Went to be with the Lord: October 27, 2000
37 years old.
Anna knew how to be a friend and how to love well and deeply. She encouraged me to press on in God, to obey Him no matter what the cost. She taught me that life is meant to be lived and to be enjoyed. She taught me how to appreciate God in His creation and how to enjoy a beautiful sunset.
She was serving as a missionary in a SE Asian nation. One morning, she turned on her gas stove and it blew up, leaving her with 3rd degree burns over more than 85% of her body. She was evacuated to Singapore where after much pain and several operations to try to save her life, she went to be with Jesus.
After the accident, while waiting to come to Singapore, friends shared that even in her pain, she was encouraging those around her and her words were “Jesus Christ is enough; He is enough for me.” I sang worship songs to her in the hospital and although she could not talk, she nodded in agreement to the songs of praise and worship to Jesus, even trying to raise her hands. Her faith and trust in God was evident to me when I went in to see her. In health or in pain and suffering, she showed deep trust and faith in God.
I read through all the cards and letters that Anna had given me over 9 years – they fill a box. These are thoughts Anna shared about her work, her faith in God – she said “ It is a great privilege to be able to participate with God in eternal things. Today the downward spiral of the world economy is forcing many to look beyond this present reality. I am so grateful to have within me the seal of the eternal and everlasting reality.”
Anna’s thoughts about our work, our lives – “ … we have led rich lives – talk about only the tip of the iceberg … join me in being grateful and of good cheer that our lives have counted and will continue to …”
What she wrote when I was going through a hard time – “when the road gets pretty rough, things are uncertain, the heart fears, becomes frustrated – take the word of God out – let Him speak His comfort, His security and never changing faithfulness into your heart.”
Her thoughts when she was going through a hard time – “Today I’m still growing, learning, amazed at how much truth and goodness and beauty I can still find in all the ugliness that we are walking through. The beauty comes from the simple fact that we are committed to each other in good times and bad. Truth and goodness can be found in God no matter what happens.”
Anna’s favourite Scriptures: Isaiah 40:28-31; 2 Cor 12:9-10
Anna was a faithful and loyal best friend, who encouraged and challenged my walk with the Lord. She was fun, intense, real and was truly the "wind beneath my wings." – Averyl Aeria
1 thought on “Anna Tan You Woon”
Thank you Averyl for sharing this amazing story about an amazing woman. I also was there with Anna in the Hospital with all her friends and family surrounding her…….She came to Oregon in June/July to stay at my mom’s house and to have a month of just quietness and rest from a busy year on the field. I came to visit and join her for 1 week before she left to go back to her home. This was 3 months before she went home with Jesus. I remember some of our conversations……She wanted to see the "Pacific Ocean" and so we went there and went shopping….she bought special gifts for her family, we ate Clam Chowder soup on the beach….we talked alot about the ‘future’. The one thing I remember Anna repeating over and over……was about dying. Her life was sometimes threatened where she lived and she always thought maybe she would die at the hands of the people she loved and were committed to. She would talk to me about being ready to die…..knowing fully that she was in a dangerous place at times…..but she was ready. She was dreaming and praying about coming to the USA to do some studies and to get her Masters in Theology…..she checked out some schools. Anna had a thirst for Jesus…..her passing was like Jesus filling her cup to an overflow.I was there in that hospital room day in and day out…..I remember Averyl calling me that morning and telling me about what happen to Anna and that she would be flown back to Singapore that night….I remember being in a staff meeting (at church) and trying to allow what had just happen sink into my heart. I remember being at the Hospital that night as she came…..I remember so many things about those few weeks as we all gathered together. CC with her kind and generous hospitality to bring dinner EVERY nite for those who were there……So many people that were touched by Anna streamed in everyday to see how she was doing……I remember the day we had to send out sms/text messages to everyone to ask them to come and donate blood for her. I remember how 100’s of people came to the donation site and it was sort overwhelming for the staff…….everyone would come and say "I’m here for Anna Tan" – MANY lives were touched by this amazing woman who loved God with ALL her heart and soul and mind.We (I) do miss Anna heaps and wondered what her life would be like if she was still here today……but then I think of her looking at me in the face and saying "Eileen, I’m gloriously good….never been happier and fulfilled in my spirit as I am right now! I am waiting for you and everyone else…in the meantime……I’m off to dance with my love"eileen