Where I’ve survived.

My sins would have drive the nails in You. That rugged cross was my cross too. Yet, You still called me beautiful.

7 weeks in an entire foreign land, in New York City, has been nerve wrecking, filled with anxiety and fear, yet each day, I still feel like I am walking in a dream that God placed in my heart as a young girl. The dream to love and serve children who are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed, perplexed but not in despair. How amazing that appearances, or the way we dress does not matter as much than the lives I get to touched, little by little.

They told me that Disneyland is a place where dreams come true, the place where you live happily ever after. Yes, I am really happy, but I’ve come to realize that there’s something that give me a joy that this world can’t satisfy, being in Metro World Child. Walking in this dream is one filled with tears, self hatred, and being not good enough, yet at the same time, just a single smile from them, could have changed my life. When you learn to see beyond your own needs, and meet the needs of others.

Here, it’s when I have to say goodbye to my fear and insecurities, and believed that I was chosen for a time such as this. Here, it’s where I have to remove the words,” I’ve survived”, because the struggles I go through, hard as it may seems, could not be compared to the ones I have seen. The city where they don’t know when their next shower would be, when will be the last time they smile. Here, it’s when I realized despite my sad childhood, at least I know when my next meal would be. And it’s in this place where I realized that this children had a scarier childhood than I’ve had.

Break my heart for what break Yours, became one of the scariest prayer that one could pray. There’s too many things that break my heart in this city. And in seeing the desperate needs of this kid, my heart was compelled. Every single tear they cried, became so precious to God and to me. They did nothing wrong to deserve to be where they are. And if I have so much, why can’t I give it to those who have so little. Each day, I learnt to see each one I meet as someone made from the image of God and in His likeness.

Love is seeing the darkness in someone yet denying the impulse to jump ship. And my prayer is that I will use God’s love to manifest out of my life, to love and embrace every single person that I will meet. To love faithfully, fearlessly and boldly. Because all that I have, words could not be enough to comprehend.

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The cost to follow.

Without God, we cannot.
Without us, He will not.
Augustine

Freely receive, freely give.

Traveling has always played a huge role in my life, and recently the new found joy of heading out for missions, and spreading the gospel of Christ. To offer all that I have up to the altar, because all this possession was never mine to begin with. Being out in the field, as much as I can in the recent times, I realized that the major part of being able to go out there was because of the love I have freely receive by the people who is in my life who never fails to love, edify, give and bless me. They have given me courage to lose sight of the shore as I venture out into the ocean. The manifest of God’s love into my life is through their time and constant prayer.

Heading out to the mission field allow my heart to come alive. The devil has placed in me constant self doubts, self hate, and negative self image every time I am prepared to head out, which further assure me what I desire to do is actually is actually in God’s plan. Yet the price to pay for leaving and seeking God was not always easy. There were things that I was forced to let go, and things I had to give up, so as to not lose the chance to seek God first. There were times when I have to learn to let go, but not doing it until I have a battle with God. And like Jacob, perhaps the pain in the hip socket will be the thing that always remind us the faithfulness of God.

The cost to follow will never be easy, but what we have done for Christ will never be in vain. 4 years ago, when I became a Christian, I paid a price of being abandoned by people who I held dearly in my heart. People who left eventually when they could not understand. Yet, this was a price I was willing to pay, because till today, Christ has still been the best thing for me. There were moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have a feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well. Without sadness, there would be no joy. Without suffering, there would be no compassion.

Afterwards, I had to let go of a toxic relationship which led to betrayal, and hurts. Yet the comfort of letting go back then was know that Jesus has intertwined. The comfort of walking out then and healing from the broken relationship is that God has saved me from even more heartbreaks. It took months to heal, and even days when there was too much uncertainty in walking out. But eventually His big hands have covered me, and there’s joy in just traveling, seeing the world and sharing His love. And some day, this special guy will come through my serving, holding the same verse as me.

Romans 1:1 Paul, a bondservant (love slave) of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle (an envoy of God’s word), set apart (separated from comfort, lifestyle, sin, failure and pride), for the gospel (call) of God.

Many are called by God, yet only few are chosen. The ones who are set apart are the people who are willing to rise and be separated for Jesus. To be chosen, we need to consecrate our lives, and there is a price to pay. Abraham had to be separated from:

  1. Home country; our comfort.
  2. Father; our custom.
  3. Nephew Lot; worldly.
  4. Ishmael; mistakes.
  5. Isaac; pride.

The cost to pursue God lies in seeking Him first. And till today, giving freely whether it is possessions, time, and love for the cause of God is something I have never forgotten to do so. Before I am working adult, I am first a child of God. While growing up, people have said that I am different. I do not fit in anywhere but I think it is okay to be different now. I do not have everything, but all I have will always be found at the altar. The spirit of the world has come, but it has nothing on me. And like Romans 1:1 has said, one day, I want to stand in front of the throne, and be someone like Paul, who has given up everything to seek Him first. My priority in life has always been Jesus. He is no fool to give what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose. Christ is my reward, always.

Still it longs to be near You. (Japan)

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

If everything we have been through forms a memory in our head, then this trip to Kumamoto has formed a memory in my heart. A memory that can never be erased. I felt so ever strongly about this place that I have grown to love, and it was hard to leave when my heart wished I could do more. When a friend released a word of knowledge into my life today, the question was,” why wait? what is holding you back when you already clearly know what you want?” When God is with me, I can do it through Christ who strengthens me.

Even though, this prophetic word spoke the desire of my heart clearly, I know that leaving would require preparation. Preparation for the things I need to do, and equipped to do the greater things. That as Paul knows that all he is going through was a time of preparation before he was thrown into jail, so I know that all this is a preparation before I went out to do the great works for Him. Paul did not have an easy life on his way to Rome, and despite having the choice to leave, Paul stayed on to serve the Lord with this course.

And I do, I desire to serve the Lord like Paul did. That at the end of every hard pressed day, perplexed day, I would still choose the Lord. And trust that the Lord did make a way for me the nothing in this world could make my heart waver. My cry and my heart desire was always to be near the Lord. It is definitely not easy to hang on till the day dreams come to pass, but I know this desire and passion I have for the Lord will never burn away again. Because His great love has always compelled me to want to do more for Him. That my life should not be just stuck in the social norm of studying and working, getting married and having kids, and raising my kids right. There are people out there that needs Him.

That my dreams might get crushed because people do not understand why I will still choose to leave over and over again, but I will uphold my dreams tightly in my heart. Because even though, Jesus knew it was hard to head to the cross, Paul knew it was hard to get thrown into the prison, one thing we all knew was that, it is the right thing to do. And if it is the right thing to do, then go, go and hear of the Lord’s word.

And unknowingly 1 corinthians 9:19-23 became the verse for my life.

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Because I clearly know that Jesus loves people, and if I want to be close to God, I have to love His people. All of His people and my desire grew stronger to head out to love people, because it will be the only place where I won’t have any restraints or fear. And the only place where I can love people fervently and draw close to God. When others commented that I became quieter in class, it’s because I know that whatever I have been through can never be verbalized with just words. I will be back soon, Japan. Real soon. And I am excited to see revival sparking in Japan.

Overcoming fear with faith

`“Overcoming what frightens you the most strengthens you the most.”

In the book of Daniel 6, the story talks about Daniel in the lion den. Daniel was betrayed by the administrators in the King’s courts. They were envy of him and set out to device a plan and got king Darius to sign a decree that everyone could only worship the King. When Daniel heard of it, he went home to pray three times a day on his knees and give thanks to God. In Daniel 6:16-22, Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. However, when morning came, Daniel was found unscathed and the lion mouth was shut.

Our faith in God is our confidence when faced with fears
Daniel had a strong faith in God, and his confidence in Jesus was unwavering. In face with his fears of going into the lion’s den, Daniel knew that God would be with him. He had the confidence that God would never leave of forsake him. In the bible, Psalms 118:6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Daniel’s faith in God was not limited to just his circumstances.

Before I went to Japan for the disaster relief, many people have been asking me why would I risk my life in an earthquake zone for others. At that point of time, I was really afraid too. Yet I held on to my faith and confidence in Christ. I had a peace within me, that everything was going to be fine, just like how Daniel had peace within him even in the lion’s den knowing that if God is for us, who can be against us. And it turn out that I am fine. 

Our faith in God is our weapon in face with fears
Our faith is like light and our fear is like darkness. Just like how only light can drive out darkness, only our faith in God can cast out fear. And this faith in God is our is the weapon to cast out all fears that the demons place in us. The definition of F.E.A.R is false evidence appearing real. And only having that faith in God could remove our fears.

The verse Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. 

The definition of shadow:a dark figure or image cast on the ground or some surface by a body intercepting light

Even in the midst of the valley of shadow of death, there will still be some intercepting light. And the intercepting light is the light of Christ. The faith that we have in Christ is like the weapon that can cast out our fear. The intercepting light is there is the same as the rod and the staff – It is used both for guiding and defending the flock. Therefore having faith in God is one of the most powerful weapon we can have against our fear.

During the trip to Japan, we were supposed to carry debris down a 11th storey building which was completely split into half by the earthquake. In order to get to the lift, we had to cross this 30cm hole. As I looked down, I could see the ground level. And I was shivering in fear. However, I decided to say a prayer, and take a step of faith to believe that my God will protect me. And this faith I had, became a weapon for me. Soon, I was no longer deceived by the circumstances I was going through. I conquered my fear of crossing the gap, and it made the job afterwards much easier.

Our faith in God is our confidence and weapon against our fear. If we hold on to this faith and use it against our fears, we will soon realize that there isn’t any fear that could get to us. Because Jesus is the alive, and if He is with us, who can stand against us? Daniel’s faith in Jesus eventually became his confidence and weapon in the lion’s den, and God delivered him from the wilderness.

He wrote in my heart (Japan).

201Before I went to Japan, so many people has been questioning me over this trip. There were so many noises that flood through my head.

Why are you going?
Why are you risking your life for people you don’t even know?
Why are you heading to a disaster zone, and being unsure if you could come back?

This were the common questions that I have heard throughout before heading over to Japan. It set me thinking real hard. Why did I go? But before explaining why did I go, I could clearly tell you what I have gained from going to this trip.

I have gained/learned..

  • meaningful friendships with people all around Japan who came to serve without a second doubt. The 1% Christians from all around Japan came to help. They connected with Kumamoto Harvest Church, and came so willingly to serve their own people. This are the people who must have love God and His people so deeply to travel 16 hours to meet the needs of their people.
  • the grace of God even more deeply. Those things that we do the past few days would not have been achieved without the grace of God. The strength and power of God by overcoming our fears, the heaviness and the tiredness over the early days, and late nights.
  • of humility. That laying your life down at the cross is doing the simple and basic things of life. That no matter what your position is, it is just a title. That as pastors in different churches, many of them could just clean the toilets and washed the feet of the people who lost their home.
  • of what one simple action could do. What giving a sweet to a 93 years old lady could do. How that one hug, and one touch could do for her. And how all this turn into the appreciation of what my Lord has for me.
  • the joy of serving God’s people. That I always feel so alive serving God’s people and His kingdom. That even simple task like cleaning and cooking for them could have made me laughed, and satisfied.
  • and just being there to meet the needs of the people. Knowing that in all things, God has a greater purpose for me.

and more than that, I have a new deep desire to start a children ministry in Japan, and to reside there. So many children that needs Japan are over there. I love the warm country and its people.

Why did I go?
Because God has called me too. He called me out of the darkness into His marvelous light, so I could shine for the glory. I was scared too. But somehow, the peace of God has always surrounded my heart, and I know that I was going to be safe. Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” This was the verse that got me through all the times that I shivered in fear, in lost, in unknowing. Even the times when I was scared, I knew God was with me. He was and had gone before me. And all that I feel about Japan could not have been expressed out in just words. He wrote this words, visions and dreams in my heart. Japan, you helped me do what was deemed impossible with man, but only with God. And through this, I drew closer to the heart of God. 

私は日本に行く前、非常に多くの人々がこの旅の上に私を疑問視されています。私の頭をあふれさせるように多くのノイズがありました。

なぜ、あなたは行くの?
なぜあなたは、あなたも知らない人のためにあなたの人生を危険にさらしていますか?
なぜあなたは被災地に向かって、あなたが戻ってくることができればわからないされていますか?

これは私が日本に渡って向かう前に全体で聞いたことがある一般的な質問でした。これは、実際のハード考えて私を設定します。なぜ私は行きましたか?しかし、私は行かなかった理由を説明する前に、私は明らかに私がこの旅行に行くから得ている何を言うことができます。

私が学ん/得ています..

  • 第二の疑いもなく仕えるために来たすべての日本の人々と有意義な友情。全国各地から1%のクリスチャンが助けに来ました。彼らは熊本ハーベスト教会に接続され、自国民に奉仕するように喜んで来ました。これには、深く愛神と神の民を持っている必要があり、それらの人々のニーズを満たすために16時間を旅行する人々です。
  • より一層深く神の恵み。我々は、過去数日間行うそれらのものは、神の恵みなしに達成されなかったであろう。強さとパワー神の私たちの恐怖を克服することで、重さと早期日間の疲労感、そして夜遅くまで。
  • 謙遜の。クロスであなたの人生を敷設は人生のシンプルで基本的なことをやっていること。それは関係なく、自分の位置が何であるか、それだけのタイトルではありません。それは別の教会で牧師として、それらの多くは、ちょうどトイレをきれいにし、彼らの家を失った人たちの足を洗っ可能性があります。
  • 1つの単純なアクションは何ができるかの。どのような93歳の女性に甘いを与えることを行うことができます。どのように1抱擁、ワンタッチは彼女のために行うことができます。そして、どのようにこのすべては私の主は私のために持っているものの鑑賞に変わります。
  • 神の民にサービスを提供する喜び。私はいつも神の民と彼の王国を提供するので、生きている感じています。洗浄、彼らのために調理などあっても、簡単な作業では、私は笑っなされたものであり、満足している可能性があります。
  • ちょうど人々のニーズを満たすためにそこにいます。すべての事に、神は私のためのより大きな目的を持っていることを知ります。

そしてそれ以上に、私は日本の子供たちのミニストリーを開始すると、そこに存在する新しい深い欲求を持っています。日本を必要とするので、多くの子どもたちがあそこにあります。私は暖かい国とその人々を愛しています。

なぜ私は行きましたか?
神はあまりにも私を呼んでいるので。彼は彼の素晴らしい光に闇の私を呼ばれるので、私は栄光のために輝くことができます。私はあまりにも怖がっていました。しかし、どういうわけか、神の平和がいつも私の心を囲まれている、と私は私が安全であるとしていたことを知っています。ヨシュア1:9わたしはあなたに命じたではありませんか。強く、勇敢です。恐れることはありません;どこにいてもあなたがたの神、主があなたとなりますために、落胆することはありません。 “これは私が無知で、失われた中で、恐怖に震え常にを通して私を得た詩だった。私は怖がっていたとしても倍、私は彼がいた。神が私と知っていたし、私の前に行っていた。そして、私は日本について感じているすべては言葉だけにして表現されていませんでした。彼は私の心にこの言葉、幻や夢を書いた。日本、あなたは私が行う助け何が人間では不可能と思われたが、唯一の神と。そして、これを通じて、私は神の心に近づいていきました。

A citizen of Heaven.

To love is to see the face of God.

It’s been 3 weeks since school started. And here I am, in awe and amazement of what my God has done through it all. From feeling the surreality of being in school, to realizing that everyday, I want to fall in love with Him more, that passion was indeed my wake up call, and I need nothing to keep me awake. And knowing that to be here at this place, I laid down my all to follow Christ. And through this 3 weeks of struggles, I saw and experience much more than I could, walking under God’s grace and glimpse of heaven. And I still stand amazed at the King that I love. Earlier this year, I resolute to put the cross before me, to let God’s love manifest out of my life, which I had both terribly failed and pass exceedingly.

I met many people from all walks of life that laid down their life for His cause. The stereotype of thinking that the Caucasian were more daring, and the Asians were actually more timid came to a halt. Each individual faced a battle that no one was able to comprehend or understand until you take the time to sit down with each individual, to hear their stories, see their fears and realize that they are after all still a beautiful human. And their imperfections, fears and struggles are what made them more beautiful.The most beautiful thing that happen through the pass week was when I passed a card to this girl, who needed just that encouragement, and she broke down in tears, telling me that I was God’s answered prayer to her. God is amazing, that He used a broken vessel like me, struggling in my own deep thoughts that no one could penetrate to love His people. I was struggling in having my own resolve of my failures.

My failures of being unable to compose myself when I should, and breaking down in the midst. My failure of knowing that I didn’t trust the heart of my leader, whom I should have known, would protect and love me. How many times had he been there for me yet I still did not have the courage to open up my heart and myself to him. How many times had he stood in that gap, yet I still did not trust his heart. And what breaks me most, was knowing I doubted someone I should never have. The whole world may walk out on me one day, knowing what a mess I was, but he would never because he saw what a mess I was and still fill in those gaps and became a dad to me. It eventually awoke up my darkened heart to the things around me. That the pieces of my missing school life came to fit in. And that God had set me free in this 3 weeks.The delusions that I had friends who love me, was there all along. I realized I hated my own past. When I trusted, love and was vulnerable to people around me, and the amount of times it led me to suicide, to hurting myself, to having depression and where I hid away from the world. That those emotional abuse that I faced was not gone, I just hardened my heart and live in this delusion. And in the end, I never had the chance to face it, unable to walk away from the haunting nightmares and killed me a million times over. Those insomnia that was caused up at a later part, I was unable to resolved it. And eventually I was held captive. And I hurt people around me unknowingly and I couldn’t stop. 

But in this 3 weeks, God set me free from what held me captive. I was able to go forward to apologize for things. Not as confident as I thought I could. But I tried, with the time and space I needed. I came to a resolve with God and myself that Christ is enough, and Christ has set me free and forgiven me off all the things in my life. That I was broken and my chains had been set free. God is faithful. I thought my life would have been the same, but in 3 weeks, I have tasted and seen the faithfulness of my God. And what heart could hold the weight of His love. The more i know Him, the more I realize how far I am from being more like Him, and how much I have fallen short from this grace of God. That my life was a vessel to God. 

And I’m looking forward to a great 7 months of school where even in all my fail attempts to be more like Him, all I want was still to let God’s love manifest out of my life to people around me, and let His power and anointing touch the people who need Him.

And then I will run away,

To a place that I could love His people,

And share the glory of my King,

Where social status don’t matter,

Just because I know I’m a citizen of Heaven,

And nowhere else. 

Love conquers.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I think that one of the thing I wished that this year could do forth for me is that I could have God’s love manifest out of my life to touched the lives of others. Those seemingly less privilege or grew up from being broken wishing they could be more. Love is but a word till people give it a meaning. Be it romantic love, friendships, family or just between people.

I did not exactly grew up in a really bad environment, but it was not a really good environment. I grew up yearning for love from my parents, thinking that my parents are always too busy for me. My parents were young when they had us, so they spend so much time trying to provide for us. Something that I did not understand when I was a kid.

In school, my thoughts always came in bits and pieces. No one could exactly get me. So I never had friends. I grew up isolated from people, and always drowned in my own thoughts. From that moment onwards, somehow I hated life. I was always bullied at school and eventually wanted to end my life.

Nobody could have given a powerful life changing testimony to show God’s love unless they had been through something that only God can deliver them. And I was somehow glad to have been through all this, so that I could be with my Father, and I could learn to love myself despite all the flaws I had. Knowing that in Him, I was made perfect.

Perfect love was shown to us in John 3:16. That when Christ came, I was set free from my chains and past. I am seemingly blessed enough to have experience, and no lack in my life. My parents loved me to provide for all my needs. I can be who I am in Christ and not be afraid. And I hope to use this love to bless people around me.

Apart from praying that God’s love will manifest out of my life to the people around me, I pray that..

  1. I will be slow to anger and slow to judge. But ready to listen and see from a God’s perspective to love others.
  2. I will set aside time to be less busy, be ready to listen to God’s redeeming grace that has been poured out into people’s life.
  3. I will be able to share God’s love in the ways that I know how. Abiding in His love, and live out 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to the people around me.

Because love conquers, and all my life I desire to love like Him.