Christmas Letter 2020

Dear Family & Friends,
I celebrated my birthday with my relatives at a Shanghai restaurant, and
then prepared to return to my home in the US a few days later. My cousin,
Jing Bo, arrived at the Asset Hotel to take me to the airport, and we said good-
bye at the gate. I had passed through customs and had two hours before
boarding my flight. I decided to take a walk to look around and read the
schedule for departures. I asked a foreign gentleman to keep an eye on my
bag and got up to walk around. When I went back, I did not see the man or my
travel bag.
I asked a few people around the area and then started to panic. I prayed
Psalm 23 for the Lord to help me. Then I heard a cleaning lady calling me–to
let me know she saw it sitting on the seat near the ticket agent, and I found it.
A great relief came over me, and I decided to enter a restaurant and have a
bowl of soup (US $6.00).
I had a pleasant flight and arrived at my apartment at 8 pm the next
evening. I thanked God for making it possible to spend time with my relatives
and catch up on our lives. I also tried to give away calendars and gospel tracts
to strangers I met. I know I still have so much to do to finish organizing my
resources, and my prayer is always to love God more and serve Him better.
When I asked my neighbor, Mrs. Chau, for my keys, she told me that my
houseguest, Miss Bi, had tried to get in my apartment with two suitcases. I
was not expecting her until February and was wondering what to do. When I
first met her at the Chinese Missionary Baptist Church, I thought the Lord had
sent me a co-worker to organize my mother’s sermon notes. She still left a
suitcase in my basement storage unit.
I wrote my testimony as follows: “I believe I have seen Jesus at work
today. I texted Miss Bi that I hoped to see her today or next Sunday at Church
of NY Chinatown. I did not look at my phone until after the worship service. I
was growing in faith, joining in the singing, and hearing a good message on
evangelism and prayer. When I checked my phone, I found a message from
Miss Bi stating that she had returned to China—just like someone released
from a prison sentence. Jane (my friend from IRS) and I had lunch (in
Chinatown) and visited Julie. . .” (01-16-2020).
I am keeping some of her belongings in my storage. I have started to go
down in the mornings to clean up all my books, magazines, etc.– making room
for my resources. With time on my hands, I hope to utilize some of my
mother’s sermons for others in the mission field. But I have learned, from past
failures, that my times are in God’s hands.
In 2020, I failed to keep up with my schedule of activities, including
volunteering at the 9/11 Memorial/Museum, swimming once or twice a week, worship services every Sunday, and visiting a massage therapist.
Starting in Spring and continuing until the Autumn, I got up early to walk
daily in my neighborhood. I enjoyed the fresh air, meeting others walking, and
the opportunity to help some homeless people sitting on benches. I was able
to give away some bags of food, and as the Spirit guided me, to share the
gospel by reading messages from tracts.
As the weather turned colder, I could no longer take my walks; but the
Lord opened a door for me to go back to the gym when it reopened in October.
I was able to visit a doctor and myu massage therapist in Chinatown for my
health needs.
With the help of Pastor Andrew Yu and his granddaughter, Rebecca, my
book was finally published by Zulon Press. I was paying visits to Pastor’s wife,
Julie, at the nursing home for the past two years; and I had been speaking with
her family about my book. Pastor wrote a “foreword,” and Rebecca was my
editor.
I have received many accolades from people including Beth Novel,
Morris Tyson, Annie Tsang, Marjorie Tchang, Fong Wai Lee, Joy Walker, etc. As
Beth noted, it is an accomplishment. I hope you all are proud of my book. To
order a book or an e-book, please go to: http://www.zulonpress.com/bookstore
Obtaining permission from my social worker, Joanne, I registered to
attend two online courses at the Redeemer Counseling Service. One evening I
fell asleep as I listened to a sermon on my listening device, and I had a pleasant
dream. I decided to write another Christmas letter.
The Pastor that I was listening to on the radio was speaking about a
book written by Bertrand Russell against the Christian faith. I remember I
wrote a term paper to refute his message. His book was entitled, “Why I Am
Not a Christian.” My article was entitled, “Why I Am a Christian.”

I wrote the following in my epilogue for my book: “One late evening shortly afterward, I was packing to go to my parents’ home for the summer.  I had just finished writing my paper and still had an exam to take.  Slowly, an intense awareness developed.  I was aware of the peaceful presence of the Lord in the room. 

From the book written by Helen Roseveare entitled “Give Me This Mountain, and He Gave Us a Valley,” I read about a similar experience.  She described it as follows: “Suddenly I now knew… He who was calling me on to service overseas was standing there, gently smiling, telling me to look forward and upward, not backward and inward.”

I look forward to another year as I am learning to follow His plan for my life. “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)—wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2021!   

Sincerely in Christ, 

Helen Min-yen Shao

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s