15 June 2008

YEP Training

Recently I signed up for YEP training. This training prepares us to lead students to the nearby region as part of their service learning. It consists of 2 days of indoor training and 3 days of experiential learning in Batam. The strange thing is that even the very experience leaders are joining us for this training - such a bore for them.

Anyway, for me it was an eye-opener. Previously I had been to and led some mission trips to many countries. I count myself experienced. However, after listening to some of their "horror stories" with students and authorities, I count myself very blessed to be sheltered all these while. Thank God, so much things could have happened but didn't. I became more wary and learnt to be more careful in future.

Things like 1st aid training, working only with recognised local partners, and proper facilitation training are just some of the things that we did not do previously and am not aware of until now.

Are we then being too careful? I feel that now that I'm aware, its better to err on the side of caution, especially with my school teams.

Thanks God for the exposures like these!

Sermon for Fathers

Today is Father's Day. My day. Well, just another day made popular by the commercial world.

The speaker spoke from Job's experience in 1:5 whereby Job woke early and offered bunt offerings for all his kids continually. Previously he was advocating for 4 irreducible minimum roles for fathers, i.e. caregiver, educator, disciplinarian and play-mate. Today he suggested a 5th - priest. Fathers are to pray for their children and not stop at simply providing for their basic needs.

I see it as very true. In our society, fathers normally either discipline their kids or play with their kids. The other 2 roles are seldom played out, much less the 5th role, that of priesthood. When was the last time that I prayed for my girls on a regular basis? Hardly. Sadly.

I like the speaker's probing questions for the fathers. (1) What are you found doing early in the morning? Praying for your kids like Job, or preparing for your work, or sleeping?

(2) How are you preparing for the spiritual foundation of your kids? He suggested some helps:
- ask God for spiritual hunger for your kids. Pray. Pray with your wife.
- pray for wisdom from on high - most of the time we have no simple answers.
- start praying for and with them
- ask your kids to share their spiritual journey, so that you know where they are at now.

(3) Do we reflect Jesus to our kids? Or am I reflecting an obsolete and indifferent father who is there but not really there.

My problem is being a passive father. Most of the times, at nights when I'm home, I do not really get involved with what they are doing. They may be playing on the laptop beside me, but I do not know what exactly they are playing. Maybe I'm tired. Maybe, I'm just indifferent and self-centred.

I was challenged in the sermon today to make it a point to love my girls more to be involved in their lives. I see next Tuesday as an opportunity to bring them out and do something exciting for them. Yes, we are going to Arab street to look around the area and then eat by the roadside - doing crazy things together! Just like the other time where the 3 of us ate our cup noodles by the drain ;-)

Hopefully through all these, I reflect more of Christ to them. The part that really struck me today was Eli's 2 sons. Eli was a priest but yet his 2 sons were worthless fellows who do not know the Lord. What about my 2 girls? Will they be worthless women who do not know the Lord? I pray not.

12 June 2008

Being a Christian in the workplace

Recently, after 2 years plus, I slowly opened up and told my colleagues what I did before i joined here. Hitherto, I always told them I was in Construction before I join here. This was true, but not wholly true.

Lately when my M colleague asked, I revealed that I used to work in a church and shared about the workings of the Mega church. It was an eye-opener for her as most of them were surprised. At lunch the other day, another asked, and now I was more comfortable to share more.

All these was good for me. I have came out of my comfort zone and am more at ease in sharing things of my faith to my colleagues. They are not as antagonising as I feared, but in fact was curious and eager to find out more.

May the Lord give me more PDA opportunities!

M Trip with my 2 girls

Last weekend we went to Bintan with the CG/DG and I brought along my 2 girls. We had planned for an afternoon of teaching English and organising games for the village children. However when we finally reach there we discovered that the kids went to the city. Well, ok, change of plans. I learnt that what was planned may not be what will turn out in the end. Did we get angry? Nope, we learnt to flow along - this is Bintan after all, not demanding Singapore.

The next morning, we finally got to do our planned programs as well as distributing rice to the village people. Many of them were very grateful for our provisions and we were happy too.

While this was a first trip for many of us, I think that we did well, even when things did not go as we planned. We went home inspired and game for a next trip.

Some lessons learnt:
  1. Interpreter is important. Our leader's Bahasa is only 6/10. Our Indonesian maid was a great help. We need to brush up our Bahasa.
  2. Our teaching of English is quite sub-standard. Our play went over them for most parts. It may be better to have 'teach English' to the village kids and 'teach Bahasa' to the CG/DG, and then quiz both sides to see who learnt faster.
  3. We need to build upon this trip and coordinate with the rest of the DGs who are coming to do sustainable projects.
  4. RM is a "low caste" people that few want to work among. Pray that the Lord of the Harvest will indeed send forth His labourers.

My girls did very well in the trip. They did not complain nor vomit nor have diarrhoea. Praise God! Hopefully this will plant a deep seed in them to love His people and excite them to continue in this important and meaningful work.

I have sent out many emails to the folks in church for the next few steps in building this work. Let's see what happens next.

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