Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Look to the Past and Future

It was my birthday 2 days ago but I was too busy (and excited) to reflect so I can only blog now.

The D-day was wonderful! Got several presents that I really like (book from my favourite author, shoes of my favourite brand) and what I will definitely need for my future (book vouchers, money.. haha). Did some of my favourite things (taking a walk in the park, picnic, conversations and laughters). I was made more realised that my love language is to spend quality time with the people I love. BIG thanks to all who have prepared it! Love you guys so much! :)

Now, time to give thanks and share.

Looking back to the past one year, I could see that GOD was showing me HIS face and lending me HIS hands. HIS work was remarkable. Beyong imagination.
- I was reconfirmed of my calling in life
- GOD progressively revealed to me HIS vision for my life. And it really makes my life more meaningful and more directed/focused. I am more sure of what to do, what decision to make and how to react on circumstances.
-GOD changed my family: My elder brother stopped smoking and started to go to church. My mom learned to let me go to pursue GOD's will in my life, not her will *I know it is not easy, that is why I thanked GOD for this particular process in her life*
-A job that has given me the opportunity to exercise patience, perseverance, and compassion in dealing with people (bosses, colleagues, students) and... teaching skills.
-Joining TMA and met Pastor Glenn. Remarkable experience! Was encouraged to reflect and write journal. Was given some theory that is very applicable in life and ministry.
-Small Group! Totally awesome! We helped each other to be more like Christ and to do GOD's will in our lives. We shared our burden. We discussed issues or difficult questions. We had outings. And what was more important... we ate together!!!! :p

And not just looking back, I also try to look to the future with hope...
-A 2-week trip cum personal retreat to Beijing (hopefully plus Shanghai) in May
-Building solid foundation in life & ministry in 3 years (hopefully TTC)
-Sent to the field for 4.5 years (hopefully IEC)
-Diploma in Education Psychology/Youth Services? Developing Youth Centre/TMA in Indonesia (start in Bandung)? Compile my blog post/personal journal/reflections into a book? Master Degree in Pastoral/Spiritual Theology? Ups.. Haha... maybe too far :p Relax Ita! You haven't even started with the foundation...

Well... who knows the future? Only GOD. I can write what I foresee, but the final say is HIS. But I DO SO EXCITED of my future! Will definitely not be as easy as my life now, but looking forward for every process, rebuke, growth, and transformation. Whatever my lot, LORD. Whatever my lot...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tabur Tuai

Hari ini menabur pada 1 orang...
Masih ragu... belum yakin...
Hmm... untung sudah diberi bekal oleh Pa Gideon:
"Waktu menabur jangan sedih. Waktu menuai jangan sombong."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Trip Preparation

Bought two of the books online and just took it today. So exciting with all the research and planning. Will mostly be alone and expect to be lost in translation :)
Ahh... going to a new world outside there!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

FX Harsono: Testimonies

Above is the title of art exhibition I attended a few weeks ago. For further information about this exhibition, I recommend visit this website and download the exhibition brochure. It provides a very thorough explanation on his works.

You may also read the newspaper article here.

More on FX Harsono:

This is his official website. And you may see some of his video works here.

FX Harsono is an Indonesian, Chinese descent, Catholic, and was born in Java island. His background is quite similar with mine except that I am Protestant and receive Sundanese influence, while he is Catholic with Javanese influence.

I must say that I can really relate myself to his artworks.

My tears dropped when I watched his documentary, nDudah.
It was totally subconcious. I didn't even have time to hold back my tears. After I realised that I cried, I can't stop even if I wanted to... It is just so unexpected. Lucky not so many people there, but there was a museum officer that noticed and she kept looking at me. Paiseh! :p
I started to cry on the last part of the video when locals Indonesians rescued and took care of some of the Chinese-Indonesians survived from the mass murder. It is, for me, "a glimpse of hope" in the midst of a horrible setting. I sensed hope for unity, love, peace, and most importantly, forgiveness.

But the best artwork displayed that trigger me to reflect deeply is his "Rewriting the Erased".

Here is what the exhibition brochure explain regarding this particular installation:

"In a darkened room, FX Harsono sits at a table with paper, ink, and a brush. Slowly he begins to write his name in Chinese character by character *"The only three Chinese characters that he knows," claimed the curator who guided us*. He repeats this, placing each sheet of paper with the three Chinese characters on the floor, and starts to write on the next sheet, until the entire floor is papered over with his name.

In this poignant and meditative peformance, the artist seeks to remember - reclaim - that which has been lost or erased. Being of Chinese descent in Indonesia meant that Harsono, like many others, was cut off fom his Chinese 'roots' and culture through a series of government policy aimed at fully assimilating Chinese immigrants into Indonesian society. These measures, implemented duing Suharto's New Order regime, included requiring all Chinese immigrants into Indonesian society. These measures, implemented during Suharto's New Order regime, included requiring all Chinese to change their names to Indonesian-sounding ones, as well as the closure of Chinese schools, press and organisations. The end of Suharto's New Order in 1998 witnessed the lifting of these estrictions, and the Chinese wee once again able to use their original names.

During this time, Harsono began to question the seemingly conflicting facets of his identity: Indonesian, Chinese, and Catholic. For most of his life, he had to practice a 'politics of denial' in orde to feel that he belonged somewhere, and this meant the suppression of this 'Chinese' identity. Now that he is free to reconnect with this forgotten, or repressed, aspect of himself, he seems to question, through his work, if that past still holds any significance for him, or is it, when revisited, simply a series of empty and meaningless gestures, taking shape as ideographs from a language and culture that Harsono can only half-understand? The gestures of the artist are filled with both pathos and power, as he attempts to reclaim a past that is at once intensely pesonal as it is politically inflected."

The moment I read the brochure, the first thought that came to my mind was "Wah... it is SO me!"

Anyway, my Chinese name is 蔡秀云 [cài xiù yún]

蔡 [cai] is family name.

[xiu] means
1. adjective [清秀] elegant
2. adjective [优异] outstanding
3. noun talent

云 [yun] means cloud.

It sounds beautiful, I must say, but I didn't know what it means. I just called my Dad to ask about it, but he wasn't at home. So maybe I'll post it later.

I sometimes think whether to let my Chinese name known for people who finds it difficult to pronounce my Indonesian name (in these case my fellow Chinese Singaporean or mainland Chinese colleagues and friends). But I never do that. Not because I rejected my Chinese background, but because I'm afraid that I will ignore people when they call me 秀云 as I'm not used to it!!! :p

Well, I love my Indonesian names, especially my surname. It is interesting how 蔡 was translated to Sulayman. Doesn't make any sense fo me. Lim family translated their name to Salim. Make sense. Tio translated to Tioranu. Make sense. But Cai to Sulayman? I didn't see any connection between both :p
Well.. Sulayman is Indonesian term for Solomon, the king that asked for wisdom. I just realised it when I was 7 years old.
Believe it or not, wisdom is one of the main spritual gifts that I received from GOD. And till today... I always try to live my name... constantly asking GOD to grant me HIS wisdom.

Well, this reflection on identity will be getting more interesting for me as I am planning to go to China this May.
Allow me to quote another article:
"In a 2007 trip to China, FX Harsono found that he was a stranger there too. 'Who am I? When I question one thing about identity, if I find one answer, I find another question. It never stops,' he says...
In spite of the dark episodes he has witnessed and researched, he has never considered living elsewhere. He says: 'I love Indonesia. Even if the situation and the economy is not as good as maybe Singapore, I still love it.' ...
He adds: 'In Indonesia, I get a lot of inspiration for art. If I move to other countries that are more comfortable, maybe I won't get such inspiration?'" :)

Cannot wait to experience China. Will I move forward to the same conclusion? Hmm... life is just getting more interesting for me ;)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Philosophy of Life (Note: very rough... still in progress... and always in progress)

This is actually the extract of an essay that I should make in order to apply to a college:

Reasons for applying to enter Theological College and my hopes and intentions regarding the Christian ministry:

Firstly, let me describe my philosophy of life in order to paint the big picture.

I adopt the integrated concept of 3Vs (Vision, Values, Vehicles):
 Vision gives the focus that answers the “What” question: “What God wants me to become?”
 Values give the foundation that answers the “Why” question: “Why do I do what I do?”
 Vehicles give the function that answers the “How” question: “How do I get there?”

Here is my personal 3Vs (please note that it is progressive):

 Vision
• Life-purpose statement: To be a servant of GOD. To serve others so they would worship the true GOD. (Matt 23:11)
• Mission:
  1. To know and experience the divine resources. To know GOD through the Bible and my experience the walk with HIM
  2. To see the human needs compassionately from GOD’s point of view
  3. To become the channel of GOD’s resources. Distributing the divine resources to others.

 Values
• Obedience to The Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16)
• Love, The Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22: 37-40)
• The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20)
• Servant leadership. To lead by serving. To serve by leading/giving examples (Phil 2:7)

 Vehicles
• Spread the Gospel. Share about GOD’s true love.
• Dig the Word of GOD and teach others about it (1 Tim 4:6-16)
• Discipleship. Becoming more like Christ and assist others to do so.

Reasons for applying to enter Theological College
In short, studying at TC is one of the vehicles that I could utilize to strengthen my values in order to achieve the vision. A sound Theology will give a solid foundation (values) for my life and ministry. I hope I will be able to know and understand GOD more (vehicle) so that I could serve others more effectively that they may be able to know and understand GOD better (vision)

My hopes and intentions regarding the Christian ministry:
I have a burden of reaching out to youths and young adults. I plan to do Youth Ministry. First, I want to convert youths at church. Many of them diligently do ministry at church without knowing about the true salvation through Jesus Christ. I want to help them to grow to be like Christ in every aspect of their lives (relationship with others, characters, study, ministry, etc.). I want them to have a growing personal relationship with GOD that is life-changing so that the changes will be noticed by others (teachers, parents, peers) and they will be interested to know about the GOD in them.
I also plan to teach Religion at Christian school in Indonesia. I was not quite satisfied on how teachers teach the subject at school. Most of them treat Christianity only as knowledge without realising that this subject could be use as a tool to reach out for new souls to salvation and to build better relationship with GOD.
I also have a heart to serve fresh graduates who just enter the working environment. The shift from education to working environment could also somehow be “shocking” for some of the fresh graduates and I found that many of them backslide on their first job due to hectic work schedule, over times, sour relationships with bosses and colleagues, and office politics. I hope I could help them to maintain, or even grow their relationship with GOD through this difficult time.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010