Sunday, June 27, 2010


after the training in China, i got a trip to Krabi with my ex-colleagues. it was planned like 6 months ago. of course then, we were all still colleagues. haha...
it was a good break after a busy month of march, preparation for training and all.

Krabi is a nice in thailand. and during this time that i went, it was the red shirt vs yellow shirt thing in bangkok. fortunately, we fly directly to Krabi International Airport and so not affected at all.

i was wearing a red shirt (i forgotten about the political thing) and the guide firstly said that i had to change my shirt because when travelling it may be dangerous. after a few seconds, he burst out laughing because there's no such danger at all and it is just peaceful and a life-goes-on attitude in krabi.

i really learnt lots with them about working life. the 3 years there, though its not in a big or renowned company, i have good friends. i enjoy these trips with my ex-colleagues...

i get to think and reflect on life... (as proven in the picture below)...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

speaking about missions...

when i first return from missions, the first thing i quickly prepared was a presentation slide of the whole trip. that's because in 4 days i would be sharing with MYF.

even as i was preparing, i was wondering what aspect of it should i be speaking. in as much as it is easy to just blabber on events and things that happened, it is also important to speak about God's faithfulness, His guidance and what He taught and showed me.

here's some that impacted me most...
1) when everything (really everything...) is taken away and the only thing left is your relationship with God, it can be really humbling to see what's left.

2) everyone's a minister. the pastors schedule is the same as mine, working full time in the weekdays and serving in church in some weeknights and weekends. you don't need a degree in theology to be ministering and caring for others.

3) we compare with other places and wonder why God's spirit or anointing don't come. but do we really seek and want God with 100% of our hearts?

4) is the church a place of masks and condemnation? or is it a place of deliverance, support and grace? be a follower of Jesus and shine the light in the church.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

training in china (march 2010)...

i definitely have to stop my job to be in sarawak for 2 months.
did i worry about finance? of course!
calculated my savings and all and leave it all up to God.

but God is faithful.
for part time work, i conduct training in Excel Macro (automation of your excel reports so that with a click of a button, it will automatically pull files, compile data and a nice report is out straight away).

there was a training opportunity in december 2009 but i cannot make it because i was ending my job and it is too hectic before i go on missions. i had to choose, and yes, performing well till the last day and preparation for missions is more important and takes place first.

while i was in missions, i got an email that the training time is postponed to march. and what more, it is placed 2 weeks after i return which gives me enough time to prepare.

praise God! He provides for me and His timing is brilliant. so amazing...

Monday, June 21, 2010

review of missions part 3...

a trip to the interiors of sarawak (Jan - Mar 2010) - part 3.

Today is the last day. it truly feels like a long long time has passed.

Firstly, i want to thank you for all the prayers. i believe very much that your prayers are always protecting me.

in this final week, it indeed is the final dash.

speaking to the youths, God moved me to encourage them about finishing strong. it is not about how good or bad you start the race of life, but it is about how well you finish the race in God.

there were lots of other things to assist with and finalize. and also give them the practicals on what is thought.

on the 28th (sunday), there was a funeral for a baby child. i grieve as well with them.

attended an appreciation meal with the church elders yesterday(mon) night and tonight will be with the youths.

Spiritually - what has God been teaching me?
as some were observant, there was nothing spiritual in the previous email.
true. i was in a state of trying to understand. crying out, God what are you trying to teach or tell me?
more prayer and stillness and silence and patient waiting.

God just shows His magnificence in how He reveals Himself to the people there as they search Him with 100% of their heart.
because they are so deep in the interiors and transport costs is a big pain, there is nothing here that they can do except prayer and total dependance on God.
and God moves His hand among the people there.
i am in awe of the faith that they have.
God melts my heart for the people there.
i don't think i can type all that God has shown me here.

Of course, the big question is, what happens next?
i don't know. it depends where God leads. truly after what God has shown me, there is lots to do.
i share with you, James 1:23-24
"For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."

Praise God for:
- His faithfulness to the people here.
- the servant heart of the pastor.
- His guidance and protection for the 7 weeks.

Pray for:
- protection of the people there.
- for the grieving family
- for safe journey home
- for God's guidance in re-entry back to Kuala Lumpur (and its life :P)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

review of missions part 2...

a trip to the interiors of sarawak (Jan - Mar 2010) - part 2.

one month and 2 weeks.

what am i doing:
its been pretty hectic in terms of teaching, training, discussing and spending time with them.

financial planning was taught to the youths to open their eyes. i did a live calculation with them. if they save and not simply spend on luxuries and habits, it is possible that in 3 years time, they can actually buy the machinery(chainsaw, generator, boat engine) that they need to progress further in their lives. even if delayed, longest is 5 years but still good progress.

accounts system for church was taught to the adults and they understand the principles of accountability. now its just to put to practise. next sunday will be teaching the secretary role.

the rules for the I.T. centre has been finalize and there is now a schedule to control the usage. so that they don't facebook and youtube the whole day and neglect household duties. their technical skills are also improving. still trying to teach them on communication.

spending time with them has been the most fruitful. discussions are helping the most because they learn from me and i learn from them and things can be adjusted and fine tuned to their needs. they need more wisdom in their dealings and also thinking for the long run and not the short run.

how am i feeling:
thank you for the CNY wishes. its a quiet CNY here. one of the teachers here asked me why i didn't bring my own fireworks to celebrate. haha... been having nights where i dream that i'm home already and i wake up, and eh? i'm still in missions. haha..
i don't mind living here. the only thing that i can't stand is the sandflies.

knowing that its only a week left certainly intensifies things. both on my sides work and also requests from them here. its alright. just work hard.

been having lots of disturbed sleep lately. so that doesn't do any good for the back. gets my back aching due to not having enough rest. so far, the faithful salonpas and yoko-yoko are always the best friends. oops... prayer as well :P
at times, i just wake up and read the parts of the bible that are rarely read. follow genealogies as well. haha...

sandfly bites? aiyah.. just live with it. haha...

the people:
they are very busy harvesting their padi. if the fields are big, 1-2 months they'll be harvesting. so at night, they'll be tired. all the programmes have to be adjusted to be more interactive and also more laughing.

oh yeah.. the youths are amused at the lame jokes. inserted them at the end of the youth sermon, so that we end on a light note. they know why the 2nd lizard dropped from the ceiling after the 1st lizard, why the bird fell from the sky when the plane flew by, and why the front of the penguin is white.

english has been good progress for few. but the pastor said that it is better to teach that way here. teach and focus fully on a few till they are good. then when i return, those who are well taught can teach and pass on the knowledge. now the classes are conversational where i 'only know english'. its quite funny cause they have to start the conversation. so its quiet for the first 5-10 minutes and we're looking at each other. haha..

there was a wedding on friday. the whole day was used for preparation. from decoration to the gathering and cooking of food. coconut shoot was the new food. pretty nice. lots of people came to help. some find vege in the jungle, some cook. i went with 2 other guys to another village an hour's boat ride away to get more food. the river was so low due to drought that many times we had to get out to push the boat. then halfway, it started to rain. what luck.. haha..

everyone help in any way they could because in the future, they will be helped in return. the ceremony is about the same in terms of the vows. just that its in the orang asli language. dinner is after the service and they had dancing also with traditional instruments for music. they'll usually dance, celebrate and have fun till dawn, but this time had to end at 1 a.m. because lack of diesel for the generator. haha...

Praise God for:
- keeping me in good health.
- His protection and safety.
- for His guidance when i teach and speak and relate to them.
- for good sleep in some of the nights.
- for the Pastor who is teaching me lots.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

rewind to missions...

a trip to the interiors of sarawak (Jan - Mar 2010).

From the first day...
it is 2 weeks and 4 days now. but it felt like 2 months already. time here does pass really slowly.

what am i doing:
so far, most of the time is filled with preparation, teaching and church. they call it 'sembahyang' here.

they count me as one of the adults cause i was sitting in front, next to the church leader during the service. on my first service, the whole church came and shook hands with me. sembahyang is on tues night(youth service), weds night, sat night, sun morn and sun night. i speak during the youth service. not required to speak during the adult service yet, so its ok.

teaching english is on mon, thurs and fri night. in the day, it is teaching music theory, typing, communication (msn, google, skype) and other things. so for those who caught me online, i was teaching at the same time. i have to prepare a simple accounting system as well for the church. just finished fixing their Amp+PA system. thanks to the internet, spectacles screwdriver, penknife and feather duster.
the IT lab is solar powered and we have to be careful with our energy consumption. so when the days are cloudy, we just don't use the lab.

what is the feeling:
it was getting a bit quiet and lonely during the 2nd and 3rd day. quiet, i think cause totally not use to a sudden change of quietness compared to the city.. haha.. and lonely, maybe cause i'm here alone and not in a group, and also it takes time to get to know the people.

but that was a great learning process for me. to learn to be alone with God. ( it was like 50% of the day is silence.) fortunate the daily devotional Utmost for His highest, was talking about what it means to be alone with God. so day 4 was a good turning point of the silence being in prayer.
oh yeah.. the only trouble is sleeping. cause so many noises at night, neighbour's baby crying, rain, itchy bites, sweating, chicken crowing... oh, the sandfly bites itchy lah.

what am i eating:
vegetarian yes. its been pounded sweet potato leaves, paku pakis, occcasional kang kung and long beans, it is less meat definitely. but interestingly, they were blessed to have caught animals and also fish. others caught and my host bought. so its been babi hutan, deer, and fish. freshwater fish. the expensive ones that is served in chinese restaurants that has lots of bones.
and no stomach problems. yay!

The people
i'm staying with the pastor and his family now.
spend lots of time observing and learning. truly my eyes are open each day. they are small people maybe due to their lack in protein in the diet. but they're really strong people. muscular and strong. that's including the women. i may be a giant there but in strength, they'll easily beat me. i likened them to hobbits, cause some of them have big feet too...

they are very fervent in prayer and some of them here are gifted too in terms of prayer, listening to God, healing and prophecy. they know the problems that come their way especially in logging and all. but their testimony is that all they do is pray. they have morning prayers at 5.30 in the morning everyday. (yes, i'm 'disturbed' by their wooden bell.)

the biggest conviction i have had here so far, is the way their church is. it really is a church. there are many examples, but i'll just share one. one of their women leaders felt convicted to speak about relationships, and after the sermon, she ask permission to share. after she shared, she called those who have problems to come up. and lots came up. leaders and even an ex-pastor. after praying for them, one by one they took the mic and shared their problems openly. no condemnation by the congregation. shame? yes. but their act of confession and the acceptance and support shown by the congregation gives the troubled a chance to restart and improve.
~ compare that with the masks we have each sunday. ~

just as i am amused by them, they are amused by me too. the city boy. i join them for football. awkward at first, but now they keep calling me. i join them in their gotong royong and picking vegetables. they called me to join them for fishing. learn to throw with the net and cook the fish over the fire and eat. the only regret is i didn't bring my camera cause i'm afraid if we 'karam', thats goodbye camera.
my host was making the 'perahu'. so i learnt to make as well. really interesting.
harvesting the padi will be coming soon. some started yesterday.
they have their problems too, but that's another story.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

3 months and 2 weeks...

what can happen in 3 months and 2 weeks?

a LOT.

not that i didn't have time to write, just that too many things were running around my head and grasping time to sit down and reflect upon was rare.

important decisions were made which brings me to where i am at this point in time.

also, i do feel inadequate to write cause of some issues yet to deal with. but looking at it, i think the only way it can be resolved is by trust and faith in God. something which isn't nice to do because its out of my control and through my eyes, has no predictability or sense of direction.

i'll settle for short summaries of the events of the past months.