Wednesday, July 30, 2008

D-Day Minus 1: The Packing

A very dear friend wrote this for me:
Wrote a haiku for you on a whim:

Go to the far shore
There you will be a beacon
Lighting up the dark

Eh, as you can see, I'm not exactly very poetic.. :p But just to encourage you!

So deeply loved.

And thank God too for Edmund's sheer generosity in lending out his resources... he offered to lend me his precious Canon S2 camera - it costs over $600 - for the missions trip. OMG. I really need a good camera for the missions trip, since I'm in charge of the photos and video-taking, and my handphone camera just isn't going to cut it very well there. :P And yet Edmund wholeheartedly freely offered his resources without batting an eyelid (although he did itemize the things he lent me - good stewardship haha). Dear Lord, please bless him with even more wonderful digital cameras and VIDEO cameras too at no costs, because of this bro's exceeding generosity!

His generosity challenges me, and other bros who are more tight-fisted with their resources, to not only allow, but actively offer, their resources to advance the Kingdom of God! We can learn from men after God's own heart like Edmund indeed here. :D

And thank God too for my dear dad, who upgraded my travel insurance plan to Superior from Classic... at his own cost!

And thank God too for Peter, who lent me his "Ali Baba" bag for the children's toys and books, and for the boots too.

And thank God too for Jason, my financial planner, who gave me a lift to Edmund's place - it was so timely, because with the heavy Ali Baba bag and the boots and the backpack and the camera and the dunno-what-else load... he drove by at the right time and place! It was so timely because I was physically and mentally very tired after a long day at the office... and he drove me back home too!

Praise God for His perfect timing, providence and sheer goodness. Think what I can make sense out of this so far is that if we throw ourselves delightedly and joyfully and enthusiastically into doing the work of the Lord and/or giving to His work, God WILL empower and bless our work in ways we cannot imagine.

As it is written, "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

This verse is becoming SO REAL in my life... it is SO SO SO EXCITING TO SEE THE PROMISES OF GOD REALLY COME TO PASS. AND I AM NOT ASHAMED TO TYPE THIS IN ALL CAPS, BECAUSE IT IS TRUE, AND I MUST SHOUT OUT HIS PRAISES FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM OF THE INTERNET!

Hee! :D

To the Ends of the Earth!

And I was sharing with Peter last night testimonies how God is opening doors for me to bless children there... and how my ex-tuition student so generously donated $100, asking me to sponsor the kids there... and he's still a student, not a working professional, and a non-Christian too! God is able to work wonderfully through anyone He wants to use, especially those with a good heart! :)

Promised him that I'd show him the videos of the children when I come back... really hope through these videos, he can see how God's love is real, not only for the children, but also for him himself...

So, from this experience, I learnt that when we choose to obey His call to go forth to other countries to share the good news, He is very able to open doors back at home for us - be it our own families, or our colleagues, etc...

I realised there and then, even as I was sharing with Peter, that God's heartbeat really is for the whole wide world. Jesus told the disciples to be His witnesses in the city of Jerusalem, the land of Judea and ultimately, to the ends of the earth.

We were never meant to just stay in one city to bless it...

We were meant to burst forth and bless the lands around us, till every nation, every tribe, every people and every land gives glory, gives honour, gives praise unto the Lamb of God! :D

Being Operationally Ready for Missions

Sijia was my CL back in NUS. Gosh... it's so heartwarming, this marriage proposal.


Anyway, Marcus' now in a relationship (it's on his Facebook status), and LOL, he and his special one joined us in our ex-CG gathering on Sunday. :) no prizes for guessing who's the Chosen One... ROFL!

Oh, and I just read in another brother's blog about how God helped him to get a Hello Kitty for his special one... OMG it's romantic haha.



Haha. I guess, to be honest, when your friends, even those younger than you, start getting hitched, there's the "how about me?" question that arises in your heart. But thank God for Peter's encouragement, that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. Just as there is a season for relationships, so there is a season for singlehood. :) And he smiled, and told me, "Make the most of your singlehood, while it lasts."

:D

And it's such a great joy to be single even now, 'cos the more I observe the load of responsibilities that come with a relationship, the more I appreciate my availability and mobility... like right now. How I'm so available to just pack up and re-deploy to anywhere He wants me to go - even to Africa!

*whee - does little tribal jig*

:) Yeah. There is a time for war and a time for peace. Now is the time of war for me... and how funny it is that Peter's lending me his army boots tomorrow, since I'll be going to some muddy areas during the trip.

Fitting my feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Being operationally ready, mission mobilisation 24/7. Cool! :D Must be a visual sign from God then.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just came back from the latest Love Africa meeting. Lots of things to pack. Haha. But so amazed to see how God is preparing us.

And! Joseph met me at J8 after the LA meeting. He prayed for me. And as he prayed, this verse came to my mind: "Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these." And I saw a picture of a big wheatfield... with a tiny shaft of wheat in the middle. The rest of the field laid fallow.

Think God may be telling me that Kenya's an important place, a big wheatfield... but right now, there's only a small part of the field that is yet bearing wheat. The rest of the field needs to be sown, either that, or the seeds are there already (I'm not sure which one)... The fallow field represents the children who have yet to grow up into adults.

And Kenya's population - about 45% of the people there are under 15 years old.

So, wow. Think when we go there, it's really going to be a very ... interesting experience. Certainly we'll feel very small there... so no wonder that God allowed me to join in ('cos I tagged along as Roland's "assistant" to tape some of the leaders' greetings to the Kenyan church-planters) the NG4 ministry leaders' meeting, led by Michael and his wife, Lean Choo.

And Michael gave out a hand-out - it was a poem that goes...
If each grain of sand were to say:
One grain does not make a mountain,
There would be no land.

If each drop of water were to say:
One drop does not make an ocean,
There would be no sea.

If each note of music were to say:
Each note does not make a symphony,
There would be no melody.

If each word were to say:
One word does not make a library,
There would be no book.

If each brick were to say:
One brick does not make a wall,
There would be no house.

If each seed were to say:
One seed does not make a field,
There would be no harvest.

If each of us were to say:
One person does not make the difference,
There would never be love and peace on earth.

You and I do make the difference,
Begin today and make the difference.


by Anon


It comes at a very timely moment. :) Thanks to all the people who have been generously contributing whatever they can - be it $ or prayers or gifts or toys... whether Christian or non-Christian, your warmth and generosity are indeed a fragrant offering to God above! And my God shall meet all your needs according to His glorious riches that is in Christ Jesus. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ex-NUSB1 CG gathering!

We went to Bowen's house for a steamboat dinner... it was great! Great time catching up with Sijia - she's got a new blog. Very encouraged by her testimonies, and also her burden for the children. :D

And great catching up with the other old friends... Marcus came down too. :)

Oh yes! Something that touched me very much - my dear bros and sisters made me a card when they heard that I'm going to Kenya for the missions trip. This blessing was totally unexpected... whoa! So very, very deeply touched. Felt so supported... yet totally don't deserve it at all - there are other bros and sisters who have gone for missions trips too...

But the thing that most encourages me is that they wrote in the card how inspired and encouraged they were... I hope and pray tt the testimonies that I bring back (with God's help) will in turn encourage and inspire them - whether the children in HopeKids or the students in my old NUS group or the working adults in my units - to obey our Lord Jesus' Great Commission!

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations..."

So deeply, deeply, deeply touched by the extreme grace of God... God is just just just so so so good good good to an unworthy sinner like me. I am an unworthy servant - I have only done my duty.

Dear bros and sisters! Let us ask the Lord to give us a heart of compassion, for a world without vision! No matter whether you are totally paralysed or totally able and talented... we must have the same heartbeat for the world as the Father himself... For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life!

*happy sigh*

It's so wonderful. I mean... how can we be contented to just stay and live "normal" lives in one place our whole lives? God's intended vision and command to Adam, the first man, was to be fruitful and increase in numbers - fill the whole earth and put it under control...

This is the very vision of God, freely available to every human being on the planet! And He invites you, rich or poor, to join together with Him in bringing all the nations, all the tribes, all the peoples, and all the languages of the world together...

Gosh. He has a very exciting job for you and me to do today. Will YOU join in together, hand in hand, to let the whole world know that they can have a relationship with the Creator Himself?
I was chatting with a friend just now... he's in uni right now... and gosh, this conversation we had... is extremely heartwarming.

He found out that I'll be visiting two orphanages in Kenya, so he asked me:
W: anyway, so you'll be off to kenya for?

[yeu@nn] flying off to Kenya on 1 Aug... @ airport at 10 pm says (12:40 AM):
a volunteer trip... will be visiting 2 children's orphanages - one in the city, the other in a slum

W: ok. do you accept donations?

[yeu@nn] flying off to Kenya on 1 Aug... @ airport at 10 pm says (12:52 AM):
tks for asking
we need english books
and toys
for the children

W: how much can a hundred dollars do? or provide?
education wise for the children?

[yeu@nn] flying off to Kenya on 1 Aug... @ airport at 10 pm says (12:53 AM):
gosh
my guess is a hundred dollars
will be able to pay for a year's + worth of education
for a kid

W: that is good. but how many kids will there be in an orphanage?

[yeu@nn] flying off to Kenya on 1 Aug... @ airport at 10 pm says (12:54 AM):
27
for one orphanage
the other, we're still awaiting details

W: ok. how bout i do an internet banking transfer over to you now for a sum of hundred dollars.
help me buy the books that you all need to provide for their future success.

[yeu@nn] flying off to Kenya on 1 Aug... @ airport at 10 pm says (12:56 AM):
whoaa....

W:
thanks.

[yeu@nn] flying off to Kenya on 1 Aug... @ airport at 10 pm says (12:56 AM):
hey tks so much man... very pleasantly surprised and touched
but can i check first with my team leader?

W:
ok sure. let me know.
thanks for the help.

[yeu@nn] flying off to Kenya on 1 Aug... @ airport at 10 pm says (12:57 AM):
no problem... i'll update u asap.
once again, really tks...

W:
no prob. if i have the means to help now, i'll. I've made a promise to myself to help those less fortunate if i have the opportunities to.

[yeu@nn] flying off to Kenya on 1 Aug... @ airport at 10 pm says (12:59 AM):
wow... wat made u make this promise to urself?

W: i believe in what goes ard comes ard.
the thing is to help. the question is why not? simple as that.


Thank God for him. From what I've known of him, I think he has a very good heart, just like Cornelius the Roman soldier in the Bible, who feared God and gave generously to the poor. :) Really hope and pray one day he'll even receive the greatest gift of all... the love of God through his one and only Son... =)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oh dear. My body's aching all over. Wonder why. I slept very late last night... erm, was busy saving the world again from Nazi domination (aka Company of Heroes).

Was spending QT at St. Andrew's again, and think God was telling me that He allowed this ache as a way of disciplining me, 'cos if I don't take better care of my health - especially when it's spent on excessive computer games, He'll allow me to reap the natural consequences of what I've done.

Felt a bit paiseh, but also grateful to Daddy for His patience with me. So gentle but also so firm - just what a perfect Father should be like! :D "From the Father of lights, With whom there is no changing..."

'Cos there were nights I had to settle necessary stuff late at night... It's so amazing how God mercifully answered my prayers for sustenance the next day. "I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me."

Decided to uninstall the game, even though I really like the game. Nothing wrong with computer games in themselves... they can be great gifts from God! But I am weak in self-control here. So might as well uninstall it. Ah, I'm a happier man now. :) 'Cos I'm trading the pleasures of sins for the joy of the Lord. :D

Spiritual warfare has physical consequences too - weakened bodies, etc, like what Xiaojia and I were talking about over MSN this morning. So I mustn't go help the enemy ka-chow myself...

OK! YA! Go and sleep well tonight! Shoo! Therefore, go forth and sleep in the name of the Lord... haha!

Night Safari Visit with Peter White =)

Just came back from Night Safari! :) Went with Joseph to catch up with a very dear old friend, Peter White. He was from Hope Singapore last time, before he went off to church-plant in Chile. :)

Anyway, he's moved back to England now, and he's very happily married to a wonderful sis - her name's Jill. I asked the lovely couple how'd they get to know one another. Peter quipped: "Jill was head of the welcoming team in my church. And I felt very welcome."

Jill laughed, and told me that Peter had a car, while she didn't. So he'd lend her the car keys two days a week, and well, borrow the keys, and return them, and borrow and return... She said, "Peter's a really chivalrous man."

Whoa. Chivalrous... I remember Pastor Jo (or was it Jeff?) saying that we bros need to be more chivalrous, for the sisters' sake! LOL.

Well, from there, a beautiful friendship grew. Very struck by Jill's eagerness to learn - she was asking Joseph about some Chinese words... and her childlike curiosity.

Incidentally, Jill's taller than Peter. Haha... and they're staying 50 miles north of London. So Peter invited me to call him and let him know if I happen to come to London to visit my sister.

Oh yes. There's another sister - I can't remember her exact name - think it's Samantha. She's also from the UK, and she's been serving in World Vision (yes, the one where you can sponsor a kid) in management for about 7 years, 3 in Singapore.

So cool. Asked her what made her want to join. But unfortunately, amidst all the squealing of the creatures in the zoo (the humans, not the animals), I couldn't quite hear her reply. But from what I heard, she worked as a volunteer before she graduated, and so after that, she decided to work full-time in WV. :)

Oh, just a little blessing to thank God for. Found out that my Citibank debit card gives one a $5 discount off per ticket (a hefty undiscounted $32 for admission + tram ride). So helped everyone buy tickets. (They paid me back, though one of them didn't have small change, so she said I made a profit of 20 cents. w00t!)

I wanted to post pics up here... but well, it was dark. It is Night Safari after all. Not to mention the fact I can't find the cable to transfer the pics from my handphone.

Anyway, Peter and his wife will be coming down for second service tomorrow. Gosh! I wonder how the other ppl will respond... haha!

Friday, July 25, 2008

New E Africa food crisis warning


Rising food prices are putting millions of people in East Africa at risk of severe hunger and destitution, the UK-based charity Oxfam has warned. [read more]

Droughts, war and poverty have put an estimated nine to 13 million people in the region in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, it says.

The situation has been made worse by rising food prices, with wheat and rice particularly expensive.

A BBC correspondent says some people have started to eat animal feed.

[...]

Acute malnutrition

In Somalia, the cost of imported rice increased by up to 350% between the beginning of 2007 and May 2008.

In areas of Ethiopia, the price of wheat has more than doubled over a six-month period, and food prices are expected to remain high until the next harvest in October.

In the areas of East Africa heavily dependent on food imports, such as Somalia, global food price rises are making food more expensive.

  • In Somalia, 2.6 million (35% of the population) require emergency assistance, Oxfam says. This could increase to half the population of the country (3.5 million) by the end of 2008. Between 18% and 24% of children are acutely malnourished
  • In Ethiopia, the government estimates 4.6 million people are now in need of emergency food assistance. This has more than doubled from 2.2 million in need of help at the beginning of this year. Some 75,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition in drought-stricken areas, the government says
  • In Turkana, northern Kenya, an Oxfam survey showed 25% of children are suffering from acute malnutrition, the highest in the country

High malnutrition rates have been reported in several parts of Ethiopia and could increase without an immediate increase in humanitarian assistance.





An idea is starting to form in my head even as I read this. I'm thinking of getting bottles of multivitamins for the children in the orphanages that I'll be visiting.

(But got to check with them first...)

Kenya Missions Trip: Breaking the News

"Hey bro sis, Thanks for ur prayers regarding my telling my parents about e upcoming trip. As expected, my mum and dad were v worried, but I believe God softened their hearts - n 2 my surprise, He filled my heart w joy 2 see how much they care for me :). Still, pls pray 4 God's assurance 2b w them. Tks!"


I just sent out this SMS to some prayer partners. 'Cos in going to Africa for the missions trip, I knew my parents, especially my mum, would be so worried for me. To be honest, was still feeling quite worried and a bit scared of their potential reactions.

But thank God again. :) While fasting and praying before lunch yesterday, this verse from Psalm 3 spoke to me:
4 To the LORD I cry aloud,
and he answers me from his holy hill.
Selah
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
6 I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.

And God reminded me not to be afraid of what my parents might say or how they say it. I was worried that they might be scolding me the entire night for going on the trip... but God is faithful. :)

Anyway, my parents asked me one question that struck me: "Why do you want to go on this trip to Africa?"

The "why" part struck me. Not that I have to answer it directly on the spot, or even give an answer, but it helps me think more clearly on what is the purpose of my missions trip to Kenya.

Why am I going on this trip? Is it because it's the right thing to do? Is it because I want to share the gospel with the people there? Is it because I want to see for myself what Africa is like? Is it because of other people's testimonies?

All these are good in themselves, but I think I need to know what is God's purpose for allowing me to go there. And whether He wants me to go there. From seeing how He's opened the doors so far for me to go on the missions trip to Kenya, I think He DOES want me to go.

But why Kenya? I don't know, to be honest. Why Africa? Again, I don't know.

I only know one thing - which God impressed on my heart many years ago: Wherever God calls me to go, I'll go.

Like Father Abraham 4000 years ago, with God's grace and help, I'll be willing to leave my country, my people and my father's household and go to the land He will show me.
Genesis 12:1-3
The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
"I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.
"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's a rainy morning, and I'm feeling a bit melancholic at the moment. Just want to be in bed, snuggling under my deliciously comfy blanket and merrily snoozing in dreamland. Mmm! =)

Ah. But this is the day that He has made; I shall rejoice and be glad in it! :D

Met up with Clarence for dinner last night. A very encouraging time, thank God. And we shared about what we learnt from and experienced in the recent GoForth conference. We shared about the places we want to go to, our burdens - Clarence currently has a burden for Japan =) - and what we plan to do there. (Mine'll be ministering to children; his should be in the area of social enterprise.

And he said that he believes God put us together 'cos of our similar life experiences. Feel very grateful to God for this dear friend and bro. And I'm especially heart-warmed by his willingness and humility to learn, even though he's older, more mature, and more life experiences than me.

I think that is one of the greatest joys of being in the family of God - nobody is insignificant. There is always something about one's life experiences that will be able to touch and help another person experience God's love too. And nobody else can ever take your place for that specific purpose.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Heart of a Missionary

Hmm. Want to write down my reflections about the GoForth conference recently. But feeling so lazy. :P It's not good - the impressions and memories that I captured from the teachings are fast fading away. Aiyah! I should have journalled them down on the same day, when all the memories were strong and the impressions vivid.

But I shall write them down on my trip to Kenya.

:D

Anyway! GoForth... Xiaojia wrote down a very good and thought-provoking reflection on what she learnt from GoForth, which basically sums up what I'm feeling too (well, there are a few other things that I personally felt and learnt), but yeah. So I shall save time and link to her blog post again. Haha...

Innovations in Missions! It was so thought-provoking. Joseph and I were talking about it over the phone, and he shared with me that he teared when he read the Bible verse on the green metal mug that each delegate received as part of the goodie bag. "For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink..."

And he commented that the person packing the mug must have prayed over the mug even as he/she was packing it. Then he said to me, "Yeu Ann, I think I'm going to pray over each seat in the auditorium tomorrow before service."

600+ seats in Nexus? That was one of my first thoughts when he said that.

Cool! So I joined him the next morning to pray over each seat. There he was, faithfully praying over each seat, and this is what he prayed for: God's life transformation for the person sitting there - whether the person sitting there is a believer or not yet one.

I went a-praying too, and to speed things up, I laid two hands on two seats. Good ol' Joe used one hand for one seat at a time. Haha... I think his reward in heaven will be double mine... :P LOL.

But it was indeed such a joy! And when we finished praying, I think we were physically and mentally tired out, but our souls were glowing on the inside. :D And praise and worship right after that was such a joy indeed! :D

So this is one fruit of the GoForth conference... and in a way, Joseph was doing missions there and then - sowing a seed faithfully, with love and care, in each seat... it really struck me very much that the heart of a missionary lies first and foremost in the HEART. That's essentially what Rev. Morley Lee said in the first night rally.

If you and I want to go forth for the Lord, we must first be willing to go forth in our hearts.

To be ready to go wherever He wants you and me to go. That means if He calls you to stay at home and serve unseen, praying for each seat in the auditorium, then that is your labour that God has given you, and you shall work at it with all your heart and joy and soul and strength.

There's this verse during the GF conference that really spoke to me a lot:
"I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor."



Talking about response to missions... I've responded too to the call. To be honest, it was a building-up. I was thinking whether to write down and submit the card on the second night already, but for some reason or another, I didn't yet. But the third night, I responded. And to be honest, I wasn't feeling much emotions about it.

Not that I don't care - it's that the emotions have already come and gone. And I told God that it doesn't matter how I feel about this decision - I've thought about it for a long, long time and prayed about it - so now it really is a rational and conscious decision to commit myself fully into His hands.

And it's so exciting, to hear His call and give my all.

:)

And the joy is even greater now. Joyce shared with me about her own decision to respond for missions on the second night. Something that I said to her struck me even as I said it (paraphrased):
"When you respond, God will prepare you... even to the point of breaking and humbling you. Like how He'll open up a teddy bear, pull all the stuffing out of it until it's totally emptied. And then He'll put His hand inside and work you like a puppet. And then you'll be so much more alive than you've ever been before, for it's no longer the old stuffing that lives within you, but Christ's hand working within you."


So what did God speak to me?

I think the one thing that He spoke to me so clearly was these words: "Consecrate yourself to Me. Seek Me." I believe He's speaking these words to me very strongly, because He wants me to know that even while I respond, I need to remember that apart from Him, I can do NOTHING. It is entirely God's work here.

And I see it coming to pass. Because in today's missions preparation meeting, I had planned for the children's orphanage programme. But very paiseh, the programme I planned was CMI - Cannot Make It. LOL. Was disappointed and felt insecure, to be honest, 'cos felt that what I'm doing is so little and insignificant. Shared this with Jason, and he told me that it's ok. Just as long as I've done my best. I can always learn if my work doesn't meet the team's standard. And if my work exceeds the team's standard, then I should be humble to teach what I am strong in to others. That way it's a win-win situation.

If I'm weak, I learn and I grow. If I'm strong, I teach and others grow.
Either way, we all grow together, 'cos we can always learn something from one another. Amen and hallelujah! :)

But if I allow insecurity to take over me, then it's a lose-lose situation. I allow myself to start dwelling in self-pity, and I am unable to learn from others as a result. It's a vicious cycle. Or if I do well and am proud, then it's a lose-lose situation. I don't learn and grow more, and others don't benefit from what I've already attained.

:D

Woah. It's so exciting. I think God will teach me more during the missions trip about humbling myself to learn and to grow. I am really less than the least of ALL God's people, and yet this grace was given to me: to preach to the lost the unsearchable riches of Christ! YES AND YES AND AMEN! :D

Thank God also that He's been showing me how all these life experiences are being weaved together - both the joys and the pains - into a beautiful tapestry of glory.

First the suffering, then the glory.
Oh how marvellous! Oh how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
Oh how marvellous! Oh how wonderful
Is my Saviour's love for me!


I AM SO FREAKIN' EXCITED. :D

Talking about excitement, Dr. Fernando was speaking during Saturday's plenary session on Innovations in Missions. He mentioned that we can also have fun serving God - e.g. playing soccer, etc. with the children we're reaching out to...

And so many other things to think about.

Oh yes. Think God indicated to me a clearer vision of what He has in mind for me regarding fulfilling the Great Commission. Certainly I do believe He's calling me to mobilizing people for missions, encouraging and helping people find and grow in their God-given roles in bringing Christ's love to the nations.

And I think He may be calling me not to one specific place, but to all the nations of the world. What I mean is that He may call me to go to this place for a few times in a few years, minister to the people there, and then shift to another place... Sounds very nomadic, yeah? But wherever He calls me to, I'll go!

Perhaps that might be His direction for me... well, I'm really not sure at this time. But yeah, where God calls me to go, I'll go. Just like Abram in the Old Testament. One of my personal heroes. I like the name Abraham! :) And Abraham Lincoln's another hero of mine too. Great beard too haha.

And my heart was so absolutely thrilled and enthralled by all the wonderful creative works that the media and IT ministries are doing... imagine! mobile internet... gosh! we can use this to share the gospel of Jesus Christ more and more powerfully across the nations... doesn't matter whether you're in the desert or in the jungle!

Oh yes. Before I end off, I just want to write down this verse that God impressed on my heart on the first day when I was praying after the first day of GoForth:
1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

2 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.

3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

4 "Lift up your eyes and look about you:
All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters are carried on the arm.


And the word shine just shone at me. :) I felt that God is impressing on my heart strongly that now is the time for me to arise and SHINE for Jesus, wherever I am. And how urgent the need is all the more for us, the people in the light, to shine as beacons of hope for those covered in darkness.

And it's so meaningful, because this verse was an answer to my sharing with God how inadequate and small I keep on feeling, when faced with the IMPOSSIBLE task that He has called us to.

He simply replied: "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the GLORY OF THE LORD RISES UPON YOU."

It is always God's work, not ours. We are just His servants, His messengers, His instruments, His body to do His work on the earth.

Like how one of the speakers in the media workshop said, "We must remember that God calls us to an IMPOSSIBLE task. Remember, it is an IMPOSSIBLE task to reach the entire world for Christ. That is why we must remember to depend on God. Because only God, who calls us to an IMPOSSIBLE task, is able to do the IMPOSSIBLE."

We mustn't belittle the power of IMPOSSIBLE, for IMPOSSIBLE is always more powerful than POSSIBLE. But the Almighty God is more powerful than the IMPOSSIBLE, for He is able to take away the "IM" from "IMPOSSIBLE". Because "I AM" is the One who takes "IM" from "IMPOSSIBLE" to make "POSSIBLE"!

For nothing is impossible with God.

The Lord's Call Is So Stirring. My heart's really deeply moved... Here I am, Lord... send me! :D

Sunday, July 20, 2008

GoForth Conference: Reflections

Haha... today was the last day of the Conference. Gosh. Thank God. It was good. Very very good. God really is showing me more and more clearly and specifically what my role in the Great Commission is. Impacting this young generation of children + media... gosh! I see the vision for my life that He showed me years ago increasingly coming to pass! And one day we'll see His Dream come to pass: The great multitude in heaven that no one can count, from every nation, tribe, people and language! :D Yeah!

I-Am-So-Freakingly-Excited!!!

Thank God also for people like Yufen, Marcus, Joyce, Clarence, Jason, Tracy, Xiaojia, etc, etc.... missions-minded people... it is indeed a great joy to be in the fellowship of like-minded bros and sisters... to extend the kingdom of God! Thank God also for Ps Ben who helped to chair and emcee the event... and for the wonderful servants of God who shared the Word and imparted their lives and spirits and passion and zeal...

And for the great lunch with Yufen: the sharing, testimonies and the ideas about how to grow the children's ministry... w00t!

Got to make a few new friends too! =) Eben (a brother from the Serving In Missions group) and this pastor from North India (I forgot his name... but Ps Ben took photo with him) and Tracy's colleague... (oh no! I forgot her name too...)

And 5 or 6 injections for the trip to Kenya. Ouch. To think Clarence was so nice, whacking me on my arms after that... oh. I did the same to Jason too. :P God is just indeed. Haha!

Very tired though, so I'll post some of my reflections and photos over the next few days.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

GoForth Conference Day 1

Day 1:
0700: Was supposed to meet Clarence and Jason for an early 8 am breakfast at Marina Square Mac.

0750: Left the house. :P

0810: At the MRT, realised I'd forgotten to take my confirmation slip. Took cab back home and to Suntec.

0840: After a generous non-taxable donation of $22 to the SMRT Corporation (darned ERP....), I go to Suntec Convention Centre.

0845: Chaos!

Two queues diverged in a confused mood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the booth.

Not enough signs to point people the right way. The ushers were very helpful though. And happened to see Ps Ben there! :) We were both pleasantly surprised to see each other there. He quickly got up from his chair, and helped point confused me to the relevant personnel on duty. I was very touched by his small act of kindness. :D

Saw Xiaojia for the first time in the crowd. She's a penpal (or should that be email pal? haha), and I could identify her at once.

0905: Got my confirmation slip cleared and collected my goodie bag. Yay! Scrambled down to first level to meet Clarence. He blessed me with a Fillet-O-Fish and hot tea. His treat. Very blessed both in stomach and soul. :D

0915: Rushed to Room 201.


Specialist workshop: Tentmaking in a Globalized World.


w00t. An awesome workshop. :D

1235: Lunch with Peter, Sharon, Clarence and Tracy. Heard that Jason's workshop on ministering to HIV patients, the class went down to Tan Tock Seng Hospital to visit them. Sharon was so excited about the possibility of ministering to these patients, whereas Peter was enthusiastic about missions in the marketplace. Clarence and Tracy both went for Social Enterprise workshop. Xiaojia's boss gave a talk there, and she was there to help man the laptop (and lug it around too haha).

1350: Met up with XJ. Was very blessed by the encouraging time of sharing and chatting. :D

Then there's a whole lot more!

Like, I got to know this South African missionary - he's Eben, and his testimony is very inspiring. He went on his first missions trip when he was 15, and made a commitment to the Lord to go as a full-time missionary for him. So, upon graduation from high school, instead of taking the normal route of going to university like his peers, he chose to go straight to a missionary college. Whoa. It was not an easy journey for him, but he made this decision to honour God.

Oh yes. We found a common point: he's been to a lot of African nations on mission trips! :D His eyes glowed the instant I shared with him that I'm going on a missions trip to Africa next month. Haha. But really, very blessed by his simple heart for God and sincere simplicity of spirit. But one thing for sure - he's not simple-minded - he comes across to me as mature and sharp.

Anyway! Watch this Africa missions video by him and his wife:


Check out their blog too!

So encouraging!

Found some community care ministry booth outreaching to, among the nations, the poor Filipinos in slums. Bought a book as a gift for a friend.

Then the rally. Pictures worth 1000 words!




It was a very meaningful time. What Rev Morley Lee said was that the church in Singapore has been so blessed by God. But as the Lord himself said, "To whom much is given, much is required." So we must renew our hearts and spirits for God. God isn't so interested in the methods of missions, but much more interested in us becoming better men and women of God, whom He can use more fully.

Here's a pic of Yufen at one of the exhibition booths. It's on using media for missions. Was ab-so-lute-ly thrilled when I saw this opportunity!

From the pamphlet:
"Create International, a frontier missions communication ministry is committed to producing professional and innovative video resources to serve those working among the world's unreached people."

They make videos for the following purposes:
  • Mobilisation
  • Evangelistic
  • Discipleship
  • Music Video
I've signed up for their newsletter. So excited! I see this as a possible way of fulfilling one of my dreams I have for my Lord: to make a movie to impact peoples from all over the world. Hallelujah!

And Yufen was excited too - she said that hopefully she can do some art next time to bless the peoples too.

Ok, more updates for the next day!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kenya Missions Trip Prayer Request #3

Important prayer need: A new complication has risen up. Pray for successful booking of tickets from South Africa to Kenya for 31 Jul (or 1 Aug) for the entire team.

From my team leader's latest email:
More bad news.

1. I still can’t purchase tickets from KQ (Kenya Airways). According to the banks, the transaction is not even going through to them. They suspect that KQ website is unable to link to Visa.
2. In the meantime, KQ’s flight details have changed:

1. Price has jumped USD30.
2. Flights out of Nairobi is no longer available at 07:45. Only flight out now is not in time for our SQ flight out of Jo’burg.


Options 1:
1. Change our trip from 7/31-8/9 to 8/1 – 8/10 (original dates). KQ flights for this date is still available at original price of USD580.
2. However there will be a fee for re-scheduling. I’m finding out how much tomorrow.
3. Will still need to find a way to book a ticket out of KQ website. I’m calling a Msian agency that sells KQ tomorrow. Maybe I’ll just buy it through them.

Option 2:
1. Fly SAA instead of KQ (their website might be more reliable).
2. However we’ll need a place to stay on the outward flight. I’ll contact Ps Henry abt this. May increase our accomadation.

I’ll continue to work out the options & update y’all accordingly.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Good Friends Are Like Stars

Kenya Missions Trip Prayer Request #2

Came back from the missions trip meeting. Gotta go for yellow fever jab and pop marvellous anti-malaria pills for 2 weeks. :D

We were discussing what gifts to bring for Lisa and Eng Chuan, our two church planters there. And gifts also for the people we'll be coming across in general.

Bak kwa, a Singapore map, knick-knacks...

To prepare the personal objectives by next Monday. And the orphanage's programme too. Haha. Got to know Gloria and Desmond and Jia Huey more on the way back home too. We bumped into Jia Dai as well. :)

And had a long chat with someone on MSN too. It's very encouraging - think it's a great blessing to know that others are also going through the same experiences as you. Which adds on to your courage to carry your own cross even more. Encouragement at its best!

Praise God truly! :D

Ok! Prayer request #2!
Pray for preparations to go smoothly. That passports don't get lost or our money stolen or lost by accident. That no flaming arrows from our bosses... for oil prices to remain stable. 'Cos we really need prayer support for the preparations phase. Prayer Power!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

True Relevance



I find this passage by CS Lewis extremely meaningful. He crisply articulates the need to be excellent in all that we do - because we are Christians. Otherwise we merely serve to show non-Christians that we are IRRELEVANT to what they believe in - and only merely serve to reinforce their existing prejudices and stereotypes of "culture" and "religion" as irrelevant to their actual lives.

I realised something else after thinking through the passage. Lewis is - at the essence of it all - simply saying that our faith will only make people sit up and take notice, IF we actually live out what we profess to believe in.

And that is what true relevance is - the ability to show people that the gospel of Jesus Christ really has the power to change lives and save all who believe.


Just a thought: Some of us had started playing DOTA back in school days, because we sincerely wanted to be relevant to those who were playing DOTA (all the craze a few years back). But it seems now to be more an inward-looking indulgence for us, rather than an effective means of reaching out. (I'm one of the fellow DOTA players btw...) Also, the trend towards pubbing, clubbing, etc. that we saw among some Christians who sincerely wanted to relate with more kinds of people.

And another friend wrote in her blog some time back.
Thank God for her. :) She was able to put into words what I was feeling, but didn't know what or how to say. What a relief it is to know that you're not the only one with this view. :)

And finally, when I wrote to one of the leaders to share this concern, he replied wisely, "How can one be a good testimony in the marketplace if he doesn't have good character?"

(Thanks bro!) :)

So, after thinking about all this, I think true relevance is not so much about being "culturally relevant", doing the same things that the non-Christians do: e.g. clubbing, power-dressing, networking, entrepreneurship, BGR or LAN gaming or community work or this or that.

Actually, what is "relevance" about? In a Godbit Project interview, one of the interviewees said:
Over the last decade or so, the buzz in Christian subculture was all about being relevant. More young adult programs, churches predominantly comprised of twenty somethings, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I think that is all good. However, somewhere along the way, I think that several other relational aspects became neglected. I find it more of a rarity these days for younger men to rub shoulders with older men in the church.

Heck, I am very active in my church and a socialite at the core. Yet, I find myself having infrequent to zero interaction with those that have “been there and done that” on this journey of faith. Not that we are setting out to accomplish this immediately with ROOV, but I would love to hear of some relationships like this forming between those that have done and want to do something.


I think he's talking about discipleship. Being relevant is only one aspect (essential though it is). A godly character, with much wisdom, is bound to be much more influential.

The Lord Jesus knew perfectly well what He meant when He told us to come follow Him, and He will make us fishers of men.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Distorted Anger

From Dr. Gary Chapman's email newsletter on love languages:
DISTORTED ANGER
Satan has used many strategies to mischannel God’s intention for human anger. One of the most powerful is to make us think that all of our anger is of equal value; that is, that all of our anger is valid. Two kinds of anger exist: definitive and distorted. Definitive anger is born of wrongdoing. Someone treats us unfairly, lies about us or in some other way does us wrong. This is valid anger.
The second kind of anger, however, is not valid. It is triggered by a mere disappointment, an unfulfilled desire, a frustrated effort. No wrong was committed. This is distorted anger, and learning the difference between definitive and distorted anger is the first step in handling anger in a godly way.

Dirty Dishes
In distorted anger, a perceived wrong leads to the anger. Picture this. I eat dinner and leave for a meeting. I return three hours later to find the dirty dishes still on the table and my spouse on the couch watching TV. I am angry. Why? I perceive that they have been lazy, thoughtless, irresponsible. But If I pause and ask what happened that the dishes are still on the table, I may learn that my spouse has been sick and unable to wash the dishes. My anger is distorted.

Are You a Perfectionist?
Two questions are important in determining the validity of anger. The first is, “What wrong was committed?” The second is, “Am I sure I have all the facts?”
The perfectionist has high expectations not only for himself, but for others. When people do not live up to these expectations, he will often get angry. Such anger is distorted. Don’t allow your perfectionistic personality keep you angry with your spouse. Let your spouse be who he or she is - a little less than perfect.

Get the Facts
Often in marriage we get angry because something our spouse says or does embarrasses us. Something they fail to do irritates us. We start thinking, “I can’t depend on her for anything. She doesn’t love me. If she loved me, she would not let this happen.” When you are angry, think before you act. Make sure you have all of the facts, and pray for wisdom. You may discover that your anger is distorted.

There are five love languages. What's yours? Take the 30-second quiz.

Painful Experiences are Part of the Plan

From Painful Experiences are Part of the Plan by Kenny Luck:
God has lots of plans for our mistakes and weaknesses. It’s counterintuitive to most men to think that way because our style is to hide them. So for a man to accept his failures, losses, and struggles as part of who is (i.e., reality) versus things to be hidden away and not discussed is a big leap of faith. It’s even more risky to allow God to use those same things to serve other people. Yet that is exactly what my brother did.

God’s plan is to use the very things we want to keep a secret or keep hidden. In fact, one of the greatest things he wants to do is to bring us into the truth of reality to encourage others who are struggling with our same issues. “He comes alongside us when us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God is there for us” (2 Corinthians. 1:4, MSG). So maybe instead of minimizing or trying to forget your struggles, failures, losses, temptations, or mistakes, let God use them! Instead of praying and asking God to take away your problems or past, ask God to do something with it.


2 Chronicles 16:9a
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

Thank God for this verse that I've been reading the past two days. It really encourages me these few days, especially when I feel more and more inadequate again. And I know that I will be tested again and again, be it during the missions trip, or at home, or in church, or in community, etc. etc.

But with God's help, I shall become myself. As long as my heart is fully committed to Him, He will find me, for His eyes are ranging to and fro throughout the earth.

It encourages me deeply, because the Bible reminds me that His delight is not in a man's natural strength, but in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love. He will add on to me strength and capability for whatever He wants me to do. :)

Hee! Just like how I know I'm not a natural planner or organizer, but something I've experienced (and need to remember) in ministry is that when Christ calls me to do something, He also provides me with the wisdom and intelligence and skills needed for the task - as long as I continue to keep my confidence in Him.

I keep remembering how God anointed Joseph with wisdom (in the book of Genesis) for his work... I just find that when I choose to believe and claim what He's already promised in the Bible - His promises really come to pass. Not one of His promises have failed at all.

And I need to remember that, because the constant struggle in my heart is not easy. But it is good, because it makes me need to pray to God constantly, even minute by minute if necessary. Even in moments of melancholy. :) And He's so good - He knows what I need even when at times I can only whisper, "God, help me. God, help me please."

Touched. :) It helps that there is the Kenya missions trip to encourage me on towards whatever prize He's keeping in store for me at the end. Because it's part of His plan for me. Thank You Lord!

Wubi, the easiest way to Linux!

Wubi is an officially supported Ubuntu installer for Windows users that can bring you to the Linux world with a single click. Wubi allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other Windows application, in a simple and safe way. Are you curious about Linux and Ubuntu? Trying them out has never been easier!


Downloaded it overnight, and it pretty much set itself up. Configuration was a breezy breeze. :D So cool! Thank God, no more irritating partitioning, etc...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kenya Missions Trip Prayer Request #1


Haha... Joyce says she will keep me in prayer during the missions trip. Really appreciate it, sis! We need all the prayer support we can get - especially for team unity, 'cos Satan really will do his utmost to disrupt unity among the missions team - because this is a good team with strong camaderie... and to Satan, unity in the Church is really one of his worst nightmares. So do keep us in prayer to stay strong and united, to give no opportunity for the evil one to gain any foothold. Spiritual warfare is extremely real... so lend us your prayer support even now! Please pray for us! Really! =)

(I like to think of prayer as spiritual "artillery" haha... but the power of prayer is indeed as real as physical artillery when it comes to spiritual warfare. Amen.)

So calling for prayer support! Just lay hands on the monitor and pray a 30-second prayer! Fire at will!

Tactical Prayer Support Request #1
Pray for God's continued providence and that no disruption disrupts our leave application... especially from work and family. Pray that the political situation in Kenya remains stable. Pray for ticket prices to FALL to $2.0K. Pray for sustained good health. Pray for everyone in the missions team to start praying for themselves too. Pray for increasing joy and conviction of why we are going on this missions trip... Pray for the GoForth conference to bless everyone who goes for it! Thank God for you!
Went to De Coders Cafe with Edmund yesterday after work. Played a fun game of Mr. Jack with him. And thank God too for the good chat getting to know the owners of the cafe better. Hee. Ed had a good time too!

Thank God the system testing for my software component went well, and especially that all the functionalities are there - with complete passes! Praise God for His help indeed!

And thank God for the refreshing meetup with Jason and Clarence, and for the time with Jonathan today too. :D And! thank God so much for the bumping into Joyce at City Hall... we shared with each other what's going on in our lives, and especially how God has been guiding us to serve Him more in missions! We were so excited! And she shared with me how God has been leading her, sustaining in her heart the vision that He'd given her... whoa, that really encouraged me too, 'cos I was also so deeply touched by how God is faithfully bringing the vision He's given me to come to pass. It really is totally God's work in my life... how great a joy it is to throw yourself completely into His everlasting arms, and find that He's planned for you what He made you to do... your heart will leap for joy when He shows you what He's designed you to BE and to DO! Yeah! *pumps fist exuberantly*

Something she shared with me reminded me a lot: Whether you are a student or a working adult or a parent, the Great Commission is for YOU! Begin here in Singapore and stretch to the ends of the earth! Amen!

Kenya! :D Haha... I've paid for my ticket... next meeting on Monday... gosh. Excited! :D

Monday, July 7, 2008

Preparations for Kenya Mission Trip... and a Testimony of How God is Fulfilling His Plan For Me!

Came back from the Love(R) Africa meeting. It's so exciting! :D Haha... so this is how a missions preparation meeting looks like... the slow and steady buildup, the planning and re-planning, coordinating, fixing a common departure and return date, appointing the various team members to be charge of this and that... to quote Jonathan: whoa~oh~oh (~oh)

Hmm. Personally I feel very excited because this is more than a short-term missions trip for me - it's also an episode in my life where I can see the guiding hand of the Lord working powerfully in the lives of me and my team-mates as we prepare to set off to Kenya.

Like how God miraculously provided me with the big bonus - which turns out to be just enough to meet my needs for the missions trip AND to save enough money for a new hearing aid! Papa really knows all my needs even before I ask!

And not just so - I'm almost out of leave already due to attending various church retreats and conferences, but even then, God is miraculously providing for me...

In response to my prayer today for God to supply my need for leave, my manager graciously gave me 2 days off to take, which I can use for the GoForth conference, which means I can save the leave that would have been used for the GoForth conference to go for the missions trip instead!

WHOA~OH~OH!

All praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honour and power and strength be to our God, forever and ever! Amen!

Oh it's so true - I'm living life on the fine line, but I am learning all the more the great trueness of these verses: "Give us today our daily bread", and the sheer exuberant joy of this verse: "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work!"

There is simply so much joy when you see how God is able to provide so extravagantly for you in EVERY SINGLE WAY! His grace knows no bound, His goodness knows no end, and His generosity knows no limit! THANK GOD INDEED! :D

Just so happy to see how GOOD GOD IS! Life may not be comfortable, life may be on the thin red line, BUT ONE THING FOR SURE: LIFE IS WORTH THE LIVING, JUST BECAUSE HE LIVES!

Time and money we worry about, but oh, age to age He stands,
And time is in His hand
Beginning and the end,
Beginning and the end...

HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD
SING WITH ME
AND ALL WILL SEE
HOW GREAT
HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD...


Pardon me for typing in all caps... but I'm simply so filled with joy that I can't help myself! HALLELUJAH! :D

:D

Thank You Jesus!

*breathes deeply*

I'm just so happy. Because, there is something else to all this that makes this trip so precious.

Because I'm in charge of organizing the programme for the orphanage that we'll be going to visit.

And you know what? There are about 30+ children there who are 6 years or below.

It struck me as so amazing, because in HopeTots, I help to handle 30+ children who are 6 years and below. It's almost as though God were preparing me for this very mission... the coincidence is simply amazing. And whenever I hear about the orphanage, my heart literally beats faster. I am simply so looking forward to being with the children!

And even more wonderful is that I see how the vision that God showed me back in 2005 is visibly coming to pass! A vision of me sitting on a chair, and telling children from all over the world the story of Jesus... :D

It just touches my heart so deeply. For the Lord promised that He knows the plans that He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future! :D And THEN I will call upon Him and come and pray to Him and He will listen to me! Whoa... can there be such love as this?
I believe You'll always lead me
All my days have been ordained for me
All Your thoughts toward me are holy
Full of love and grace...
Surely I was born for such a time as this.

To think that He planned all these things for me even before I started looking for Him. Who can care so much for you or me, like Jesus does? In fact, He planned all these wonderful things for you and me... long before the beginning of Time.

Thank God for Alan, who shared Ephesians 1 with us so many years ago, about the richness of God's plans and purposes for us... and he made us memorise and meditate on the entire chapter.

And that chapter struck me so deeply there and then, because for the first time, it struck me that God not only wants to save the world - He wants to rope you and me in too to be his fellow partners in saving the world. He calls us to be His fellow agents ala Get SMART: "Saving the world... and loving it!"

And the delight of all this is that I know what the meaning of my life is, I know what I'm on earth for, and I know the hope that He has called me to. He has given me the name Abraham, even though I'm still so far from being a mature and wise man of God... because He sees in me the potential to be a father of many nations. Whoa! Jesus really sees through all my brokennesses and weaknesses and fraility and fallenness... and He makes me grow!
I've found where I belong
I'm a living stone
In this house I will grow...
:D
I have a destiny I know I shall fulfill
I have a destiny in that city on a hill
I have a destiny, it's not an empty wish
For I know that I was born for such a time as this...




I also commented to Jason as I was walking back with him, how at the church camp back in 2002, at Winsfield House about that night, when he and I were sitting at a stone table at 2.30 in the morning. A cool, breezy moonlit nite. :)

We were sharing with each other about our dreams to go on missions for the Lord. Fast forward six years later, and it turns out that by God's wonderful grace, we are going on the same missions trip together to Kenya.

Even though both of us didn't get to go to where we'd originally planned... God took us by our hands and led us to where He wants us to go. I'm just marvelling at the sheer intricate design of the Master Weaver's plans.

The Master Weaver. Ravi Zacharias wrote a book on that. I should go down one day to Tecman and buy a copy.

:D Joy.

Organ Trading


Read the on-going debate in the Straits Times. Personally, I think it's permissible, but it's a very thin line indeed. In the long run, it's not beneficial to allow people to sell their organs. And I think Minister Khaw must have thought through carefully, when he said that the law was "crystal clear". Everything may be permissible, but not everything is beneficial.

1. The main argument for allowing organ trading is that it saves lives. But consider the poll in the Straits Time: Almost everyone wants to buy an organ if they need one, but almost none are willing to sell theirs. This indicates, that deep down, nobody wants to sell, unless they REALLY have to do so.

So, we need to ask: What would make people desperate enough to sell their precious organs? Secondly, how did they get into that dire situation in the first place?

If a person is so poor that he/she has to sell his/her spare kidney... or do a risky operation to sell part of the liver... then we need to address the very situation that caused that situation. Poverty. Which is frankly a tractable problem in the first place.

In short: No one should ever have to sell his/her organs to alleviate his/her poverty.

2. But then, what about the receiver? Anyone, when dying for want of a good organ, would be willing to pay almost any price possible to save his/her own life. To be real, it is a very difficult issue that has no easy measure. However, we can at least ensure that it is fair - both to the rich and the poor. If the rich are able to jump ahead of the poor in the wait for transplants, then what can the poor do but wait even longer?

At least, at this present time in our society - when it comes to this aspect of medicine - we are all equally needy. Organ failure is bad enough - let's not make it worse.

3. Finally, how do we prevent rip-offs from happening? And how do we prevent exploitations, scams and even murders to harvest organs from happening?

The short answer is: It's not possible. Not unless we have a blanket ban on organ-selling. Minister Khaw is right on this point.

In conclusion, people have been arguing for the easier way of allowing organ-selling. But shall we take the harder right, or the easier wrong? Let's choose the better way (even though it is harder) of encouraging and helping people to sign their organs up for donation after death. As a Christian, I believe such generosity is bound to be remembered and graciously rewarded by God in the life to come... :)

Everyone's going to die, sooner or later. So why not leave your organs behind, so that others may live and not leave?

Personally... I'm thankful for the HOTA. I'm opting in for sure, not opting out. :)
Prayed at MacRitchie Reservoir last night. Serenely dark and beautiful. Thank God for the time truly. Just poured out to God all my worries and everything that was on my mind... then apologised to Him, saying, "Sorry Lord, I think I'm talking too much here... I ought to be listening to You, to let You get a word in."

But 1 Peter 5:7 instantly came to mind: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

Whoa. So touched by God's care, that the Lord of all the universe would actually take time to stoop down to listen to a worried child's ramblings. :)

And you know, something very interesting happened too. While I was praying, I looked up at the night sky, and I saw the clouds... gosh, it looked a lot like a face... a big gentle face, sorta like Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel (but a lot less stern haha)... and it looked a lot like it was smiling at me. And the rest of the clouds looked like a huge arm encircling me. Really. I spun around and saw the extent of the clouds.

And at that moment, to be honest, I was quite scared. What if it REALLY was God appearing to me... you know, like how He appeared to the Israelites in a cloud in the Old Testament? I was scared, because the "face" really did look so real... and HUGE.

Think I got a tiny taste of how the people in the Old Testament must have felt, seeing the glory of the Lord coming down in a cloud. It struck me then that when God really wanted to connect with us... He chose no longer to come down in a terrifying cloud of power, but as a frail baby. To paraphrase John Donne, "Immensity clothed in dear flesh..."
Revelation 1:7
Look, he is coming with the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

But so touched by His realness and His love... who am I, that the Lord of heaven and earth would care for a little worm like me? "What is man, that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him?"

I'm very refreshed and renewed by that time of prayer. It was long, and I struggled at the start, taking a nap even... but it was worth it. Because I think I managed to see the face of God for just even a very little, little moment. :) So... I'm inspired to sleep earlier tonight to wake up earlier tomorrow... just to seek Him even more.

Jesus is just so, so good... He is sweeter than the sweetest honey that you've ever tasted. And no, these words are not mushy sentimental words of an emo fellow... they are lifted right up from the very Bible itself. For the mighty warrior King David exclaimed, "O taste and see that the Lord is good! For He taste like honey, sweet honey in the rock." :D w00t!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!"

Came across these YouTube videos from a friend's blog... oh gosh! The songs are simply lovely... and "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"? Oh man! I remember watching it on a holiday so long ago... I think was it 1986 or 87? Miss it lots... they simply don't make children's videos like they used to... even Transformers the Movie was cool... with quoteworthy sound-bites. :) "Such heroic nonsense!"

Opening to "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!"

[CHARLIE BROWN (overlapping)]
Some days I wake up early to watch the sunrise, and
I think how beautiful it is, and how my life lies
before me, and I get a very positive feeling about
things. Like this morning for instance; the sky's
so clear and the sun's so bright. How can anything
go wrong on a day like this?

I'm late!

[SNOOPY]
Woof!

[ALL (except Charlie Brown)]
You're a good man, Charlie Brown
You're the kind of reminder we need
You have humility, nobility and a sense of honor that is very
Rare indeed.

[SNOOPY]
Woof!

[OTHERS]
You're a good man, CHarlie Brown
And we know you will go very far

Yes it's hard to believe
Almost frightening to conceive
What a good man you are.

[SCHROEDER]
You are kind.

[OTHERS]
You are kind to all the animals
And every little bird
With a heart of gold
You believe what you're told...

[LUCY]
Every single solitary word

[OTHERS]
You bravely face adversity
You're cheerful through the day
You're thoughtful
Brave and couteous

[LUCY]
And you also have some faults
But for the moment let's just say

[OTHERS]
That you're a good man, Charlie Brown
You're a prince
And a prince could be king
With a heart such as yours
You could open any doors
You could go out and do anything
You could be King Charlie Brown
You could be king!

"Glee Club Rehearsal" ("You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!")


"Happiness" from "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!"

I love the opening bars... and this song is very meaningful. :) It made me smile deep inside... yeah :) I think that's the sweet beauty of a simple childlike faith... to know that no matter how mundane or sad or disappointing or dreadful life can ever be... this is the day that the Lord has made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it. :)

Kranji Farm Visit Redux

Psalm 104:24
How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.


















Was browsing through some pics, and came across some photos that I took at a Kranji farm. Thought they're very nice, so just to share with you all. (I ought put 'em on Flickr soon...)

Boardgaming at Cafe Decoder

Had combined CG today with Sarah's CG joining us. Cafe De Coder. I met an old coursemate from NUS there - Hock Soon. :) It was really great catching up with him. Got to know a new friend - Edmund's old JC friend. (Can't rmb her name tho.) Some of us played Pictionary. Edmund's really good at this... and Peter has this knack for recognizing even the most mysterious scrawlings. Tai Heng can be really steady under tight time pressures... haha, while Sarah can make up new game rules on the fly! :)

Anyway, pics!


Friday, July 4, 2008

True Relevance

Weizhu and I had been discussing about this over our dinner a few days ago. Shall blog more on it asap... this is to jot down the points that we talked about.

Had dinner with Yufen and Kin Wee today, to treat them as an appreciation for all their help with the HopeKids video for the HopeKids camp some time back. :) Shunrong couldn't make it though - work commitments.

So when I reached Pizza Hut at Plaza Singapura today, to my surprise, I saw Huili there! Seems that she was catching up with Yufen earlier... so we cajoled her into joining us for the dinner treat. :) Haha. We were joking that she was the stand-in for Shunrong...

Anyway, it was a lovely time - very funny too - of sharing and talking. Really, Huili and Kin Wee are great jokers. :D HL'll be going for her convocation next Thursday. Thank God it's around 8 pm, so shall go down to bless her. (I gotta check with the other people graduating this sem.)

Minchen popped by later. We tried to get her to chow some food, but she had just eaten at Han's Restaurant earlier with her CG. And she was sporting a nice tan from the matric camp last week. :P Haha...

All in all, such a good time. =) Very refreshed, very blessed by this time of fellowship. And thank God also for the very encouraging testimony by Yufen back on the train. Always never fail to be refreshed after a good chat with her! Just to jot down this little thing that she shared with me: "God will never put us in a place His grace cannot reach."

Ok. Time to sleep now... GoForth conference coming up, excited... and prayerfully, can go for the missions trip... (YEAH!)


Oh yes! Want to thank God too for His wonderful help in finishing almost all my project stuff on / ahead of time. =D And for the sweet quiet time in the morning, spent at the rooftop garden in the golden morning sunlight.
"Early in the morning I will seek Your face
Drawn by the Spirit to the promise of Your grace..."

But still there is so much of my heart that still doesn't desire Him that much... and also I want to grow in talking with Him as a FRIEND, not just as a Cosmic Problem-Solver.
I want to walk with You
Every day of my life
To talk with You
In the good and the strife
You're my Friend
You're my Father
For all time
Nothing can keep us apart
You're the Lover of my heart...

In the good and the strife. How I want to call upon Him, not only like a desperate soldier calling for fire support, but now also as a friend, to share deeply with Father my deepest desires, my innermost thoughts, my sweetest feelings and my darkest secrets. I want to let God be MY God.
Freedom comes, when I call You Lord
You are Lord, MY God...

Thank God too, for how He mercifully heard my prayer this morning, when I was tired and tense, and irritable. Felt like snapping at others, but even while in the midst of talking, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the need for self-control, to control my tongue...

And I prayed to God to help me hold my tongue, to exercise self-control, not to give in to my frustrations. And the Lord heard my prayer. :) Daily He sanctifies me, daily He gives me bread for my soul, and daily He teaches me His ways and guides me in His truth.

It's a period, as I shared with Yufen on the trip back on the MRT, where I think I see how the Master Potter is preparing me for whatever He's calling me to. First it was the awakening of my eyes to see the need for sanctification, for character, for godliness, for holiness, for righteousness. And how He opens my eyes day by day to see my LACK of these all... so that I may open wide my mouth to ask Him to teach me and fill me... and how He uses the people in my church to help me mature and grow to be the man that He wants me to be.

Maybe I'm imagining things too much here, but as Ruey Fong exhorted me some time ago, God has given me a very powerful imagination, and I need to use it to imagine great things for God, not imagine bad or sad things. Amen.

I sense this year may be the beginning of deployment, mobilization to the frontlines... this would then be the year of PREPARATION. Consecration, in other words. "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you." :)
Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.


*touched*

It touches me that the Lord is inviting you and me to join Him together in fulfilling the Great Commission in OUR lifetimes...