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6 July 2009 No Comment

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Titi Hayun Outing

This was today…. Still trying to squeeze whatever that is left of our hols, we planned for a picnic. Originally we had called it off but after Ah Ho took charge, the plan came back on and the place we chose was Titi Hayun in Yan. It was supposed to be small thingy involving just a few families; but in the end the group ballooned to 48 people!

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We made plans to go and come back early. So in a convoy of about 10 cars we got there at 8.35 a.m. There weren’t many people around then but much to our chagrin and disappointment, the place was littered with rubbish. Our country may aspire to be a first world country but definitely the mentality of our people leaves much to be desired. Such a pity cos it indicates that we are such poor stewards of our Mother Nature. Goes to show that we pay scant attention to the well-being of our environment.

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The first instinct was of course to leave but there were those among us who were game to stay. In the end we stayed. Struck me the different personalities that we all have…those who want to cabut immediately and those who try to make the best of even difficult situations. And almost immediately some started clearing up the rubbish in the surrounding. They have my utmost admiration. We managed to clear most of rubbish in and around the water area.

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Anyway, while the clearing was going on, another group got the food ready…breakfast. The kids were already in the water by then. Kids usually don’t mind …. it’s the older ones who mind. We become the products of our environment….the older we get the more set we are in ways…

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And the ‘outdoor kitchen’ kept churning out food for the hungry stomachs…. this one…. garlic bread with cheese. Was a hot favourite churned out by Siah and ma. No lack of takers.

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Young and old had a good time…no age gap as far as we are concerned. Kids, teenagers, young adults and adults played ‘monkey’ in the water. Some sat around and lepak…. therapeutic lepak-ing. LOL!

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It was hard to tell the adults from kids. LOL! It is good for everyone to be able to have fun this way. Something different for a change. So often, our way of spending time together as a family these days would mean walking the supermarket or going for structured tours. Family members don’t get to play with each other….. I think such kinds of activities where we are close to Mother Nature is a good way to create awareness of our surroundings and also for bonding. Moreover, many kids today grow up in super-duper disinfected environment that they find it ‘geli‘ to even jump into the natural streams which are deemed dirty!

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It wasn’t just all swimming…there were among us some photography buffs and ‘photography buff wannabes’. We spent time shooting away. Digital cameras are god sent. One can shoot and shoot and shoot…no real extra costs. LOL! So you have it in the pic above – I shot her, she shot him, and he shot me..well not exactly. He was trying to get the running stream, while the ‘sifu‘ looked on. He got a polarizing filter just for this trip. LOL! Caught in a triangle…….

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One of our very own ‘bandaran‘ workers who is also a photographer wannabe. But don’t underestimate this sweet young thing…. she’s a young lady with many talents.

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Then there were also those who took time off from the water to do some reading, out in the open nature….with the sounds of running water shaded by the leaves of the trees.

According to one of the signboards, there was supposed to be a waterfall 3km from our picnic spot. So being slightly on the adventurous side, we thought we’d walk up.

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And this is what happened….

Two roads diverged in a humid tropical secondary jungle,
And we, we took the one less traveled by,
And we ran helter skelter down after just a couple of metres
Chased by small, tiny, hungry ‘pacat(s)’
Which stalked and attached themselves to us
Drawn by the smell of our blood!…
LOL!!!

I was fortunate enough to escape unscathed. But there were some among us who counted as many as 7 leeches on their legs….. LOL!!

We packed and left soon after lunch. By that time, the place was filled with people. Also, we left the place cleaner than when we came. But I don’t doubt it will be littered with rubbish in no time. We, Malaysians have to undergo a paradigm shift in our thinking where conservation of our environment is concerned.

But overall, today’s outing was good. People reconnected with each other, let their hair loose, had some fun……

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

Christmas has drawn to a close..although some traditions has it that Christmas last for 12 days; which means that it’s supposed to last till the 5th or 6th January. But for us, the Christmas tree will come down in a few days’ time…. So, in practice the celebrations may be over but in essence the spirit of Christmas should live on….
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Christmas this year is slightly ‘more special’ since this is supposed to be a year of firsts for our church. So another first…first Christmas service at the new premise. That was yesterday. Today, we had the first Church School in the form of Christmas celebration was held at the new premise. My boy has written his take on it here.

Christmas message this year… Two Kings, a comparison between Herod and Jesus.
Key areas to compare were these…

  1. Power
  2. Possessiveness
  3. Prestige
  4. Phobia

Herod hung on to them in order to stay in power. Christ rejected them in order to give life.

I sometimes tend to think that each one of us are also like Herod at some point or another. I think sometimes we don’t mean to but it’s just that we find it hard to let go often times. More often because we might be afraid of losing something familiar, maybe. Imagine doing the same thing for years and suddenly someone takes over…. it’d feel very much like the empty nest syndrome cos suddenly it’d feel like we’re left with nothing to do. And so we sometimes become possessive even of the responsibilities entrusted to us….so much so that we fail to train others to fill up the place after us. Cos to be left with nothing to do would leave a void in our lives….and that can be pretty scary!

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But life is at best temporal on this earth by nature. So however possessive we are of the ‘power’ we hold, or how much we deem prestige to be or how phobic we are of things we are entrusted…. at the end of the day, they are only temporal. Choice is in our hands whether we want to hang on to it like Herod or lead a life akin to the living sacrifice that Christ did. This will be one of my many reflections as the year comes to a close.

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An old friend back to join us… Christmas is a time to touch base. Attendance was good. Christmas is a time when more people come home. This year is also no exception. Church was filled.
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The puppet team who had a last practice after the Christmas service….it was a quickie as there was lunch to attend. However, this year we decided to give it a miss. Spent some time at Ah Ho’s before going home.

Christmas night was at the Tiongs. Dinner is usually good. Hung around, sang some carols before calling it night. Came home and Lil Rainbow opened up her presents. She had quite a lot this year….which made her really happy.

Been a busy Christmas…..a welcomed sort.

Thursday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve…

There was puppet practice for Church School. The church school teachers and some church members were decorating the hall upstairs as the practice went on.

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By the time they were done, it was already almost 2 p.m. Noticed the downstairs side door still opened as we were about to leave. Decided to peep in to see what was going on.

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Saw Yeang Boon cleaning the baptismal pool.The pool is located right on the stage in church. It’s about 5 feet deep. Pastor has even ordered a stainless steel stairs for it. He’s cleaning it up because it’ll be used for baptism soon! We’re going to have our first baptism in our new premise! 8

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Our first stop was Sun Ling’s place to lend our support to our CG’s Celebration of Hope. Managed to catch the Chinese Church carollers.

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This was at Ah Ho’s. Some of the food that we had….mutton sausage, lasagna, roast chicken, spaghetti….. the list is quite long actually. 8) There was so much food. This is the last stop for the carolers and it’s easy to see why. Last year so many of us were ‘orphaned’ when Ah Ho decided to spend her Christmas in KL.

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This is quiche… something like egg tart only that it had brocoli, carrot and other stuff instead of just egg. It is sweet and spicy…looks appealing and taste equally so also. I love it very much.

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And this…. Karyn calls it ‘honey baked ham and cheese platter’… a little more sophisticated dining by our standard. How do you eat all those above??? The grapes, green apple, walnut, almond, cheese and ham??? Ah Ho purposely bought the wooden board for this! 8)

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You pile them all up into a small neat pile and pop all into your mouth. It’s actually quite nice. We had three different types of cheese to go with the ham.

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Finally, the carollers came at 12.15 a.m. Listening to them sing always brings back memories of those days when Other Half and I used to go carolling. It was fun, going out with friends, singing carols. And now my boy is doing that. Was nice to see the young people so happy singing. Ah! Christmas and often times the fond and fun memories that it brings with it. For us adults, it’s nice to be able to get together, all the different families….the coming together signifies the gathering of a ‘bigger’ family. It was almost 2 a.m. by the time the carollers were done eating the feast that Ah Ho had prepared for them.

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Parents and friends who there…enjoying the the time there with each other and also listening to the carols…. Boon Leng was with us too. That is special. And as every Christmas, I am reminded yet again of God’s love for every one of us cos Christmas is just that…

So Blessed Christmas to all who wander here….

Wednesday, December 24, 200

Christmas is Knockin on the door…..

Christmas is around the corner…

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The kids have been busy practicing for their puppet show.

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Watching Peh Lan work with the kids this morning…. I tabik her for the patience and perseverance. It’s not easy working with a bunch of kids who have a mind of their own and at times wander off into their own worlds. The kids are blessed to have her. I thank God for her love for them and the commitment to this ministry.

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Behind the scene…the kids are supposed to sit/squat while waiting for their turn. It’s kinda fun for them…to be able to role play with the puppets.

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That’s me fooling around with one of the smaller puppets. Kinda demure it looks, right? Even adults also can have fun with puppets, what more kids. LOL!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Visits to Old Folks Homes

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Made visits to 2 Old Folks Home yesterday, the one in Pokok Sena and Bethel Home. There were more of us than the old folks at both places. In each place, we sang with them, gave them a little red packet each and some food.

But sometimes I wonder why only during festive season we remember them. The existence of homes for old folks is a sign of the breaking of the social fabric, I guess. It used to be families who will take care of family members. And also it points to abandonment. Parents abandon children…children abandon parents. Kinda depressing… it’s easy to forget the old people…

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It’s nice to see the senior citizens, especially at Bethel Home enjoying themselves during our visit. There was this gutsy old lady who sang her heart out together with us. 8) But there was one who was a bit grumpy and kept to herself, rejecting everything that was given to her.

We were discussing about making our visits more meaningful…maybe future visits would include sprucing up the place for the old folks, clean up a bit, tidy up the garden, plant some fruit trees….definitely more meaningful than just a short visit like what we’ve been doing.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Early Christmas….Precious Home

Spreading a little Christmas cheer at this time of the year is something we try to do. So, on Tuesday a group of about 20 of us made our way to Precious Home in Sg Petani. Precious Home is a home for ‘abandoned’ kids. Run by one of the Tamil churches, it is home to a few kids. The number fluctuates from time to time but some of them have been there for quite some time.

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We sang Christmas carols for a short while. I played the guitar….this is one of those times I’m glad for my days as an MYFer where I honed my limited playing ability somewhat. And this time, I had Aaron as my ‘follower’…he played with me. He did good though for a first timer. Came to good use. LOL! The kids presented an item for us.

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We brought lunch to share with the kids and Pastor’s family. Food was good…how not with Ah Ho’s touch…. Muffins, cupcakes, mee hoon (I had more than 2 helpings of it!), fried chicken, ice-cream. For the kids (and us) it was a real treat. Pastor asked us whether we catered it… why cater when we have our own pro caterer… 8). Ah Ho has ministered to many through her food.

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Kim and Reno dishing out the ice-cream for everyone. Had a good time there…serving a common goal. Our church has been helping out with the support of this Home these past few years. It’s not very much but it’s nice to know that these kids get a better opportunity to improve their own lives because people care.

Apart from helping out with some financial support, we also gave each kid a present… school bags and stationery for use in the coming year and some other goodies to munch on. Things that my kids take for granted… these kids don’t have that sort of privilege! So this Christmas, I am reminded that Christmas is about giving. Christ came so that we might have hope. It’s His gift to us.

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