Thursday, February 13, 2014

My 2013

A promised update to myself. Time flies, the last one year, I met new people, built new bonds, made mistakes, learnt lessons... Thanks to the high technology, the very awesome memories that I had with every single one, still evidently left in my hard drive even though this brain is not functioning well all the time. Uh-huh, time for a 2013 flash back! ;)

Dug back the pictures, sorted it by date modified, my Taiwan Trip came out the first. I just couldn't believe, it was 12 months ago. When I viewed back each and every picture, the memories were so fresh, like it just happened yesterday. :') That was a wonderful 10 days, we first visited different part of Taiwan together with the taxi driver aka friendly tour guide. The second half, we stayed back ourselves in Taipei. We hugged and took countless pictures with the so-cute-Alpaca,  took a ship out to the sea (that costs us a lot), been totally naked inside the hotel spa, moved house every single day, stood infront of the ice formed by the road side for pictures, tried whatever food in the night markets, released the sky lanterns, shop till we left with the last few cents... That all happened with the company of my bestie XQ and the one and only LK, and of course, the sweet yet funny couple. :)

A very big thank you to the tour guide, even though he might not be able to see this, but he really did a pretty awesome job! And to the rest of you, I believe that's memorable moments that non of us will ever forget. Special thanks to the xq-and-huiming exclusive photographer. Thank you for willing to get bullied by us, yet still love me and xq so much!! You know what, one year past, but I will never forget the very promise. Guess xq is anticipating that as much as I do. Work harder si LK! =P

Then, I went back to Malaysia, after the 7 months staying in Australia. Met up with too many people that I couldnt really remember all the details, but I know it was all happiness. Came back to Malaysia, especially Sibu, it's just heaven to me. =D Familiar places, familiar faces, familiar do-as-i-wish... nothing can be better than coming back home. And I love this once in a long while :)

The first trip when I went back to Aus. Never expect myself to really go for that, the Oceania Convention 2013 that happened in Melbourne. But thank God, I did. When I flipped back all these memories, I really wanna cry. Guys, wherever you are, or wherever you might be leaving to, I know I can only wish you a goodbye, no matter how unwilling I am. :'(

If you ask me, I'd tell you, NEVER will I regret for going that. Look at the smiles on their faces up there, I can't tell you how much I love this picture! :') That very precious few days, that got us to stay together in that island, grow together in God with so much laughter and tears. How bless I was, to have you. :'')

Right after the Melby Trip, I went to Adelaide under the super non stop request by my babe telling me how awesome Adelaide can be, when she is there. ;) Now, let me tell you the beauty of Adelaide...

I had dessert EVERYDAY!! LOL It is a beautiful small town, with many local dessert shops hanging around the streets. I basically have chocolate everyday, and most of the days, I had it more than once per day. Awwww, the overload sweetness, that's the most I can remember about Adelaide. HAHA.

Of course, a must to mention all my beautiful and handsome tour guides all over there. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you guys. You don't need to, but you spaced out your time to bring me around, to entertain me, to gain weight together.. especially it's during the period when you guys were having assignment due. Can I give you a SUPER LIKE? HEHE

Miss this random outing to gold coast. I think that was after some mid-term exam! Not really have anyone to do this random thingy with me nowadays. Or I should say, no one can replace that. :(

Then it jumped to July, my graduation month. Can't believe how the time flies, I thought I just came to Bris yesterday, and there I was, graduated from the one year study, in a heartbeat!
To this bunch of my Yakiniku-ians, I wanna say thank you, that I was with you when I first went. So blessed, to be able to stay with you guys, to go classes together, to waste time together, and even to burn the mid-night oil together during exam. That was just a short one year, but the memories I had with you guys, are beyond a year. Still, so proud of you to be able to graduate all together. Even more proud, to know that each and everyone of you are doing really good back home. Thank you for making me your Stella jiejie, I miss you guys. :')

My graduation Trip. I'm so glad that I was so insist of going to Carins, a place that truly helped me to discover how much I love the under water! It was a very short 4 days 3 nights, but who cares, it happened, and all of us were there together! Thank you, for following my way to that place, even though I know it really costs a lot to everyone. But, HEHE, it's never a regret right? ;)

The beautiful great barrier reef.
And of course this one, whom I can never forget. Thank you for being the one who brought me down, with all your expert cares and skills. I wonder, if we will ever meet again? :)

Family came!! Sooooo grateful to have them! :') Even though I was really tired and overwhelmed with everything, their presence never fail to cheer me up.
Not sure if I was a good tour guide, but definitely a brave one. Got to bring them around in Brissy, Gold Coast, and even Melbourne! Wow, even until today, I can still feel the fear driving in the Melbourne city! Must have done it by God's grace!! Nevertheless, that indeed was a family-fun time! So thankful to have them here, experiencing bit of my life.

Made quite an unexpected decision to further my studies to the postgraduate in this University. To be honest, never once in my life that I wanted a Master, but it just happened... 

A very modern campus. Not as big as compared to my previous UQ. But overall, I would consider it a very good one, at least I've learnt something out of this particular uni. For the one last semester that is to come, GAMBATTE!!

Then, this four little kids moved into my Yakiniku Unit 4. They said I have been treating the house like a hotel, complaint how difficult it was to even see me. Hehe. Even though some of you have moved out by now, I still wanna thank you, for the half a year that I've spent with you guys. Have fun in the new place yea :)

This is the girl, who always did crazy things with me! After staying for another 2 months in Bris after graduation, finally she's leaving. I have to admit, we didnt really spend much time together, both of us were always busy with different stuff, not to mention we were not staying that near to each other. But we never let go of any chance when it's about meeting up.

That's a great one year Enna! Thank you for being the one who can understand me so well, and been through significant moments together. I miss our crazy spring flare. When are you coming back for a next one? ;)

Received an engagement invitation from this girl, was so confused about what's gonna happen. There I went, witnessed the very moment when she said she's gonna devote her single life to Jesus for the next few years. Such a beautiful one, and inspiring as well. So, how are you doing right now in HK? Faster come back Vianne! :(

Had our UQ9 fund-raising Car Wash! I never know, I will get involved in all these fund-raising events, especially when that happened on the exact same day as my birthday! ;)

So much fun, so much surprises, and so much memories... Cheers to my family in Bris! Love you to the bits!!

Received a guitar as my birthday present! And that started my journey to learn another music instrument other than just piano :) So in love... 

A picnic dedicated to our new-arrival girl leader! ;) Like a blink of the eyes, you've joined UQ9 for 4 months till now! Thank you for making the effort to be willing to open up yourself to us, so much! Looking forward for the times that are to come. ;)

A very significant milestone in life, I went to Manila for a mission trip!!! Such a trip, that I will never forget. No matter how long the time past, you guys will always be in my mind. Thank you, especially to my mission trip teammates, will never be able to make it if it's without all of you. :')

To all the graduates in the second semester of 2013, Congrats! =D
Felt so honored to even have their parents here to celebrate the precious moment together! They keep saying thank you, for organizing the event. But to me, it's more than just an event. Seeing the parents' smiles and agreements towards their children and UQ9, it meant everything to me.

Did I fail to mention that I get to drive in Australia even without a car? Yeah, thanks to the super selfless car-key holder who went a little AWOL and left us, or rather me, cried like no one else. :'(

Christmas time!! Never get to celebrate this before due to the denial of Christmas in my home church since young. So yea, apparently this is my first time doing Caroling. Glad that it brought joys to the people around. :)

I remembered I was really busy throughout the whole summer holiday! Even though there's no classes, but everyday I had plenty to be done. Trust me, no matter how busy I was, I literally enjoyed everything. Doing things for God, doing things that I love, life can never be any better!

This was how I ended my 2013, with my beloved family, in the house of our beloved papa Dex. That's quite a crazy and random night, but I love randomness, especially when it is with the right people. :')

2013, indeed a very meaningful year to me. I have seen myself grown so much, both emotionally and spiritually. Did a lot of first-time-in-life, and discovered myself even more. Wondering what's lying ahead in 2014, but I'm pretty sure it's gonna be a great one!! Anticipating..!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Little Goodbye to Brisbane

This is funny. I am just gonna be less than six weeks away, but I felt the urge to even write a post for this. So yea, jumping queue for my 2013 post, this is to come first. :)

A very beautiful city. When I say beautiful, I don't just mean the view of the city. I believe often times, it's the people that play the very major part. Everyone says Brisbane is quiet, boring, says it's too peaceful a place for young adult like me ;) But to me, Brisbane is more than just a place that I came to study. Well, initially it was, but soon, God brought me to this big family. They are the combination of everything. Papa, mama, big brothers, big sisters,  music freak, gentle bear, special laughter-er, caring, teasing, cheesy, super onz's, crazy, random, creative, shit topic lovers, twinies... Basically I mean random, yet perfect combination. 

Have been saying GOODBYEs recently. Some means a temporary one, and some means a for-good one. I have not, totally not gonna be able to achieve it so soon, to learn this lesson of saying goodbyes well. My tears will still drop, for the people that are leaving, even for those that have already left. That's why, even it's just a 6 weeks away, I felt like forever. 

To those who have been with me throughout this little summer holiday, thank you for making my life that busy. Thank you for many randomness and on-ness. Especially the ones who have been driving me here and there. Thank you for the many memorable moments. It was beyond words to be able to spend this time with you guys. I'll see you in real short time, and by then, we gonna be all full onz to do great things for God hey? :)

A very special thanks to the one who have walked me down the apartment and waited with me for 20 minutes. Never expect that, really. :') Take care Mr. Your bising housemate will be back soon. :)

Love, Brisbane. 

Okaes. Malaysia, I'm coming! :)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Manila Mission Trip 2013

It is totally out of my expectation. I never, once in my life, thought that I would be part of it. Mission trip? It just sounds a bit too impossible and unreachable for me. I remember when I realized I've decided to go, I was scared. Tons of worries about the uncertainty just came, telling me how much I need to prepare, and yet how much I am unprepared.

There I went, touched down in Manila, Philippine, with little or even zero expectation. Have no idea what to expect, but ever since He left the door opened for me to come, I know, He is going to do something really amazing. No idea what, just something big.

Met up with those flying from different part of the world, as well as the host AFJC (Ambassador for Jesus Christ) we had a little chat. Sitting beside one of the volunteer of AFJC, started to listen to his story. Through the little conversation, he told me the story about this killer, who have killed countless of people, and a one last pastor before he was put into the jail. He was paid to make sure the pastor stop sharing gospel, either the pastor does it willingly, or the killer forces the pastor by putting him to death. The pastor gets to share the gospel to the killer, before he was killed. Then, the killer was caught. While he was being investigated, Jesus popped out in his mind. He prayed to God, saying that if Jesus is so real that He can get him out of this and stay alive, he will, offer the rest of his life to God. Oh well, the way I describe, it does sound a bit unrealistic. But just imagine, when you are at the edge of dying, I bet you would try whatever way to keep yourself alive. The moment when the killer started praying, I believe there's at least a hope and trust in God, even it might be just as small as mustard seed. And there it goes. The next day, the newspaper published that this killer was sentenced to death, which in fact, he was being exiled to another far away prison, continue living with a new name. Ever since then, he became a pastor, sharing gospel inside the prison. Don't ask me why, I don't know how God works, but He is always able, even when it seems like a miracle to us.

I was amazed. Remember how I said I don't know what to expect? After that, when I opened up myself to just listen to many of his stories, I was so touched. I know, God is starting to do something in me, even when I bring no expectation, He is going to make me unexpectedly amazed at Him. That night, I was really excited, I just can't wait for more to come. :)

On the way back to our hotel, we witnessed the big contrast between the city and the slum areas. Have you ever experience the feeling when you realize you are actually breathing EVERY SECOND? Here in Manila, the air is so polluted that you can be so aware of your breath, because each and every breathe, you are breathing in something more than just the air. I wonder, how do they survive in such a polluted place.

Day Two

Things happened. Tyre punctured, team members lost their voices, tired, sick... One of the host, Alvin Toh reminded us to pray. He said, just think about when we are proclaiming so loud that we are here to impact the nation, to bring something different, what would the devil do when he heard about all these? But our weapon, PRAYER, is always more powerful than anything. We prayed for unity, prayed for God's covering. It felt so good after prayer, I really love how powerful this weapon is, all the time. :)

Putting on the full armor of God, off we go to the first station, Manila City Jail. :)
Just a random picture, the common public transport all around Manila. They call it Jeepney. Hehe.

Taaaa there we were inside the jail. Allow me to repeat again, this is Manila City JAIL. Guess what, they have churches built inside the jail, and the money used to build the churches were actually from the prisoner's tithe and offering. *jawdropped* The picture above was one of the chapel, taken during praise and worship session. They were singing in Tagalog, a language that I totally don't understand. I was lost in the beginning, but then something changed. As we continue to worship Him, I can really experience His strong presence. That's when I truly understand that no matter where we are, what are we singing, His presence stays the same. So touched by their hearts, to just want to give it all to the Lord. Looking at their joyful smiling faces, it changed my whole perspective of how should a prisoner be. I thought it was suppose to be sufferings, but they are different. They have God, who can bring them so much joy, that despite the poor environment, joy that came from the heart. So cool!! Praise the Lord! =D

Met up with more of the AFJC volunteers, Groupie :)

Next station, AFJC Pre-School Ministry.

A total of 30 sponsored kids at the age of 4 and 5, they are simply adorable. We prepared activities for them, told them the story about the birth of Jesus, play around with them. Also, watched their Cute-Die dance performance. You know, all the tiredness just suddenly went away. No wonder it says in Matthew, that unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Kids are simple, and that's why I love them. But.. hehe.. I do admit I am a little biased towards those cute pretty little girls. Awwwwww ♥

Day Three

Divided into small groups, we were then heading down to the slum areas for the feeding programme.

Chocolate porridge, milk, and bread. All ready for the kids. :)
Talked to a few kids there, suddenly the compassion just arouse from my heart. A question pop out in my mind, after today, am I still seeing them? I have seen the condition of their living life, so different from mine. How I wish, they can live a better life, and grown up to be a better person. How I wish, I am actually able, to provide them a better future. The first time, that I truly experience, the urge to take care of them, stranger kids. The first time, when I truly wish, God can make me a super billionaire, that I will have the ability to do something. I guess, this is the kind of feeling that you can only feel when you are physically there, experience and understand the needs yourself.

Alvin and Jace :)
This is the man, with amazing passion for God and His people. Years ago, together with his wife, went to Philippine with literally nothing, but the heart and passion wanting to expand the kingdom of God. He did bargain with God a lot before he made the decision, but no one can overpower Him. ;) The couple obeyed, they went, and true enough, God never forsake them. It's hard in the beginning, but that's when God performed many miracles through the couples. They formed AFJC, with just the two of them in the beginning, until the many volunteers they're having today.

Alvin shared, that our responsibilities are to share the gospel, to love the people. We are never meant to convert anyone. We share, we love, and the rest, is all in God's hand.

Let me share with you one of his amazing testimony. One day, he saw a woman with this big and round stomach. He thought that she was pregnant, but after that he realized it's some kind of disease. The woman passed by him, went into her car. That was when Holy Spirit prompted Alvin to follow the woman. Trust me, it is hard. You don't normally follow a stranger and talk to her randomly about Jesus. Oh well, at least it is hard for me, it does take a lot of courage for me to do that. I believe it's never easy for Alvin, but he chose to let the Holy Spirit move, and he WENT by FAITH to the car. Surprisingly, the woman allowed Alvin to enter her car!!  Had a little chat with the woman, Alvin shared to her about Jesus, and that's also when he get to know more about what happened to this woman. Alvin offered to pray for the woman. GUESS WHAT, Miracles happened!!! As he laid his hand on her stomach and started praying, the big round stomach just went smaller and smaller and smaller!! In the end, both of them were tearing with so much joy inside the car. Amazing how God moves hey? Nothing complicated. Just a simple prayer, with Faith, God can move mountain, through you. :)

Day Four

We had a good rest, woke up really late today. Had some food and fellowship before we went down to the Hospital ministry. :) That's when I was again amazed by Alvin's many testimonies. He told us how God healed his arm miraculously, and that made him truly believe that this is a God who heals. PTL

There we go, bringing little goodie bags to bless the patients :)
To be honest, I think I was quite lost. I know we were to pass them goodie bags, I know we were to bless them, but I dont know what's the way of blessing. Until I was there, I realized, we, including myself, were to bless the patient by praying for them personally. *OHGOSH* You know, it took me some time to say yes every time I was asked to pray publicly even during my own lifegroup. But this time, definitely unprepared, I was to pray for these strangers. *OHGOSHOHGOSH* No idea how I did it, but all the glory to God. SERIOUSLY.

We entered into different wards, started by the local volunteer sharing gospel and testimony in Tagalog. I don't understand a word, but I can see, the fire that burns so strongly, as well as the joy in his face, to just want to bless the people by sharing to them this wonderful God. I was really encouraged, by that strong passion. When I was praying for different people, all I had in my mind was to ask God to take care of each and everyone of them. I might not be able to truly understand how they feel like, but I know God can. No matter what nationality, young or old, they are all God's children. And the Father, will never forsake His own children, not a single one will be left out. I prayed for much joy and peace to be in their hearts, that they will still look up to the Only One, no matter how bad the situation is. I really thank God, for just being there. I have no idea what is going to happen to them next, but I am so glad that they are not alone, they have Daddy God. :')

I remember I was not allowed to go hospital most of the time, you know, it seems a little too germ-ish to the parents. So yea, I don't remember I enter the hospital very often. Even the few times that I did, it was back home, Malaysia and Australia. They have good facilities, they don't look scary. That was the first time, when I witnessed the true condition of a hospital with my own eyes. It was not very bad, it was just not a place that I would want to stay overnight. But to this people, they don't have a choice. Witnessing all these for the first time, I don't feel good. It's just some down feeling from within, and I don't know how to describe everything.

On this very same day, I heard the story of this girl, one of the volunteer of AFJC. When I first met her, the first impression to me was: What a joyful girl. She is really active and outgoing, talkative and friendly, with lots of smile on her face all the time. I love being with her, she can just made me feel warm and happy. :)

But today, she came with red rashes all around her eyes. She told me it was allergic to some food and I bought it without a second thought. Until when she started to cry while talking to some other people, and then I realized, it wasn't allergic, it was done by the mother. I don't know how, but the mother always use many different ways to abuse her. She couldn't report because she has two younger brothers at home, she needs the mother. Seeing her crying, I just couldn't stand. My heart was pumping so hard, yet not knowing what to do.

Sitting inside the jeepney, my mind started to wonder a lot. I told God, I don't understand. Compare to myself, who is having a way better life than them, why do they need to suffer? For once, I thought God is really unfair. He blessed many of us so much, but to many of the rest, they are living in such a life.  For once, I told God that I couldn't take it any further. I dont want to, I want to run away from this place, I want to just go home. I felt so little, so tiny, that I couldnt do anything to help. I am just here for 8 days, no matter how terrible the traffic is, how polluted the air is, how bad the condition is... it's just 8 days. After that I will be going back to my own town, continue living my happy life. But for them, what can they do? They strive to change but just couldn't get out of the condition. They are sort of stuck there.. forever.

Looking out the window up to the dark sky, I saw this crescent moon, with this one and only star beside it. Sorry my phone is too weak to snap the wonderful view, so I went and google... ;)

Google said this phenomenon is called Earthshine, the crescent moon with the Venus star accompanied aside. Complicated, google yourself. Hehe. But to me, the point is the very smiley face of the moon. Daddy God knew I was down, He knows me so well that He showed me the smiley moon, told me not to be sad, but smile. :")

We celebrated a volunteer girl's birthday. But at the end of the day, the focus became the mission trip team, who came all the way from Australia, to try their famous BALUT. It is basically a developing duck embryo... to be EATEN with a little salt. If you ask me was I eating egg or was I eating baby duck, I have no idea. Basically, it was disgusting. I am not showing any picture here but you can google yourself if you are interested. Congratulation to majority of the mission team members who conquered the BALUT so easily. I mean majority, not all. HAHA =D

These are the bunch of amazing people, with great heart and passion for God. They have many amazing testimonies about how they came to know God, and how they stood firm to follow closely after, even though it means persecution by friends and even family. To be a little honest, I used to be really racist. Growing up in an environment with just Chinese all around, I don't mix a lot with other races. But each and everyone of them, are just so awesome that the more I spent time with them, the more I love being with them. Taking this opportunity, I would really want to shout a big THANK YOU to everyone of you. You guys just made our trip so memorable, so impactful. Continue this journey with Him, I can't wait to see many of you rise up to be amazing leaders, to bring more and more people to know Him. :)

Day Five

After breakfast, Sabbie get us to shared about what we have learnt from yesterday. Oh well, I was really struggling inside whether to share that really down part. I felt like keeping it to myself and let God deal with the feeling Himself. Thank God, He convinced me to share, and I am so glad that I did. 

To some of them, it was not their first mission trip. They are definitely more mature and experienced in dealing with these things. And because I told them how I felt, I have received so much encouragement from the team members. They shared with me different things that helped me to change my whole perspective. They said, a lot of the time, the devil will try to define for us what is good and what is bad. We thought we are having good life and they are not, because that's how and what good and bad are defined by the devil. But have you ever ask God, is that what He thinks too? We are here to bless the people here, by doing what we can, even though it is only little that we have. It is the devil, who told us that we can't do anything, who asked us to leave the place and do nothing. But we are sent here, definitely with a purpose, a great one. 

Then, we went for house visitation to the family of the kids from AFJC Pre-School. Walking through the alley, visiting to those houses that I don't even know if I should consider it a house, it truly taught me to understand what is it about the necessities of life. Often times, we take things for granted, we requested a lot more than what we need. To them, a shelter that can cover them from little rain or sun, is more than enough. 

I suddenly felt so happy when I was with the families. They really dont seem to have a lot compared to our standard, but somehow, they sort of owned the whole world, by just being satisfied with what they have. They are always grateful, and appreciate everything in life. They smile, they laugh. They have the true joy, that many of us in the big cities strive to taste even a little. What a joke. :)

Day Six
It is the day, that we have been preparing and looking forward to for so long, the Crusade day. It is the day, whereby we introduce to the people in that city, who Jesus is. 
I remember the atmosphere was really bad at the beginning of the day. The weather was bad, everyone is not united, the devil was just trying different ways to stop us. But thank God, we have Prayer! I can tell you so truly how prayer can work so powerfully. The whole atmosphere can just changed, without you knowing. Super awesome! :)

Everyone is ready, to fight this battle against the devil, together with our highest God. :)

The time has come :)

It was really an eye-opening experience. I witnessed the heart of Alvin and the rest of AFJC. To them, it means so much when they see salvation, when there's another one being added into the kingdom of God. They have been working so hard, praying so hard, not for personal enjoyment, but to fulfill the commandment of God, to make disciples all over the nation. It grew my heart for the lost, helped me to understand even a bit more about God's unconditional love for His children. Throughout the whole crusade, blackout happened, people lost their focus, devil was just trying so many things to bring us down. But guess what, God's presence was just there to protect us and the whole crusade. It's such a great joy seeing many people raising up their hands claiming that they want to receive Jesus into their lives, as their personal Lord and Savior. Imaging if the crusade didn't happen, all these people will not never truly know who Jesus is, not being able to recognise the one and only God, what a waste! and how much would that hurt the heart of our God? AFJC is amazing, for simply having the obedient heart, willing to be used by God anytime anywhere. 

Before I end this post, I would really want to thank God for giving me this opportunity, an opportunity that I would never use anything for exchange. Thank you Lord, for this wonderful experience. Even with each and every single one of my team member, I thank you, for all the support throughout the whole trip. It wouldn't be the exact same thing if it's without any ONE of you. I thank God for the bond that we have built throughout the trip, and the memories that will definitely last for life. Even though we might be scattered all around the world, I believe, we can still shine so bright for Him. I pray that the things that we've learnt, the compassion heart that we've gained, will never stop there, but carried forward to our whole life. Hey team, I love you. ♥