New found identity (Gen San)

Was it really me that Pastor invited to General Santos?
“It can’t be me. I am not good enough. There are people much better than me”.

When my Pastor first invited me to General Santos with her, I could not contain the excitement inside of me. Yet, there were lots of self doubt inside of my head. I written down the words,” I want to be a missionary”, inside my tiny notebook when I was just a 8yo girl. Not knowing God back then, and not knowing the cost of this exact words. But I know, I want to serve the people, and to me that has always been enough.

I am not exactly the girl you invite to big parties, or even a big hangout. I am not the girl you invite to any events, or have a clique that I could form up too. And I definitely can’t fit into the expectations people have of me, or fit into a clique. That would have require too much of me. But I have friends, people whom I can turn too, press into their lives, and just love them. I am the girl-next-door. Nothing impressive, or special. But God has been mindful of someone like me. 

At 18yo, I heard of the man, Pastor Bill Wilson, in a Christian seminar (I wasn’t even a christian back then) and my heart has been stirred and have wanted to go General Santos since then. But I have a feeling, if that reckless girl went to General Santos back then, I would not have kept the fire burning within me.  Many things happened the past 6 years, I fell, and stumbled. I got my heart broken, became suicidal, depressed. I dropped out of school, left home, ran into hiding. Like Jacob, I have been hiding from people my whole life. At 21, I gave my life to Christ, with hope that things would turned better. But guess what? It did not.

I became even more suicidal than before. My heart was so hardened that it could no longer feel. I would cut my wrists, just to make myself feel. Yet, there was this little voice, whispering hope into my ears, and into my heart. This dream tarried, but God was faithful to the 8yo girl back then. My nervousness and excitement was knowing that I am at this tip of the iceberg. My self doubt became consciously stronger. Because it matters to me that this dream was coming to pass, but who was I that God has been so mindful of me.

To take this step of faith, and traveling to General Santos has shown me so much more. It is exactly the place I have dreamed of. And it felt right to be there. And what matter most was that in God’s perfect timing, I was there. The place captivated my heart and soul all at once. Above it all, I was there with my pastor, serving the people and my leader all at once. My heart was overwhelmed. Many times, I had to fight my tears. And standing at the slums, playing with the kids, hearing their worship to God made me realize that this is the purpose of my life. That in all my inadequacies, my smile, would just show them a little of God. I don’t think that we’re meant to understand it all the time. I think that sometimes we just have to have faith.

It took 16 years to come close to being called a missionary, and 6 years to even step into General Santos. There are many places that I would like to go, but nothing beats being exactly in the place, and exact time, doing what God has called me to do in this exact timing. As weird as it sounds, living in a slum with the little ones has probably brought me more joy than this world could have ever offered me. I am scared to have this qualified-dream from God, for an under qualified me. But the Lord is good, and He has always been. What good is it to have all the possessions in the world but loses your soul. There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have the feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well. And in that moment, I wished time stood still.

I found myself in God, in Christ. Now that I have seen His faithfulness manifesting out of my life, I don’t think I can stand not believing, and not having faith in this dreams my Lord have for me.

 

 

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Threading on. [Myanmar, 2017]

” It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a story teller. I’ve been captivated by beauty and grace while threading on in the ordinary”.

Before heading to this trip, my heart was full of anticipation to go. Mainly because I have been broken into pieces by a friendship that would have meant something to me. A friendship that I thought would last for a long time. To come back, saying that, “I am alive” would sound so pretentious. Traveling, it opens up my eyes to the things unseen. It mends a part of our broken soul.

Every culture, and every city, I witness people fighting – fighting to live and to love. The racial conflicts in the country that have left the Muslim-Burmese dead, have pushed them to live in fear. Yet, if we just took the time, to sit down beside them, to listen to their stories, we will know that they are just humans, like me and you. The war torn country has killed many innocent people, and left the people homeless. And it breaks my heart to know and to see that hurtful comments was still hurled on them.

And this verse came to me in 1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

I have firsthand witness people with nothing giving much, because they know how it feels to be broken, to be emptied and to love even when it hurts. Living in a first world country, sometimes I can’t help but feel ashamed at myself. How could I live wanting more than what I deserve, more than what I need, more than what I want, when the people do not even have the basic needs met. How could they give so freely, lend a helping hand so easily even when they do not have much. I got lost on my way to a certain shop, and had to seek help. The only person I saw was having lunch by a roadside store. He immediately put down all he is doing and guided me to the place that is 10mins away. And to think that he have used his precious 30minutes break to guide me to a place, made me realised how selfish a person I must have been, how foolish I must have been in the eyes of God.

How could they, smile so sweetly, put down their things to hear my needs, and help me without a second thought. And even after all this, how could I still complain about not having enough, not being understood. The things I felt became insignificantly small, as compared to them. The troubles and hurt I feel became insignificant all at once. The complexity of my own mind became simple gradually. And I thank God for His love that was poured out to me so lavishly. Who am I that You are mindful of me. Its extravagant to know, how far You would go, to say that You love me.

Thank you for giving me the courage to thread on, to love once again. The broken heart, shows that we have love before, teach me to love the way You do. Give me a brave heart, just like the people.

Till I see you again, Myanmar.