The Closed Door
 Gateway to Spiritual Fullness
                              My Precious Gem

My beloved wife for almost 36 years was a simple, unsophisticated, kind,
compassionate, generous, and most selfless person that I have ever
known.  She was always thinking of how to take care of others, placing
others ahead of herself.  Right up to the end of her physical life, she still
charged me to take good care of myself – now that she no longer could
do it for me.  

Going the “extra mile” was not just a motto to her, it was her way of life
whether at work, at home, or among brothers and sisters in the Lord.  
She always carried heavier loads than others, and did so without
murmur.  Unlike most people, she never craved recognition or limelight.  
She was perfectly happy in a hidden place.  To her, Christ’s “well done”
was the only reward worth having.  And without a doubt, she is claiming
that reward now.  

Lest you would think that she must have been an extraordinary and
almost flawless human being, she would quickly point you to Christ.  
Indeed, at the very core of her being was the love of Christ which she
allowed into her heart at a very young age.  And over the years she
learned to yield to the deeper work of the constraining and refining love
of Christ that shaped and formed her character.  

Growing up in Taiwan, she was the best older sister to her three
siblings.  Henry, Miriam, and Grace always looked up to Mary for role
model.  From her twenties to forties, she was a most caring and
dependable sister in her church.  You no doubt will read from testimonies
in this booklet about her amazing and inspiring sisterhood among her
circle of brothers and sisters in Christ.  

But it wasn’t until the last twenty years of her life that she finally
blossomed into spiritual “motherhood”.  And you will also read and hear
about Mary being a “mother” and “auntie” to many younger sisters and
children.  The prophet Isaiah declared, “Shout for joy, O barren one, you
who have borne no child; break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud,
you who have not travailed; for the sons of the desolate one will be
more numerous than the sons of the married woman, says the Lord”
(Isaiah 54:1).  This scripture found fulfillment in my dear Mary.  

This amazing transformation from “sisterhood” to “motherhood” was a
direct result of our pursuit of Christ instead of pursuing a vision of the
perfect church.  This change of direction took place twenty years ago
when the Lord graciously brought us back to fixing our gaze upon
Himself.  When she showed by example a single-hearted pursuit of
Christ and pointed everyone around her to Christ, the Lord was able to
“bring forth” spiritual children “more numerous” than women who have
children.  

And I, the least deserving, have entered into the benefit of her many
spiritual daughters and sons.  The last two years during Mary’s illness, I
have partaken of the fruit of her labors.  

For the last thirty-five plus years, I’ve often wondered out loud, “Lord,
what have I done to deserve such a gem of a lady for a wife?”  I have
been blessed by the Lord to be entrusted this hidden gem for a season.  
Over the course of time, I’ve witnessed firsthand how our Master Jeweler
carefully grinds, hones, and polishes her into a most brilliant diamond
that readily reflects Christ at every turn.  

Indeed, as has been testified elsewhere, dear Mi-Mi, you reflect Christ.  I
have been blessed to take our life journey together.  I will miss you.  

Your grateful husband,

Oliver Peng

P.S.
In view of the many accolades expressed by Mary’s friends and co-
workers, My Mary would quickly defer, “It’s not me who accomplished all
that being said about me; it’s Christ.”  Over the many years, the Lord
deeply impressed us both that we are just two very simple and lowly
believers of Jesus Christ.  We are nothing, have nothing, and bring
nothing to the table; therefore we should leave as quietly and as
obscurely as possible.  Our one and only desire is to point people to
Christ, defer every positive attribute to Christ, give all the glory to
Christ.  

To God be the glory.