayer warrior: life was hard for my family. if you ask me how i get to be where i am right now, i would tell you that it is all through Ka Pi’s prayers. raising up her children included sending one to a relative’s house in the city for a better life, and her two sons becoming the drunkards of town. it was not easy, you know. the only thing she could have ever depended was her God. she never stopped praying for her family to be blessed. she asked for blessings and peace because she needed them. her prayers always have ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’ because she knows that God is the faithful One who never fails. eventually God answered this widow’s prayers, and poured out His blessings like overflowing!!! my uncle in the city got a job as a ship Captain in Singapore, then he got his other brothers and my father on that ship. (that time, being a sailor was just epic). people knew… they knew… it was nothing but this widow’s prayer that we received this blessing, and they could see that from her lifestyle and characters. but she never boasted in anything. her children told her to stop working, so she dedicated her life more towards the church. i am not gonna forget my two lost uncles in this redemptive story. it was also her prayers that intervened their salvation because they came back home in 8 years (separately) in total repentance. no one would have ever thought of them coming to see the Light. we didn’t see them for years after they left the house and their mom in tears. even i, the youngest in the house, had a hard time forgiving them for what they had done, but Ka Pi embraced them. the prodigal sons returned. once again, everyone knew it was only through the cries of this broken widow.
even after we settled down in the city, she never got lazy because she knows what is essential for her life. she would get up around 6am and do a prayer-walk around the house for an hour until everyone is awake. she would praise God mostly. for she had tasted and seen that the Lord was God to her. she would instruct the cooking and shopping in the morning, and it was right about her quiet time alone with the Lord. sometimes, she would come out from the room soaking wet in tears. sigh….i didn’t know praying was that important. she would lead family worship every night, and she wouldn’t end the prayer time without blessing everyone in the house on their heads. my grandmother – she waited, praised, and blessed the Lord.

foundation in Word: in her free times, she could care so little about entertainment. she just read and read and read. her favorite time is around 3 pm when the Sun is cooling down a bit through the horizon. it put up some lights on our porch and to the living Word of God on her hands. she would take a ruler to underline her favorite lines in the bible though i see the underlinings in every page. She studied the Word so carefully. she would read it with her lips moving without making a sound, but it is so good, she would read it out loud. when i got home from school around that time, i would lay my head on her lap and she would read the bible. she had read it so many times that she did not need a verse packet to memorize it; she just knew where the verses were. she was old school and she was so cool. from many verses that she had read to me or the family, there was one verse that i remembered very specifically. it was the time that she really wanted to visit the little town that she used to live. however, she did not have a place to stay, she gave our house to the church’s pastor there.
when she came back to the city, she shared, “when i went back, i felt like i got very old. i was growing weary and i didn’t feel the same anymore. everything was so tiring, so i asked God for strength. and then God spoke to me through this verse Isaiah 40:31 Sihmanhsehlaw Bawipa aa bochanmi cu thazang thar an la.Mupi bangin an zuang lai; an tlik tikah an baa lai lo, an kal tik zongah an tha a di lai lo, and i feel renewed as an eagle soaring in the sky right now. God definitely rejuvenated me – i feel so light and ready to do more Kingdom works right now.” Looking at the way she was so convicted from the word, the way she cherished it, and the way she was so lifted up, never would i have ever wanted to desire the Word in my life at that moment. it changed me somehow although my heart was so hardened to even open the bible to really read and study like Ka Pi. my grandmother – the bible was her salvation, shelter and strength.

2:10 am, i am still waiting for the call from my mom. this is so hard to wait for the bad news. you can’t be excited waiting for the bad news because you know it is just going to be bad news! how about the Good News? can we be excited about it when it is freely offered to us and that we don’t even have to wait? through the blood of Christ, we have been given this good news that we can all saved by faith. i am glad Ka Pi accepted the good news long before my life sprouts. For 2 Corinthians 5:1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands, i know i will see her in heaven one day.
although my Spirit longs to have peace that she is in the best place i could ever imagine, my eyes long to see her for one last time. when i talked to her on the phone around 10pm, she was just silent. i could hear people crying in the background my mom just put the phone on her ear so that she might hear it. my last words to her were, “let go of this world in peace and see the Father in heaven. i love you. i am thankful for you. i will try to pray as much as you pray for our family. you have taught me so much…. and one thing, if you could tell me how beautiful it is in heaven, please do. i will see you in heaven.” she named me, ‘Van Lian Ceu’ after the dwelling place of our God. the names means Big Bright Heaven, and i believe that is where she is going.

10:18 am, my dad called saying your grandma had passed away. you know, i was close to her more than my mom. she was there when my mom left town. she was there when i was sick. she was there when i needed someone to sleep next to. when i am mourning though, i am just imaging her being in a place which i cannot even imagine. at the foot of God, that is a sure place to be at. i don’t want to let go of her because i am a human, and i want to keep her on this earth. but God said that it was time. my grandmother – she was a believer, she was a hero, and she is now home.  

if you are reading this, please pray for my family. and also pray for yourself that you could become a man or woman of God as well. i will surely do the same. if you have not accepted Christ, it is your choice to soften your heart and ask God for help, but i do want to see you one day when this life is over though. if you are praying for your friends or family who still haven’t accepted Christ yet, look at my grandma’s prayers – she did not even need to talk to her two lost sons – God listens to the prayers of the broken and brings the lost home. just pray and never give up.

Hebrews 13:20-21 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
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8 Comments

  • Reply joelsongphotography February 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    thanks for sharing this van! praying for you and family.

  • Reply dosanaa February 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    thanks joel!!!

  • Reply naly February 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    hi van, i’m so sorry to hear about your loss. but what an amazing role model God sovereignly placed in your life. I hope it encourages and challenges you to live a life set apart for Him, exactly as your ka pi did 🙂 hope you guys are doing okay

  • Reply Tim February 28, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Your grandma’s life is very inspiring. Thanks for writing this. Stay strong bro. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  • Reply Aileen February 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    beautiful story, wonderfully written. her life was certainly a blessing. thank you so, so much for sharing this! my prayers are with you and your family : )

  • Reply Eddie February 29, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Van, every drop of our earnest prayer is written in the book of heaven, Oh how faithful is our Father in heaven. I thank God for blessing you with brave prayer warrior grandmother. Our Father in heaven knows what is the best for His children. I will pray for you and your family to seek hard after His heart and for His Holiness, goodness, blessings and joy to fill your life. “In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.”Psalm 37:19 because Isiah 41:10 brother! and God will make you Isaiah 40:31.
    Glory to our Father in Heaven. Blessings,

  • Reply Esteban March 3, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Praise God for the testimony of your grandma! Keep spreading it bro! =D

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