They “Just Happened to Speak Chinese”

Walking home from the beach, we spotted a homeless woman on the other side of the street. We approached her and sat and talked to her several minutes.

As my son-in-law, Drew, continued to engage her in conversation, I noticed traffic slowing and a car stalled in the intersection.

I alerted Drew to the car, and he walked over to see how he could help. After 10+ minutes, he and a few other men were able to push the car onto a side road. As my daughter, Mallory, and I walked over, we met the driver, Mr. Lee, an older gentleman who spoke little English. We headed home and left Drew with him as they considered options for his car. About an hour later, Drew came home and told us they eventually got the car started and Mr. Lee was able to get home. They exchanged phone numbers and, not surprisingly, Drew invited Mr. Lee and his wife to dinner that night. (Thankfully, Drew has never met a stranger and invites everyone home with him.) But they didn’t show up. After all, he spoke little English and his wife spoke even less. And really, who goes to dinner at someone’s home they don’t know?

Drew continued to text Mr. Lee and encourage him in the days ahead. He shared Jesus with him as best he could due to the language barrier.

Two weeks later we were back in Chicago after the arrival of our grandson, and three friends of Mallory and Drew’s came to visit their new baby. These friends “just happened” to all speak Chinese. A little while later, a knock at the door and in comes an older gentleman, his name was Mr. Lee. Initially, I made no connection with the name. I assumed he was a neighbor in their multi-cultural neighborhood.

I had just changed the baby and was holding him when I introduced myself. He softly stroked Baby Courtland, and he moved to a chair and motioned he wanted to hold the baby. As I handed Courtland to him, he had tears in his eyes. He was so moved by this little one.

I stepped into the kitchen for a moment and my husband excitedly told me this was the same Mr. Lee whose car was stalled in the intersection weeks earlier!

He had come to see their new baby.

He walked up 3 flights of stairs, stopping to rest several times along the way, and brought a gift bag filled with Chinese tea and cakes.

What a great sight it was, seeing him talking with the three young Chinese friends who not only spoke his native language,


but also shared the gospel message with him.

As he readied himself to go, he slipped a red envelope underneath Courtland’s blanket and whispered to him, “I’m going to be your grandpa.”

The friends gathered with Mr. Lee and prayed for him before he left.

Continuing to be amazed at God’s orchestration of our lives intertwining with Mr. Lee’s, we are excited to see how this friendship develops as Mr. Lee embraces his new role as “Courtland’s Grandpa.”

And we are reminded to be alert and prepared to respond to opportunities God places in our paths, never fully comprehending the impact of His Divine appointments.




  1. Sherri Harkins says:

    Sweetest heartfelt story of Mallory and Drew’s mission. Live for Christ right where you are. You have raised Godly children!

  2. Isabel Pino says:

    What a special message of unconditional love and commitment to serve everyday. I was so touched by this story. Made me cry but for joy!!

  3. Stef Kurtz says:

    Wow! Yet another testament to God’s faithfulness if we allow him to work in and through us. I adore the story, thank you for sharing!

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