Saturday, September 18, 2010

Greetings from the Land of Living Skies

Hello from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan!
It is sunny outside but it's 4 degrees! With the temperature being so cold, it makes me think that I've missed Fall. Nevertheless, I am enjoying the weather to the fullest.

You must be wondering about my first three weeks experiences in a new land. It is rather difficult to summarize my time in Saskatoon but I will try my best to describe to you what it is like to be living in Saskatoon and to be doing ministry here.

My Team

My team consists of my supervisor, Lisa, and two fellow interns, Tim and Becca. We come from all over: Lisa's from Montana, USA; Tim's from La Crete, Alberta; Becca's from Wolfville, Nova Scotia. We live in a house that is close to the university. We live in community and do things as a family. It's only week three for me but I already feel the tension of living in community. It's amazing how much you discover about yourself when living with others. We have yet to butt heads (praise God for that). For me personally, it's the little things that bug me the most. For example, I can't stand dishes that are not clean properly; I can't stand lots of lights being turn on around the house. If you're in the living room, clearly you don't need the lights in the kitchen and dining room; I get frustrated when someone is not punctual especially when it has been told that we're leaving at 7PM, then you ought to be prepared to leave before 7PM, not getting ready at the strike of 7PM. *Phew* Aha! I'm discovering so much about myself just by looking at what drives me up the wall. It is through community living that we learn to love one another, learn to express our feelings to one another, and learn to come to a solution as to how to deal with conflicts. I believe it will be a good learning year for me.

City of Saskatoon
People have a misconstrued understanding of the province of Saskatchewan. To many Canadians, you don't choose to GO and LIVE in Saskatchewan. It's the forgotten land. Why on earth would you choose to live in Saskatchewan when you can opt for other 'better' provinces like British Columbia, or Quebec, or the Maritimes?
But you know what? Saskatchewan is a really beautiful province. Yeah, when I was flying over it, it was so flat I could see for miles and miles without any obstruction. But, oh the vastness of the land! It is so amazing to be in a province where you could gaze out to the horizon and see wheat fields and grasslands and just how beautiful the land is. Saskatchewan's tagline is: Land of Living Skies. I tell ya, they live up to that! Oh the beauty of the skies! It's like they're alive! And their sunsets are breathtaking! My team and I drove out of the city a few days ago and we got to witness one of the best sunsets!

As for the city of Saskatoon, it has its own beauty and charm. The South Saskatchewan river flows between the city and there are six bridges that connects the west and east sides. My house is located close to the university (about a 10 minute walk). There are parks and trails by the river where you can explore. Oh so beautiful! As you can see, I am loving the city and I am definitely very happy to be here. Each day I wake up and smile and thank God for the privilege to be here and to see Him working in this 'forgotten' province.

I don't think I can ever get enough of this land. So much potential and I believe that God is already doing something in this land. "A spiritual awakening oh Lord is what my heart asks of you for this land and for this people."

IVCF/Student Ministry

Student ministry is so different here. I have experienced a ministry back at University of Victoria where a fellowship has already been established. Here at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), we are helping them to reconstruct and redevelop the fellowship. It is like pioneering work/mission work on campus. We go onto campus and most times flop ourselves somewhere and be a 'furniture' (ie. making our presence known on campus) or we go on campus and walk around or get involved in student activities so that we get to meet students. Tim decided to join ballroom dancing - to learn to dance but also to meet students. I am looking forward to taking a class on curling - to learn to curl and to meet students. There are two student leaders and my team and I have been spending time with them, helping them dream and vision BIG for God and for their campus.

There has been days when I'd go on campus and sit in a corner and say to God, "Gee.... I don't know why or what I am doing here. Things have not been easy. We don't have a fellowship here. Students don't even seem interested in knowing or talking about you or the Gospel. So really, God, I have no purpose here." And as I heave a sigh of discouragement and dejection, I heard the quiet whisper of a loving God, "Do not be discouraged, do not be disheartened. Take heart for I am with you. I brought you here for a purpose and while you may feel like nothing is happening, take heart for I have a plan and a purpose."

Even though things are hardwork, I sense God's love for the city, the campus and the students. My team and I were praying for the campus 2 weeks ago and I saw a picture of a lamb and then Jesus saying, "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life to the fullest." Jesus wants to be a Shepherd to the lost sheep in this campus. And Jesus is asking me, "Are you willing to allow me to use you to bring my kingdom and love to this campus?"

My response?
"Oh Lord I am willing. Take my life and everything that's in me and use it all for Your glory."

Friday, July 30, 2010

Home will always be home

I have been home for a month. The first 2 weeks was rather tough as I tried to adjust to life at home after being away for 3 years. It was not easy adjusting but thank God that He helped me to ease back into life at home. Although I am adjusted, life is still not the same. Malaysia has changed and so have I in the past 3 years. That being said, nothing has stopped me from enjoying at home.

I am grateful for the opportunity to visit my extended family in Tawau, KK and Labuan.
A few highlights from the trip:

- Throughout my 2 week stay, I was showered with an abundance of love and care! I felt like royalty! As I struggled with homesickness (homesick for my life and friends in Canada), God showed me that I STILL do have a community of family and friends here who love me lots. Though things have changed, nothing has changed their steadfast love and care for me. For that I am very grateful.

- I was given the opportunity by my high school teachers to share my high school and university experiences as well as my journey and life experiences in Canada with the Form 3 and Form 5 students at my former high school. It was such a blessing to be able to share with them my story. I also really treasured the time I was able to spent with my teachers. They were all so overjoyed to see me again. My teachers took me out for lunch, shared with me their joys and struggles of teaching and they continued to shower their love towards me even though I have moved on to finish my tertiary education.

Pn. Lim, Pn. Chan and Mrs. Tay. They taught me while I was studying in St. Anne's.

- I thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship that I had with my extended family in Tawau, KK and Labuan. I also enjoyed sharing with them my experiences living in Canada for 3 years. These are the people who have seen me grow since I was 10 years old until today. In a way, they are like family to me. I know that I can always turn to them for guidance, support, and prayers.

My Bible Knowledge teacher, Aunty Ping Ching, with her BK students from 2002-2009.


My family and I took a family vacation to Penang for 3 days recently. I really enjoyed the fellowship and bonding time we had as a family. I especially enjoyed spending time with my family be it in the car, while we were eating or while we were shopping. I know my mom and dad had been planning for this trip for a while now so I hope that they had enjoyed themselves.

"We should love one another" 1 John 3:11

Life has been good and I know that it will continue to be so. I have limited time but still so many more people to catch up with! I trust that I will somehow be able to schedule everyone in before I fly back to Canada.

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Psalm 139:13-14

Saturday, July 10, 2010

June 2010 Update

Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings from Malaysia! It has been and continues to be hot and humid! Things have been a whirlwind since I arrived home two weeks ago. It is hard to begin describing my experience of being home. No amount of preparation was sufficient when it came to dealing with the reverse culture shock. I knew that it would be hard but I never expected it to be this hard.

I am still adjusting to the hot and humid weather. The first few days were the worst as I felt lethargic, sweaty and there were moments when I thought I would not make it through the day! My body has sort of adjusted a little to the weather. Rain has finally arrived and it has been pouring like cats and dogs these past 2 days. I welcome the downpour as it brings with it the cool breeze and clears the sky. Nevertheless, I still long for the Victorian weather that I have been privileged enough to enjoy over the past 3 years.

Even though I missed my Malaysian cuisine, it has not been easy adjusting to the eating lifestyle here. My body went into shock as I was not able to get my usual diet of skim milk and cereal for breakfast, a big serving of fresh fruits and vegetables and good cheese! ;) I am also not used to having rice for every meal. I miss having fresh vegetables and fruits. I tried eating a raw carrot when I first came back and it tasted horrible. I was pretty upset that I couldn’t get lots of the food that I eat in Canada here. (I do welcome a care package consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables from Canada)
On a brighter note, I have unlimited access to an abundance of food. There are food stalls and hawker stalls at almost every corner and some of them are open 24 hours! I am also able to get Malaysian fruits at a fairly cheap price. I am reminded of the vast array of food and fruits that we have here in Malaysia and I am grateful for it.

I went through a period of intense homesickness. All I wanted to do was nap and cry. I really wanted to return back to Canada to be with my community and friends. I miss my lifestyle, the weather and the food and how easy it is to meet up with friends. I was sad and felt rejected that no one really inquired about my experiences in Canada. I felt like I have never left Malaysia. It was like time stopped and then resumed from where it stopped. I also quickly came to realization that my family has their own schedule and activities and at times, I felt lost and useless. I also felt like an outsider, peering into the lives of my family. It is hard to not have my own routine and familiar surroundings. I miss my community and lifestyle in Canada, but I am able to enjoy myself as well as my time with family and friends in Malaysia.I know that my family and friends are happy to have me home. Although it has been hard adjusting to life at home, I am grateful to have the opportunity to spend my summer in Malaysia. I am beginning to see that God has a greater purpose for me this summer. As many of you know, I am fundraising for my upcoming internship. Things took off amazingly but it got really hard when I came home. I felt really discouraged to a point where I lost all sense of purpose. However, God is good and faithful and somehow in His own ways, He used various people and various events in my life to encourage and spur me on. I am more at peace now because I know that God wants to provide for me and He will! I am called to be faithful to my call. Thus, I will continue to share my story and the works that God has done in my life. I will leave the rest to God.

I believe that July and August will be better now that I have been home for 2 weeks and have experienced the worst of reverse culture shock. I am slowly realizing that even though I am far away from my community, I am not forgotten. I am also well loved by my family and friends here as well as my community in Canada.
The next time you hear from me, I trust that it will be filled with many God encounter stories and possibly a few good laughs stories. Take care, keep in touch and God bless.


Monday, May 31, 2010

Yay! I heart my friends :)
I'll be home in 17 days.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Here's a few photos while I was in Kelowna :)

Georgia and I at the top of Knox Mountain. Lake Okanagan is behind us.
Georgia and I in an apple orchard.
Georgia and my paper bag puppets (I helped her make one for her class)
Me on a dairy farm!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fat Seals and Good Times

Chrissy and I went to Oak Bay Marina to feed the seals (it's a Victoria thing to do ;) )
Boy oh boy! The seals that greeted us that day were fat! Good lives I must say.
It was really fun feeding them and seeing them flap their fins on the water. Sort of like them saying "hi" and/or "Give me my food!" ;)
If you ask me how do I want to live my life, I have one answer: to leave a lasting impact on the lives of others.

I sure do hope I am doing that!