Make Me A Blessing

My parents stay in a 3 room HDB flat. It is a humble little home, yet the love that emanates from there could fill the whole neighbourhood.

My parents have opened their home and hearts to many people over the years. From the friends of my siblings and I, to friends of friends, to various people who somehow end up at their door.

In the past few years, my parents have been hosting fortnightly bible study sessions at their home. Every other Friday night, songs of praise can be heard from their home as people gather there to sing songs of worship, pray and study God's word together. 

Last week, a lady showed up at my parents' door around dinner time. She said that she stayed in the opposite block. My mom recognised her as the lady who came from a troubled home with an often abusive husband. Their quarrels would sometimes ring out through the neighbourhood at night and the police would have to be called in as things turned violent. My parents invited her in to share their dinner, and over the food, her story flowed mingled with tears. 

She shared with my parents that whenever there was a bible study session, she would stand at the corridor to listen to the worship songs as the songs would encourage her heart through the troubled times.

After dinner, my mom prayed with the lady, invited her to join in the bible study in the future, and offered a hand of support and help.

My mom told me that she had often thought of reaching out to the lady whenever she saw her in the neighbourhood, but never had the courage to make that step. And now God had brought her to my parents' door step. It is really amazing how God's plans work.

Over the weekend at church, we learnt about having the compassion of Christ as being part of our upward call in life. We also learned how God's plans will not be thwarted by what us humans do or not do. His works are wondrous and He will fulfil all His amazing plans for each one of us.

Hearing what happened from my parents, all these lessons from the bible became real. 
God did not leave the lady alone though my mom did not dare to reach out to her. He moved her to approach my parents instead. 
He did not see that my parents only had a humble little home. He used it to bring blessings to many.
And whenever God opened up opportunities, my parents responded in compassion and love.

Now that the Kwek Kampong is mostly ready, our prayer is that God will use the Kwek Kampong to bless others, just like my parents' home has. And may we learn from the examples before us, to always respond in love each time there is an opportunity to bless others. 


What a Difference a Decade Makes

Last week, I celebrated the wedding of one of my classmates from junior college, went for my husband's class gathering, and hosted a bunch of my friends at the kwek kampong. What do all these event have in common?
They were all times of catching up with people we got to know back when we were carefree 17 year olds. 
When I was 17
The interesting thing about friends from junior college is that up until the time we met, all our lives had largely taken the sane route. We all went through 6 years of primary school, 4 years of secondary school and have all basically been indoctrinated with the same stuff through our formal education. We all did decently well at our O levels and were somehow plonked together at 17 where we would see each other everyday for about 2 years. And then the moment we leave the institution of junior college, that's when all our lives take vastly different turns.

 I do not feel much different from the 17year old me, yet it seems none of us have escaped from the life altering tumults of a 20-something. 

With Mr Wee, a teacher who was an example for all of us to follow
In the past decade, we have fallen in and out of love. We have lost loved ones and gained new people we call family. We have changed fields of study and built careers. We have traversed cities, countries and continents. We have searched for our identities and found God.

While some people have changed beyond what we could imagine of them at 17, some things never change. Like the wry sense of humour, the heart of service, and the common history we share. 

And for all that has happened in the past decade, may we all trace the hand of the Lord in our lives. 

Where Boys Become Men

It is a rite of passage for every Singaporean son. Enlistment into 2 years of national service, to serve and protect our home. This is where boys become men. I could go on with many more slogans from the very successful campaigns on national service. But let me just squeeze in one more: this is my brother, our army. 
My little brother enlisted in the army this week. So my whole family went along with him to the sunny island in the east for the tour that they conduct for families on enlistment day. I had a ton of fun, but I'm not so sure the boys enlisting were as thrilled as me. 
The journey there made us feel as if we were headed to some resort in Batam, for a holiday. Even the ferries used were the same! 
Upon reareaching the island, we were greeted by banners declaring slogans which I think were supposed to encourage the enlistees. Although I'm not sure the one of a guy kissing his girlfriend goodbye was helping much. The boys were soon separated from their families and we got to go on a tour of the place while the boys settled administrative issues like surrendering their civilian identities.

The mothers and fathers reacted very diffdifferently during the tour. While the mothers were concerned about the boys' welfare, the fathers mostly remarked at how much conditions have improved since their time. As for me, it was an eye opener to a world us girls thankfully do not have to be personally acquainted with. 

I'm sure the time my little brother has in the army will fly by and it will be all he talks about for the next few years. He will make beautiful friendships and he will learn how to protect the ones he loves. It may not be easy, but I'm sure he is made of stronger stuff. I'll be praying every step along the way in any case. 

Blessed Lunar New Year

I love how everything shuts down on lunar new year's day. As modern and cosmopolitan as Singapore has become, I love how at this time of year, we return to our traditions and roots. While the stores are mostly shut, the heartlands, especially the older estates are alive with people dressed up in a riot of red as people visit their elders and gather with friends and family.  Once in a while, the sound of clanging cymbals and throbbing drums from the lion dance troops can be heard, adding to the festive atmosphere.
Welcoming the year of the horse all decked out in red
Most of all, I love the time that everyone sets aside to meet up with loved ones. Whether these are people that meet up only once a year, or people who regularly hangout, what matters is that this is the time when ties are renewed.
My gongfu family
Maybe it's a sign of growing up/old. But I really enjoyed the Lunar New Year celebrations this year.
Here's wishing everyone of you and your families the Lord's richest blessings in the year ahead.