Hey Edie

Ah, I know, I know. You’ve been waiting long. I did get your emails and they were really encouraging, hearing about how you overcame your illness, had a great time on holiday and enjoying your work. And oh, meeting someone special too eh? *ahem*… *ahem*

Welcome on the couples’ bandwagon/boat. I’m almost a year ahead of you! haha.. almost. Two Mondays from now, it’ll be exactly a year. Loved every moment of it, loving her more, and looking forward to the journey ahead. I’m sure it will be exciting for you too.

Heard from Edith that ministry’s been taking you places huh. I’ve been around mostly, except for a trip or two to Penang. Haven’t travelled much since Cape Town last year and I’m itching for some.

Work’s been OK. I’m sensing a bit of a plateau at the moment. Like I need something new. A greater challenge, or a more powerful cause to work for. But I was also forewarned that I would enter this plateau phase just about this time in practice. Maybe it’s just a phase and I need to challenge myself. Maybe not a new job (not yet, at least. I love my job), but new areas of law or involvement in the Bar.

How’s Eddie doing with his LLB? Surviving?

Just a quick one to let you know that I remember you. We’ll catch up more soon!


Day 7, 8 and *poof*

Yes, this blog went AWOL for a while. Blame that on a lack internet connectivity, hectic conference schedule (and last minute vuvuzela purchases), an 11-hour flight home, jet-lag and work. Yes, I procrastinated.

Two major issues rang through my mind on Day 7, and one major sound through my ears. The session on Humility, Integrity and Simplicity dealt with the issue of Christian example – our lack of exemplary character being the biggest obstacle to world evangelisation. It got me questioning not just ‘obvious’ sins in my life, but even mindsets of pride, for e.g. we bring the Gospel to an unreached people group because “they want what we have and they need what we have”. It’s a fine line, but a serious one, if our motivation to present the Gospel is solely one of necessity (“they need the Gospel and WE have it”) because that infuses pride.

Secondly, I attended a session talking about men and women in ministry. What really rang in my mind was the phrase ‘multiplying workers’, i.e. by affirming and allowing women (and men) to be effective servants of God through enhancing all the gifts God has given them, even if that gift is traditionally or culturally accorded to men (or women). I initially felt as if the session was an unknowing imposition of Western “female rights” on other cultures around the world, until I realised that yes, God can and will use women in their gifts and strengths to do areas of ministry with results that may far surpass men. All those in favour say “I told you so”. And it taught me how much more I ought to affirm my girlfriend’s strengths and talents. Numerous, I must add.

Day 8, for me, was three words: Eradicate Bible Poverty. Those three words had been used over the few days nearing the end of the conference and usually dealing with the need for translation of the Bible into more languages. However, it brought greater understanding when the phrase also addressed Bible poverty in communities where the Bible already exists, and have existed for ages. The lack of Scripture engagement was the issue. Learning about it, and thinking about how I can encourage greater Scripture engagement in my ministry was really challenging. Because it also dealt with my own level of engagement with Scripture, which isn’t very well by far.

And Day 8 ended with the awesomest, most beautiful, most wonderful and most elaborately conducted communion service ever! With an orchestra, a huge and colourful choir, great hymns, meaningful liturgy and such corporate excitement, we lifted up our praise to God and gave Him all the glory. WOW (for everything)

I’m back in KL now. Back to work, back to the usual routine of life, back to the everyday struggles of the Christian journey. What’s next from here?

Well, I hope this blog won’t go AWOL again before I share it with you!

Day 6 – Getting Younger

Day 6 proved to be loads of fun, spending time with young people, hearing from the heart of an HIV/AIDS researcher advocating abstinence in a culture that defies it, and of course, studying the Word of God together with my awesomely-convened table group, listening to an exposition by Vaughan Roberts.

We were challenged to also look at the world’s unengaged, unreached people groups who have never heard the Gospel and do not have access to the Gospel. Looking at the list, praying about it, and letting God place a people group in my heart was a heartbreaking journey for me but one that I pray will lead the nations to the Lord.

I’m also looking forward to praying with the Sudanese people tonight as well.

The night session celebrated God’s work in Africa and highlighted children, young people and the impact of sports in mission. It was a night of joyful celebration as I sat with a table of Filipinos, one of whom could speak Cantonese, Hokkien, Mandarin, Tagalog, English, Spanish and a plethora of local dialects, and a dancing Bishop.

Perhaps the most impactful time I had yesterday was a conversation I had with an HIV/AIDS researcher who co-wrote a book that presents statistics that challenge conventional belief in the spread of HIV/AIDS and upholds abstinence and faithfulness as the key to curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS. Her challenge to uphold Christian values in the midst of a growing sexual rights movement has been a difficult journey that God is bringing her through. But it was very encouraging to see her heart and desire and having to work through her weaknesses as well.

In that conversation, a lot of my desire to deal with the issue of rights and responsibilities and to advocate the concept of responsibility, a passion I had in my time as a lecturer which has been set to the backburner over the past few years, was revived.

Academia in time to come, perhaps?

Day 6 was great. Now, to Day 7.

Day 5 – Wheeeeeee!

Day 5 was the official day off at the Congress. Which means, no theologizing, and much touristizing!

A bunch of us Malaysians rented a car, ‘kidnapped’ a Bangladeshi, the subject of our care and blessings for the day, and took a drive all the way to the Cape of Good Hope.

In the journey, we stopped to watch penguins, eat fish and chips, buy gifts, take photos, visit a museum, see baboons, ostriches, fake giraffes, whale bones, sleep, admire the beauty of His creation (ok, so some theologizing inevitably seeped into this blog entry)

It was a good day off, with lots of fun, experience, photos and bargaining to buy a vuvuzela (which I absolutely regret not buying, hence I blew it – pun intended)

Tomorrow, back to Congress and more exciting stories ahead!

Day 4 – The People Around Me

Yesterday brought a lot of thinking through on some issues that have already been brewing in my heart.

For example, the seemingly increasing divide between proclaiming the Gospel, and social justice. But John Piper (perhaps the most excited preacher I’ve seen – he is excited about the Word like a kid excited about a new toy) brought to our attention a thought from Ephesians 3: that all Christians are and should be concerned about suffering, especially eternal suffering. Helped to put some of our concerns into context.

Praying with a group of people for Somalia was very enriching for me. And hearing what goes on there breaks my heart.

Tim Keller’s thoughts on reaching the cities was also amazing. He weaved in Biblical truths that just opened my eyes to the work God can and is doing in the cities.

Also challenged me to think about how I can ground my thoughts, ideas and challenges in the Word of God.

That’s a little tidbit for now.

Today is free day at the Conference, and a bunch of us are heading to the bottomest part of Africa – the Cape of Good Hope.

Till then!

PS: I’ll finish off with a lawyer joke I heard from the Bishop of the Church of Ireland

“Do you know why lawyers are buried 150 feet deep? Because deep down, we’re good people”

Brilliant, simply brilliant.