Turning darkness into light

Mr & Mrs Lui in their younger days
Mr & Mrs Lui in their younger days
Mr and Mrs Lui in their younger days

Mrs Lui met “God’s gift” to her, John Lui, on a bus when she was 26 years old. The two started dating not long after, eventually married, and led simple yet contented lives while raising two children.

“My husband is well-loved and known to many as responsible and generous. Back when our son was in primary school, he would tutor not just our son, but also his friends, for free. At work, he would treat clerks and office boys regularly to drinks and meals,” recounted Mrs Lui, now 73, with a smile on her face.

A sudden turn

The couple enjoyed decades of ordinary bliss. But that bliss was shattered when Mr Lui, 75, had a stroke and was diagnosed with early onset vascular dementia in 2019. As his condition deteriorated rapidly within the span of a few months, Mrs Lui struggled to come to terms with her new reality.

“It all happened so suddenly, and I couldn’t accept it. I had to attend to his daily needs 24/7, and had no time for myself. Sometimes, I felt so tired and overwhelmed,” shared Mrs Lui as she broke down in tears. “At night, I couldn’t sleep well because I was afraid that he would fall off the bed and injure himself. Once, he slipped and fell at home, and my daughter and I couldn’t lift him up. We had to ask a neighbour for help to bring him to the hospital.”

Mr and Mrs Lui at MWS Bethany Nursing Home – Choa Chu Kang in September 2022

To ease her caregiver burden, Mrs Lui sent her husband to day care. But two years after his diagnosis, Mr Lui lost his mobility, and it became too much for Mrs Lui to continue caring for him.

“In the earlier stages when my husband could still walk, I could manage bringing him to the day care centre by myself, while caring for his meals and other daily needs at night,” Mrs Lui shared. “However, he got weaker over time and could no longer walk. It became impossible for me to care for him or bring him around.”

That was when Mrs Lui’s search for a nursing home began. But as her search stretched on for months with no end in sight, Mrs Lui began to despair. Despite the help of the couple’s daughter who lives with them, the bulk of caregiving still fell on Mrs Lui. It was during this time that Mrs Lui’s daughter and friends began sharing the love of Christ with her. This trial opened Mrs Lui’s heart to accept Christ. Whenever caregiving became overwhelming, Mrs Lui would turn to God in prayer. Subsequently, Mr Lui also gave his life to Christ when Mrs Lui and their daughter brought him to church.

Prayer for respite answered

By God’s divine timing, Mrs Lui was introduced to MWS Bethany Nursing Home – Choa Chu Kang (BNH) through a leader in her daughter’s small group at Wesley Methodist Church. She was impressed by MWS BNH’s holistic, person-centred care and sincere staff. Her prayer for respite

was answered when the family admitted Mr Lui to MWS BNH smoothly in June 2022. Mrs Lui’s relief, however, was quickly overshadowed by the financial pressure of placing her husband in long- term nursing home care.

Darkness turned to light

Again, Mrs Lui chose to cast her  burden  on God, who proved faithful once more. As Mr Lui’s family was not eligible for government subsidies, his medical social worker Eva Yeo helped them to obtain financial assistance, significantly alleviating Mrs Lui’s financial worries. Through these trials and answered prayers, Mrs Lui’s conviction in her Christian faith grew stronger and she is now preparing for baptism.

Eva, Mr Lui's medical social worker
Eva, Mr Lui's medical social worker, has been a steady pillar of support to Mrs Lui since her husband's admission into MWS Bethany Nursing Home

“During her initial visits to our nursing home, Mrs Lui was quite stressed. But after seeing that her husband is better taken care of here, she became assured, and is more cheerful and at peace,” shared Eva. “We also referred Mr Lui to our MWS chaplains, who often visit and pray with him.”

These days, while Mrs Lui still wrestles with feelings of guilt about placing her husband in a nursing facility, she knows that it is the best course of action. “I feel like I am abandoning him, but I know that is not the case. I really miss him and want to care for him, but since I am not able to, I am very thankful and assured that he is well taken care of here.”

“You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”
(Psalm 18:28 NIV)

This Christmas, join MWS in shining God’s light into the dark corners of the lives of our over 9,000 beneficiaries and their families. Through your generous giving, you can shine as beacons of light and hope and make the nights warmer for the disadvantaged and distressed like Mrs Lui. To donate, visit mws.sg/product/darkness-into-light or scan the QR code.

By the Methodist Welfare Services Communications Team/ Photos courtesy of Methodist Welfare Services