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Good-bye Omma

The past few weeks have been very emotional. Not knowing how things were going to turn out for Vernon’s mother. Not knowing how long she had, praying she would get better, but knowing deep in your soul that she wouldn’t.

Thursday morning before she passed, we got an email from Sook that mommy was not improving, that they had to shave off her hair because she had bed sores on her head, and she sent a picture of her. That image of mommy will always be etched in my mind. I did not have to ask if she would make it. The picture said it all. I knew it would not be long and we would be saying good bye.

Sabbath morning at 2:55 am TN time we got the call. Mommy had passed, at 4:45pm Sabbath afternoon Korean time. My heart sunk into my chest, my concern at that very moment “I have to be strong for Vernon, he needs me now”. You could hear in his voice his heart was breaking as he talked to Sook getting all the details of her death. “She passed peacefully in her sleep,” Sook told him. ‘No more pain,’ I thought to myself ‘She is out of pain.’ And now I feel pain in my heart. I will miss mommy very much. I will miss our very little conversations with her, like “Everybody ok? You ok? Me ok.” “Number 1, you number 1.” “Me happy. You happy? Everybody happy.” As I write this I can see mommy’s face saying these few words.

Mommy loved me unconditionally from the very beginning. She filled a void in my heart for a mother. My mother passed away 20 some years ago, and when we found mommy she filled that emptiness in my heart. Just knowing that she was there made all the difference.

I am so happy God gave us 17 years with her and she will live on in our hearts always. We are truly looking forward for that great getting up morning, when all of our loved ones who went to sleep in Jesus wake up from their dusty graves, and we are caught up together to meet Jesus in the clouds. Oh what a glorious day that will be. Yun Soonja you will always be in my heart…until that great morning. You take your rest now.

I wanted to share with you a message Vernon sent to Sook, the Korean woman that found his mother 17 years ago.

Nuna (elder sister),

I'm so sorry you had to be the bearer of this sad news that Omma has passed away.

I am sad, yes, with tears that flow easily from my heart. But, I am happy that she is at rest in Jesus. The Bible tells me that when Jesus comes, again, He will resurrect her, and give her new life and a new body that will never die. No more death, no more sorrow, no more pain. No more separation.

I am happy to have this hope. I am happy that Omma had this hope. I am happy that God gave us 16 years together! I am happy that Debbie and I got to see her before she passed, and that Omma knew we were there to see her. I am glad that Omma's friend from Yonghyun church was able to see her at the hospital for the last time. I am happy that the Pastor was there. I am happy that my cousin Yoon was there all the time for Omma. I am happy to have you as my Nuna. You have been there from the very beginning. If it were not for your kindness, my mother and I may never have found each other. Clearly, God placed in our lives.

You see, though I am sad, I have much to thank God for. I now look forward to the glorious reunion when Jesus returns to take us to heaven to enjoy a most happy reunion, to live happily in His loving presence, forever, together. You will be there, I am sure. And Jesus, our Savior, will be there.

I will have to book a flight to Korea, again, so soon. Debbie and I will come as soon as we can. There is no need to delay the cremation. The next time I see Omma will be in her new immortal body, young and beautiful, more so than I remember her from when I was a child.

Thank you Nuna. I appreciate you so much.

God bless you and Colonel Lee.

Dongsaeng, Yun Bong

God has been good to Vernon and me. We had been praying that God would open the door once again and help us financially. It has only been two weeks since we got back from Korea and our funds are low. But we trust fully in what God can and has done for us. God opened the flood gates for us this morning. Here is a letter Vernon wrote to Love ones who gave greatly, truly from the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

You have left us speechless and in tears, tears of gratitude and praise! We are humbled and thankful for God's faithfulness to us through your hearts of love, the love that He had placed in your hearts, the love of family - His love, His family. He is answering our prayers through you. Our hearts are buoyed by your act of kindness.

It is true! We have "proved Him o'er and o'er", and He has proved Himself to be a God who will provide, a God who is faithful.

We do not deserve... But, that's what grace is, isn't it: the power of love shown through acts of mercy shown to His undeserving children.

A simple "Thank You" does not seem to be enough, but please receive it as from our hearts to yours.

We love you, sincerely.

Vernon & Debbie

P.S. You…have inspired a deeper understanding of what God's grace is by your act of love, today, and what it is designed to lead us to.

Grace: grace is the power of love revealed through acts of mercy showered upon His undeserving children that enables and empowers them to move forward in faith. And by it (grace) we learn to "Know The Savior" a little more... for "to know Him is to love Him"... and to know Him is eternal life.

We will use this definition in our ministry from now on. Thank you!

Here are just a few pictures of the past 17 years with mommy. Enjoy!

Omma is baptized

Omma and Vernon being interviewed in Seoul

Soñée and Tia's first visit to Korea

At a park in Seoul

Cousins in South Carolina

Omma's first visit with Korinne and Jonovan (her first great-grands)

enjoying Myrtle Beach

Visiting Debbie's great aunt and grandmother in SC

Friends in Charlotte NC

Friends in Reading PA

Kory saying good bye to Omma

Vernon's father and aunt meeting Omma for the first time

Brother Yun and his wife (only known living relatives of Omma)

two mothers

Sook and Omma with the family

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