As the time past, I still find that I still needed to go for a mission trip in 2010. And as I was looking up in the internet, I came across Turning Point 2010 started on 11 Dec 2010 and just before Christmas. Wow!!! That was wonderful! I was thanking God for the perfect timing. Why so? Well, it was scheduled that 10 Dec is a replacement holiday from the company (since 11 Dec was a public holiday – Birthday of Selangor’s Sultan). And at the same time, Board meeting was on 9th Dec AND the project’s MOU ends on 9th Dec as well. Isn’t that wonderful?
I signed myself up, get my ticket booked and a few other things sorted out. I wasn’t very sure if this is the trip that I should go as there were a few not so happy things happened in between (ya.. hasn’t pay the fee, so, it’s ok to back-off, but, not the air ticket though). And work gets really busy for Board preparation (so much to be done). At the same time, I was worried and praying fervently that God to get the Board to approve 2011 Capex. I was quite disappointed that the project got extended though. Why? Because I do not like to leave things un-finish before I go. Perhaps it is time for me to learn to rely/ trust others? Anyway, it was a crazy weeks or months (working throughout weekends, I will be in the office around 6am or 6.30am, went back at around 7pm or 8pm and continue to work until past midnight. At the same time, answering questions in the middle of nights, all these just to get the Board preparations. Sometimes, I just wished people could understand. It wasn’t that I love (well, I don’t hate so much) my work, it is the verse that I cling on, do the work on earth as it is unto the Lord. Also, I have prayed for the job, as God provided me, I just want to give my best to Him.)
My flight to London was on 10 Dec (right after the Board meeting). It was crazy. I got to know that Board endorsed the 2011 Capex and approved 2 other investments that we have prepared. Hallelujah!! It was such a release ( I do hope that the project could be approved too, but, well, since it’s collaboration, it also depends on the other party). So, I was trying to finish/ clear as much as possible prior my departure. My flight was at 10am. Gee…. So, I went home earlier (7pm?!) and had dinner, final packing, final checking/ clearing mails, and slept.
My flight from KL – Dubai got delayed from KL. Wow… it meant I might missed my connecting flight to London. Gee… this wasn’t so nice… I was kinda ‘running’ at the Dubai airport, and by the time, I got to the gate, I saw my flight taxing off the gate to runway. Wow… So, I went back to the Connecting Counter, got another boarding pass for another flight. By then, I was so hot and sweating (imagine, having a backpack, a cabin baggage, and a big winter jacket), hmm… it wasn’t very nice.
So, I arrived London 8pm instead of scheduled 6pm (local time) and John, that’s another story itself, met up with me. We took a bus and walked (no car) to his small apartment. It was cold. Really cold by the time I got into the room at about 11pm. Deciding should I get a shower, I did, a quick one and it was freezing, shivering. Jetlag didn’t really kick-in yet as I was really tired.
John sent me to the Trinity Center the next morning. It was a nice apartment that can see the old church, but, it was a pity that he has to move out the weekend itself for a even smaller apartment. We left at 8am as I need to be at the center by 9am.
The whole program started. All participants were break/ assigned into different churches. I was ‘sent’ to Woodberry church. We started with ice breaker (which didn’t really break the ice, I reckon, but, it wasn’t that bad..). In the evening, we were introduced to Speakers Corner as some of us would be down there to listen/ witness/ experience it altogether.
On Sunday, we attended the Woodberry Down St. John Baptist Church (exactly where I lived for the whole program). It was a cool nice ‘real’ church. We had to leave ¾ of the service as we need to get to HPCF (Hyde Park Christian Fellowship) where we get a workshop and right after that, we all head to Hyde Park for Speakers Corner. We walked on Oxford Street to get to Hyde Park. It was so crowded also due to Christmas. I was so tempted to shop, but, well, we were rushing.
It was stunning when we get to Hyde Park. I can see people on the ladder speaking about Christianity while there were crowds supporting or challenging. While on the other side, I could see Muslims praying. Thereafter, they came to join the crowd. Wow!!! The questions they asked were really shocking. I was asked what is Trinity? Does it mean God is 1+1+1=1? What is Mathematics that we have learnt? Shouldn’t 1+1+1=3? I told them, God is not about addition, it is multiplications, it is engineer. Well, they just couldn’t listen. I was also challenged that does it mean God is with me now in London, and when I am back in Malaysia, He is there with me? Does my God have visa to all these places? Was asked to show the visa too. I told that guy, yes, my God is so great that He could travel with me everywhere and yes, he has visas too that I don’t have. That guy just laughed and laughed. Gee…. They were aggressive and I didn’t like it. We had a debrief session right after that. It was good experience though. :)
We were introduced to tracting, sketch-board evangelism, how to share, etc. We set up a book table at Green Lane where we were doing tracting. I was so encouraged by the openness of the people to take the Christian tracts. I have this guy who came up to me asking what’s that about and I told him, it’s about Jesus and Christmas, he took it and promised that he will read it. I just prayed that God is doing something on those who took the tract all the time. Then, we had Mickey over to start on his sketch-board evangelism. It was really cool, just that it wasn’t so many crowds as it was a busy road and many passers-by. I was impressed, really by the way Mickey convey the message. In fact, they had long conversation with a guy and we got the contact. Amen!! The weather was freezing and I had to go in to the library to get some heat a few times. :S
Thursday was a off-day for us. Yeah!!! Also, because we had a long Wednesday. We had prayer meeting and it was almost midnight by the time we got back to church. Well, we didn’t really go out in the morning as it was cold and raining and snowing. We went to British Museum in the afternoon and followed with British Research Museum.
After that, few of us went to China town for food. Yes!!! We long for nice hot Chinese food. But, it wasn’t as nice as it thought. Still, it’s Chinese food. :)It got colder and snow a bit more. The snow didn’t really stay, but, it was cold.
As it was showing quite heavily on Friday morning, we stayed in for more stamping of tracts and counting tracts - Christmas tracts to be given away. It was a cold day. Some of us were singing carols outside the subway station; some of us were giving out tracts or newspaper nearby. A lady from Hillsong came bless us with 4 cups of hot chocolate encouraging us to keep singing those carols. It was really nice.
Jon make shepherd pie at night. :)
Bianca had coffee that night which she shouldn’t. While Juliana and myself had some teng yuan for Winter Solstice that we bought from China town. Alex tried some. Well, the girls have gone ‘crazy’ that night as they shouldn’t be drinking coffee. The coffees make them hyperactive and they start to have the weird game which I called it ‘Star Wars’…
We woke up on Saturday morning finding it snowing heavier than before. It was snowing so heavily that the leaders need to find Plan B or Plan C for us. As Juliana and I got so excited, we went out for the snow. I make my fist little snowman which it was gone after 2 hours as the snow continue to fall and wind continue to blow. Alexandra was then rolling a giant snowball to make big snowman. It was so cold, fun though. J As the snow was too thick and we are prohibited to drive, hence, we were to walk to the streets for tracting. As we walked, the snow was so thick that we can’t really differentiate the pedestrian walkway and the road, so, we literally were walking on the road. It was really nice walking in snow. It was wet though. As we got into the town, the traffic was terrible than some of them were stuck in the traffic for 2 hours. And cars/ buses were driving really slowly on the street. As I stood and giving out the tracts, I could see that some cars have got no grip on the road, they just slide slowly, this was so dangerous. Of course, it was hotter on the road, snow would turn into slush and it was dirty and muddy and black snow as I called them. It was wet.
By the time we came back, all had some rest, all hung around enjoying each other as some of us were preparing for the Turkish party on the next day (Yeni Yasam). Alexandra was so excited wanting to show us an introduction to Switzerland and hurried us on our preparation. At the same time, all gathered around Benjamin’s (Benny) macbook for movie(?).
As last Sunday, we had our Sunday celebration and head to the HPCF for Speakers’ Corner a short while. Jon gave an update on our activities while Rune gave a testimony. Now, Benny is leaving us to Germany for his work. He doesn’t have much leaves. It was sad. Rune was so nice to help him carry the bag, brotherly love.
As we only can stayed for a short while at Speakers’ Corner, I didn’t want to get myself involve much. We went back to church and saw the Karen’s (Burmist) just finished their service and having some fellowship. We were invited to join the fellowship. Thereafter, we set up tables and food for Turkish Christmas party.
As we went back to TC for more discussion, we were also helping up on cleaning.
We had a prayer tour, Lights of London Prayer Tour. It was awesome. We saw the biggest Hindu temple of the world outside India in London, the state mosque, church in the midst of turning into mosque.
Then, we were driven around London. Well, at least, I have the chance to visit around some famous London landmarks. Example: Big Ben, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, London Bridge, Tower of London, Christmas lights on Oxford Street.
We had the prayer walk around the Turkish area (kinda final evangelism prior closing up). It was interesting to see the Turkish preparing their food, jewelry shops. On the way home, Bianca was too tired and fallen asleep in the van. (Actually, a lot of us or most of us fall in the van, except Jon cos he needs to drive, whenever we got into the van). And we saw someone selling roses in the middle of the road as well.
And it came the night where we last be together. It is always difficult to say good-bye especially when you are living, eating and doing everything almost 24 hours for almost 12 days.
I do pray that as all of us go back to our work place, we will go back to our Jerusalem, Judea and all the world. And for those who are going for mission work/ field, may the Lord leads and guide you to reach to many lives.