Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Farewell with Rev. Jahja & Ev. Jung2

Rev. Jahja was my church pastor for the last 9 months and Ev. Jung2 is his wife. Both of them serve GOD together with us in Singapore. For me, their character and their life has been a model to follow...

1. Humility.
Pa Jahja is a very humble person. He never boast about his strength or achievements but he always compliment us for what we have done. He has the heart of a true servant. Serve God and serve others, no more.
There was once I bought sambal fried rice to the church secretariat before we have Prayer Meeting. I was so hungry and so ready to eat it. But... I dropped it! *fool Ita!* I was so upset with myself at that time. Then when I cleaned the mess on the floor, Pa Jahja came to me and relaxly said, "Wa.. you dropped your sambal fried rice?! Do not worry, now I will go buy for you again". I tried to hinder him but he insisted to go. He bought me the sambal fried rice and refused to be paid. "I'm your father. A daughter never needs to pay her father." I really touched by his act of service. It calmed my previously-upset heart and replaced it with gratitude.

2. The importance of process
Pa Jahja always reminds us to love GOD through our whole life and ministry. Once after we performed a Christmas musical drama, he told all of us, "The musical drama will be useless if after this you don't love GOD more."
Love God instead of the ministry. Love God instead of His blessings only. Love God instead of His Word only.

3. To speak from the heart
Every sermon, every counselling time, every conversation, was very powerful, because they always speak from their heart. Never try to cover their weakness, never try to lie, and it came out from their true life experience.

4. To serve others unrelentingly
I sometimes really lazy to talk to people, especially when I myself also busy. But when I saw their lives, I saw great people of GOD that dedicated their energy and time to help others. Eventhough they are tired (go to Bandung back and forth, use their leave time in the US to minister with packed schedule), they will try their best to visit people, pray for others, share their experiences or give encouragement.

Thank you, Pa Jahja & Bu Jung2, for being a role model to me. I really wanna have a shepherd heart like you. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. You will be greatly missed! :'(

Batam Trip

On 25th-26th Dec me & a couple of church members went to Batam. The main purpose is to attend a housewarming party. This trip has been a refreshing and inspiring trip. I'll let you know why:
1. Because we could share the joy with the family in celebrating their new house.
The house owner, which is one of our church members, has asked us to pray for her in the process of finishing this house because there has been many issues and challenges, especially in dealing with the contractor. The finishing of the house has been long-delayed and she was quite frustrated with it. So... for me to be able to stay at the house for one night, and for all of us to be able to attend the housewarming, is like a prayer answered! :) Of course we should feel grateful and joy.
2. Because I had an encounter with nature.
To step back from metropolitan life for a while and go to see the plains, beaches and animals was so refreshing! Admiring God through what He has made for us humans :)
3. Because I was inspired by true life stories from women of God.
There're 2 people who has inspired me during the Batam trip.
One is the house owner, especially when she told us about the challenging process of buying the land and in the planning to build the house. She did it by herself! I learnt about preseverance from her experience.
Second is the wonderful lady who has been our unexpected "tour guide". It's been a such a great journey with her! Truly unimaginable! She was one of the pioneer in building Batam. She has been in Batam for 20 years. She stepped her feet from the time when Batam was still untamed forest until now. She knew Batam by heart. It's been a privilege to be in her car along the journey around Batam. She shared so many things about Batam and about her inspiring life stories:
- She started the construction in Batam with ZERO knowledge about being a contractor! She was a medical student and managed a cosmetic company before, but she studied and keep studying until now. Her vision of a developed Batam is the only thing that drives her to do all the things she did. She did not even have money and had to loan from the bank. One funny thing happened when she went to meet the loan officer and he asked her to give him a proposal.
Her answer was, "What is a proposal?" :)
The loan officer then answered, "A picture or plan of what you will build".
"Oh... sure. Please lend me a paper and a pen. I will explain." she replied :D
From her I learned not to be afraid to be a visionary person or whatever people say to me. When Batam was only dark forest, she had already envisioned the island to be like Sg and she dared take Mr. H's (then Indonesian president) challenge to build Batam. Many many people has regarded her as "crazy" and "stupid" but it never stops her.
-Let me quote her:
"From the outside you might see me as a great woman, but you wouldn't have imagined how much tears dropped..."
"I have been through a lot of bitterness... there are times even my closest ones also did not support me..."
"But God's grace... Every time my head touched the pillow, I would fall to sleep. That is one of the most important thing." :)
"My grandfather once told me, 'Remember, whatever happens, a woman must stop crying and go back to the kitchen because she has a family to support. WHATEVER HAPPENS...' and I will never forget what he said"
There are so many other stories that I could not write everything here. But one thing I firmly believe that she is surely a woman of determination, resilience, and faith and I learned a lot on NOT TO GIVE UP!

I thank GOD for giving me an opportunity to spend time with those women. I went home getting inspired. My mind was so fresh, full of ideas and things to reflect on :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Tough Week and The Faithful One

The past weeks has been especially tough for me at work...

More and more students are coming. It's draining to teach lots of students because I had to assess each of them and sometimes didn't have time to ask them to re-do if they made mistake. And as a result, I would feel guilty for not doing my best in teaching them.

I feel that nowadays the office staffs experienced greater pressure.

Our largest client sent so many students and sometimes pushed us to teach more than we should. The regulation stated that in one class there can't be more than 30 people, but trainers often taught more than that (up to 36! And sometimes they sent the students late for class so the students would miss the first part of the course).

The big boss also didn't help. They actually had the authority to prevent client sending so many students, but instead they just let the client did what they wanted and "encourage" trainers to work harder (open evening class). Both the big boss and client really driven by profit (money) to the extent that they didn't care about:
- other people (trainers & students well-being)
- creating a healthy environment in the office
- the rules (more than 30 students in one class)

As a result, I felt dissapointed and upset. I must admit that in the past few days I got angry more easily.

These pressures affected our manager. He was "trapped" in between. I think on one hand, he felt guilt for breaking the rules and witnessing the trainers worked tirelessly in teaching more students that we should. And on the other hand, he couldn't do anything as it is boss' order to continue with it. My manager got 3 boils (bisul) in the past 2 weeks! He went to a doctor and the doctor told him that it occured as a result of stress. He took so many types of medicine, from ginger, pain-reliever, and antibiotic. He always wore jacket because he felt feverish, and he told me that he had sleepless nights. It is very sad to see him in this kind of situation.

The other trainer started to ask question whether I feel bored with the job because I think she feels so.

There are some other things also that make the situation more complicated and I think too complicated to be told here, but bottom line is... the situation is quite discouraging...

I struggled a lot...

Before I went to work I would pray, talk to God, let Him know what I feel and what I think... and ask His help and strength that I could survive through these...
And... He answered.
On one morning during my prayer time, I suddenly reminded to a song titled "The Faithful One"

Then I pondered about God's faithfulness.
Heavenly Father has faithfully gave His only begotten Son as a sacrifice to save the world. Jesus has faithfully left heaven, incarnate into human *the infinite became finite, limited by flesh, time, sickness, sorrow, etc*. Jesus was not just born to the world. Throughout His life, He faithfully preached, teached, and healed. He faithfully walked throught the agony of:
-physical pain (tortured, crowned by thorns, hanged on the cross)
-psychological embarassment (rejection by his own family members, mockery, spitted by others)
-the spiritual struggles (a sinless God became sinful not by His own but by our sin, to the extent that the sentence "My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken me?" came out of His mouth)
Jesus faithfully did the Heavenly Father's will to die on the cross, rose again, gone up to Heaven and send us a helper -the Holy Spirit- to take His role until He came for the second time.

GOD WAS, IS, AND WILL BE FAITHFUL. That is unquestionable.

Yes, Lord. Not by my strength, but by Your power. Not by my knowledge, but by Your wisdom. Not my my limited resources, but by Your Divine resources of love, peace, joy, and grace. Help me to be faithful in doing Your will in my life.
I believe that this job is a responsibility that You have given me and still ask me to do.

I will endure... until one day You send me for other "mission".

Thank You, Lord, for Your faithfulness that enabled me to be faithful. It IS still TOUGH... but "I CAN do EVERYTHING through YOU who gives me STRENGTH" (Philippians 4:13)

I find no hope within to call my own
For I am frail of heart, my strength is gone
But deep within my soul is rising up a song
Here in the comfort of the faithful one

I walk a narrow road through valleys deep
In search of higher ground, on mountains steep
And though with feet unsure, I still keep pressing on.
For I am guided by the faithful one.

Faithful, faithful to the end,
My true and precious friend,
You have been faithful,
Faithful, so faithful to me

I see your wounded hands, I touch your side
With thorns upon your brow you bled and died
But there's an empty tomb, a love for all who come
And give their hearts to you, the faithful one.

Faithful, faithful to the end,
My true and precious friend,
You have been faithful,
Faithful, so faithful to me

And when the day is dawned and when the race is run
I will bow down before God's only Son
And I will lift my hands in praise for all you've done
And I will worship you, my faithful one.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Expect the Unexpected at An Unexpected Expectation

International Evangelical Church Singapore Christmas Celebration 2009...