Tribute to Elder Johnny
The Wonderful Emmanuel
From: Charles and Maria Drew 12/1/16
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:23).
Dear Brothers and Sisters: May peace be upon you.
Since we came to this Faith Church in 2008, the biggest blessing to us has been to know Elder Johnny K. Lima and his wife Juana. Elder Lima was extremely knowledgeable of the Bible, very enthusiastic with all types of Godly work.
He loved God as well as all people around him. His humble and obedient spiritual life has inspired us and led us to understand how a “good and faithful servant” was like. On each Sunday, before the beginning of worship, Elder Lima always sat alone in the first row, silently praying. We were often touched by the Holy Spirit, went forward to hold his hands and prayed with him. In prayers, the Holy Spirit made us feel his soft and humble heart, so that
we often could not help but shed tears.
However, today, what we want to share is not how his life had inspired and led us. What we are going to report today is how we witnessed our LORD Jesus Christ had personally comforted him and encouraged him in his final days. In the Kingdom of Heaven, the LORD has prepared a seat for Elder Lima, and now he is sharing the joy with
the LORD in heaven.
In 2014, because of a rapture of water pipes in the old house, Elder Lima and his wife had to move out. Their children raised funds together and bought a new home for them. Having moved into the new home, Brother Lima liked it very much. He installed an elevator for Juana, carefully decorated every room, and opened the new house to welcome Church members to visit.
One important thing Elder Lima did was that he hanged an eight-foot long well-framed large banner on the most eye-catching high side of the main wall in the large living room. The banner was a brush painting of his favorite scripture, [Psalm 23]. He inscribed it on August 8, 2008.
To the lower left corner of the banner, he humbly called himself "Mu En Ren, Wang Xia Xing", which means “A person immersed in Grace, Johnny K. Lima.”
On each side of the banner is a vertical couplet, mosaic of the couple’s names:
Right Alliance, [Summer Starlight (Xia Xing) thousand miles of love]
Left Union, [Splendid Sunset (Rui Xia) ten thousand generations of prosperity]
Below the banner, between the couplets, on the center of the main wall is a gold medal signifying their [Golden Wedding Memorial].
Johnny liked sitting in a white sofa in front of main wall, meditating God’s grace throughout his life.
One day Brother Charles came for a visit. He saw the banner then said to Elder Lima: "Uncle, your banner is hung high on the principal wall, in the most important room of the house. In the middle of the banner, it proclaims ‘I will fear no evil: for you, my LORD, is with me’. The central phrase ‘LORD is with me’ in its original writing is Emmanuel. And according to Gospel of Matthew, Emmanuel is the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus is wonderful! He made you unknowingly place His holy name in the prime location of this house. He is telling you ‘Be not afraid, my
Throne of Grace is here’. This hall is not just a large living room; this is the temple that LORD Jesus Christ has personally set up for you.”
In the final month of Brother Johnny, the medical team came. They set up a movable bed and a variety of medical equipment in the living room. They were hoping that Johnny would sleep in the living room for easy care. However, without telling why, he constantly refused to sleep in the living room. Every night he insisted on going to his bedroom to sleep.
November 20, the day before his death, he would only use gestures to communicate. During the day, he spent a long time, sitting under the banner, in his favorite white sofa meditating. In the evening, he stared at the big wall, frequently waving to his beloved wife Juana and his children. Although he could not express with words, he seemed bidding goodbye, and telling that LORD Jesus was coming to take him home. Late at night, he repeatedly refused to return to his bedroom. He resolutely stayed in the living room over the night. In the afternoon of the 21st, at 4:40 PM, after three long deep breathes, he went home with the LORD in peace.
Psalm 23 concludes with ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.’
Yes, this is indeed a portrait of our beloved Elder Johnny K. Lima. In his final days the LORD was with him, and in the temple that was prepared for him, Elder Lima waited for the LORD and the LORD himself brought him back
May all glory and praise be to the eternally Father, Holy Spirit and the LORD Jesus Christ.