Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Project Report #32 - Signs and Writings

Hey there sponsors, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve updated the blog. Well, a lot has been happening in my life as well as the car. I got my appraisal last December, my team lead gave me quite good remarks. I got an 11% raise too! Really thank God for His providence, even in these times of uncertainty, God still provided and added on. On top of that, I got a one month bonus… Hee! Hee! I used it to settle part of my study loans.

So what else has been going on in my life? Let’s start from where I left off last year… In November 2008, I went down to Singapore with a group from my church, we attended the Asia Conference organized by City Harvest Church Singapore. It was a fantastic time! I had the privilege to listen to great speaks like AR Bernard, Ulk Ekman and Phil Pringle. I even got to meet Sidney Mohede in person! What really touched me is that everything the preachers preach about, everything they taught, it is exactly where our heart, as a church, is moving towards. Creativity, beauty, colours, talents… all tools given to us to engage culture. It just confirms in my heart that we’re heading the right direction as a church…

Sidney taught about the Art of Worship, and guess what? It is exactly what we are doing and have been doing since the times of Campus City! Amazing right? Prayer, prayer, and more prayer! Worship is about God and the people. Every musician and singer serves because they’re heart is for God and the people. He mentioned that wherever he goes, whoever that he has to play with, he will make sure he builds a relationship with them first before playing with them. He also said it doesn’t matter what equipment he has, he would make the best out of it even if he has to do it all by himself. When he said all these thing, I was like “AMEN!”, “YES!”, because these are the principles we’ve been holding on to and teaching our people as well. What a great spirit this man has!

He further elaborated that a worship band is not just a touch-base relationship. Sidney told us that he, as a worship pastor, is so close to his ministry people that even who his drummer likes (potential girlfriend), he will personally be the mentor for them to work a relationship. In other words, as a worship pastor, he makes effort to be involved in people’s life, to really care for every aspect of their life. There’s so much I can learn from this man of God, no wonder everything he takes stage, the presence of God just flows so powerfully.

Guess who I met at Asia Conference? Amanda Tan!! It was so good to see her again. But it was them also we found out that she’s been down with a rare disease. My heart just broke when her mother was telling us of their story, but I personally am believing for God to heal her completely. For those of you who are reading this, do keep her and her family in prayer as well. In the conference, I met Jay Loh as well! Okay, now have to call her Jay Yeoh actually. HAHA! She was also there with her mom and brother, if I’m not mistaken. It was indeed a great time to meet up with old friend again.

Let’s move on to what I did in December 2008. I had the privilege to be invited by Carol’s family to go on a holiday with them in Penang. It’s been so long since I made a trip to Penang, the last I can recall ever stepping foot into the island is to attend a friend’s father’s funeral. Anyway, during the trip I had the privilege to also meet Carol’s aunt, Aunty Angela, and her ozzie friend, Aunty Joanna. Aunty Angela is actually a town planner based in Melbourne, Australia whereas Aunty Joanna is a full time professional singer. It was great getting to know them and seeing Aunty Joanna’s face as she tried our different types of food. Surprising, unlike typical ‘ang mos’, she is one adventurous lady! Everything also she dare to try!

We stayed in Park Royal, a beautiful hotel in Batu Ferringi. I know it’s darn expensive, and believe me, I didn’t really feel very comfortable with Carol’s dad spending on me. But none the less, I made every effort to build relationship with her dad, mom, aunt and the little sister. I even played ping-pong with her mom and aunt, which by the way are exceptional players. I had a good time getting to know each one of them personally in a deeper level. Really thank God for His favour!

Let’s move on to Christmas 2008! We had our very, very first Christmas choir presentation! It was a superb experience! We had a dear friend of ours, Lenny Lysandra, to come train us on vocal techniques. Lenny is a professional singer who graduated from Sedaya College with a music degree. She is one fantastic singer with a powerful voice. We had the privilege of having her in our recent EP recordings.

We also had another teacher who came with Lenny, she is the head of the SIB KL Malay service choir, and her name is Joyce. With both of their help, we all improved a lot in our vocal abilities. Not just in singing, but in speech, breathing, pronunciation and enunciation. Chris, Audrey, Pricilla, and I came up with the medleys of Christmas songs with the input of Joyce and Lenny. I think we didn’t do a video recording of it but I will try to look for picture to upload for you guys to see.

Moving on to January 2009, we didn’t have much activity in January other than a whole lot of people’s birthdays! HAHA! Practically all the guy leaders in Harvest Gen’s birthdays are all in this month. Calvin, Chris and myself all back to back birthdays. I really kesian the people that gave us all gifts, I know it isn’t easy for students to contribute to so many birthdays at once, but they really have a generous heart. For Calvin, we bought him a guess watch, for Chris, me and Carol bought him a pair of stylo jeans, and for myself, my cell group and the leaders bought me a bling-bling beat buckle from Ed-Hardy. They were all on a mission to change my dressing style, and it worked! For those of you who haven’t seen me in long time, I’m a bit more stylo now. HAHA!

Moving on to February 2009, Harvest Generation had its first Valentine’s Day event! And we had a national celebrity, Elaine Daly, to do a workshop on Personal Grooming. She is one hot 30-year-old, haha! For those of you who don’t know who she is, you can Google her up. She was Miss Malaysia/Universe for 2003, appeared in numerous local television shows and currently she’s the mentor for Malaysian Dreamgirls, a reality show on aspirant models in Malaysia. I and the other guy leaders had the privilege to take a photo with her. You can check it out on my Facebook or the Harvest Generation website.

February was also the month that a big hole was burnt in my wallet, my car skidded and hit a guard rail causing quite severe damage to my left door. Not only that, a week later when I was driving my Wira, as I was turning into another junction, a car bang into me because we couldn’t see each other. So 2 accidents in 2 weeks, it was so demoralizing. I was down and very disappointed with what had happened. But I believe God was teaching me something as well… Until today, I still have to pay off the repairs but I believe God is faithful to provide. I believe that the moment we don’t what else to do anymore, that’s when God steps in.

What happened in March? The Harvest Generation leaders had a retreat to Damai Laut, Lumut. It was a long drive there because we had to use the trunk roads. When we reached the place, we were greeted with an unruly surprise. Our apartment rooms were BAD! Everything was so dirty and dusty, and the swimming pool was like mass bathing pond! Good thing we had one of our leaders Catherine Tan, a hoteller, to help us upgrade to the hotel rooms. It was a massive difference! At the apartment, it was so dirty that rash started popping out from my skin! But we had a great time there recharging ourselves for another year of hardwork! Calvin and Ern Suey even got their pre-marriage photoshoot there with our amateur photographers, Nick and Raymond.

What other stuff happened in March? Super a lot of preparations for the big Easter play we’re doing! This will be the very first play Harvest Generation has ever done. One of the wonderful things that came out in preparation of this play is Harvest Generation now has a dance team! Mind you that most of them have NO dance exposure or experience, all first timers. They only practiced together for about 4 or 5 times to date and they dance like they’ve been doing it for years! Chris, myself and Pricilla have been staying back in church almost every other night till the wee hours preparing the songs for the play. The director is our very own Jeffery Yeo, which most of really wanted to strangle because his demanded arrangements for the music were so complicated! But thank God, all is done now. We just have to practice the acting scenes, only 2 weeks left! But we CAN DO IT! Do come on Easter Sunday, 12 April 2009, at 10am in Harvest Generation Church to watch the play if you guys can ok?

So there you have it, a quick recap of what has happened in my life for the past 5 months. April is gonna be another exciting month, I’m believing for new souls to be added to the church this coming Easter!

Today I’d like to appreciate another sponsor that has made us, ex-CampusCity-ans very proud. It was sad that she had to leave us to study up north of the country but distance never doused her fire for God. In fact, she got involved in the CF there and really went all out in serving. This person is none other than Phebe Ting a.k.a. Phebe ‘The’ Ting!

We were taken by surprise when we saw her in Ipoh few weeks back when we were ministering there, but it was very good to see her! We found out that they actually did a GIG in Kampar! These people are really on fire for God, they’re willing to fork out their time and money to minister in a small town. That’s really the spirit behind the GIG ministry last time. She’s even more on fire for God now than before! We were so proud that GIG did not end when CampusCity closed, she took it up and continued with it in AIMS University, Sg. Petani!

I remember few years back when she was such a shy and quiet girl. Even when we asked her to play the keyboards for the worship team, she usually would be so scared and intimidated. Slow and gradually, after much encouragement, she started to break out of her former nature and took up the challenge in ministry. I am proud to say that she was one of our best Preaching Class students of her batch. This girl can preach up a storm! I had the honor of serving alongside her for 2 years I think, until she had to leave for AIMS and I graduated. I was indeed a very memorable time to watch people grow from where they were at initially to where they are now.

So to Phebe Ting, I believe there are greater days ahead of you. Don’t ever think that what you have achieved is enough already. The very day we say to ourselves that we’ve learnt enough is the very beginning of our destruction. So keep pursuing excellence in all that you’re doing now and never cease to advance with God and in everything else you’re involved in.

When times get tough, which I know it will, remember how God has been so faithful in delivering you from past problems. Always remind yourself who God is and make Him who He is in your life. A bit confusing? Well, it just means that whatever you’ve learned from the Word of who God is, place Him as that person in your life… He is a God who Heals, He is my Healer! He is a God who provides, He is my provider!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for participating in this project. Although I’ve mentioned to you before it’s not about the money, and I don’t need the money, but yet you were willing to contribute something even when you are located so far away. That is worth so much more than anything money can buy. Through your life, I believe many people will be attracted to God because you are an example of how God can elevate us from one level to another if we’re willing to be molded by Him. Keep up the good work!

Thank you people for taking the time to read! Just an announcement, the signing session will begin in April 2009! I will inform you guys via email on the meet-up times. Sorry for the long delay, it has really been an uphill task to organize anything for myself of late due to a lot of other commitments. But I promise you that we will meet-up soon! For those of your overseas, don’t hesitate to call me when you’re back! Awaiting your time to sign in the boot! Have a great rest of the week people! God Bless…