I would like to write a short tribute to my friend Hiep, who passed away last year due to cancer. Hiep was the friendly face at Crossroads and FOCUS meetings on campus, always greeting people with a friendly smile, a warm hug or an enthusiastic handshake.
I’d known Hiep for quite a few years, as he used to attend my parent’s Bible study and Tuggeranong Uniting Church. Hiep also came over for Christmas lunches at our house a few times. I often bumped into Hiep on the bus or at the interchange, and I knew he would always be happy to see me. He almost became part of the family! I remember how often he would talk about the importance of love, and how his favourite Scripture passage was 1 Corinthians 13.
Hiep loved to come up with new ideas and suggestions, such as the time when he thought that my parents and I should take over the leadership of Tuggeranong Uniting Church! It was wildly unrealistic at the time, but he saw potential in people and was ever the optimist. I admire his sense of enthusiasm, even if we didn’t agree with his advice! Haha.
Some people might have seen Hiep as a church hopper, as he liked to visit lots of different churches and knew a wide range of people. Yet I think he understood something about the unity in the Body of Christ, and he was not an exclusive member of any particular congregation. He didn’t seem particularly worried about denominational differences, and was willing to join in and worship with evangelicals, charismatic groups, and traditional churches.
Hiep loved music, and would often attend performances at the ANU. He also liked to sit in on lectures – I even recall him sitting up the back and listening to the Psychology lectures when I was in first year! Hiep certainly had a wide range of interests and was always keen to learn something new.
When Hiep first started getting pain in his knee, he arrived at our doorstep unexpectedly and asked me to pray for him. We sung worship songs together and had a time of prayer, and Hiep was filled with joy! He strongly believed in the supernatural healing power of God, and his faith remained firm, right up until the last time I saw him – which was at Canberra Hospital.
Finally, I want to share this song in memory of Hiep. I know we will meet again in Heaven!
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