A time to mourn and a time to dance…

So says Ecclesiastes 3:4, and yesterday’s funeral for the boy we all knew as 法蘭克 (pronounced as Fa-lan-ke, Frank) was in fact both combined, certainly it was a great celebration of his life!

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Frank was the happiest, most cheerful and fun-loving boy you could ever meet, full of laughter and always with some amazing acrobatic skill to show us or a new song to play us on his guitar. Two years ago, he attended my summer English class at Good Shepherd Church, Taipei City, and has been around, larger than life ever since….

Let’s face it, he was not a typical Taiwan high-school student, studious, quiet, shy and modest, instead he was lively, hilarious at times, a joker and a comedian ~ and he charmed us all!

Frank’s parents sadly divorced when he was young and he and his older brother lived with their devoted mother. But little by little they started to come along to Good Shepherd Church and get involved – Frank was baptised a few years ago, his mother got involved in the choir and music then in working there, and then his father was baptised and confirmed last year…

Two weeks ago, his parents celebrated what would have been their 20th wedding anniversary by coming back together again and holding a celebration in the church including blessing of rings – Frank proudly escorted his mother up the aisle, and so the newly-reconciled family began a new chapter of their life together…..

Except that exactly one weekend later, Frank collapsed and died while playing basketball, only a few days before his 17th birthday.  Turned out he had a serious heart condition which nobody ever knew about, and his life expectancy would not have gone beyond mid-30’s.  Praise God in fact that nobody knew – because knowing would have placed so many restrictions on his lifestyle, no sports, no acrobatics, no nothing energetic – and he would have been miserable.

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Yesterday’s funeral was a celebration of his life, mostly led by the Good Shepherd Youth Group and rector Rev. Lily Chang. Frank’s dream had always been to be able to invite his school friends to church, and yesterday they all came.  Lots and lots of them – so many!  There were well over 100, possibly nearer to 200 people there, mostly teenagers. Let’s pray that they were all moved by the joy and peace, the life and celebration of that service – it was such a wonderful testimony to the difference our faith makes in life, and ultimately too in death….
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A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…..

Thanking God for Frank’s life ~ and please do pray for his family and his friends….

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