The heart of Henry Jr., the Philippines’ richest billionaire, after losing his daughter Jan Catherine Sy
Jan Catherine Sy was engaged to be married on April 9, three weeks before her untimely demise. It did not make sense. Her father’s response differed from what we expect from someone as powerful as he is.
Jan had abdominal pain. Thinking it would just go away, she didn’t bother to check with her doctors and took pain pills instead. She died of sepsis due to appendicitis at the age of 29.
Jan loved her parents, as she loves God above all else
Jan was always mindful of her parent’s health habits—pushing them to walk every day as she skated alongside. She was a nagger when it came to her parent’s diet or if they slept late.
She bought them bikes, helmets, encouraged them to swim and drove them wherever. In short, Jan was their “executive assistant” at home. But God would always come first for her.
She was ready to be with Jesus
Moments before Jan was incubated, the family was able to speak with her. The prognosis was bad. Jan said, whatever happens, she was ready to meet Jesus.
She even gave a double thumbs up and then pointing to the sky, saying “with Jesus.”
God’s will for Jan doesn’t make sense
One of Jan’s many plans in life was to build places and spaces for the less fortunate. She wanted kids to experience and enjoy things she herself, being privileged, enjoyed growing up. Surely, she can make a difference in this world.
God’s message was clear.
Like many, Henry Jr. could not comprehend why the Lord took her home at this point in her vibrant life. However, God’s message was clear to him in these trying past few days:
“…trust Him with all my heart… not to lean on my own understanding, but in everything and all my ways, to acknowledge Him,” he said.
Jan’s death broke Henry Sy Jr.
Jan was joyful, kind, and patient. She was the most wonderful person to be around, especially the past few months, as she prepared for her wedding to Jack, his dad said.
As a little girl, she often asked his father to come to church with her. She regarded her parents with intentional love.
It is nearly impossible to overcome the loss of a loved one. Thus the word “devastated” is an understatement for Henry Sy Jr.
He said, “I cannot begin to explain the extraordinary turn of events that struck my family. All I can say is, it has broken me. The proud man that I was was focused on three things of this earth.”
- Money: It was always my main concern.
- Relationships: Perhaps my intense attachment to my family was also another form of idolatry
- Prestige: I took pride and satisfaction in my accomplishments and being the best at what I do.
Yes, Jan was never mine, to begin with
Despite the tragedy, Mr. Sy Jr. is coping by choosing to have a grateful heart. He said, “She was loaned to us for 29 years, and what a beautiful gift she was from God.”
Jan’s desire was for everyone to come to know Jesus just as she accepted God’s (free) gift of salvation and the forgiveness of sins through the cross of Christ.
what a beautiful gift she was from God.
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
Her family takes comfort knowing she is rejoicing in heaven, in the presence of her creator
Jan had the confidence and assurance that her life on earth, although temporary, is full of hope found Jesus. Christians, after all, are citizens of heaven, not of earth.
“I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me shall live, even if he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
Henry Jr. believes that her daughter lives and will never die, just as Jesus promised. Her physical body is gone, but her soul and spirit in her new home in heaven, where joy is made perfect.
“Cherish your family and loved ones for the LORD gives, and he takes. LORD BLESSED BE YOUR NAME,” Mr. Sy Jr. said.
her soul and spirit in her new home in heaven, where there are no tears.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”