Saturday, September 29, 2007

Preparing for 2008

Tuesday starts with an appointment with our lawyer over our overseas community work. I go to the International Plaza instead of City House. So I have to run down the Central Business District on this hot day to get to the appointment.

Next stop is office to complete my handouts and Powerpoont slides for our planning retreat, which is from Tue noon to Wed evening. Here are the photos.

This is the first of two planning retreats we have every year. Our first planning retreat was back in 1997. This year's retreat is different because there is no overnight stay.

There is a dramatic incident. I arrive back in the office on Wed evening and realised I did not have my digicam.

Thankfully Hong Teck was in Funan so he walked back to the function room. He could not find the camera. It is my birthday gift from the staff and it is only 6 months old. My heart sank.

Fenny called the banquets staff to look out for it. She told us the staff would look out for it. I was disappointed.
About 7 pm, Fenny called and said they found it. Thank God for honest hotel staff!

She even collects it on Thur morning. Thank God for Fenny.
Later Wan Leng said, "Thank God you didn’t lose the Fujifilm F20. It’s a very good point & shoot camera. They stopped selling this model in Singapore. Hong Teck and I have the same model."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

16th Anniversary

Sep 15th was the day of our church anniversary celebrations. In fact Dinah and I just came back from sending our guest speaker Pastor PN to the airport. There we met Yean Shien and Mabel who just sent Vivien off. Even in the airport, our hearts are still filled with thanksgiving from yesterday's celebration. Here's a photo from SiewQin taken in between the 2 anniversary services.

Here are memories and thanksgiving (all mixed up together). The anniversary logo is eye-catching, bright and contemporary. Our celebration itself was at the d'Marquee @ Downtown East. Our first time at the place was the night before for rehearsal. It's nice but smaller than last year's. Overall this year's set up is less elaborate. For example we had to assemble 1,500 light bulbs last year.

The big day finally came on Saturday. We arrived in the morning for the final rehearsals. We were approached for makeovers almost immediately . The Image team did a good job on Deb and Dan's hair. They applied makeup on the twins especially on Deb, for which Dan was thankful. It took some persuasion why he even needed any stage makeup.

This is our first anniversary to feature a guest speaker and a guest worship team. Both came from Hope Bangkok. The passage Romans 4:16-18 chosen by Pastor PN was appropriate for the event. The Hope Bangkok lifted the worship atmosphere several notches.

The two young hosts almost steal the show with their welcome lines. The mime item was a good intro. Then the remix of "Psalm 78" song was so good and I liked the way we had short video testimonies and Snapshots of Hope incorporated in. It was a challenge to have our worship team lead and then transit to Hope Bangkok team but it went well. The tango item sure got a rapturous welcome.

This year was special also because we served as a family. (Here's a photo sent in from Junming.) The twins hosted the starting segment of the service. And I only found out about this 2 weeks ago. Then Dinah and I did a short dance routine as part of hosting. It was our first time ever doing the tango. Thanks to Kin Wee for giving us two lessons and choreographing our routine.

This year we may have had close to 3,400 people celebrating. The second celebration service ended on a big high with us totally warmed up. This finale was absolutely rousing with stage ministers all excited. The Bangkok leaders enjoyed themselves in God too. Shirley led us in one more praise responding to the congregation. It was a wonderful close to 16 years of wonderful ministry. The celebrations continue today and tomorrow with our JUMP conference and concert. Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


CK and Pei Ching are our church missionaries in Rome. The third team member Annette is from Hope Prague. The first time we spent time with CK and Pei Ching was in Rome back in Aug '06. They are back for summer holidays. We had lunch 2 weeks ago.

We catch up again on Sept 11th. CK and PC offer to cook for us and talk strategy. We meet at Cold Storage to get the right groceries. On the way out, we get a box of creamy, small-seed durians for them.

This is their first time to our place. We show them around. Then they cook pasta and salad in our kitchen. We enjoy this lunch with friends. Yes we talk church planting strategy in Rome. They also refresh our memory how to do Expresso the Italian way.

We enjoy the durians except Dinah who is recovering from illness. At this point PC and CK admit that they haven't eaten durians for over 2 years. That's what you call a durian-deprived missionary. Later Dinah bring out a box of American chocolates. Then PC and CK admit they both actually have sore throat... The four of us wrap up the strategy part and I bring them to the MRT station. PC has another appointment in town.

We haven't cooked a proper meal for 2 years. They haven't had durians for 2 years. Guess you could say that this is a day we ministered to each other.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

More on Travel

It's school holidays this week. Here are more reflections on travel.

In our last long-haul flight, Dinah slept well. She often sleeps well. But I had difficulty sleeping. I did try to sleep. Well one clear solution is to fly business class. We'll discuss this in the next life.

Thankfully God provides. There is a tap on my shoulder as I pace up and down the aircraft. It is Esther. She is on the same flight going home from a business trip. She recommends I try a relaxing peppermint essence. I apply it just like she tells me to. After all she is a registered nurse. It is quite pleasant. Later I see Esther asleep in her seat. Well at least I feel more relaxed. A few hours later I sleep too. I must ask her where to get this...

There are other solutions for people who can't sleep on planes. While on holiday in June, I read a very short but interesting article in Newsweek June 11, 2007 issue. The article was titled 'VIAGRA helps jet lag'. University tests conducted on rats in Argentina shows that Viagra helps relieve jet lag. (source ). No I haven't tried it yet. Why haven't I? Let's put it this way... I might sleep well but there might be other effects.

The good news is that I am able to work while traveling. My last sermon (based on Micah 7:1-7) was developed almost entirely while traveling. I began on it while on transit at LAX from South America to Singapore, continued on it in LAX while on transit from US to Singapore and some more while on the plane to Singapore. I stopped working on it when Esther's peppermint took full effect.

One final note on travel. I have noticed my wife going to the dry cleaners more. Then a dry cleaning place springs up on the same street as the church office. I notice that my colleague Kam goes there. Now my pullovers and warm jackets also goes there after coming back from ministry in cold places. Yes Dinah and I have invested in winter clothing. We got to keep warm in cold places. Yes we are doing our part for the Singapore economy.