Friday, January 05, 2007

Life after Urbana '06

New Year in 2007 started on a Monday. It was an early rise at 5:30 am to catch the flight at St Louis airport. In my haste not only did I miss breakfast but I also left my phone case in the hotel room. Next up was a very cold transit at the snow-covered Denver airport, my first time here. I arrived in LAX after Cynthia and Judy. Derek (from Hope LA) and Chris (who just moved here from Dallas) was on hand to welcome us. We had Cambodian food before I checked into a neat hotel that Cynthia had booked. Sleepily I started on Urbana follow up work. Before long Chai came over and we went out for dinner. The rest of the night was just packing and updating my blog. I started missing the Urbana team.

In the morning Derek & Cynthia arrived to take me to LAX. Cynthia was there when my family first arrived, there when my wife & kids left and was here now. She's so sweet. Saying goodbye, I thought, "I'm really going to miss the Hope LA people".

My Wed was spent crossing time zones. On the Tokyo to Singapore leg, I was seated in front of a family of four. The younger child cried and kicked my seat intermittently. It was sure hard to sleep but it must have even harder for the parents.

After the transit and flying for what seemed like ages, I arrived in Singapore at 1:30 am Thursday. My dear wife was on hand to welcome me. (To think that she had to get up again later to send the twins to morning school.) Without complaint she drove us straight to Punggol. It sure felt strange to step into our flat after 6 weeks away.

Eventually I got up and did my laundry. I tried to clear e-mails but I couldn't send because I've exceeded my server space. Then I drove, on the right side, to fetch the kids for lunch. After a haircut, we were meant to swim and I haven't swam for 6 weeks. But the evening rain got very heavy. At least it wasn't like the biting St Louis winter. Dinner was that long awaited taste of curry. Then was that familiar humidity followed by that familiar jetlag. Think I managed 5 hours of sleep.

On Fri morn I mistakenly turned into oncoming traffic before quickly reversing. We dropped the twins off at school. On the way the car felt like it lacked power. Then I realised that I'd been driving a 2.2 litre car for 5 weeks and here was a 1.6 litre car. Also the California freeway speed limit was 105 km/h but here the limit at home is 90 km/h. Today was also my first day in office after 6 weeks. It was so good to see the staff team. But there were tonnes of follow up matters even as I tried to finalise this weekend's sermon. Later we did manage to swim but in cold water. That night I managed 6 hours of sleep before my system 'awakened'.


EMs said...

Dearest Ps Ben, It was WONDERFUL to have you back and to hear you preaching for our 1st Sun of 2007! Your absence was felt indeed and just want you to know you are very appreciated for the work you are doing in and out of Singapore for our Lord! God bless...

The Recreation Corner said...

Hi Pastor Ben, I share the same sentiments with EMS.

It was really great to see you with us and what a spirit-moving sermon to move us towards 2007 with a right goal and attitude.

Thanks again for not being complacent in growing and development yourself in Him.

Happy new year!

kwoky109 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kwoky109 said...

Hello Pas. Ben.
I must say...we in LA miss you too. It was weird seeing the first row without you and Pas. Dinah . It was weird not staying at church till 9pm. And i definately miss the kids. Please send my hellos and love to them..and I hope we see all of you real soon!

By the way Thank you for all you've done for us. Just knowing that you had to live where you lived for six weeks truly showed how much you and your family Loves the Lord!!

LA missing the Lee's

Cynthia K.

Fresh Dew said...

Dear Ps Ben, it was great to see you on the 1st Sunday of 2007. From what I heard, it was a heartfelt sermon from your heart. Was falling asleep in the seats as I was tired from a couple of things, but I really appreciate being in your presence and in the presence of God's people. Have a blessed new year.

Chantal said...


manuel said...

Happy Lunar New Year Pastor