Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Friendship that caused a stir in my life

December has been a great time of reunion for me: I met up with my British guardians in Singapore 3 weeks ago. This lovely couple took care of me during my A-levels when I was studying in a boarding school south of London. As I was feeling home-sick and depressed in a foreign environment, my brother who was then working in Newcastle contacted his friend who worked for OMF. Subsequently, this dear brother got in touched with Ray & Carol, the OMF prayer partners in Guildford. Ray & Carol, who had no idea who I was, took an out-of-the-ordinary step to drive down to my school and offered me a weekend home with them!

Back then, I did not realise how much God has played a role in providing for my needs and moulding my character. This godly couple had not only shown me God’s kindness but they were willing to go the extra mile by giving me advice in areas which I needed most. In fact, all through my life, God has planted numerous friends who acted as advisers to me, though I might not welcome them then. On retrospect, I am truly grateful for the special roles that these people had played in my life. I could still recall that when I had wanted to skip church on Sunday and concentrate on my study, Ray’s words rung through my ears “Give God your Sabbath! Don’t let your studies reign your life but God.”

Besides Ray and Carol, I have also met up with one of my secondary school friends in Singapore who had also played an influential part in my life. She took the risk by pointing out areas in my life that could be improved. At this time and age, it would be difficult to find such gems in our lives. Afterall, people are too busy with their own lives than to take time off, to think about another’s problem, let alone offering advice. With technology at the tip of our fingers, face-to-face communication has become secondary and avoidable. The essence of friendship is diluted through smses and emails, whereby one’s emotions had to be second guessed.

Thank you God for blessing me with godly friends who made a stand for you, as without them, I might have been swayed in the wrong direction. Today, I pray that you will bless my children with godly friends, who are willing to risk their friendships by standing up for what is right.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Lunch

Every Christmas, we would be busy shopping and buying gifts for our loved ones. But this Christmas, I am glad that it is different from the norm, partly due to the fact that I am carrying an extra burden of an unborn baby of 5 months and therefore, finding it tiresome to walk and hunt for gifts (PTL!); and mostly due our company’s sponsorship to provide a free lunch for a group of underprivileged Orang Asli kids (OA) at the hotel.

Initially, I was going to skip the luncheon as I had taken leave to move house. However, the organizer had sent me numerous reminders that saying no had become difficult. When I arrived at the hotel coffee house, I saw close to smiling 30 OA preschoolers, chatting away. They put on their Sunday best as it was their first time stepping into a hotel. “These children had been pestering us, asking us if the BIG DAY to the hotel is tomorrow for an entire month!” explained the organizer. Unknown to me, these kids had experienced their many first that day: First time stepping into a hotel, first time having a western meal, first time seeing and tasting ice-cream! From the look of their joyous faces, I would have no idea that they came from families who were too poor to send them to school and feed them regularly. Some of them only get to eat chicken once a year and even then, the portion would be very limited. The volunteers did a great job in ensuring that the OA kids were well behaved. As the children put on their party hats and blow their whistles, I realised that a simple lunch had brought about much joy and hope to their lives.

As I reflect on my own children, I am grateful that God has blessed me with the means and the ability to provide for them. This Christmas, may I be inspired to pray and think of ways to bless those who are less privileged.

And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!' Matthew 25:40

Joseph restoring joy to a friend

We were at a family retreat at Cameron Highlands. Children were having a fun time playing frisbees when one child, Ashton, threw the frisbee...