Sunday, September 27, 2009

the lion in wizard of oz...

Cowardly Lion: [getting a panic attack walking into the Wizard's foyer] Wait a minute, Fellows. I was just thinking. I really don't want to see the Wizard this much. I'd better wait for you outside. Scarecrow: What's the matter?
Tin Woodsman: Oh, he's just a scared again.
Dorothy: Don't you know the Wizard's going to give you some courage?
Cowardly Lion: I'd be too scared to ask him for it. [sobs]
Dorothy: Well then, we'll ask him for you.
Cowardly Lion: I'd sooner wait outside.
Dorothy: Why? Why?
Cowardly Lion: Because I'm still scared. [sobs]

The crippling effects of fear. Am reminded today of courage. From a children's day message...
Courage....

The attitude when facing fear....

The thing given to the lion in wizard of Oz....

The thing that God told Joshua when Moses died...

Yes, I choose to be courageous. To know that God is a victorious God. That the battle belongs to him. that he knows the end from the beginning. That it is well with my soul.

For a man who is double minded is unstable in all he does...

I will trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not own your own understanding, in all your ways acknowlesge him, and he shall make your paths straight...

Thank you for a service that speaks directly to the problem. I know you are around.

i miss my sister :( We eating crab today, I miss her.

Friday, September 25, 2009

this is what it is for.

The smile of a child, the knowledge that a little life can be made just that little better. Just back from Bangladesh. Think this will be my last time there in a while. Bangladesh is one of the least developed countries in the world, it has many poor people and women are not treated the best (for more scientific talk bout this, visit cia.com) to be honest, after my first trip there, i ruled it my least liked country and was quite upset that I had to go there again. It doesnt have the gentle sweetness of some other SEA countries, or the out of this world madness like PNG...

To psych myself for travels there, I sang to myself " Jesus loves the little children, ALL the children of the world, red and yellow black n white, they r precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world" haha, I think that worked... I was quite sad to leave when the time came.

Some things that will be remembered.

1) Special people God put in one's life. While there, a colleague's family took good care of me. I played role of colleague, girl-friend, sister, daughter all into one. It was nice to know that I could bring a spark of outside air when they feel particularly cooped up. Living in Dhaka is hard, to have to be on guard at all times, to not having entertainment in abundance... I pray for God's special blessing on this family.

2) Women Rights. This is the first in-your-face country where I am faced with the challenges of being a woman so explicitly, though having a female prime minister (her father is only the founder of the nation...) I am still not able to really sort out my thoughts on this yet. From being discriminated in the workplace to being a commodity. It pains my heart to know that I can be them and yet I wonder when things will change for them... a regular occurence in the newspaper to make things real...


3) Poverty. Another extreme example of what it means to be poor. I am still conflicted about my response to beggars. What would Jesus do when he sees cripples pulling themselves along the road begging for money with tyre pads so their legs will not get too bruised? What can be done to make the lives of these people better? Am I doing the right thing if I don't give, and if I give, does this encourage black crimes that cause people to do this to another.
Hard questions, no answers. But I realise that with this not doing anything and living in such an environment, it is easy to develop a hardened heart and think this is the way the world works. There is a campaign out there that says "make poverty history", i dont really think that it is possible to make it history, but I dont think that shd stop one from trying... but I don't know what to try and how to try... hmmm.
4) christianty. It is very interesting the religious context in this nation. Some 98% are muslim with some other christians, hindus. The Christians tend to be Catholics due to the Mother Theresa influence (Kolkata is the bordering state of India to Bangladesh) and there are some baptist from some australian baptist missionery. There are some other denominations as well, but not the biggest so I don't hear stories on how they came about. It strikes me as rather odd how these different denominations DO NOT get along very well. There are deep prejudices that run in these denominations against one another, and these prejudices sometimes align itself with ethnic differences. For me, it is interesting and sad. Sad to see how this plays out practically and how we try to work around it. Somebody suggested we should not hire christians since they r causing all the problem with their feeling of entitlement but I don't think that solves the problem. I argued with a friend that the solution to religion gone bad is not no religion.....
5) Where does this leave me? To know bout the world but not be of the world? To still be hopeful despite such hopeless situations. Today, I attended my mother's bible class graduation, most worship songs are about God's greatness. It was a timely reminder. It is easy to feel pulled down by all the injustice and the little that one can do. To feel small, insignificant and unworthy all at the same time, but Faith calls for courage, boldness and belief that i serve a mighty God. That my fight is not against things I can see, and that I need to continue to walk my fight and not give up...
why so downcast o my soul... put your hope in God...

Friends of Frogs..

Just to prove I am not the only one...

So fun...

Ok, maybe the reasons are not as similar.. :)

Yes, save the rainforest too! :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

the winner takes it all...

this makes me cry... thinking about it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

love, life, stewardship, poverty

hello from Dhaka. just done with a series of interviews, will need to go to the office tomorrow. :( I think that living in a paternalistic society is tough tough. I understand better the concept of a strong man to take care of you when living in such a society. When filling out forms, it always ask of father's/husband's name, when in social gatherings, the question asked is how is your husband and not are you married... hmmm, a very strange reality. perhaps i will learn to live in it, but I am grateful that my reality allows me to be me, without a heavy price for individuality.

many thoughts about work, growing up is tough. working in a tough man's world is even more tough. Its's hard to be sincere, meek, and yet sharp and alert. Almost a walking contradiction. Last few nights, i end up totally spent and wishing for reprieve. Crash without washing up and wake up in bits to do what needs to be done.

Love. What is love? To be convinced of another's love. Why must love be with conditions attached, and without continous scrutiny, why does that become foolishness? I am thankful to God for his love. I need to know what it means to love others as he has loved. I dont like to fight others. this is me... love me as i am... I don't like concepts of self preservation, i associate that with fear and not loving others. maybe there is a middle road. I pray deep in my heart, that with my eyes on Jesus, he will continue to hold my hand and keep me in His hands...

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting
hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful worldas it is,
not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things rightif I
surrender to His Will;That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely
happy with HimForever in the next.Amen.
--Reinhold Niebuhr

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

same same but different...

Hello from Vientiane, Laos. I like it here.. a lot. more than Dhaka, sometimes more than Bangkok. I am here for a week and while feeling sad that it is only 1 week, feel homesick and want to go home...

This has been intensive travel.Not only because of straight travels for 3 weeks with 3 very diff assignments, very disparate in the handling, and very different contexts as well. I just finished crying for the last 30 mins and no, I am not psycho. Perhaps a little hormonal and a little overwhelmed, but such is life. I am thankful for the darling who sticks by his antagonistic dearie.

Some thoughts had this week.

1) God has a calling on all our lives, even if we do not see it. I remember a line from a video i saw a while back. In says something about how we are not made to draw our path, but rather follow the path that has been made for us by our God... HR sometimes feels a little like playing God, who to hire, what salary, where to relocate and how to separate. It is easy to lose sight that God is working within the people who make the decisions and that while we have choice and free will, he is still working in our life and it is up to us to follow that calling.

2) The single directional movement of life. Back in Laos has been bitter sweet. I remember working here for 6 ish months last year. The amount of me that I invested here. The friendships established and the political battles fought. Coming back again has been weird. Same but different. People are the same but the dynamics are different. The show must go on, and I too, need to pick myself up and move on. No sitting down to make a cosy cuddle and think abt the gd ol days...

3) Life is scary. haha. I miss the times when it is permissible to hold hands and walk together. I remember a teacher commenting once to us that we were too old to hold hands,my partner and I.. haha, but it represents a form of security. that we are in it together. that the world can be weird and all, but we can go through it together... Increasingly, more and more, as I savour life's myriad of experiences, I increasingly want to have that someone I can hold hands with through the changes.To buffer the lows and to up the ups! When the setting has moved on and you are again in a weird place, at least there is a familiar hand to hold and to remind you that you will be fine..

Ok world, good night from Laos. Be still and know that God is God...