In Loving Memory
Deacon Thie-Meng Soen + 1917 - 2003
Funeral and Memorial Service in St. Louis, Mo. on March 7, 2003
Conducted by Paul Wong for the True Jesus Church in Central Region, U.S.A.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray. O Lord, you who are the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; look with compassion, we pray, upon all gathered here in this place, that our minds and hearts shall be at your command. Grant that this service of comfort, which we now hold in your name, may bring to all a sense of heavenly nearness and great trust in you. And may the peace of Christ, even the peace that passes all understanding, abide with us and rest upon all these dear ones. We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
1. “It is well with my soul” - Keyboard by Sarah Kuanfung
2. “Someone is praying for you” and “In His Time” – Chicago TJC, guitar by Doreen Tho
3. “When the roll is call up yonder” sung in Indonesian – Fort Wayne TJC, Christine Wu
1. The family would have me to thank all of you for the beautiful flowers, gifts, food, the warm handshakes and sympathetic statements of the last few days.
2. The loved ones are thankful for the close family, church brothers and sisters and friends.
3. Purpose of funeral:
Message: Paul Wong
I. PAY TRIBUTE OF RESPECT FOR THE LOVED ONE.
A. It is a stark reality that no one can preach in his or her own funeral. We cannot say the things we want to say about ourselves after we are gone from this world. Others preach about who we are, what we have done and the things they want to remember about us. We should all live a good Christian life.
The deepest impression that I have about Deacon Thie-Meng Soen is that he is a man of God who loves the Lord Jesus Christ, his family and church members. He and I have a few things in common. Both of us are born in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. We both went to the same high school that is administered by the Methodist mission. It is called the Anglo-Chinese School. We were members of the True Jesus Church and also served in this church as ministers. I did not meet Deacon Soen in Ipoh, Malaysia because he had already gone to live in China when I was born. I first met him in 1987 when I preached at his wife’s funeral that also took place in this same chapel in St. Louis, Missouri.
Deacon Soen was a devoted Christian, husband and father. If you want to know what kind of Christian he was you can see it in his daughter Sister Ing Soen. He was loving, kind, gentle, warm, quiet and hospitable. I have been invited by his family to conduct services in their home more times than I can remember. May God continue to bless the congregation in St. Louis, Missouri in the coming years.
B. Deacon Soen will always be a part of those lives that he has touched. Romans 14:7 states: “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.”
Every person, whether he or she is a close family member, relative, church member, friend or neighbor whose lives have been touched by Deacon Soen have become different as a result of this loved one's life. His life will continue to speak meaningful things to them as long as they live. I know that there are many things that you haven't even thought of in the last few days that will eventually come to mind and will become a living memorial to this saint as long as you live. We thank our Lord Jesus Christ for having Deacon Soen to have been a part of our lives.
2. COMFORTING THE FAMILY.
”Blessed be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
Regardless of how deep our personal faith in God and His providence, the death of a loved one makes each one of us feel keenly the personal loss. There is a sense of an aching void as we think of one that we loved who is gone. We miss the companionship of our loved ones and our grief is deeply personal.
A woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years and having exhausted all her financial resources through unsuccessful medical treatments came from behind and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment; “for she said to herself, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well,’ But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, ‘Be of good cheer, daughter, your faith has made you well.’ And the woman was made well that hour.” (Mt. 9:20-22) To those who have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ His words not only bring comfort but also instant healing.
In His infinite wisdom and compassion God has provided the greatest Comforter in the form of the Holy Spirit. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:26-28)
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Rom. 15:4)
The greatest hope of the Christian is to be resurrected when the Lord Jesus Christ returns. The word of God says, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Cor. 15:19-23)
During the time of grief and mourning close relatives, friends, neighbors, church brothers and sisters, work associates and the community can be a great source of comfort and support. By attending the funeral and memorial services they share the sadness and express their pain and loss. It is not only a time for remembering but also giving thanks for a person’s life. It celebrates a person’s contribution and meaning to every person’s life that he has touched. One of the most effective ways is to give eulogies as an appreciation of having known the person who has died. Other ways are reciting poetries or share music and songs like the ones we have just heard. They are so beautifully presented that it brings comfort to everyone that is present here.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted.” (Ecc. 3:1-2)
“The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psm. 90:10)
Deacon Soen’s span of life on earth have not only exceeded the biblical average of seventy, but have also surpassed the eighty years that is considered “by reason of strength”. By any standard Deacon Soen has been blessed with a long life when he died at the ripe old age of eighty five.
“Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” (Rev. 14:13)
If ever there is a sure sign of approval and blessing from our Heavenly Father Who is looking from above on His children below during the graveside service it is the unusually good weather. It had been snowing a few days back and there was a hailstorm just two days before the funeral. The weather forecast predicted snow flurry for that day, but our Lord Jesus Christ changed everything just for us. We had bright sunshine the whole day and when we got to the cemetery the temperature was 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Blessed be His holy Name. HalleluYah!
As believers of the Lord Jesus Christ we have a definite and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life when He comes again. We commend to Almighty God our dear brother in Christ Deacon Thie-Meng Soen and we commit his body to the ground. As man is created by God out of dust “then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the Spirit will return to God who gave it.” (Ecc. 12:7)
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Almighty God, by the death of Your Son Jesus Christ, you have destroyed death and have obtained for us eternal life. Keep us in eternal fellowship with all who wait for You on earth and with all who surround You in heaven; in union with the Lord Jesus Christ who is the resurrection and the life, who will take us to Your eternal kingdom in heaven. We pray for your guidance and comfort of the bereaved family and also the protection and safety of every person who is here as they leave for their homes. Amen
The peace of God which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, Amen.
May God bless you! Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the
President of ARK International.
His ministry also serves as an architectural service company in Houston.
The ARK Forum on the Internet is international and non-denominational.
Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the
President of ARK International.