there are some people who may not be close to you in terms of age, personality or stage of life, but still make a huge impact on you. Jieru is one of those people. (:
my first memory of her was when she sat in my follow up with Zhilin. every single follow up, no matter how busy she was, she would be there. I remember her telling me that I was so powerful to come for follow up despite having a chinese test the next day. i was so touched because I knew she did not just care whether i turned up or not, but she cared about what I was going through, even to the detail of what was going on in my academic life.
she was the one who told me that “[I am] a daughter of God, in whom He is well pleased” – I cherish these words till today because this sentence was the truth that first unlocked the chains of insecurity over my life.
D5 – when Jieru was a CGL and I had the privilege of sitting in CG with her. she always preached, and still preaches, with such faith and conviction, it captivated me. because more than just delivering the sermon well, there was always such heart, such anointing, and she always made sure the CG encountered God together. never did she compromise or give anything less than her best.
she is the one who always speaks into my life during outings – she brought me to Javier’s knowing I like salad; she brought me to Red Mango knowing I like yogurt; she arranges running outings with me knowing I like running.
she is the one who helped me see beyond my situation when I felt helpless and didn’t know what to do.
she is the one who assured me of my vision and my direction when I was lost and was unsure if I had a place anywhere.
she is the one who told me how to guard my heart when I didn’t even know anything was about to go wrong.
she is the one who replied my emails with words of affirmation.
she is the one who texts me whenever she knows something is wrong and gives me invaluable advice, encouraging me.
she is the one who thought of me in Australia when she was on a vacation and bought me earrings that she knew I would love.
she is the one who gave me opportunities to serve despite my shortcomings and limitations.
she is the one who says she believes in me and constantly shows that she means it.
i’m not sure why, but I remember very vividly during my last follow up lesson all the way back in 2009 – Jieru & Zhilin asked me about my top 10 favourite things and I said one of them was my (ex) dream to go to Oxford University. Jieru looked into my eyes and before she said anything, i could see an expression on her face that I’ve never seen before. at that time I couldn’t really decipher what it was, but I felt loved, somehow.
today, i know that it is because she saw and she knew, that my dream to go to Oxford was simply something I said because I had no other purpose aside from achieving success in my life. Jieru saw that there was a void inside of me – and she saw a need to fill it with the love of Jesus.
and Jieru, you did. and all I can say is thank you, thank you, and thank you. you have showed me what it means to love, and so many more things I cannot even begin to name. you are one of the best role models anyone can ever have in their lives, and i am so so so grateful for you. it is my privilege to build LR zone and hoGc together with you, Pastors and the other leaders. i love you Jieru! (: happy birthday.