Thursday, April 14, 2016

I know God directed me

Right now, I feel like I am going through a valley. The road is steep and I feel like giving up. I also feel like I am going no where and I want to give up. If I make it to the top, I won't go looking for another hill to climb.

Then I stop. Take a deep breath and look around. I stop and look for God. I look and He always allows me to find Him.

It started out one Christmas. I don't remember much about it. I would most probably be about 14. I know my uncle who just came back from Australia was the one who invited us all to church. I don't remember if daddy and mummy came with us. I know I saw next to my aunt and my sister was on the other side of her. And then they sang this song "We are the reason". And as they sang and sang, tears started to come down my face. I remember being embarrassed. I wiped them up and tried to calm myself although the turmoil in my heart had not yet stopped. I coughed it up and controlled myself. I walked out of church that night feeling strange but the feeling stopped.

I was 18 the next time something happened. I was under a lot of criticism and scrutiny. I had just come out of a bad relationship and the other person had a whole bunch of supporters rooting for him. It made my getting out a lot harder. It made it hard even to make new friends. So, one afternoon during camp, I sat in the school toilet and one particular spot on the bench and pleaded to God. My prayer was for peace, and not to be bothered anymore about what other people said or thought or told me to do. But that I could find acceptance and love from Him instead. I looked up and through the only small window in the toilet, I saw a cross. At that particular angle where I sat and looked up, the cross from a church some 1 km away could be seen. And a feeling of peace washed through me from the top of my head to my toes. And the conflict in my heart just stopped.

My first incident left me crying. The second wiped them dry.

I didn't give my life to Christ even then. Although I did start going to church when I was 21. I was in Australia and my campus had a church gathering. I made some good friends. Life went on like normal. Little did I know though that even  then God was directing me.

The third incident which happened is one I can't remember how it happened but still thank God for it today. I was sent to New York for work when I was 27. I was there only for 8 weeks but after 2-3 weeks, I started to look for a church in Manhattan. I wonder why I didn't do any research on churches in Manhattan. But I didn't. I did make a friend though who brought me to their family church in China Town. But I didn't quite fit in. And then one day I wandered to Times Square and came upon Time Square Church. It said it was interdenominational which was caught my attention. And for the rest of the few Sundays I had, I went to TSC in NY. Even till today, when I feel down and out, or when I want food for my soul, I always go back to TSC site and there will always be a sermon for me.

And then when I was 28, I learned to speak in tongues.

And at 38, my Children Ministry leader left and I was asked to stand in the gap. Before she left, I already had felt God nudging me. He gave me a verse Isaiah 43:18-19. And I was so excited to have this new beginning start in my life.

But the life of a leader is not easy. I am naive to think that passion will see it through. So, today I really felt like I was walking through a valley. Walking that gap between the promise of Isaiah 43:18-19 and it's eventuality. But when I stopped and looked for God, He gave me a sermon from TSC. And He gave me a song 'Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord'.

And He restores me for His name sake. To put my hand to the ploy and bring glory to His name.

For Jesus walked through the wilderness and I will follow closely in His footsteps up to the top of the hill, proclaiming God's goodness and love. May my work for Him with the children be always about Him, always about them and never about me.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hong Kong 2015

My first trip through Matta Fair. I could say it ended up a lot cheaper this way and I really got blessed along the way. For approximately MYR 1500 per person, we got a 3 night stay in a reasonably spacious hotel called Casa Deluxe (upgraded due to a miscalculation on the part of the tour agent) in Yau Ma Tei area, 1 night stay in Disneyland hotel with Mickey breakfast and the ticket for the theme park, including all matters of transportation to/fro airport and to Disneyland. We also had a half day tour which I found a waste of time but had to go on to get our free ticket to Madame Tussaud.

If you have arrived here hoping for a detailed itinerary, you won't get it. However, there was this really awesome place for steamed milk and custard that I loved to heaven and back. The name of this humble establishment is Yee Shun Dairy Company. And for the love of being blessed, it was a few shops away from our hotel. The ginger milk pudding was so silky smooth I could eat it everyday. But it is very pricey.

In fact, I would safely say that if nothing else, you won't have trouble at all with food in Hong Kong. Eat anywhere, at any corner seriously and it can't go far wrong. But then again I am Cantonese.

There were 3 highlights I would say about our trip.

First was street walking. We literally walked one day after lunch from Tsim Sha Tsui, pass our hotel, browsing through Ladies Market, the street with lots of pets, pass Flower Street and in to Yuen Po Street Bird Garden. And then walked back to Prince Edward station to Sham Sui Po and did another round of walking and shopping around Fuk Wing Street. Fuk Wing Street is 'the' street in that area for all your childhood dreams. It is seriously very much cheaper. And we ended up buying toys, imitation lego and stationery. I loved the Hello Kitty and Little Dream Star stationery there!!!

Second was Victoria Peak. We didn't go in the evening since we had kids with us and didn't want to brave the crowd. We went early in the morning instead, when the line was short. But the China people seriously, they come any time!!! Overall it was relaxing to be up there, walk around, enjoy the scenery. We had loads of fun in Madame Tussaud as well posing with all the waxed figures.

Third and definitely not least was Disneland. We were there from 11 to about 8. But we were so tired and cold and wet by 8 that we didn't stay for the fireworks. We saw it from our hotel instead. better than nothing. But I would say Disneyland was fun for the rides. Waiting time was short, we deduced it was because the rides themselves were not long. The kids had great fun, even Caylee who had a scare in one of the rides and adamantly refused any more of those rides that looked scary after that. While waiting, she had her share of posing and jumping. Her highlight was the final Frozen show before dinner where she got to see Elsa and Anna!

We also went to the Citygate Outlets. The one and only time we shopped. It had crazy sales.

All in all, I would say it was a very memorable trip. I reckon the cool weather really helps. I was very proud of Christopher for walking so much and not complaining. And the girl was happy to spend the afternoons in the hotel with grandma. We had friends in Hong Kong to bring us around a day or two which was really swell, cause they had a car.

I would say that the streets in Hong Kong are a pleasure to be lost in. In fact Hong Kong island is still my preferable walking destination compared to the mainland. Perhaps the old and new collide in the island in so many more ways. It leaves a nostalgic feel, almost warm despite the cold. I will definitely return to Hong Kong. If for nothing else, the steamed milk pudding with warm ginger syrup.