Grrr-attitude

October 8, 2009

Wow…I haven’t been here for a long time.

Last last week, YPF had the second week of preaching practice. It was my group’s turn; our topic was ‘Fruit of the Spirit’. Actually, since the week before that I had already been feeling His leading to speak on ‘love’. I also felt Him slowly opening up my understanding of His meaning of love. But He wasn’t going to pour it out until I really decided on the topic ‘love’. So…I decided to take on the challenge. 😀

That’s when He slowly revealed more and more. I realized that Eph 5:22 doesn’t say ‘the fruits of the Spirit is…’ but instead, it says ‘the FRUIT of the Spirit is…’. Then I saw that love was the first one mentioned. And THEN I saw that love was so much more than I had thought it was.

Basically, my teaching was on the ‘perfect love’ that the New Testament alluded to every time it mentioned ‘love’. Based on 1 John 4:7, I wrote the equation ‘loves=knows God’ and challenged the youth to rethink the ‘love’ that they find in the world. Then I proposed the ‘perfect-love theory’ and went through 1 Cor 13:4-7 digging out what this ‘perfect love’ is. I drew lines pointing out from a huge LOVE on the board and wrote all the ‘definitions’ like patience, kindness, blessings, humility, selfless, etc…

That was my the ‘perfect-love theory’–that love is actually such a multi-facected, complicated, extensive, incomprehensible aspect of Christianity. And yet, it is the most important, most crucial aspect of Christianity. In fact, Christianity revolves around it.

I went on to show how we could have that perfect love in us, using 2 John 1:6: Walking in complete obedience to His commands. Then I shared on my experiences during ThePlan09, how I actually felt like hanging out with others on the last night instead of retreating straight to my room to rest. I realized why I acted so out of my normal behaviour–that night was the closest I’d ever been to total surrender, so that night was also the closest I’ve ever been to perfect love. It was such a huge revelation to me. And with that, I challenged the youth to pursue this perfect love, because if they do, it requires total submission and obedience to His commands.

Before I went up, I actually was REALLY nervous. I don’t know why, I just became really nervous. One thing that came into my mind was, “What if they don’t get it? What if it doesn’t hit them?”. All these questions came into my mind while I was waiting for my turn. But when I got up there, my nervousness just went poof! Out the window. I wasn’t nervous anymore.

After I was done, I stood at the side and waited for the audience to critique me. I knew I had done a pretty good job, but I’m always bad at taking criticism, so I said, “God, help me”. They started telling me all the stuff they thought was good and not a single negative comment was made. Philip asked me to sit back down and I hadn’t heard any criticism! I was shocked. I sat back down amazed. Seriously? No constructive criticism at all? Wow…

Later, a few people came up to me or SMSed me saying I did a good job. I was just happy I could impart a revelation I had received. As I went home that day, I was riding high on this ‘success’, but I felt such gratitude to God for using a wreck like me to speak so deeply into people’s lives. I myself struggled with what I was talking about, and I see so many flaws within me, but still He could use this guy, full of weaknesses, to teach others about love. Seriously, I felt so thankful He could use me. =D

Mother’s Day 09

May 12, 2009

So…Mother’s Day was kinda busy for me. I was involved in the presentation (which was under Children’s Ministry) but I kinda was dragged into it. I’m not complaining though. I had fun doing my job. Which was mostly just doing a video showing the kids answering questions about their mums. The other part of the presentation, which was a song, was handled by others (though I did help abit =D)

For those who haven’t seen it or wanna see it again, here it is:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Mother’s Day 09 (FGA Cheras Children)…“, posted with vodpod

I must say, I felt really satisfied as I watched the audience laugh their heads off. It was like a cinema audience watching an incredibly funny short film. Seriously.

After the video, the kids took to the stage and sang a song. The audience enjoyed that one, too.

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mother's day 09 007Alvin giving a standing ovation

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mother's day 09 010Oh my…this must have been the highlight of the day. Kai Ming’s ‘U!”

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mother's day 09 016My mum waving. Usual pose

After the presentation, I put away my guitar which Kui Ling had used for the song and as I walked away, Leroy (or LeRoy or Leeroy or LeeRoy or Lee Roy or Le Roy I’m not sure which one), Elizabeth Tan’s (who was the speaker) son, signaled to me, saying he wanted to use the guitar later.

I signaled back, “Later?”

He nodded his head.

Okaaayyy great. The speaker’s son wanted to use my guitar. But then I realized that it was good that my guitar was there so we at least had a presentable acoustic guitar for him to play. You see, last week, I had accidentally left it in church because I had a bit too many things to think about. On Wednesday, I again forgot to bring it back. By Sunday, I was repeating to myself, “You need to bring back your guitar, you NEED to bring back your guitar.” Even then, I still needed some reminders. Haih. Anyway, on Mother’s Day, it was still in church, so it ended up being used for the presentation and speaker’s ending song. I knew then the reason why I had left my guitar in church. 😀

Me and my sis made an interesting gift for my mum. I’ll blog about it later. 😛

So on Thursday was Jusco Member Card Day. My mum, my sis, and I decided to go shopping at the Jusco near my house since there was sale. We knew there was going to be lots and lots of people but we thought if we went early, we could beat the crowd.

We reached there just before 10 am and guess what? There were cars everywhere! There were cars parked at the side of the whole road leading to the mall and all the parking spaces at the warehouses opposite Jusco was filled with the cars of people shopping in Jusco. LOL and there were people from everywhere walking into the mall. Some were even running in, hoping to get a piece of that sale.

There were so many cars that they had to close the front entrance to the car park inside, and so my mum, wanting a space to park inside, went round to the other entrance which had a lot of cars, too. We managed to get in, though. Every available space was filled, even some of the curbs had cars squeezing in. My mum drove up to the covered carpark and it was so congested! A looong line of cars were waiting for parking spaces, and anybody walking out of any entrance immediately became a target of all the vigilant drivers waiting. My mum decided to just make a huge round to look for spaces instead of tailing someone to their car, which is a bit freaky lol…We passed two aunties coming out of the lift but they were walking in the opposite direction we were driving so we just let the other cars behind us have them. My mum continued driving and she had been saying that me and my sis could help by looking for any place and stand there to book it. Me and my sis were a bit reluctant to do that ’cause it wasn’t really fair for other cars and a bit pai seh la…But my mum became to insistent so we quickly got out of the car.

When we got out of the car, we saw the two aunties walk to their car which was right ahead of us. We quickly ran there and my mum sped there quickly. My sis asked the aunties whether they were leaving and they said yes we could take their space. I saw them load lots of toilet paper into their car. “The toilet paper must be really cheap,” I thought. So as my mum took their place, I looked around for an entrance and lo and behold! Right in front of that parking space was an entrance! Wheee…thank you, Lord.

As we walked into the mall, I started wondering where everybody was ’cause the amount of people in the mall looked so normal. Then I realized, “Of course! They are all at the Jusco section.” And oh my gosh there were so many people! Like that scene from Confessions of a Shopaholic where all the women are at the branded items sale, everyone was grabbing clothes and throwing them here and there, all the clothes laid out were a huge mess because people just grab, look, throw back. It was chaos! The women’s sections was especially chaotic ’cause you know women la, very kiasu wan hahahaha. The fitting rooms were always being used, and my sis had to wait a good 15 min before she could get in and try some clothes on. After my sis and mum decided on some clothes, I was stationed to wait in line at the cashier while my sis and mum took the oppotunity to go look at other sections.

I noticed a lot of people glancing at me and then staring at me. I looked down at what I was carrying–two blouses and a skirt. No wonder. Hahahaha.

The waiting at the cashier was just as long as the wait for the fitting room, if not longer. Finally it was my turn and my sis and mum came back in time to take the clothes from me since I looked so weird holding them lol…

After we paid for the clothes we quickly got out of Jusco section because it was just too much people. As we walked out, I glanced at the men’s section and wow! there were A LOT of men grabbing clothes, looking here and there, lining up for the fitting room, just like the women’s section! I looked at the time in my phone–12pm. I concluded that men are not so kiasu like the women who came early early. The men come later. Hehe

We ended up at Secret Recipe for lunch. We decided to save on drinks and order a pot of tea for all of us to share. We didn’t know that the pot was for one person, like a personal pot, so when it came, we started laughing ’cause it looked like this:

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The cups were bigger than the pot! Hahahahaha. We poured out all the tea and it had  enough tea to  fill each cup only one-third way. We couldn’t stop laughing. Of course, can refill one la…haha so it wasn’t too bad.

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After lunch, my mum wanted to do some grocery shopping, so me and my sis spent the rest of the time at Popular. I bought a pencil box, too, and some stationary so at least I joined in the shopping lol…

After my mum met us again, we went to get some ice cream from gelato fruity. Yum. Then we went back ’cause my mum had planned to do something special for the dinner that night.

When we got back, we all started making a pavlova! If you dunno what’s a pavlova, please go google it because you don’t know what you’re missing out on 😀

A pavlova has many layers, so we went layer by layer. Look at the pics 🙂

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I had lots of time to kill while the first layer was baking, so I played with the camera. Got this cool shot. food-09

The first layer started getting brown.

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Then it was time to take it out and put the second layer

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After a layer of fruits and cream, it was one more layer of fruits.

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And then after putting decorating it and letting it set in the fridge for a few hours, we took it out to eat it! 😀

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Watch as it disappears.

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A pavlova is very filling, so we took our time eating it.

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Soon it disappeared completely.

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And it’s gone!

If you haven’t done it yet, you must put ‘Eat pavlova’ on your things-to-do-before-I-die list. 😀

Anyway, on Saturday my BM tuition teacher saw my pencil box. “Akhirnya!” she exclaimed, “akhirnya!” Because I’ve never had a proper pencil box in my entire life. Bluek 😛

Suf.fusion

April 6, 2009

impactcamp22

I surprised myself. I went to a camp, knowing hardly anyone and came back feeling better than I did before I went. How strange!

After I was the only one from FGA Cheras left going for FGA USJ’s Impact Camp, I didn’t know whether I should stay or pull out just like all the others. (And those others, you know who you are.) I naturally didn’t want to go because I was the only one left, but at the same time, I felt like I had to go because I was the only one left. So I stuck with it and tried not to think of all the horrible things that would happen at the camp. I’m still very proud of myself for not letting my emotions overwhelm me before the camp. XD

At the pre-camp briefing, which wasn’t too bad, I found out that I was the leader of one of the games groups called Fusion. Oh dear, I thought. How am I gonna do this. Reluctantly, I gathered my flock of members and tried to put on a brave face. A while later, I went to Pastor Sue, begging her to do something about it. Instead, she encouraged me to go ahead and lead. Great, I thought. Now I guess I really have to lead this group.

Then we had to do our group’s signs (they called it scepters) and I went to get my notebook. Pastor Sue came over and asked me whether I could lead the group, still encouraging me to go ahead. I sighed and relented. After she left, I pulled out my sermon notebook and froze. I hadn’t realized it earlier, but printed right on the cover of my notebook was the word: fusion.

I stared at it. God, is this a sign? Okay God, I guess I will lead this group. I brought my notebook over to my group and showed it to them. They all laughed, but Jade, the 23 year old wannabe doctor studying in MU exclaimed, “It’s a sign!” Yeah I guess it was.

After the pre-camp briefing, I started getting excited about camp. I thought my group was quite a good one, with a very semangat assistant leader, so that was good. Finally the day came, and I trembled with excitement. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. As I reached the church, I realized I was sitting at the edge of the car seat. I was very nervous.

I got out of the car, and walked into a room full of bags, luggage, and unfamiliar people. I tried to feel confident, but there were people everywhere that I didn’t know! I started getting frightened. Hardly anyone was noticing me. Was that bad or good?

Joanna passed me the name tags and I handed them out to me group members. Then I checked on our sign, which looked great, but had a flimsy attachment. In the end, the bus came late, so I spent the hour doing my devotion, sitting alone, and trying to fix our sign.

When the bus finally came, I was one of the last to hop on, so by the time I got in, there were no seats left except one beside a guy and a pair right in the front. I, of course, took the one in front. I’ll admit, I was scared of that guy. (I think it was Brian. LOL)

However, there were a few more people who needed to sit, too. In the end, I got squashed between the window and Fermen.

dsc05667Brian and the seat beside him that I was so scared to sit in. lol

It was quite a short journey. We finally reached there and we all gathered in the conference hall. By this time, I was feeling like crap. Seriously. I was thinking, “Okay, no one likes me, no one talks to me, this camp is going bad.” Don’t worry. I always do that. It’s not good, but now I know.

We had a short welcome and briefing. I had to pass out booklets to my group members. Then it was time to pick our mortals. One by one, we went out front to pick out a name from a plastic bag. I got Janice, someone I already knew from last year’s camp. Once everyone got their mortals, the whispering and laughing began. “Tell me! Tell me!” all the girls were saying to each other. And all the girls gave in willingly.

impactcamp6Then we trooped off to our dorms. I was stuffed into a dorm with 8 people. And that room is smaller than my bedroom. I don’t suffer from claustrophobia, but felt like I could contract that phobia right then.

After checking out our dorms, we went on tour around the campsite, which was quite big. A lot of walking required. Haha

Writing about all three days will be too much, so I’ll just pick out some essential few.

The Stone Game

During the briefing, the committee announced that we were going to play a long-term game. On impactcamp14the first three days, the committee was going to hide 9 stones around the campsite, three on each day. On each stone was a name of one of the committee and around it was tied a blue ribbon. If a group found a stone, they had to find the committee member whose name is on the stone and do whatever committee member told them to do. If they completed the task to the committee member’s satisfaction, the group got extra points.

That night, I was standing around chatting with someone when Ji Huey, my assistant leader, came running towards me screaming. She was waving something white in her hand. She handed it to me and it was a stone! That was the very first stone found. Ever. XD

The next morning, Firestorm, another group, found a stone. Then they found another stone in the afternoon. Firestorm – 2, Fusion – 1. So naturally all my team members were very trying their hardest to find another stone, just one more stone, so we could be head to head.

After the games, during shower time, I found Grace, one of my team members, taking a walk (which means looking for stones la) and I asked her whether she had seen my assistant leader. She pointed somewhere in front, so we went in that direction to catch up with her (she was also looking for stones). However, she and the person she was walking with, had made a huge U-turn, so in following them, we made a huge U-turn too, but thankfully we did, because while trying to catch up with them, Grace who was behind me suddenly shouted, “Wait! I saw something!” I turned, “What is it?” She stepped towards the bushes and peered in. Then she reached in a pulled out a stone! Aaaaahhhhh!

We screamed and the team members we were trying to catch up with came running. “We found a stone!!! Yay!” So we quickly assembled our group and found the committee member and then she told us our task which we completed later.

dsc02552Waiting for session. Cheryl, Tze May, Jaclyn and Ji Huey my assistant leader

No more stones were found that day, because the committee had hidden them in unthinkable places. So the next day during session, they decided to rehide all the stones that couldn’t be found plus the new stones in easy easy places. After session was group time where all the groups had to practice their skits. We quickly wrapped up our practice and went out looking for stones. I was a bit doubtful because other teams were already roaming around looking for stones, so I didn’t think we stood a chance at all.

Then suddenly there were people screaming, shouting so we ran to check it out. On the way there, we passed two committee members who said our group had found 3 more stones. We were like =0 Really???

We gathered our group members that were all over the place and turns out we had found two more! Another group that previously had 0 stones found one, so the scoreboard stood at Fusion – 4, Firestorm – 2, Shockwave – 1.

We were so excited we decided to go look for the two remaining ones! We had barely started our search when they shouted, “Found one!” Wow… So now Fusion – 5, Firestorm – 2, Shockwave – 1. We felt like greedy kids now, so we decided to stop looking.

Later we asked Firestorm whether they found anymore, and they said they did find one more. So with all the stones found, the score board was Fusion – 5, Firestorm – 3, Shockwave – 1. Fusion rocked it out! Literally.

But don’t forget the tasks we had to do because of the stone. They included spelling Mississippi with our heads, eating 13 assorted pastries in 10 minutes (I ate two of the biggest ones), acting out a shampoo commercial, acting out given characters, and dancing an impromptu banana dance. In the end, I think it paid off, because it helped out group regain points that were lost in the games time, since my group wasn’t very sporty.

The Angel-Mortal Game.

dsc05836A note for my mortal that I folded into a pig

Hmm. I guess I was a very good angel. I guess? No no I WAS a very good guardian angel. Don’t believe? Read this:

I’m going to start with the guardian angel. I had a guy as my angel. He is the sweetest and most wonderful angel anyone could ever get. I’m saying this very sincerely. … Today, during lunch Amanda, Ee Leen, Pei Yi and I were talking about him. Someone then said if there is this GA (guardian angel) thing going on next year, we’ll all be hoping for him. It’ll be on our prayer list! lol.” – from Janice’s blog

Janice had an awesome Guardian Angel who played his role really well! He slipped a note into her dorm everyday, giving her really sweet encouragement!” – from Ee Lean’s blog.

Janice’s angel, Lester (the sole camper from FGA Cheras), gave her notes throughout the camp. He even folded a pig for her, see? Wowwww.
All us girls envied her for having such a sweet angel. The notes her wrote to her were just, WHOA! =DDDD
So so so sweet. He wins ‘Best Guardian Angel’ award hands down! We also said that many girls will be praying next year that he’ll join us for our 2010 camp, and that they’ll be praying to have him as their angel! Hahahaha.
He even slipped the notes beneath the door of her dorm early in the morning, okayyyy! GOSH!!! *fans self* Sweetness overload
.” – from Pei Yi’s blog

Haaarrr. I WAS a good angel. XD

But my angel leh. So sad. Because not everyone came on the first day, some names weren’t picked yet on the first day. When nothing came from my angel throughout the first and first half of the second day, I started suspecting that my name hadn’t been picked yet. I pestered the committee to go and check whether my name hadn’t been picked yet and they finally did go and check and true enough my name hadn’t been picked yet. So I knew that my angel was one of the college/uni people that came on the second day.

Well I knew who Christopher was, he was the brother of Jade who was in my group, but I didn’t KNOW him. So I was quite surprised when he said hi to me that night. That was when I started suspecting that he was my angel. If I wasn’t his mortal, he wouldn’t have said hi, or even remembered my name (if you’re reading this Chris, no offense but it’s true and I don’t blame you XD). However, I had been trying not to be too hung up over this angel thing, and was always telling myself, if I didn’t have a good angel or no angel at all, it was okay.

Later that night, I was teaching Kenny how to fold a crane in my dorm when Christopher and Ren Yau who both had just came that day, knocked on our door. Ren Yau came in and said, “Hi Lester, special delivery for you.” Then Christopher came in and handed me NIPS. I tried to act cool and everything, saying thank you and then getting back to business but I from then on I was very sure my angel was Christopher. Because it was so nice to finally HAVE an angel, I of course started telling everyone that my angel had arrived! Lol…but the next day, I was delivered some tragic news. Christopher had a fever. And he had gone home.

OMG… I was like WHAT?! Whhhhyyyyy???? Why does this have to happen to me?!?!?! Okay maybe not that dramatic, but I was obviously disappointed and sad because my angel had come and left in less than 24 hours, and had only said hi and given me NIPS. I mean, of course it’s not too much to ask for more right? For goodness sake, I wrote an average of 3 notes per day for my mortal and folded three of them into origami and bought some stuff for her. But you don’t always reap what you sow in the same way.

And so since I had been telling others that my angel was Chris, I now told everyone that my angel had come and gone while everyone commiserated with me. By now I was sooo sure he was my angel because there was no sign from my angel at all since Chris had left.

However, that afternoon, Suet Kit, someone I had already known from last year, came to my dorm saying she wanted to speak to me. She told me that Chris was actually her angel! I was a bit taken aback but I started to believe her because of the proof she had. She and I both had our names picked late and only three guys had come late-Darrell, Ren Yau (her brother) and Christopher. Someone had told her that her angel was a guy so she went to check them out. She said Darrell had someone else for a mortal, Ren Yau couldn’t be her angel, so Chris was the only one left. I was quite surprised but it had to be true right? She then told me it was probably one of the girls. After that conversation, I was started being wary of the other girls who came late, but they mostly didn’t pay me any attention. So I was quite confused. Also, if I had a girl for an angel, I would by now have gotten at least one note. Boys don’t really send notes but any girl would send notes.

Later that day, I happened to be with the older girls when they were talking and I asked them whether any of them were my angel. They all showed genuine innocence and even guessed who it may be in front of me. Since we were on the subject of mortals and angels, one of them started talking about the nice pairings of mortals and angels. For example, Samuel got his sister as his mortal and Ren Yau had his sister as his mortal, too. I was surprised to hear that, but it wasn’t such a surprised considering all the clues pointed to Chris as being my angel. It was funny to see Suet Kit keep saying that the things she was getting was from Christopher and even saying that Christopher was calling people up to do things for her when in fact her angel was actually her brother! Lol…I really wanted to break the news to her, but I knew I should wait until the last day when we would all reveal to our mortals who we were.

It was quite funny, because Christopher was like this cool guy that everyone wanted to be with and subsequently the most wanted angel. And when I got him as my angel, there wasn’t anything special because he came and left in less than 24 hours. Sometimes, we make others what we want them to be, but when we’re stripped down to the bare essentials, it’s plain obvious that we’re all equal. And even though we’re all special, we’re never more special than anyone else :D. So that was my angel story.

Games
impactcamp21On the first day, the games were indoor. We played the do-you-love-your-neighbour game and charades. My group didn’t do too well in the charades, though, but I didn’t really care. It was just the first day.

The second day was Captain Ball. The first match, our team lost. Lol…Then we played again with the committee and tied. By that day, the scores so far had Radioactive in the lead followed by my team. I badly wanted my team to win of course, and was always looking for ways to increase my team’ points. But in the2625_143421760596_872105596_6345731_1500130_n end, I told myself, “It’s okay if my team doesn’t win. As long as we had fun.”

The third day was station games. All the teams were given clues that would lead them to a station where they had to do a task. Our first station was golfing. All the group members had to chip the airball correctly before we got the next clue. Everyone else went first, while I tried to help them if they needed help (which they needed, of course). It is definitely not hard to hit the ball if you have no experience in golf whatsoever. So easy to miss the ball. Haha. I was the last one and another group was coming, so I quickly hit the ball (non problemo), we got our next2625_143423740596_872105596_6345760_8278360_n clue and ran for the next station.

At our next station, we had to eat something gross. Well it was a gross mixture. Choc cereal and apple cider, with some water to mash it up. On their own they taste fine, but together? Ew. 11 of use had to finish about 16 scoops of it. After we finished it, we got our next clue and ran to our next station.

2625_143423660596_872105596_6345744_3889223_nMy stomach started to hurt as we ran, but I tried not to think about it. Our next station was shooting three pointers. We needed to shoot three or two in a row. Remember, my group is not very sporty, so we took a while to get three. In the end, Jonathan, our oldest male group member, shot all three.

Our next clue read, “Every shopping mall has this, especially 1 Utama.” I may have been to 1U a few times, but I do not know it as well as the others, so I let them guess what it was. They said gym, so we all ran to the gym but there was no one there. So next they thought obstacle course, but on the way there, we saw someone standing in the parking lot and realized that it was a car park. -.-‘

At the car park station, we had to put together a square that was cut into pieces. It was like a 2625_143423700596_872105596_6345752_1001302_njigsaw puzzle. We took quite a while to complete it, but when we were done, it was a picture of an obstacle course. But before we could run there, our group had to recite 1 Tim 4:12, the camp verse. Another group that had arrived at the same station had been trying to recite but kept getting it wrong. Jade, the car park station master, asked us to show how it’s done. We recited it correctly and ran off while the other group recited it one more time, this time correctly, because we showed them how XD

2625_143423775596_872105596_6345767_5603941_nAt the obstacle course, we had to wait, because one team was still completing the task and another group was also waiting. By the time it came to our turn, we knew how it was to be done. First we had to do the monkey bars while getting eggs cracked on our heads, then we had to either swing across a puddle of water or crawl through it, walk across the suspended beam thingi, get through a net of raffia string, crawl under a net with flour on the ground, and then run a whole circle back to the monkey bars, all this while being shot at by a huuuggee water gun. I somehow managed to do the monkey bars without getting an egg, slosh ONLY my feet in the puddle, walk the beam 2625_143423765596_872105596_6345765_7094603_nthingi without falling, got past the net and crawling quite easily and all these while loving the water gun because it shot water at such a nice speed. I think I got by without really being noticed because no one cared much about me, which is such an insult, but is so useful in times like these.

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I was one of the first to complete the course, so while waiting I cheered on those who were running back to the monkey bars. Go Amanda! C’mon Xin Ying! Grace, I know you can run faster than that! XD

As our group assembled to get our next clue, I mentioned to Eunice, the station master, that I didn’t get an egg. Though I didn’t actually want an egg, I thought it was quite a shame to come to this camp, watch everyone get egged, and not get an egg myself. So I gladly bowed my head, not to 2625_143423665596_872105596_6345745_1804328_npray, but to get an egg in my hair. The egg was warm from sitting in the sunlight and it felt like a half-boiled egg dripping down my neck. A bit gross, but tahan-able.

Our next station was right across the obstacle course. We kinda knew what we had to do, because we watched two teams do it while waiting for the obstacle course. All the team members except the leader had to be blindfolded and tied together. Two of them would hold a water balloon each. The leader would stand on one side and guide the group along a 2625_143423685596_872105596_6345749_339994_ncertain length of the skating rink. The tying took quite a while, so I passed the time kutuking Charis the station master, while also helping tie and blindfold my team members. Then we were set to go and I just gave directions to the ones in front and the whole team followed. I think we finished it in like a few minutes, which was good. I think? Lol.

After that, we had to find Jonathan Gerard for our next task. Except there was no task. He checked all our clues and then said, “Congratulations, you came in fourth.” We stared at him. “No task?” we asked in disbelief. “Nope, no task,” he answered in his nonchalant way. We all stood around while the fact set in. Okkkaaayyyy. Then we joined the other teams in the dining hall.

By this time, the egg had cooked in our hair. It was like natural hair gel. A very strong natural hair gel. I couldn’t wait to hit the showers.

dsc05714Holding my team’s sign

That night was wannabe night, and everyone was supposed to dress up as something. I really wanted to be myself, I mean, what else do I actually want to be? But apparently we couldn’t dress up as ourselves. However, I didn’t know that because it wasn’t mentioned during the precamp briefing, so I actually didn’t bring anything to dress up as.

Group Performances

It was announced on the second day that all the groups had to do a performance of some sorts. Of course the easiest thing to do was a skit, but the catch was that it had to incorporate all the characters we were dressing up as. Our finalized skit had me as the narrator and also a cheerleader but what I was dressing up as was still at a dead end because I didn’t have anything to dress up as. Joanna tried to help me dress up as a nerd but it didn’t really turn out that well. In the end, I didn’t really dress up as anything, which was a bit weird. However, my role in the skit wasn’t really a distinct character so I guess it was okay? Lol

2625_143429430596_872105596_6345869_8379350_nWhen we started planning our skit, we decided to make it random since we had so many weird characters, so our skit was just this random random story with not much of a moral or storyline. I was a bit worried during the practices that it would turn out very lame, but I told myself not to be so worked up over the skit. It was just a skit after all, no big deal. In most of my previous camps, the group that I was in always did badly during skit time. So I knew I wouldn’t be surprised if my group did badly this time, too.

We were the third group to do its skit, so when we got out there, we still were not sure of how 2625_143429420596_872105596_6345867_3875891_ngood the other skits would be. Anyway, we went out and did what we practiced, with a little bit of improvisation and it turned out quite good, I thought. (If you wanna know how the story went, ask me. I’ll tell you the whole thing. :D)

After we were done, I passed by Joanna and she gave the thumbs up. “Good job!” she said. “Thanks,” I replied. I knew we had done quite a good job, but there were still three more groups to go.

By the time the last group had finished their performance, I had a feeling that my group had done quite well. The only problem was that the other groups had put in a lot of spiritual stuff, like points from Pas. Dennis’ messages, mentions of Impact camp, and biblical truths. Again, I had to tell myself, if we didn’t win best skit, it was okay.

Pas. Dennis and Pas. Sue were the judges, and when they finally gave the results to the chairperson, we were all ready hear the news. It was going to be listed from last to first, so my ears were all out listening for my group’s name. Sixth, not my group. Fifth, not my group. I was too busy listening out for my group’s name that I forgot about the other teams and their placing. 4th place, not my group. 3rd place also not my group. That put us in either 2nd or 1st place. We were all holding our breath. “In second place is….” the chairman said and I didn’t hear my group’s name. Fusion erupted into yays and cheers. We had won! But the chairmain still had to announced who was first. “In first place…is…FUSION!” Then we all jumped and screamed YAY! Hahahaha it was like the best feeling ever. I was so proud of my team. 😀

After that was worship time and after worship time, we were all exhausted. For suppertime, we all gathered in the dining hall quietly in rows but then Charis announced that the reason they had gathered us was because we were going to do OBH! Some people started cheering and everyone started talking. As for me, I stared at Charis and wondered, “What on earth was OBH?” Charis then explained that it stood for Operasi Burung Hantu. I was like errrr and what on earth is that? “You all will be blindfolded and you just have to follow a string all the way.” We were also told to keep our hand out and feel with our feet. We just had to be careful. After getting blindfolded and waiting for a while, I was the very first one to go. Someone led me to the start and off I went. I kinda knew where I was because of where I started but the string went on and on it felt like I was walking into the unknown. Pillar and the another pillar and I was quite sure where I was. I reached some stairs and then I was VERY sure where I was because there was no other stairs like that. The stairs led to the court and the floor felt like the floor in the court. Having no one in front of me but many people behind me was a bit frightening, especially because Dominique and Daniel started catching up with me and making me feel like I was so slow. After walking for quite a long time in the court and hearing someone whisper in my ear, “Follooww meeeee,” to which I immediate replied to saying “Follow you? Follow you where?” to no answer, I walked out of the court. I knew I was out of the court, but I didn’t know in which direction I was walking. 2625_143429545596_872105596_6345886_2176134_nDominique who was behind me, started saying that he knew where we were and that there was a drain coming up. I didn’t really care what he was saying because he can talk really big sometimes. I could hear a lot of people behind me, and the ground felt like a long stretch, so I started speeding up and all of a sudden, my foot touched nothing and I was falling falling. It was one of the scariest feelings I have ever felt. My elbow scraped against a wall, and I knew immediately that I had fallen into the drain. Natural instinct told me to hold on the string and thank God I did because my foot did not even touch the bottom of the drain. So there I was, dangling from a string, not knowing where I was, and wondering whether anyone saw me fall in. This all happened in a split second, because then I heard voices calling my name and two pairs of hands grabbed my arms and pulled me out. Someone asked me whether I was okay. “I’m fine,” I told them but my elbow was hurting and it felt like it was bleeding.

All the way, whenever I bumped into a pillar or the stairs, I had shouted to my team members behind me to warn them. So of course I warned my team that there was a drain and included the information that I had fallen in. Just so they won’t fall in and experience the trauma that I did.

2625_143429555596_872105596_6345888_894725_nMy rival mortal, Suet Keit, near the starting point

After falling into the drain, I felt quite embarrassed because I didn’t know how many people saw me fall in and whether they thought it was funny. But I had to keep on walking because I could always hear Daniel and Dominique really close behind me. After the drain, I couldn’t guess where I was anymore because the string just seemed to go on and on and on. I brushed past quite a few plants and felt some trees and crossed some more drains successfully. I finally felt the string end in a knot and there was someone whispering for me to walk forward. I followed his instructions and then he told be to sit down. I knew I would be waiting for the rest, and I knew it was going to be a looong wait because I was the very first one. So I just sat there and tried to rest. Nothing better to do. It was then I realized again that my elbow was still hurting and I was quite sure by now the blood should have dried up. I didn’t think it would be so bad though, so I thought I’d wait for the OBH to be over and then go see the camp nurse.

2625_143429650596_872105596_6345905_6007677_n

After everyone was assembled, we still had our blindfolds on, of course, and random people were asked questions about how they felt during the OBH. Then we were told we could take off our blindfolds and we found that we were in the tennis court! LOL then we had like a debriefing and then back to our dorms.

The next day everyone woke up really late because everyone slept late hahaha. I slept quite early actually, compared to the others. While the others went to bed at 3, I was conked out by 1 something. I was really tired. That night, however, I got a note from my angel, which I knew had to be a substitute angel, because my angel had gone home. Haha

Because we all woke up so late, breakfast was at 8.30 instead of 8.00 like the previous days. Earlier on during the camp, Eunice had told me that I was playing keyboard for worship on the last day. The practice would be at 8.20, but with breakfast at 8.30, how were we going to practice? So Eunice changed it to 8.40 instead, so we could take our breakfast before practice.

By the time we went to the hall, it was 8.45. Setting up the stuff took a while so in the end we had less than 15 minutes of practice. And to make things worse, I didn’t know the first song. And to make things EVEN worse, the sound system we placed in such a way that the musicians actually can’t hear what the worship leader or anyone else is singing. We just had to receive orders from the worship leader. Jonathan who was playing the drums helped me with the intro for the first song, and Eunice helped me with like almost everything because I wasn’t used to the keyboard.

By the time the campers started coming in, I still wasn’t very sure exactly what I was supposed to play during the first song. I had a basic idea, but it’s not always enough. When the time came to play the first song, I just winged it and pressed whatever I thought was okay. Next was the camp song that we didn’t really practice, but I knew it by heart by then, so I guess it was okay. Then it was time for the slow songs. It was very confusing because of the key changes and the sound changes also. I messed up with the sound change actually and pressed the wrong buttons but somehow I managed to make it sound okay for Mighty To Save. I nearly forgot that the next song was in E and I switched key just in the nick of time because the worship leader started singing almost immediately. I was so relieved when it was over because then I could breathe easier.

When I came down from the stage and went over to my group, Daniel and Dominique, the 13 year old boys, started saying, “Wow Lester! You played so well!” I was like eeerrr really? Thank you hahahaha “Yeah,” Dominique continued, “I liked the first song! Very nice!” I was stunned. Seriously? The first song? I hardly even knew what I was pressing! Then I got a note from dsc05735sub-angel again, and in her note, she said I played very well! Seriously? I mean, hearing two thirteen-year-old boys say it was okay I guess, but my angel saying that I played well was nice, especially since my angel turned out to be someone who played for worship, too. Though not at the camp because she was too busy doing committee stuff. Like watching me fall into the drain XD

All in all, I had a lot of fun during the camp. It was the first time since a looong time that I didn’t think back and regret doing something. It was like I lived life to the max and doing that for the first time in years was liberating. I didn’t feel scared of people anymore, I didn’t feel like I needed to suppress myself anymore, I didn’t feel like hiding myself from the world anymore.

dsc05744Opening my group’s prize

It was also a rewarding experience. I mean, my team won! What more could I ask for? I learned so many things, too. It was like a suffusion of God-perspective into me, replacing my self-perspective that was so limited with something that caught the essence of the future and beyond.


Okay I know this post is like three weeks late, but at least I wrote right? 😀

Exposé

March 16, 2009

It wasn’t much of a choice, but I knew being involved in the Easter presentation was going to be tough. Emotionally. I didn’t know exactly how–I just knew. And now, after my first practice, I’m starting to see the signs on it. It seems to be bringing out the worse in me–the hypocritical, arrogant, selfish me. It is unbearable, and yet it is uncontrollable. I feel like my whole being is slowly being peeled away to revealed an ugly truth. And I am not liking what I see.

Struggling to accept it, I break my own will to find a truth in the authoritative view. But no will ever breaks cleanly. A greed for creative control takes over me, and I spew out my worthy correction. But not so worthy. For I myself need correction, corrections beyond what I can control. I act rashly, I act childishly, but I act what I am. I respond angrily, denying my helplessness with fervor. But I am helpless.

Watch out. Self-exposé in progress.

The Cramp Story

February 8, 2009

Pause over. Hit the play button.

Today YPF had CZ outings and the boys went to Bukit Apek. Yes, the name is Apek. And yes we joked about it, saying oni apeks climb that hill. But our jokes turn into respect when we finished the climb, because seriously, the climb was SO tough. I am not exaggerating–it was a real challenge.

I’m telling you, it was crazy steep. Crazy crazy steep. Some parts were like climbing a wall, and some parts were like walking down a wall at 120 degrees. I am not kidding. And then there was a one part where we could just tumble down a huge open slope to our death. It was crazy.image077

So after the climb, we went back to Joseph’s house. From there, Joseph fetched Shaun, Ian, KH, and me to Shaun’s house. As I got out of the car, I thanked Joseph.

“Thank you Joseph! Can you open the boot?”

Joseph gave me the key and I passed it to Shaun (or was it Kheng Hsiang, I can’t remember) but I do remember feeling my toes go numb and out of position. It had already started doing that during the climb, but I thought nothing much about it because everyone said it was nothing.

So as I felt my fourth toe on my left leg go numb, I pulled my foot out of my shoe and tried to massage it. At the same moment, the fourth toe on my RIGHT foot went numb. So I pulled that foot out, too, to massage. So there I was, on the middle of the road, with my feet on the tar road, massaging my feet. I did not take my left foot out of my shoe completely, and it was at an angle.

All of a sudden, my left calf froze, piercing pain creeping in. I didn’t know what was going on–I had never experienced anything like this before (I thought my leg dislocated or something… LOL!).

I couldn’t stand, so I slowly lowered myself onto the ground, clutching my leg at the same time. The pain got worse and worse and I panicked even more.

Kheng Hsiang was standing right beside me watching calmly. I realized later that he has probably seen this type of things happen a million times and also probably experienced it countless times because he calmly remarked, “You’re having a cramp.”

I looked up at him in pain, “Uhuh?”.

“You need to straighten your leg,” he replied.

I was horrified, but because he was so calm about it, I trusted his orders.

“Yes, straighten your leg…” he encouraged as I slowly extended my leg. Then he bent down and took hold of my foot. “Now I’m going to push your foot towards you, ok?” I nodded quickly, bracing myself for another burst of pain.

Instead, the pain level stayed the same. But even though it still hurt, my calf somehow felt much better. It was then I had an epiphony–at these things, Kheng Hsiang is a PRO.

Joseph’s voice broke my moment of revelation, “Haha you’re sitting on the road.” I looked up and indeed I was! So Shaun and KH pulled me up to my feet and I limped into the house.

Uncle Yap and Aunty Sally were all over me at once.
“Are you Ok?”
“What happened?”
“Sit down, sit down!”
“Sit down here, don’t worry!”
“You have cramps?”
“Dear, should I go get deep heat?”
“I don’t know! I’m not medically trained!”
“Is it painful, Lester?”
“Want me to push your leg?”

So Uncle Yap starts pushing my leg. By now the pain had subsided, so it didn’t hurt that much when he pushed. I shifted to another chair, and Aunty Sally asked my to put my foot up on another chair. The chair had a cushion and I didn’t want to dirty the cushion, so I put my feet at the sides. But Aunty Sally said, “No it’s ok! Just put your feet.” Okaaayy.

My dad called and asked me whether he could come now to fetch me. I said, “Yes please!” Shaun came back with ice water for me. I asked where my bags were, and all three of them had been taken out of Joseph’s car for me.

Finally everything calmed down. I sat there, alone. And I began thinking. Why was everyone so nice to me? I felt so un-used to it. I didn’t feel deserving at all. I myself had not been caring like that. And here I was having kindness poured out like that. It did not make sense. But then it hit me. That was the way God worked. We don’t deserve it, but he still gives it. And it took a cramp to understand the concept. Wow Lester, I told myself, YOU are the apek one.

I heard a car drive up to the gate. “Your dad’s here!” Uncle Yap called. My legs felt fine, so I stood up and walked to the door. Uncle Yap was much faster though. He grab all three of my bags and brought them to the car, despite my protests.

All I could do was put my feet in my shoes and walk to the car. Easy right? Er, no.

As I slowly put on my shoe, my left leg tensed and froze. Oh dear, I thought, here we go again. I started to REALLY painful. I had no choice but to sit right down at their front door, blocking the entire doorway. As I sat down, my RIGHT leg cramped. Oh no, not BOTH legs. “Cramp!” I screamed and everyone came running.

Aunty Sally was the nearest. “Which foot?” she asked.

I looked at here in emabrrasment, “Both.”

She hesitated, “So…which one do I push?”

Oh dear. My right leg felt worse, so I pointed at it. She grabbed my right foot and asked, “Should I push?”

“Yes please!” I said, trying to hide my desperation. She started pushing and my leg slowly relaxed.

After a few minutes, she let go to look behind. What had been going was that Uncle Yap told my dad everything and opened the gate so my dad could reverse into the porch.

As Aunty Sally let go, the cramp came rushing back in. “Ow cramp!” I shouted. Aunty Sally started pushing again. By that time, my dad had gotten out of the car. He came around and started massaging my legs. This cramp was the worse  but I tried not to scream, pressing my arm into my mouth. As my dad massaged my leg, Aunty Sally went to get a deep heat cream. My dad started rubbing it in and it helped relax my legs.

When I finally felt good enough to get to the car, I thought maybe I could stand up and walk. But everyone else protested. So in the end…Uncle Yap, Aunty Sally, and my dad carried my into the car. How strange it must have looked.

On the way back, I felt so thankful to everyone who had helped me. And instead of feeling emo, I felt happy. I don’t know how it works, but spiritual things don’t always make sense.

When I reached home, I slowly walked to the sofa and rested for a good 20 minutes, while my dad massaged my legs for a while. Then I gathered enough to walk up the stairs to my room. I reached my room with no problems and got ready for my shower. Undressing was really easy, but after the shower, I could hardly dress myself and seriously, I felt like an orang cacat. I could hardly do anything without nearly feeling like my cramps were coming again.

Well I made it to the sabo, which I thought would be out of the picture because of the cramps. But the more I walked, the less the pain seemed to be. By the time I came home, I could almost walk normally.

Suddenly my eyes  were opened. Everything someone did looked like a effort worth thanking for. Thanking someone became such a natural thing. It wasn’t a new perspective, it was a God-perspective. It is the way it should be. After all, God gave the ultimate thing worth thanking for–His life. Once you have that mindset down pat, finding something to thank a person for is easy peasy. No need to think so hard anymore.

I was surprised at my ownself. Seriously Lester? You thanked Alvin for asking how your leg was? The thing is, I felt gratitude I didn’t know I was capable of. And all this? Because of a cramp. *speechless…

God works in mysterious ways.

Something Special

February 1, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUMMY!