A Dedication of Our 2021 Flowers
This year, we would like to dedicate our flowers to two pillars in my family's life - first, my maternal grandfather, Wing-Kai Chung ("Gong-Gong") &, second, our beloved Pastor Carl Hunker.
Gong-Gong turned 90 years old in February 2020 which was a major milestone for him! While our (extended) family anxiously planned to take a trip to Hong Kong to celebrate with him, the far reaching effects of COVID-19 put a halt to those plans. It was heartbreaking to miss celebrating his special day with him, but even more so to not be able to communicate with him regularly over the phone & to have family visit him in his nursing home due to the visitation restrictions. Sadly, he passed away on February 6, 2021 peacefully, but alone, without family around him. My grandfather always had a quiet demeanor about him, but the words he spoke carried a lot of wisdom with them. As the complete opposite of my extroverted grandmother ("Po-Po"), Gong-Gong always kept Po-Po grounded & was a faithful husband and devoted father of four children - who gave him ten grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren! I will always remember his scruffy voice, driving us to the library when he visited us in California when we were kids, regular morning walks and congee, tendency of having the radio and/or TV on too loudly, sneaking candies to my boys when they would visit his flat, and quick deference of decision-making to my grandmother. Even though I could not say goodbye and tell him I love him, it gives me great peace knowing that his soul is in heaven right now with his Maker - right along with his bride's!
The societal shifts of 2020 & 2021 highlight the need for us to PURPOSEFULLY CONNECT with vulnerable populations within society - including the elderly who are either in nursing homes or those who are able to stay at home, but are social-distancing from everyone around them. God made us DESIRE RELATIONSHIPS & CONNECTIONS - first, with Him, & second, with each other. That is why have decided to make bouquets out of many of our 2021 flowers for the residents of Glenwood Village of Overland Park. Though we could not visit my grandfather the last year of his life, we can at least brighten the days of some valuable members of our community in his honor!
Why the Glenwood Village of Overland Park? Our beloved Pastor Hunker was a resident there for his 99th year here on earth before he, too, went home to be with our Lord in January 2016. Pastor Hunker was always upbeat & positive - consistently thinking of others & having a BIG heart for reaching out to those who did not know Christ. His gentle soul touched so many people around him as he was a missionary in Asia, led a seminary in Taiwan, and continued with the Lord's work through the many ministries of Emmanuel Chinese Baptist Church in Kansas City. His hands would swallow up mine when he held them as his hugs would surround me like the wings of an angel. He was a MAN OF GOD and a SHEPHERD over the Lord's flock through and through. Our bouquets are also a dedication to our loving Pastor Hunker.