Friday, January 02, 2009
A TRIBUTE – ONE MISSIONARY TO ANOTHER
Brudder, we miss you.
Frank Teo, a friend of mine, and a missionary to Pakistan passed away recently. I had a chance to meet up with his 2 sons, wife Mabel, Kenny, the brother & Frank's mum during the wake and funeral.
Frank and I spoke the same language when it came to missions. One matter close to our hearts was the deep concern for the overall well being of the country where the Lord had called us to serve. I never understood his deep seated anguish at having to leave Pakistan and return to Singapore several years ago until circumstances conspired to do the same to me.
Not surprisingly, he was not on vacation but in the “trenches” where he breathed his last.
Frank was busy organizing a relief effort, bringing tents and blankets etc, to refugees in South Asia, when his heart gave way to the strain. He suffered a similar episode a few months ago. A mighty effort was launched to bring him back to Singapore. Attempts to resuscitate him failed and the portals of heaven opened to receive a faithful son of the gospel.
We miss you.
Frank and I had a few things in common. We went to the same school, served in the same church. Soccer gave us lots to think about. Our mother tongues always eluded us but were blessed with graces necessary to speak the language of the people we worked with. A sense of homecoming filled our hearts in the land of our missionary endeavors. Both our wives were “Ms” – Mabel and Michelle.
We miss you.
There was one difference. He was a lay missioner; I’m ordained. He was made for better things. There was absolutely no way that he could have matched his achievements if he was ordained. His destiny was greater than that of a mere clergyman. I shared these thoughts in one of our conversations over the matter of ordination nearly 20 years ago at the Cathedral.
We miss you.
Not once did he speak ill of anyone. A ready smile greeted friends, acquaintances and colleagues. Another thing about ol’ Frank: what you see was the real thing. He was the same person - be it in the pulpit, at the food court, a committee meeting or a private conversation.
Our last conversation was centered on a crazy idea of throwing a huge party for hundreds of foreign workers in Christ Church. It was a mind boggling idea. But that was Frank…crazy right to the end.
Brother, the BEST IS YET TO BE…you’ve gone home and how sweet it must be…the best on the other side. Enjoy the party. And don’t forget to reserve a seat for us!
Till then...we miss you.