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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His hands that never fails.

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:28‬ ‭

Something in me that was broken, has always made me wonder, how did I not feel my mother’s love for me. That when I was busy seeking and pursuing love from other people who have been hurt, my mum has been waiting for me. When I was younger, I would have said that, yes I did grew up in a home of an abuse family, not so much in the domestic or physical abuse, but on the emotions part. We grew up in a society of comparisons and social stigmas of how a girl should be. Along with that, it came with the pressure of being not good enough, and struggles with being a human. To be a human being, not a human doing. And this struggles, along with my emotions, and strong willed, of being unable to understand why is there a code of conduct of how a girl should be, has caused grieve to my mum and even myself.

I was different. I could not fit into the standards of my relatives, as someone who could sing and dance. I was not smart enough as compared to my cousins. I did not want to have a degree in something I did not love, just because it was important. I wanted to be me. I was not tall enough, not skinny enough, and to top it all, I was having some skin problems. And inferiority kicks in. But I was me. I was compassionate enough, kind enough, and filled with empathy for the people around me. And I love that side of me, writing, making cards, and handmade gifts for people I cared for. But this wasn’t a quality they were looking for. They said being smart is more important than being kind. And I lived my life defying that order that intelligence is better.

Before I knew Christ, I could not accept the condemnations from people around me, and so I fell into depression. I was hurting myself so much that I knew that nothing else could hurt me. I slit my wrists, I cried in the night, I fought in school so much that my parents was asked to school on a regular basis. But little did I ever know, my mum was broken on the inside. I got a little older, and I decided to build walls around my heart, so nothing could hurt me. It was this time that I can no longer feel. My world caved in darkness, I had no friends, and I kept myself at home after school. I refused to talk, refused to listen and refused to heal. It went on for a long time, and I could no longer relate with people. I stopped turning up at my relative’s place. It got so bad that I could not even work in a group during my college years. And during this times, no matter what my mum did, I was unable to empathize anymore. Every argument with my parents led to bitterness and suicidal thoughts. I have murdered myself countless times in my heart.

I was wrecked, but God knew better. I went to church when I was 20 on Christmas Day, and I met God. Yet the me inside could not resonate with it. Why would someone give His life for me, and why should I allow His love to come inside of me, when I am not sure if He will leave again. So I hardened my heart for the whole year. Things did not change for the better at home, alongside with getting to know myself, and finding out who God is, I fought with my identity at home. I fought with my parents to break the social stigma of being a girl. And all this times, I made my mum cry, and brawl her eyes out by hurting myself in front of her. I stayed out late, so as to avoid seeing her. But my mum was faithfully waiting for me. When I was 23, even after attending bible school, there was a part of me which can never resonate with forgiveness. I could not forgive my mum for not attending the big events in my life, my birthdays and my graduation. And I decided to leave home after a big argument. A argument that led my mum to have sought help from a counselor from her break down. Yet the purpose of separation is to lead us to reconciliation. And through this separation, i found my identity, my walls broke down and we came to an understanding of one another. Everything was made beautiful in His time. God will heal me, and He will heal my mum.

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.

A Father’s letter.

I think growing up, I have come to terms with being unable to receive love from my father. As he was too busy working hard for our future, I lost his attention and I have never stop craving for this love. I watched my friends having fun with their father, and in my heart, I asked myself where is my father, exactly? I wanted to look upon the other person in my family, my brother. But as much as I wanted too, he drew a line with me, he was more of a stranger living at the same house with me. I never managed to get into his heart, as he never did for me. Despite wanting restoration, I have almost given up on trying because the heartaches that came with it was too much to bear. I had friends whom he would look after, and slowly it dawned on me, that he would have never been the same towards me. Later on in years, I stopped searching for that love because I wanted to be kinder to myself, until my uncle came into my life. His life with me, though was a short mere 3 months, before he passed on, it was a love that came like a father. But all good things always come to an end, and when he left, it took me 2 years to resonate with it, to be set free, and to forgive myself and forgive him. Not so because he did anything wrong, yet somehow I blamed him for leaving me in this cold hearted world. For having it, and then losing it again. And it took 2 years to heal my emotional hurts, and two years to accept myself once again. That God loved me, and I have to love myself. And yet this healing process is a constant process, not a one time off process. And in the midst of this, a Father’s letter came to me, like a wind, flooding my heart with His tangible presence.

My precious daughter,

Before the day that you were formed, I have known you. I have called you by name, and I have never cease to stop loving you. As much as you were hurting through the times of hardships, and fighting to live, survive off your depression, I was there collecting all your tears. The nights that you were having insomnia, then hurting yourself, I was there wiping your tears and telling you to be strong. I have loved you that I would still bear that cross for one of you. I am your Father. I know what you need before you asked me, but all this trials was to make you stronger, so you could look to Me. I love you my precious daughter more than the gems of this world.

From: You Heavenly Father.

An encounter of such could have made my heart flutter over and over again. It reminds me of what love that this Father could have given me. Days when I feel not good enough, I know that I am enough for Him. I don’t hate myself, because I know He loves me. That even though the earthly people has ceased to be there for me, people who just choose to leave because it was easier than sticking around, my Father in heaven would still choose me. He was there with me in the comfort, when I am weak. Hearing from God, telling me that I do not have to be strong all the time, because He will never leave me, nor forsake me, even when the world caved in down on me, was the best thing that I could have known. That this God, this Father, was more than what the world could offer to me. When running around the park, He would have used this world as His canvas to paint something, Something that would marvel and capture my heart. To one, it might be a lavish image, but my Father know what would just satisfy me. Neither silver nor gold, nor the treasures of this world would have satisfy me more that a beautiful sunset that He have drawn for me. And along it came the love and tangible presence. 

And the battles ahead might get tough upon signing up for Trinity College when bible School ends, but I know in my heart that His love and grace can sustain me. And here I am, although imperfect, but just standing in awe of His great love, feeling thankful every single day, that this life not my own, but His. And I am safe in His hands. A pilgrimage of this world, knowing and being assured that hanging on to His love is the most precious thing to thank God for. And in all thankfulness, and a heart of gratitude, thanking God for Him who would choose to die for one of me, so that I could have a commune with Him. So that I could share His great love with people around me. So now, for me to live is Christ. Thank You Jesus.

I’ll be there.

Love is seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship.

I have always been guarded by a lot of my loved ones. And most recently, one of my close friend texted me a message that really touches my heart. It shows of the love I have around me, and the people who would have cared for me whether or not I was in a relationship. The message wrote in the exact words that, the walls you built around your heart has made you more guarded about love than you should be. And love is a process, and I hope one day, someone will be there step by step, slowly but surely break down this walls and fill your heart with love”To others, this might not seem like much of a significance, but it did matter the world to be because despite all my futile attempt to trust someone, I never had the courage too.

After being on a vow last year, having people walk out on me over and over again, I found it hard to relate to people. And watching the people around me getting hurt through relationships, I was afraid but more so, afraid that I was the one who will be hurting the person I love. And this fear crippled my heart and I was unable to see things as it is. Having saw this message, then reminded me of how I have been set free. And that the love of God has already cast out this fear. I remembered of God’s grace. Grace is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back. And I wanted to have more grace in my life.

The truth is that the more you know someone, the more clearly you will see their flaws. That’s just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don’t last. You might think you love someone until you see the way they act when they are out of money or under pressure or hungry, for goodness’s sake. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart. Love is patient and kind. Love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice, it is seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship.

Love is a choice. Maybe it is someone who bore their heart to you, someone who just needed a shoulder. Love is like being on a plane, even with turbulence, you still choose to stick on with the person. And as time goes by, the longer the ride, the smoother it will get. Love does not come to us in crashing waves or thunder bolts. It appears as a song on the radio or a particular blue in the sky. It dawns on you slowly like a warm winter sunrise — where the promise of summer shines out from within. Love is maybe just sitting around, hearing another wonderful being pour out their heart out to you, and in your heart, you wonder, how did someone so beautiful and so vulnerable, choose you. How did that person choose you among that 13 billion people that live on earth. And how did your paths ever cross.

Love is a choice, and love is a commitment. Love is hearing the story of another soul and let it slowly captivate all of your heart. Love is just wanting to be there. Even after seeing the worst side of the person, you still choose to be there. And one day a love like this would have break down the walls of my heart, slowly but surely. And someday, without moving forward any longer, you would run towards me. One day, as you are of now, you will still move towards me, pressing into my life, telling me that even though you cannot figure me out, you still want to know me more. And somehow, even though you said I am difficult to know, you will still run towards me, telling me that somehow, I am different. And somehow, you assured me that I was enough, enough for you, enough for God. And whenever you need me, know that it will never be out of love and not pity. Just as you have chose me, I will choose you too. Even though it is still not the time yet, as I wait for you, and you wait for me, the promise that I made to you, always will be:

I’ll be there.

 

 

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。