Thursday, July 30, 2009

Technology Team Building

Was asked to go Team Building at the very last minute. And they managed to confirm and arranged everything by 3pm on Tuesday. Wow... and so, i went home to pack since I have nothing here at USJ.

So, I went home after work on Tuesday (nice drive) and pack again (thought just back from mission trip) to Team Building @ Lumut (so far away).

After 4 hours bus ride, we arrived. Had lunch and started activities. I was late for the exercise thingy (phew) as apparently there were some Capex thingy that I needa settle. And was told to have a meeting at 2pm the next day. Uh?! pengsan... I am supposed to have team building ler....

I think 75 of us altogether and only 14 females. Technology wor...

Anyway, Pirate of the Carribean, went around to do some treasure hunt + activities, didn't take pictures as we were against time and wanted to have fun. oh... boy!!! The co-ordinator told us that men get really excited to dress like female. I didn't really believe that, until when they get the bra. I can see their faces glowing.... gee... what's happening.... They were to dress like Hot Mama.... and the rest of us just do face painting and stickers. hahaha..

Then, rest and relax. For me, it meant back to work lar... Dinner at 7.30pm was a tortured as I was already hungry at 6pm.vNight activity was fun too.... Had some guessing game and dancing thingy.... really pengsan....

Then, next day was quite relax too where we as a whole big team was to carry a basket ball with strings from one point to another. We did it in 2.52 minutes which was really impressived. :)

Departed back to KL after lunch and I had my meeting in the bus, laptop on lap and Karim was with me too....

Overall, I have no complaint (maybe also just back from mission trip, very appreciative on what I have now).


Monday, July 27, 2009

Short Term Mission Trip - Sangkhlaburi, Thailand

It's gonna be a loooonnnggggg blog as I have decided not to split by days will do the entire event though.

Have been wanted to go for a mission trip for so long. It's been in me for so long that I just know that I have to do it. But, how? So, I checked out web, contacted a few and some replied and some didn't. And most of it doesn't really suit. And as I was talking to a friend over MSN, she told me to check out OM. What's OM? OM = Operation Mobilization. Still don't know? Know Dulos or Logos ship? ya... the floating book store and those belong to OM. Check out the web and wow... I found short term mission trip for 2 weeks. Yes... suit me as I am not sure if I can take it too long. Well, 2 weeks off from work, not sure about my boss especially I just gone back from Perth (2 weeks off also)... Well, pray lar. If God's will, then, everything will work out.

So, I contacted OM and they were good in responding and directing and providing me with info. Then, I received a lot of info, wow... so many countries that I can choose from, wow, Japan, so tempting... OK. OK. I told myself to cool down and pray. Prayed and prayed and prayed and continue praying, no answer ler...

Finally, going to Sangkhlaburi, but, was told full. Inside me was happy as I could tell God, see, I wanna go, but, full. I was planning to cancel my leave, etc. Then, after 1 week plus, I received email from Annie that I am in. aiks....

On 11th July morning, it was kinda rush as I need to go to the conference in the afternoon and I have some work and things need to be settled. As I drove out to get some stuffs, I met an accident, a big one. So, the whole morning was to the workshop, police station, etc. Discouraged me to go for the mission even more. Still, I went, choose to obey. Dad fetched me to Golden Sand Baptist Church - conference site.

Checked-in and settled, got to know my roomates. We were sleeping in bunk. The schedule for the conference was quite tight. We have to wake up at 6am to do personal devotion, and the programs ends at 10pm every day. Lights out at about 10.30pm. But, we normally talked in the room awhile till 11++pm. haha.... Well, our break normally lasted for 1 - 2 hours which was pretty short considering we wanna take shower, washed clothes, etc. So, time past really fast.
Also, I was thinking to fast and pray a meal a day during the conference and thinking that I would lost weight. ha... In fact, I (most of the members) got so hungry even before the next meal and I ate so much more than normal.
I learnt a lot during the conference. The topics on Eph 6: 10- 18 basically assured us that God loves us and also preparing us to go to the field. Aside the lesson, we had workshops to equip us for the field. I learnt rope tricks, balloning, drama/ mime which were all very cool. :)

During the conference, mom text me saying that she was so sick and about to die, I really felt like coming home and not continue the work. I shared with the leader and we prayed. I was crying and so afraid. Also, knowing that the evil one is testing and trying to stop me. Next day, mom text me again that she was alright. PTL!!!! I knew that God has already won the battle.

Altogeher 117 people attended the conference from 23 countries. And 83 of us went to the fields - 10 places, 8 countries.

The conference lasted for 5 days and it went past so quickly. Then, we were commissioned and sent out to the field. Our team woke up at 3am as the bus would pick us up at 4am to LCCT. For me, the battle started.

There were 8 of us who went to Sangkhlaburi, Thailand. (Jeong Suk, Eun Hye, Nan Hee, Se Young, Se Jung, Elphia, Caitlin and myself consist of 5 Koreans, 1 S'porean, 1 Canadian and 1 Msian). As soon as we arrived at BKK, we took 2 cabs to Mao Chit Bus Terminal (also known as Northern Bus Terminal). We bought the bus ticket and went for lunch. Later, we were told we had to upgrade our bus ticket to 1st class as there will be no other bus. Well, it meant more money.

Our 1st class bus provided us a bread and a sachet of coffee with no hot water, wonder how to make coffee. Then, we were told (in the conference by Paul - who has been there) that the bus will stop for food. Here, the communication started to breakdown. I asked the bus conductor, food? He couldn't understand me. I used sign language, still cannot. He took me to a fridge, opened the fridge, showed me 1. A lady with very little understand English said, take 1 only. Wow.... the drink range from Vitagen to green tea (small bottle to big) and only take one regardless. So, we took our drinks. I saw other passengers eating and I asked again, still cannot understand. Gave up. oh... our 1st class bus was so hot as the air-cond wasn't functioning and we were so hot and humid in the bus. Then, it started to rain. The bus ride was 7 hours. We reached Sangkhlaburi at about 7.30pm. Nelson and Andy (MTI team) were waiting for us. We checked-into Pguesthouse and ordered our food and rest.

We went to Japanese Well (didn't know that actually need to cross border to Myanmar) the next day. There, we just visited the clinics, school, children home. This was where we will be spending most of our time serving the people and God. Really really poor, worst than the Orang Asli settlement that I have been to. Our transport? A modified 4x4 pick-up truck where we squeezed more ppl at the back.

There, we took pictures of the students and we were to make poster for them. We spent time and did that on Saturday before Andy took us to visit Mon Village. At Mon Village, we bought something like roti canai, pandan flavour with condensed milk and sugar, to try. It was yummy.... really nice. :)

On Saturday, we were all busy preparing for Sunday Service. We had drama, songs with actions presentation, testimony and of course we shared a message as well.

On Monday, we went to school, teaching English, playing games and have cultural exchange. Our Korean team had their 'han-pok' and shared about the greetings in Korean.

On Tuesday, we went to Safehouse at Huay-Malai, another place to look at the old folk house, orphanage and also the home for mentally not fit people. Here, my feet got so pain due to blisters as the weather was wet all the time and the smell at the places are both testing me. It's really not easy to take both at a time. Local does weaving to self help to generate income.

At night, we were all break-up to go to homestay. The 3 of us (Nan Hee, Caitlin and myself) went to stay at a village named Song-Klian with about 250 household. Here we had great challenge. People here don't speak Thai, so, the very basic Thai we learnt, cannot be use. They speak Burmist. alamak.... Thank God, an uncle who knows a bit of English spent some time with us and I jotted down all the important things, like toilet, eat, sleep, thank you, no, yes, etc.

Still.... The aunty who host us was Nor-la-ski while her sister, Sir-e-poh, cooked for us. There were all Karen tribe. We walked through muddy field to the house and the house... hmm... Really a village house. We brushed our teeth at the balcony. It was funny. We used a lot of body language and they were just looking at us. No sleep or only managed to had very little sleep that night. First, we had all the insects singing out there. Then, at 3am, the roaster (leader being the one at our house) started the morning call, and followed by all the entire village, one after another. Then, 4am, 5am, 6am. In the morning, Nan Hee felt something soft at her feet and the cat was sleeping on top of a blanket inside the mosquito net. Gee..... I woke up right away and screamed.... How could the cat came inside... Cat = tha-mi-o (Karen) is bad.... oh.. ya... we use mineral water (such luxury life) to brush teeth. We are on mission and cannot afford to fall sick...

Our breakfast, we had really strong coffee, some banana with sticky rice thingy and 'you-char-guai'. B/fast was good. In fact, dinner was too. We tried some Burmist food.

We told God to sanctify the food everytime we had food and that our tummies are able to take those food.

Then, Andy took us to school. Here Caitlin left us to go back as she has earlier booked her air ticket.

We did some painting at the Children's Home at Huay-Malai (SafeHouse). It looked much better after we have painted. Then, we attended a local cell group in the evening. It was in this cell group that I saw their pure hearts towards God. Their hearts to God really encouraged me. They do not have electricity and yet, use candle to read the Bible, they trusted the Lord, and their childlike hearts, the trust they have greatly encouraged me. Also, it was here where I saw God's miracle. There were some papers issues for border crossing and God's intervention that everything went on smoothly. All these things for us coming from developing/ developed countries looks small. But, all these became such great deal when one is at a place with political issues and poverty and God's hand is reaching down.

My tears couldn't stop but ran down my cheek the whole time. A small boy stood up during the sharing session and read out John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross that whoever believes will not perish but have eternal life.
We had a debriefing session at the end of the evening and that's the end of my mission trip. 11 July - 23 July 2009. We travelled back to BKK on 24th July, another 7 hours on the bus. It's hard for me as this is a real separation. Do I want to do mission again? I think I will, but, I am not sure if I am ready for longer term. People out there are hunger for God's word.

Mission trip: I learnt to accept, to tolerate, to listen, to give thanks, most important to obey. It rained from the beginning till the day we left.

I checked in to a hotel once reached BKK which was really a luxury for me. For some, it was just a very basic hotel. For me, it was much more that I have had.

I met up with the team for dinner - Japanese with kimchi. yummy.... And went to Suan Lum night bazaar after that.

Next day, we met again at Chatucak market. There, we bit our farewell. *sob*sob*

On Sunday, Karim's friend, Sukri, took us to Ancient City. It was nice of him to spent the whole morning showing us around. :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sherine's Farewell

It's always hard to say good-bye especially to someone whom you are close to. Sherine and I were quite close as we used to sit next to each other, so, we talked, we laughed, we cried, we complaint, we grumbled, we understand each other, we encouraged, we care for each other, etc....

And now, she is leaving for India. It must be a hard decision for her. She will be back, just that we gonna miss one another....

Then, we wanted to had a dinner with her since all were closed with her. We went to lobsterman. I must say that it's a good time for all of us. They headed for durian after that where I hid myself in my friend's shop and had manggo instead. hahaha.... So, all have fruits still.

Take care Sherine.... :)