Category Archives: bangkok

Bangkok: No Longer a Guest in My Own Home

It is my first full day at home as a permanent resident, and not a guest. It feels weird…to be walking up and down stairs, having a kitchen with proper pots, pans and propane and also sharing this home with three more ladies – my mom and my sisters. After five years of living by myself in a small studio room, this is definitely an adjustment. I teared up a little when my mom said to me this afternoon, “This place is also your home. Don’t act like you’re visiting.” So Mom and I spent the whole day building a nest, which means lots of cleaning and shuffling things around. My sisters were overjoyed when they came home and realized they just escaped from an enormous task of helping me and mom. They always joke around that if Mom and I team up, they do not want to be in the house…because it means there are a lot of chores to do. 😛

The drive back yesterday was 10-hour-long, even longer than the usual bus ride! Mom and I left Chiang-Mai at six o’clock before the sunrise. Initially, I was a wee bit scared because our car had a tiny heat problem, and it could not be fixed in time of my departure. But the mechanic who took care of “Grandma” (that’s how I call the car) said that as long as we drove slowly and did not try to accelerate the engine, we should be fine. The last order he gave us was, “And store a lot of bottles of water. You may need them along the way.”

Knowing too well that the car might overheat any time while I was driving, I prayed fervently before and during the ride. At one moment, I heard a still small voice whispered, “Do not be afraid. I am going with you.” In the dark, I drove…with increased trust and confidence…knowing that whatever happened, God would be with me and help me through difficult circumstances. He had used this experience to emphasize the theme of wholehearted trust and reliance on God that I have received since the beginning of this year. I have learned to not expect that all my problems will be solved for the sake of convenience. Instead, God has taught me to fully expect His presence in both easy and tough times; and to cling to His promise, “Do not be afraid for I am with you.”

Thankfully, the engine did not overheat and we did not need those stored water bottles at all! The drive up and down the mountain during the first five hours was pleasant. The early winter morning air was crisp and clean. We enjoyed the rolling hills and lush green fields along each side of the road. The most wonderful thing was the sunrise – the fiery orange ball that slowly glided up the sky and caused arrays of colors to streak through the mist. It was phenomenal.

Unfortunately, the latter half of the ride home was not so enjoyable. As we put more kilometers away from Chiang – Mai, half of me wished we could turn the car around. I started to experience some culture shock with continual change in environment; brown flat land, scorching heat, central dialect, industrial districts, pollution and, the worst of all, Bangkok traffic jam. At five o’clock in the evening, I was so ready to  jump out of the car and stretched. When mom parked Grandma in front of our house, I breathed a prayer of thanks and almost ran to the door.

With all that said, I must admit – it is good to be back home, not because of the conveniences of a house (although it is definitely a part of it) but because of the interaction I get with my family – swapping stories, telling jokes, discussing plans and eating dinner together. Though you may have gone away from home for a couple of years, and many things may have changed; one thing is always the same – love. In 10 or 20 years from now, I am certain that I can always come home and be accepted the way I am today.

On a different note, I am still waiting INTENTLY for my visa to New Zealand. This week and next week will be a nerve-racking time for me as I am expecting a call from the embassy. This is the 2nd week of  the application process. And from their website, it usually takes about two to three weeks to know the results. So it can be anytime now or another week. If I could have my way, I would love to get the visa tomorrow, book the plane ticket and leave the country by January 30…because school will start on February 7. Yet the possibility is slim. And I am trusting in God’s plan and timing. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to meet with some people who either live or have gone to New Zealand before I moved down to Bangkok though. So now… I kind of have some ideas of what to expect and what to do. And let me just say – feeling excited is an understatement! 😀

Anyway, I am going to call it a night; and go watch the Hobbit’s behind-the-scene. Tomorrow is a day of cleaning, unpacking and doing laundry. But I hope to sneak in some grocery shopping and brownie making (I just learned how to make some gooey, fudgy brownie…and I am stoked to try it!).

So…with no further adieu, good night. Thank you for reading! 😀


Goodbye, Chiang – Mai…

After 5 years, 6 months and 21 days, today is my last day in Chiang – Mai. It is still unreal to even ponder the thought. But looking around my room, with boxes, bags and furniture all taped and tied, there is no denying it – I am saying goodbye to this city I love. For real.

During the time I have lived here, God has stretched me and enlarged my world. When I first came, I was only 24…eager to go on adventures and conquer the world. The same spirit still lives in this 29-going-on-30 lady, except that she is now aware of and knows the bitter feeling of pain and suffering  in the world; but also the richer, sweeter and more grace-filled blessings of God through brokenness.

For the past couple of days, I have been walking to different places to indulge myself in reminiscence of my time here – the Ping river, Rimping supermarket, the iron bridge, Warorot market and many more. Mom and I were walking past the main road, into small alleys and out on the main road again. It was neat to submerge myself in the Chiang-Mai way of life one last time before hitting the road into Bangkok, the capital city that is bubbling with political turmoil.

I will miss the mountains and the lush green jungle

I will miss the mountains and the lush green jungle

The iron bridge, Ping River

The iron bridge, Ping River

Chiang Mai - Lamphun road, where my apartment is located. My favorite past-time activity is to walk on the other side of the street, along the river and watch the sunset.

Chiang Mai – Lamphun road, where my apartment is located. My favorite past-time activity is to walk on the other side of the street, along the river and watch the sunset.

Cycling has become a popular activity not only for locals but also tourists.

Cycling has become a popular activity not only for locals but also tourists.

Nawarat Bridge

Nawarat Bridge

My little space that I crave coming to at the end of each day

My little space that I crave coming to at the end of each day

Smiling faces after school day is over

Smiling faces after school day is over


I will miss chilling in my favorite coffee shops. Bangkok will have a large shoe to fill in when it comes to coffee.

What I will miss the most is my friends. These guys. And a few more that are not in this picture. I would not have survived and enjoyed living here without these guys.

What I will miss the most is my friends. These guys. And a few more that are not in this picture. I would not have survived and enjoyed living here without them.

And this...too.

And this…too. The culture. The people. And the love for them.

In this season of life, I am yet reminded again of J.R.R. Tolkien’s song:

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet.

And whither then? I cannot say.

My journey in Chiang-Mai may end today; but my walk with the Lord still continues. And I am looking forward to many more.

Prayer points:

  1. Please pray for Mom and I as we drive down to Bangkok tomorrow morning (Wednesday). It is an 8-9 hour drive down. And who knows what we are going to find when we hit the city.
  2. Pray for me as I wait for the visa approval. It has been a week after the application submission. The process usually takes 2-3 weeks. Pray for peace, calmness and productivity as I wait for something to happen…that I would make the most of every moment instead of complaining and making myself and those around me bored because of my complaints. Hahaha.

Visa Submitted! Woohoo!

My visa was submitted. Finally. One major task – checked.

I feel very thankful to God for the love and compassion that He has given to me through many people. This visa application would not have worked out if Annie, a very trusted friend, made a trip to the hospital to get the health check-up result for me, reviewed all my documents and sent it to Bangkok, while I was driving through bumps and potholes up to the mountain. Then, another friend, Sam went to the bus station in Bangkok to retrieve the package and then to the embassy (twice, because I forgot to mention that it was moved to another building) to submit the application for me. I would not have gone through all the fuss and complications with surprisingly calm manner if my family and friends had not spent their time praying for me. So thank you all so much!

To be honest, I had expected to be anxious and stressed out, especially when I have only three weeks left before the school starts…and I still have not got my visa or booked my flight. I should have been. But the Lord has instilled in my soul the confidence I can have in His plan, acknowledging Him in every step I take and trusting in who He is. So, when a hard question like “What will you do if your visa does not get approved?” comes my way, I am ready to answer that I do yet know but God will direct my path exactly as He wants. I have made a choice to follow at all costs. Uncertainty does not scare me anymore.

An answer that I can give to you is this – I am moving back to Bangkok. I have been living life on the edge, traveling to places I would never dream of and doing things I did not expect myself to do – like climbing cave or traveling solo…all included me struggling and being forced to overcome my fear. And I have to be frank with myself – I am a bit travel – worn. I would love to spend more time with my mom and sisters, feel the warmth of evening sun on my cheeks as I ride on river taxis and try out new baking recipes. No, I am not yet done with adventures (and I am sure that there will be many more when I go to New Zealand) but a girl needs a time off from excitement.

So my plan is to leave Chiang Mai by the end of next week (or a little before, depending on when I can get my car back from fixing). I am making the most of my final week – in between running errands and packing – by eating, meeting with friends and going to places that I know I will surely miss like the riverside, markets, malls and Rimping supermarket. It feels weird to be saying goodbye to this home I have been living for five years. But the time has come.

Something that God spoke to me this morning, while I was having breakfast, was:

“Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works.”

And I take that as His promise. I have done all I could. Now is the time to watch God at work.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2014

Well, I hope it is not too late to say this to you:


…Okay, it might be a little late for Christmas but it is still January 2…and I think New Year period goes on until everyone is all back to work or to school, which could be a week after. 😉

Anyway, first things first – I am fully funded for my two-year study in New Zealand! Praise be to the Lord for His provisions and blessings through friends and family. I have both people whom I have known for quite a while and strangers whom I have never met before supporting me, which makes me stand in awe of God’s handiwork. Thank you for your prayers, honesty and encouragement. Your thoughts and words have lifted me up as well as allowed me to see my circumstances from all angles. Thank you.

Christmas was eventful and heart-warming. I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate Jesus with my family and friends at church. This year’s celebration involved watching the Hobbit late at night at a theater with my mom and sisters; brewing and drinking my own coffee at home; admiring all the lights and colors of Christmas trees at home and all over the city; eating mom’s cooking; baking a lot of cookies and cakes; spending time with the Word and looking for His presence in everyday’s life.

One thing I had learned over Christmas was being present. In the flurry of Christmas preparation and activities, Jesus stilled my soul with stunning sunset one evening as I rode a truck back from seeing a doctor at a local clinic. I was spent with flu and tired from the visa work. Then I looked out the truck’s window, and the fiery orange sky captivated my attention. God spoke to me, “Be still, my child. And be present. Linger just a little longer, and you will realize how rich an experience with Me you can get…just being present.”

And I prayed,

“Lord, this Christmas, You have taught me how to be present. Thank You for giving me the beautiful glimpse of Yourself through the sunset. And I wanted it to stay just like that. I lingered in the moment, appreciating You. Then I remembered all the fun I usually have when I am all in the present with no other worries in my mind…like when I was working with the world racers for three weeks or traveling in Burma for two weeks. At those times, I realized I could not do anything else regarding work or visa, except to leave everything at Your feet. And I was there – ALL there for the people and the experiences. Those were the best times of my life.

So this Christmas I want to be ALL here with my family and You. I know that many churches are busy with programs and activities. Lead us, Lord, to Your rest…that we would not be caught up in the services and forget to be present before You.”

My prayer is still the same for New Year. To all of us, who love to make resolutions and take matters into our own hands, be present before the Lord each day. Linger long, and press into His presence because of who He is and not because of what we want Him to do for us. We will be amazed at how much He reveals Himself to us if we seek Him for Him.

To end this post, in order to replace my loss for words these days, I am posting some pictures from home for you to enjoy. May your year be blessed! Thank you for following me on this blog. I wanted to post more pictures but it is almost midnight. And I have to see my doctor for a follow-up blood test for my visa application tomorrow morning (which I will come around to tell of the story soon). So I had better go to bed.

Merry Christmas to you!

Merry Christmas to you!

My first time of baking peanut butter cookies. They turned out quite well. :)

My first time of baking peanut butter cookies. They turned out quite well. 🙂

Merry Christmas from our family!

Merry Christmas from our family!

My two beautiful sisters - Mai and Mo.

My two beautiful sisters – Mai and Mo.

Mom and Mai with their Christmas drinks at church

Mom and Mai, my sister, with their Christmas drinks at church

Christmas program at church

Christmas program at church

christmas at home

Me, my family and one of our friends from church around the Christmas tree

Church members came to sing carols at our house and fellowship over God's word, warm noodle soup and baked desserts.

Church members came to sing carols at our house and fellowship over God’s word, warm noodle soup and baked desserts.

My mom and Auntie Pat, our neighbor, who hosted the night
My mom and Auntie Pat, our neighbor, who hosted the night.

New Zealand Update: Preparation and Progress

So I am going to New Zealand. But what I have seen in commercials or movies – about how easy and convenient it is to make a trip abroad, has definitely failed in comparison to my reality. While I was in downtown Bangkok today to run one of the visa errands, I longingly gazed at a billboard in a mall, showing a caucasian woman enjoying her time in Thailand just like “a local”, with a tinge of envy. Travel agencies and financial institutions make us feel like everything is possible and we can go anywhere in the world we want. But when reality comes crashing in – with the to-minute preparation, tall piles of documents, snail-pace progresses and the snarling threat of embassy workers, one has to brace herself with grace, dignity and strength; and holds on to the confidence she has in the Lord’s plan despite everything that screams against her hope.

Since my last post, there have been many things going on. I recently came back from visiting Burma, the country that has been on my heart for the past couple of years. Now that I am back, the most important thing to do is to apply for the student visa – the most daunting task I ever have to take on. Every time.

Before I can hand in the pile of application form and other documents, there are so many details involved that I will not bore you with. But to help you be better informed, I need to submit my visa application by the first week of January the latest so that I will be able to board a plane at the end of January. Such a crunching time!

Currently, I am working on to get a police clearance and health check-up, which will take about 2-3 weeks to get done. I am also gathering money – both from my work and from my sponsors, so that I will be able to show the embassy that I will have enough money to survive for two years. The requirement is that I have 15,000 NZD in my bank account, which I have only 1/4 of what’s demanded.

In spite of everything, I want to praise God for:

1. The official acceptance into the school! I am now an official student of the South Pacific Bible College in Tauranga, New Zealand. My degree is the diploma of advanced biblical studies.

2. The discount of tuition fee from 7,200 NZD to 2,400 NZD! Because of the discount, I am now able to pay the tuition fee in full for both years!

3. The monthly living cost about 1,000 NZD, which I now have supporters committed to sponsor for the rest of my time there!

Because of these blessings, I am now down to the airfare and the traveling insurance, which are as followed:

– Plane ticket from Bangkok to New Zealand             1,000 USD per trip

– Traveling insurance                                                                756 USD for two years

I am so excited! God is so good, and always surprises me with wonderful news each day! With that said, here is my prayer points.

Please pray for:

1. The amount of support money that will come in time and be able to cover all necessary expenses. Right now, I have to raise more for the airfare (one trip) and the traveling insurance, which is approximately 2,000 USD in total.

2. Applying for the visa – I am planning to go to the embassy right after New Year in January. Please pray for God’s favor upon me as I compile all the papers and go into the interview with the officials. Pray for the speed of processes too. Usually, the work of bureaucratic offices take 2-3 weeks. My time frame is quite rushed. So pray for peace, calmness, wisdom and discernment as I tackle each task with grace and strength.

3. Booking and paying for the plane tickets – as of now, the agency informed me that the seats are all full from mid to the end of January. School will start in February 3. So I need to be there by January 30 at the latest, if not before.

4. My health – After I got back from Burma, I am down with a slight cold, mostly cough, congestion and running nose. I need to get a medical check-up on December 24. So please pray that God would bring healing and there’ll be no problem with the check-up.

5. My spiritual health – Pray for open heart and mind to the Lord’s working in this period. There are certain issues I need to work though, mostly with fear. Pray that this period would be a fruitful time I can spend with God and rest in Him.

If you wish to pray for me, to hear from me or to bless me financially, please let me know by leaving your comments here or send me your email. My email address is

Thank you for reading! I know it is long. I am working on writing with more preciseness and trying not to elaborate too much. 😉

Pardon of Grace

 bangkok has been flooded for over a month now.

crazy to realize that. the government announced that schools in affected area be closed until january 2012. madmee, a freshman from thammasat university, who i tutor, complained, “i think i’m getting dumber because of the flood! i can’t go to school and i miss my friends.” it’s ironic. most of the students, including me, would trade everything in the world to take a day off school or extend a semester break. when i was young, i pretended to have a stomach ache or cough hard when my parents walked into my bedroom so i could stay home. now children whine about not being able to go to school and being on break. i couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony. 🙂

according to the government, it is “expected” that the floodwater will completely go down in a month from now. we can only hope that the situation will get back to normal as soon as possible. from our recent experiences, the government’s ability to manage the water has failed. it is hard to trust them even though the situation will finally resolve. to make the current situation worse, there is the news about some government officials took advantage of this time, when everyone is so occupied at helping others, trying to bend the law in order to get “the pardon of grace” for the ousted former prime minister, thaksin chinnawatra, from the king of thailand.

when i first learned of this petition, i was furious. it is pure selfishness. it is the abuse of power, something i never imagined would happen in my entire lifetime. apparently, there is no limit to corruption and greed. and the government is revealing its true color.

i wanted to know more about the pardon of grace so i searched for more information online. i didn’t know the english terminology at the time. but when i googled, the phrase “pardon of grace” popped up. it pierced my heart.

at the time, i already judged and blamed the government for all the wrongs that have been going on in this country. hundreds of people died because they were electrocuted, although it was preventable. many died because of the vector-borne diseases. thousands are still living in despair because the government is busy protecting the inner city while neglecting the suburban areas altogether. the “coming home” prospect of the former prime minister just didn’t bode well with us. surely, the government had to take responsibility. they needed to confess and paid the price by resigning themselves. they deserved the punishment. it was (and still is) so wrong to adjust the law to suit one person’s condition.

but when i read about the pardon of grace, still questions sounded in my head, “do you remember the israelites? do you remember what happened to hosea and gomer? do you remember yourself when you wandered far from Me?  and do you remember My Son?”

God’s grace convicted me. i was a prisoner of sin, running for my life and needed a rescuer. without God’s bestowed benevolence, i was destined for hell. but because His love is the essence of who He is, He forgives and liberates me through Jesus, the Savior. of course, this love doesn’t weaken His righteousness. we still bear the consequences of our sins. but we are given a chance to come home and to live according to His purpose.

now i am not saying that i agree with the scheme of the government. i loathe it. yet my point is – we don’t have a right to judge the man and what punishment he deserves because, in a sense, we are no different from him. we don’t have to like what the government is doing. but what we do that makes a difference in this country is what we should be thinking about and acting on it.

in times like this, we, christians, have to live out our faith and be a light in the world as we were created to be. we need to stand on the opposite side of the world. when others throw rocks, we shower grace. when they speak lies, we proclaim truth – the Truth.

and God, with His righteousness, will judge the evildoers.

“righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;

love and faithfulness go before you.

blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,

who walk in the light of your presence, o Lord.”

– psalm 89:14-15

The Slum Walk

bangkok, to my eyes, is and always will be the same. yes, there will be new technology, high-rises and malls. but it will remain true to its identity and city life: packed streets in rush hours, polluted air and people everywhere.

yet, as always, bangkok gives me memories to cherish despite its madness. i got to walk a slum with 4 little girls and their former volunteer teacher, who is a compassion LDP graduate. they led me by hands to their favorite spots within that tight community and cheerfully jabbed away about dancing and picking new clothes. i, a woman with camera, was dragged here and there to snap the shots they wanted.

“kru mink, here, take the picture of the ducks and geese.”

“p.mink, i want to show you my favorite spot. i always come take a nap here.” (it is actually a small wooden patio roofed with wood and some plants by sewage)

“look! the fish! did you snap some shots for me?”

as i strode by the rotten-sweet garbage dump, i saw adults chilling on picnic chairs outside like you would on a warm summer day in your lawn or by a lake. random broken leather sofas were placed by the community pavement. every space was used up to hang flower “bottles”, household items and clothes. i always think that slum is one of the places rich in beauty and culture. this one is no different.

when i looked at the children, who took delight in the beauty surrounding them and was zest with life, i was humbled and reminded of this verse in the beatitudes:

“blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (matthew 5:5)

no one is too small in the kingdom of God. in His eye, there is no difference in social status or race. if His people are willing to humble themselves before Him, even the mountains can be moved.

Success Redefined and Some Happy Pictures

here is a tidbit from “faith that breathes” by michael ross. i wanted to post it yesterday but i didn’t have the book with me. i’m on day 21 “success redefined”.

a faith that breathes…

…never says, “God, this is what i want.” instead, it always asks, “God, what do You want?

…never says, “God, i won’t…” instead, it always says, “God, i’ll do Your will.”

…never looks for self-satisfaction. instead, it looks to satisfy God.

…never seeks the approvalof others. instead, it seeks God’s approval.

…never measures success by how well things are going. instead, it measures success by a life centered in God’s will.

…never puts its own needs first. instead, it always thinks of others first.

…never looks to its own capabilities to solve a problem. instead, it relies fully on God’s power for guidance and success.

this small excerpt resonates with my current experience. as i mentioned yesterday, the sense of failure continues to nag at my heart. but how sweet God’s grace is! i don’t need to be afraid that i’m not living up to the bar. there are standards in life, at work and even at church. however, the only standard we have to live up to is the Lord’s.

God’s standard is not a long list of rules and to-dos. there is only one thing He requires from us – obedience.

a flip to the next page in “faith that breathes” is the real journey section by toby mac. he speaks of success this way:

“a lot of times they see dc Talk and me as just ‘big business and lights.’ but we know that’s not real life. the real life is who we are in Jesus and how we’re living that day to day.”

if success means doing everything one can, even neglecting his family or stabbing his friend’s back, so that he can be the top of everything, it’s a failure.

if success means putting on a fake smile when his life is shattering to pieces, it’s a lie.

if success means being responsible and strict but having no time to relax, he is not living a life.

success means living a Christ-centered life and committing to obeying His command and will even to the point of ridicule. that’s faith.

“brothers, think of what you were when you were called. not many of ou were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. but God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.” 1 corinthians 1:26-29

every human is flawed from birth in spite of our intelligence or social status. that is why grace is so sweet. sadly, many people are either unaware or just forget this fact as they grow up. so they go on separate directions and boast their ways to the end of their life…to the doomed eternity.

but the good news is God’s love and mercy endure forever. His kindness has brought many people from all over the world to repentance. and i strongly believe that one day the prophecy in the Bible will be fulfilled…”that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” whether or not everyone on this earth will be Christ followers, everyone will be obliged to kneel before Him. not only because of His fearful supremacy and incomparable power but also of His everlasting goodness, immeasurable grace and enduring love.

by ending today’s post, i am putting up some silly pictures of my time in bangkok with my family and my friend, manna, during songkran festival last week.

enjoy! and don’t forget to smile…. :o)


okay, there are some normal photos as well…


top it all up with “the bangkok i love”…


here’s what made me happy the most…

the "m" family...from left: mo, mai, mom and manna...

Work During Holiday?

i am feeling a little bad with myself. i am here in nonthaburi and still worried about work. this week is the songkran festival. people splash water and have fun. but i am feeling like i am not doing such a good job at getting work done.

but what bothers me is – i don’t need to be worried about it now. i submitted all i needed to do…why thinking of work when i should rest and enjoy my time with family?!

anyway, i am back home until sunday night. i look forward to many more fun activities and laughter with my family members. but i’m also beginning to miss chiang-mai. and this is just the 1st day. craziness.

what i am going to do is get rid of the 4 letters – W O R K – off my mind. and i will start spelling – F A M I L Y now.

i’m reminded of such simplicity from spending 4 days up in the mountains last week for the karen national assembly. although the bathrooms weren’t so convenient and food wasn’t that great, i was content just to be there and live. i was very present and alive. thus i’m posting a picture of me being so karen. it was a great experience and definitely a great company!

"simplicity" - with a house like this, one wouldn't need 10 million dollar to satisfy his need.

Experience of a Lifetime: Encountering With God

i went home. and something amazing happened. i encountered with God.

i knew that i have been carrying burdens on my shoulders: worries about uncertain future, fear to love again, resentment towards certain people in life and continual sense of failure. but what i didn’t know was that i needed God.

i went to newsong on saturday night with my friend, matt, who came from cambodia to visit. i also met up with p.ja, another friend who i dearly love and miss. we used to hang out a lot when we were still in bangkok. but since we got scattered…me in chiang-mai, matt in cambodia and p.ja in australia (then a few others who are now in america), we never got to go to newsong together anymore. so it was a special night for me.

while waiting for the service to start at 6:30, i was introduced to a girl called “natalia” who came from the country of columbia. she was as joyful as bright-colored flowers and as free-spirited as birds. she spoke english with a tinge of spanish accent. but that even made her more beautiful. she is now in bangkok ministering in the klong toey slum community with the vineyard church. we talked for about 10 minutes and the worship started.

we were called to stand up and sing praises to the Lord. i have been attending the karen church for so long that i actually forgot some of the english songs. i stood there in the midst of people i didn’t know…people who came from canada, america, columbia, korea, thailand and many other countries. surprisingly, i felt right at home. after the 2nd song was over, i suddenly felt exhausted and had to sit dow. i wasn’t sure if i was physically or mentally tired…i just had to sit down. so i snuggled comfortably into a dim corner of the soft couch and closed my eyes to listen to the sound of worship.

“jesus, lover of my soul. jesus, i will never let you go. you’ve taken me from the miry clay. you’ve set my feet upon the rock and now i know….” the singing was swelling like ocean waves in the evening….crashing against the shore of heart. in quietness, i felt the nudge to turn to psalm 62. i was perplexed because it seemed such a random number.

so i whispered back to Him, “are you sure? psalm 62? why such random number?”

“yes, psalm 62 it is.”

i turned and read:

“my soul finds rest in God alone;

my salvation comes from Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;

He is my fortress. i will never be shaken…

find rest, o my soul, in God alone;

my hope comes from Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;

He is my fortress, i will not be shaken.

my salvation and my honor depend on God,

He is my rock, my refuge.

trust in Him at all times, o people;

pour out your hearts to Him

for God is our refuge…

one thing God has spoken,

two things have i heard:

that You, o God, are strong,

and that You, o Lord, are loving.

surely you will reward each person

according to what he has done.”

while i was half-way through, pondering on the word “rest”, “rock” and “refuge”, natalia walked over to me and looked at me gently:

“mink, i just feel that you have been tired. and the Lord wanted me to tell you that you can rest in Him because He is your Rock and your Refuge.”

i was taken aback with surprised. then tears unexpectedly came. all i could do was to hug this messenger of God as tight as i could…like she was the Presence of God herself. the message was significant to me although i wasn’t sure at the time why He chose psalm 62.

rest in the Rock for He is my Refuge – that’s the message.

perhaps He is cleansing me from the clutter of tangled thoughts and concerns. perhaps He is preparing me for the future that is yet to come. i don’t know. but i am holding on to this experience and the message He’s given even though my faith is so slim like a single thread now.

matt told me while we were on a taxi together that his philosophy is to go out in faith whether or not he is confident it is God’s will at the point. so many people have robbed themselves off of the adventures because they were waiting for God’s will to be tangibly revealed. this greatly encouraged me. for i want to live fearlessly. but i have cared too much of what others look at me or think of me. no more. i will ask “what is God thinking of this?” instead of “how will i look if i do this?” and if it’s not right, then He, with loving kindness and grace, will close the door and guide me to a different one.

i, personally, was given a vision to serve the karen people in thailand/ burma. but i’ve been bothered by the question – do you have any solid goals which you are planning to achieve? none. zero. i guess that’s why i constantly have this sense of failure in my heart. people i know seem to do excellent jobs, know where they are going and on top of everything. but i struggle with questions everyday.

but i learned from talking to another friend of mine, kristin, that it is okay to not have goals. to just live one day at a time. to enjoy every moment of it. to give God the glory due Him for now. then He is going to reveal bits by bits of His plan to me. no need to fret over the unseen future. what happens now will direct the course of the future…in the mighty hand of God.

i feel that God is revealing His heart to me. and i don’t want to miss the opportunity. my heart is calloused and torn. and i want Jesus’ love, through His wounds, to heal me. i am going through a phase of life where there are more questions than answers. but i need to TRUST the Spirit to guide me…to help me discover His heart for the world.

last thought. i was watching the left behind series yesterday with my mom and mo. i’ve read the books but not seen the movies yet. so it was exciting for me. there was a part in the tribulation force (the 2nd one) where bruce and other tribulation force members, who got left behind, passionately preached the Gospel to whoever came into their contact. they didn’t timidly approach the people with leaflets in their hands. rather, they spoke with such authority but yet with respect of the Good News and the 2nd chance to repent. they preached Christ with no shame. and that got me to thinking…

am i doing this today? is the church doing her job today? i can answer for myself – no. while i watched the scene, the Spirit impressed upon me that what these guys were doing in the movie was an act of worship. i cannot find words to express it…but it wasn’t out of obligation or forced will. they felt the urgency and they let the Spirit drive them.

how can this happen in me and in the church? how can we stop looking inwardly and turn another direction to where Christ is leading us to?

encountering with God everyday can do. let Him be the Person who makes your heart beat wildly. be aware of His work in every breath you breathe. and be filled and overflowed with the Spirit. let our cups run over so many others will be able to drink deeply from this undying love – Jesus.