Saturday, November 3, 2012

A week and a half at Home

It's been 4 months since I last saw home. Going back has to be the greatest thing that happened in the whole year. Reuniting with friends and family and loved ones. Although the trip cost a bundle of money, it felt like I was buying happiness and it didn't matter. Tears of joy welled in my eyes when I first breathed moist air and the intense heat the moment I stepped out of the aircraft. Everything felt right after being away for 10 months. I still remembered the airport like as if I only left the day before. I walked quickly to grab my bags and meet my grandpa who came to pick me up. I was glad to see him and I'm sure he was to. As we drove, I recalled the memories, the buildings, the directions to my old place, places i've ridden my bike along, ect.. I was home and I treasured every moment of it.

First thing the next day was to hit the mamak and have roti canai. Felt so good to be speaking malay again. Went with grandparents to sukumaran just right outside my old place.

Went to train with BSGC for Copa IBA. Met a bunch of old friends and Krys. I was so glad to see her again. After all our skype dates and chats, I finally get to see her in person again. Had to talk to almost everyone about Canada and such but I really rather not talk about it. Had a ton of fun playing the sport I love to play. Pretty much felt like I got a heat stroke.

Went to church on Sunday. Exchanged a ton of smiles towards me while walking to my usual seat as the service began. Felt so good to sing familiar songs accompanied by the good old fashion piano. Memories ran through my mind which made me not pay attention to the sermon. Caught up with the youth fellowship gang on our usual table and handed out souvenirs. Chatted  with Aunty Lilia, Miss Yeo, teachers, church members and elders about life in Canada and about the trip to China that I was going to. Went to Amcorp to get a new pair of glasses and for another round of training with BSGC.

Did my passport and visa on the weekdays. Stayed at JJ's that week. Finally had that sleepover we talked about years ago. Glad to have my best friend to talk to have bro talks again. Had lots of good food cooked by his grandma. Went to a grand aunt's 70th birthday celebration thing. Met up with almost the whole Lim family and did the "Canada is okay" talk with them. Met my 'not so close' cousins who are much older now and can finally have good conversations rather than kiddie stuff. Party was great although I didnt know alot of them personally. But I enjoyed myself.

Spent some time with high school friends at a pasar malam, playing pool and mamak chilling. Made lasagna and pizza with the college guys and played monopoly deal.  Ate, makan-ed and ate more. Thing about living with grandma is that I gotta eat at healthy food stores. Still, I thought it beats western.

 Had some time to hang out with Krys. Went to her place and for lunch around the apartment. Caught up a lot and attempted to study. Ended up singing and having our own little worship session, using lyrics from her girls camp booklets. It was awkward at first but it was pretty fun to be worshipping with someone who doesn't judge doesn't care about how people judge her. I miss being around her. Can't believe this is the only picture we had together for this trip.

I got to see her once more as I left my blackberry at her place. Went for cake and walked around bansar shopping mall. Helped her sell curry puffs and pies for a fundraiser they were having. Finally said my last goodbye before leaving for dinner with my home fellowship group.

Went back to the ever awesome Sungai Way restaurant. Surprised that more than 20 people showed up for the dinner. Was really moved by their love and them taking time off to spend with me over dinner. 

Went for a separate dinner with the Lye's and with my family. Treated my my family dinner for the first time. Went so Sam Yu and grandma got all hyper with the camera.
 I'm proud of my cousins. Can't wait for the next to come ;)

Unfortunately, all the good and happy times don't last forever. Life has to go on and my goal of the trip has been achieved. I collected much more than I expected for my trip to china and have my travel documents. Mont of all, I have satisfied my longing to be home and be normal again. I now believe that distance DO make the heart grow fonder. My last meal had to be the best chicken rice from Sunway :)

Malaysia will always be my Home. I look forward to my next trip back. Hopefully another short one soon or a permanent thing after my studies.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The story of 4 candles

A severe storm came that took the power out of the whole neighborhood  I felt my way around the completely dark house, finding my way to the closet. I felt around the closet for candles and found four of them. I lit one of them and there was a soft glow of light all around me. I said, "Isn't light great! Wait till I get you guys out there where you are really needed. I'll have one in the living room so that it'll light up the whole place. I'll also have one in the kitchen so we can grab some snacks later. I will also put one by where the kids are finishing their game; and I'll have one by where I am so i can continue reading my book". Then, I took the candles and was about to head out when he suddenly heard a voice saying, "Now hold it right there!" I thought it was my wife being silly or something but the voice suddenly said again, "Hold it right there!". I then realized that it was one of the candle's speaking to me. It said,
Don't take me out there!"
"Don't take me out there."
"What do you mean? Of course I need to take you out there. You're a candle; you're supposed to give light! It's dark out there and it's dangerous when it's dark, you have to light the place up!"
"But you can't take me out . I am not ready. I need more preparation."
I couldn't believe my ears. "More preparation??"
 "Yeah! I've decided that I need to do some research on this light giving things so I won't go out there and make a bunch of mistakes. You'll be surprised about how distorted the glow of an untrained candle can be. I am researching stuff like wind resistance and wind built up. I am actually reading a great book right now on flame display. Have you read it? You might like it."
I replied, "No I have not. But it sounds interesting...Wait! What am I doing? I'm arguing with a candle while my family is out there stumbling in the dark! Okay! You're not the only candle. I'll blow you out and take the other candles."
"We're not going either."
"But you are candles and your job is to give light in dark places!"
"That's what you may think." "But I'm busy", one said, " I am now meditating on the importance of light. It's very enlightening"
"Please guys! I know the importance of studying and meditating but you've been in here for months! Itsn't that enough time to get your wicks straight? What about the other two? 
The shorter one said, "I'm not ready either. I'm trying to get my life in order. I'm not stable enough. I lose my temper easily. I guess you can say I'm a bit of a hot-head."
And the last candle with a very pleasent voice said, "I'd like to help. But light in the darkness is not my gift. I am a singer and I sing to the other candles to encourage them to shine more brightly." And without asking permission, it began to sing in a beautiful warm voice of 'This little light of mine'.
And I pleaded with them to come out and light the house up but they couldn't hear me because they were all singing. I considered the insanity of it all; Four healthy candles singing about light but refusing to come out of the closet. I couldn't take it anymore so one by one, I blew them out. They kept singing to the end. 
I walked back through the darkness of the house, bumping into the coffee table on the way towards my wife.
"Where are the candle's?" she asked.
"They don't... they won't work. Where did you buy those candles anyway?"
She replied, "Oh. They're church candles. Remember the church that closed down across town? I bought them there."
Then, I understood.

by Max Lucado

What are we christians doing now? Are we just church go-er's, singing about sharing God's love or are we out there showing it instead?
Heard this story during sunday sermon. Hope it impacts you as it did to me.