I Can Do It!

To Love.To Serve.To Lift


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Press On!

Press On! was the theme of our combined church camp in Batam this year from 14-16 June.

God impressed upon me to Press On! in 3 areas.

Press On! in Obedience

I remember just nights before the camp when CM and I were talking about room arrangements or even as we were on our way to Batam we tried to consider division of labour in taking care of the children, my dad and our luggage, we were not able to reach an agreement. I found myself telling CM that we should decide when we get there, meanwhile throwing these burdens to our broad-shouldered Abba Father. I am grateful we didn’t dwell on the ‘what/when/where/how to do’. It was stressful enough just to think about it. I really didn’t have enough brain space for that 😦

It was when I arrived in Batam that I was reminded of God’s faithfulness when He  called me to go to the Church Camp in Malacca with the 3 children two years ago. CM was overseas then, so I had to handle the children, our luggage, money and passports all by myself. The thought was overwhelming but God gave me peace to go and He saw to ALL my needs.

This year at church camp, I realised He gave me more to handle. As I reflected on this, I think God didn’t forewarn me about the increased responsibilities. Hahaha… perhaps God wanted to relieve me from that anxiety. During the camp, in addition to CM being physically with us only about 12% of the time  (minus time for sleeping), I had my dad with us. My dad, a pre-believer, was generally not fussy but because he had health issues, he would tire easily. So he needed more time for many things –  bathing, dressing, eating, walking etc. It wasn’t easy trying to accommodate everyone. It was especially trying when LA threw up on the first day, was a little feverish on the last evening and when my dad had diarrhoea on the first night. Everything happened so quickly that I didn’t even have time to wonder ‘why’. As I submitted to the Lord, God remained steadfast, healed them both and made straight all my paths.

Proverbs 3.5-6 (NIV1984)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

As I arrived at each place, be it the checkpoints or on the ferry or the hotel, and as we participated in each of the activities, God gave me wisdom and showed me fresh approaches to handle the different situations. While there were increased obligations, the burden was light.

Matthew 11.28-30 (NIV1984)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Truly, Jehovah Jireh gave me the energy and rest moment by moment. I thank God for carrying me on His Mighty shoulders as I Press On! during the 3 days of the church camp.

Press On! in Service

In addition to seeing to the needs of the children and my dad, God allowed CM to rope me in to help him with the impromptu translating of announcements from English to Mandarin.  Of course, I had to help my husband. 🙂 I thank God that as I took my place next to CM, God helped me connect with the audience and gave me the appropriate words to say. While I did feel split in many directions, I knew I was not going solo because God was with me. He gave me His peace as I obeyed Him in serving my family joyfully.

The children were generally very sensible and independent. The brothers and sisters-in-Christ from the different congregations were very kind and helpful towards my children and my dad. These angels offered timely help and expressed their concerns, showing their love for my dad and my family. I was touched by their warmth and generosity and in the ‘laying down of themselves’ for us although I knew many of them only for a day or two.

1 John 3.16-17
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

As I sat through the theme talks in Mandarin, I had more wonderful opportunities to interact with the campers in the Chinese and Hokkien congregations. I made many new friends of different ages and learnt what it meant to Press On! in serving and caring for others, particularly those in the golden years.

Press On! in Ministry

As my father is more fluent in Mandarin and since I had to take care of my dad, I decided to accompany him for the talks in Mandarin. The children, who had been attending Sunday School classes planned by the Chinese congregation, naturally also joined their friends for the children’s program in Mandarin. Do you see how God had it all figured out for me?

Reverend Dr Philip Siew was our speaker. His stage presence and fiery passion for the kingdom of God seemed rather incongruous with his petite stature. You must hear him speak to know what I mean. He was an inspiring speaker, one who allowed the Lord to work through him for His purpose and glory. Rev Siew spoke of the rather confusing times that we are in and how, being the salt and light of the world, we have to root ourselves in His Word, be in the world but not of the world and dare to take a different stand if God has called us to do so.

Matthew 5.13-16
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

John 17.15-16
15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

Romans 12.1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Rev Siew’s message affirmed what I had read and believed. Many times when I felt like an oddball as I thought through issues and pondered over concerns especially with regards to the children and the family, God affirmed me and gave me answers to my 4Ws and 1Hs. This was one of those times.

I was urged to Press On! in the  ministry of prayer and encouragement for families, especially for those who are in Christ.

Would you Press On! too?

Read the children’s thoughts about the church camp:
John’s Press On!
Rebecca’s My First Ever Combined Church Camp


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Are you the President?

We were at the Festival of Biodiversity on 26 May 2012. When we first found out about it on the web, my oldest, John, who loves animals, kept reminding me of the date so I won’t forget. Really needed that – my memory cells do fail me at times. I, in turn, emphasized that he had to make sure his work was up to date so we can spend the day out. He did his best, so we made it to the Botany Centre. 🙂

Family Fun Day

Oh yes, daddy made burger patties that morning,  Rebecca helped to butter the buns and we had that for our picnic lunch! Thank you!!

Homemade burger just for us 🙂

Hungry for yummy burgers!

The children had fun…

Li-Ann: I see the President and I say, ‘Are you the President?’ There are games and puzzles. Games are fun. We can have fun. The lightning game (the bird is supposed to avoid the trees/lightning) is very fun (by Wildlife Reserves Singapore). I see the exhibition – not nice…the animals are so scary (Think she’s referring to the specimens). I like painting.

Li-Ann asked,’Are you the President?’
Smiling, the President replied,’Yes, I am.’
(This photo was taken by a volunteer. Thank you!)

Decorating my photo frame

Talking to jie jie while colouring

Painting fun

These were painted and named by Li-Ann…

Cat

Green Cheese

Dot

Rebecca: I saw the stuffed endangered pangolin. People kill them for food and medicine. We have to take care of the animals and protect them. I enjoyed the activity ‘Painting Nature on a Tile’. I also enjoyed playing the butterfly memory game at the Cicada Tree Eco-Place booth with uncle Andrew.

What’s this?

Rebecca at work

Some of Rebecca’s art pieces…

The Promise

The Green (being environmentally friendly) Person

Leopard Feelings

John: The exhibits were interesting and interactive. I liked the preserved live and stuffed specimens. I learnt that the environment is important for the survival of the animals. We need to take care of the environment. I will not kill insects unnecessarily, and not for my photo taking. I was happy that I could take photos of birds, dragonflies, spiders, flies and also photos of the President. I enjoyed collecting the free gifts – the pen (from the HSBC booth), badge, poster, car decal – I got them from participating in the Biodiversity Challenge and Nature Quiz. I liked the mural too.

African Savanna

Here are some photos John took. If you are able to identify the plant/animal, or if we’ve made a mistake, please let us know.

Flower with purple berry (?)

Crimson Dropwing

Hoverfly(?)

Leaf Hopper (?)

Unidentified spider

Dollar Bird

The mural

Hornbill completed!

President looking at the starfish


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A Break To Bond Part 4: KL/Seremban/Malacca

On our drive back, we stopped over in KL to visit my cousins and their families and had dinner with them. The food was yummy and not too expensive. We had a wonderful time catching up. The children hit it off well with their cousins too. We bunked over at one of my cousins’ home and that gave John more time to play with his son, who is the same age as John. It was also in KL that we met a very close friend of ours and her children. We’ve not seen one another for a while and we were so excited to see them.

The next morning, my cousin came with us to Seremban to visit his father, my uncle. The drive was a good time for us to talk a bit too. I used to be rather nasty to him when we were children but thankfully, he didn’t hold a grudge against me. Whew!!

Before we left, CM brought us to try another version of chendol – Seremban style. I thought this one was interesting. The chendol was served in a metal bowl on a metal saucer. CM said that would keep it chilled. It was THE BEST of all the chendols we tried in Malaysia!!! I love the chendol with the glutinous rice – a nice balance of the sweet and salty gave this dessert a unique flavour. I was so greedy I even packed another to take away….didn’t seem to have enough of it…hehehe…

We stayed a night at Hotel Puri Malacca. The hotel was beautiful and had many interesting things to see and photographed. All of us enjoyed our time there.

Pretty lamp

Antique telephone still in use

Breakfast in the courtyard

Relaxing read

CHEEZ!!

Leg up for a great breakfast!!

Along the way back to Singapore, we continued to looked around to see what else would be fun. We decided to check out UK Farm. As we didn’t stay there, there were many things we were not able to do. There was one thing the girls did – horse riding. It was a good replacement for the horse riding lesson LA missed when we were on holiday!! She was all smiles, although she wasn’t very keen initially. Rebecca enjoyed it too. The last time she sat on the horse was at the zoo a couple of years ago. Both of them had FUN!!

I am riding on a horse!!

Horse riding lesson in Malaysia

John had his share of fun when he shot some arrows at the ZenXin Organic Park.

Aim…and…shoot…

After all the fun, we brought our hungry tummies to A&W…

Chomping snacks at A&W

All of us had a fabulous time 🙂 We ate plenty of yummy yummy food, talked a lot, had fun together, took tons of photos and was able to experience Malaysia as a family.

Do share in our thanksgiving:

-We were ALL safe – us and our things. CM had to creatively pack everything into the boot every time we move from one place to another. I thank God for him taking on that responsibility.
-God gave us strength even when we slept late and wake early almost everyday.
-We ate all the good food we wanted to eat – and when we came back, we ate home cooked food to detox.
-LA had no constipation.
-We had good weather when we were outdoors. We had great fun during our night walk, jungle trekking and visiting the national park in Penang. When we had guides, they were great and they made a point to engage the children in the learning too.
-God gave us people who were in the family of Christ to bless us –  one lady who came to talk to us at a resort, my aunty and cousin who are Christians and the worshippers in the church in Ipoh.
-God allowed me to meet with one uncle in Penang and his son and daughter-in-law too. God also multiplied our time so we could meet with this uncle’s daughter who worked in KL. I thank God for our GPS and also CM, who drove us safely to the different places while keeping track of our tight schedule.
-I met with another uncle in Seremban who was ill. In spite of his condition, he was doing well – mobile and he desired to be active. I managed to speak to all his sons, one of them – over the phone.
-God gave me peace and a specific sense of purpose throughout the week. I was grateful that I met all my relatives. God also gave me time and strength before the trip to prepare practical gifts for them.
-We met a good friend who moved to Malaysia some years back at the shopping mall where I met my uncle’s daughter. I thought about my friend when I planned my trip but I knew I won’t have time to meet her. However, God was gracious to allow us to meet and gave us the time to fellowship a little. We were so so happy to see her and her children – they were there for tea after their BSF session. God also brought us together so we could help each other out in other areas. Perfect timing!!
-The children have grown during this trip – with the travelling and learning along the way. They have been responsible and independent.
-God helped us find the church in Ipoh and we were given a very warm welcome. The sermon kept us focused on God’s Word and the children learnt it well too. It was good to fellowship with like-minded Christians.

PS. Read about our whole holiday…
A Break to Bond Part 1: Adeline’s Villa
A Break to Bond Part 2: Ipoh
A Break to Bond Part 3: Penang

Enjoy the children’s writings here…
2 Kittens
Lousy Leeches
Royal Rajahs
Fantastic Malaysia


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A Break to Bond Part 3: Penang

We were full of anticipation as we drove from Ipoh to Penang. Our minds were filled with the Penang bridge, the beautiful beaches, the yummy food and the people…I related to the children about my relatives who were still  staying there after my grandparents passed on. We were excited that we could meet with them during our trip.

Oooh…look at the clouds!

Breathtaking background from the pool deck

A family shot

Our place of stay was The Northam All Suite. The children had plenty of space to move around – even the bathroom was huge. What’s best was the view – we were grateful to be given rooms facing the sea and since we had wonderful weather, the sight was GREAT although there was construction going on some distance in front of our hotel. There was the baby blue sky, puffy white clouds and the shimmering green sea dotted with ships and boats.

Lone boat

We took a walk in the Penang National Park with my cousin and aunty. It was rather muddy as it rained the previous night.

Our family on the jetty

I LOVE the awesome skies!!

Slow and steady we go!

🙂

However, the sunny climate gave us excellent photos. It was a feast for our families’ photographers – CM and John, who were eagerly capturing the charm of this island. I felt like I was in a picture perfect postcard.

Eagle

Crab

Mudskipper

Sea bird

Waves

Imagine living in that house on the open seas

Fishing boat

My cousin brought us to eat the local hawker food at Pulau Tikus. The prices were good and the food was very tasty. Eating together and sharing the food made it even more enjoyable. We tried the wanton noodles, Penang laksa, Penang fried kway teow, kway teow soup, satay, chendol and many other mouthwatering dishes.

Hungry must go place

Can we get a table?

A hawker fanning his satay

From the fire to our table..hhhmmm…satay!!

Let’s dig into the ngoh hiang and tau kwa!!

Of course, after we ate our fill, we left Penang with MORE food – the well known tau sar piah (bean paste cookie). We gotta bring home a part of Penang right?

We were not done with eating…and we continued in KL/Seremban/Malacca and along the way as we made our way back to Singapore.

PS. Read about our whole holiday…
A Break to Bond Part 1: Adeline’s Villa
A Break to Bond Part 2: Ipoh
A Break to Bond Part 4: KL/Seremban/Malacca

Enjoy the children’s writings here…
2 Kittens
Lousy Leeches
Royal Rajahs
Fantastic Malaysia


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A Break to Bond Part 2: Ipoh

We were so grateful that the drive from Gopeng was not a long one. Except for CM, it was our first time to Ipoh.

Kellie’s Castle

First, we checked out Kellie’s Castle. We saw the unfinished mansion in ruins, built by William Kellie Smith as a gift either for his wife or his son. The architecture was interesting and materials used were of good quality.

Ventilation holes in flower pattern

Looking through a flower motif

An escape stairway leading to the outside of the castle

A well

A tree near the castle, with a part that resembled a bear’s head

We checked into the hotel just before dinner. It was a lovely place – Hotel Eastern. The room was spacious and the beds were comfortable. There was free parking too 🙂

CM brought us to walk around a bit and told us the good food we must try.

Famous Tau Ge (Beansprout) Chicken

Breakfast at popular dim sum restaurant

We also had a chance to visit Christ Church Ipoh on Sabbath and hear Pastor Nick preach. We were grateful for the warm welcome, fellowship and prayers. It was a much needed encouragement for the rest of our trip.

Next, to Penang!!

PS. Read about our whole holiday…
A Break to Bond Part 1: Adeline’s Villa
A Break to Bond Part 3: Penang
A Break to Bond Part 4: KL/Seremban/Malacca

Enjoy the children’s writings here…
2 Kittens
Lousy Leeches
Royal Rajahs
Fantastic Malaysia