May 27, 2009
May 25, 2009
May 19, 2009
May 18, 2009
May 16, 2009
May 15, 2009
Part of the struggle of having to live in a country like Vietnam, city of Hanoi is being invited over by important people in the expat community like ambassadors and country directors of different NGO's that go to Hanoi International Fellowship for worship. hehehe.I'm just kidding when I said struggle, of course not! It's in fact a pleasure and we stand amazed at how God can bring his lowly children to face kings and important people without any sense of inferiority. He is our only confidence. God is really good at satisfying His children's needs as well as wants. My husband and I were so craving for a very nice meal where we don't have to chase Rinnah around while eating and just enjoy, well, it happened tonight because of that invitation from the Indian Ambassador and his wife plus we had the chance to meet and chat with the South African Ambassador. While we were seated there, the Father reminded me in a swift manner of my place in His Kingdom and how He sees me. That I am an Ambassador too, we all are, we have a duty to follow and that is to represent Christ especially to those who don't know Him yet. Well, it's indeed a privilege serving him and working with Him here in Hanoi.
Having lived in Hanoi, Vietnam (on and off) for the past eleven years has done a lot of change in my family's life especially that of my daughter's cultural perception. Life here is more laidback, people are just beginning to get rich and we don't even have big malls and the fast food pleasure. I would say this is more of a pro than a con. Whenever we go out, we always come across locals who thinks that we are Vietnamese too. There is never a day that goes without it. They would often say we're "same same but different" I guess primarily because of our Asian features. Dealing with culture can sometimes be a pain in the neck when you reside in Hanoi or Vietnam for that matter. This is a place where queuing is not a custom, men smoking inside airconditioned restos and worst-double standard is such a part of the whole system. Sometimes I feel I cannot coexist with this people any longer but God's grace is really pulling me through all these cultural struggles. Do I hear myself complaining here??Not actually, I've gotten used to it already and this fact terrifies me. We have learned how to appreciate this people by letting good traits overshadow the bad experiences we had. Vietnamese are also close knit people. They value family relationship over and above everything else (well, sometimes except for money matters), they adhere strict rules on respect of elders. Motorists here can get way too crazy when driving but when they see you driving with an elderly or a child, they yield which is seemingly strange. Living in a culture not mine served as a sweet reminder for my family and I that wherever He places us, we should grow in grace.
Nobody hates waiting more than I do. At Wal-mart, I use the self-checkout, because there is usually no line. Unless, of course, I commit the unpardonable crime of putting the bread on the wrong plastic bag and the machine begins yelling at me. Then, of course, I have to wait for the human to come over and fix the machine.
At the post office, I hate waiting an hour to mail a package. So I usually use the automated box that allows me to send anything slightly smaller than an elephant.
I especially don’t like sitting in traffic in the Chicago suburbs, where I believe they widen the roads once every 76 years. So I have a better chance of seeing Haley’s Comet than getting into the turn lane on my local highways. Nice.
So you can understand that I have an especially tough time waiting on God. He just doesn’t seem to fit His plans into my rushed, hurried, panicked world. And in reading the Scriptures, I’ve learned that He hasn’t changed.
In fact, almost all of the great men in the Bible had to wait. Some agonizingly long. Let’s look at three examples.
Your Prince is Ready
Though Moses grew up in the house of Pharoah and was groomed to be the next in line for the throne, I believe he saw all of this as God raising him up to deliver his people, Israel. His mother probably had something to do with that.
As the years passed and Moses looked from the window of his stately palace and saw the oppression of his brethren, he grew more and more impatient. Finally, he acted on impulse and killed an Egyptian taskmaster.
So that meant 40 years in the wilderness. Here God’s people were suffering and their future deliverer is leading sheep in the backside of the desert. Yet God wasn’t delaying. He wasn’t stalling. He wasn’t anxious.
Finally, when Moses was broken and humble enough to be used as an instrument by God, God sent the 80-year old prince-turned-shepherd back to Egypt.
But do you see what is happening? The headlines wouldn't read, "Prince leads coup. Prince leads revolt. Prince overtakes Pharaoh." No, it wouldn't be about Moses anymore. It would be about God. How about, "God Miraculously Delivers His People"?
Dreams of Greatness
As a young man, God spoke to Joseph through dreams. In these dreams, Joseph was leading and his brothers and even world leaders were bowing at his feet. Kind of heady stuff for a teenager, don’t you think? And it didn’t play too well with his brothers.
But Joseph knew God was calling him to a special place. A place of impact and leadership and power.
So that’s why Joseph was probably stunned and shocked when he found himself in the bottom of a pit, praying his brothers wouldn’t kill him. Or when he found himself sold into a strange country, Egypt. Or when he was thrust into prison on rape charges.
Didn’t seem like those dreams were panning out too well, did it? Didn’t seem like God was working out His plan?
Oh, but God was working out his plan. And Joseph, while he didn’t know a lot, He knew He could trust God.
Running for King
Okay, so this prophet comes to his house, dumps some oil on his head, and then whispers in his ear, “Oh by the way, you’re going to be Israel’s next king.” But then it was back to the shepherd’s fields, back to being the forgotten son and brother, back to obscurity.
David was anointed king as a teenager, but he waited 14 long years to assume the throne. And those 14 years were hard years. He was Israel’s next king, but there was his madman, Saul, who was determined to see David dead and buried.
If you read the psalms you can experience David’s angst. He scratched his head in wonder, “Why is God allowing Saul to do this?” “Why doesn’t God just move Saul out of the way?”
But again, like Moses, like Joseph, David had to learn to trust God. And waiting, is trusting. David had to be broken, humble, and read to lead God’s people.
Do you see a pattern developing here? God often gives his people a dream, a desire, a calling and then puts them through a period of waiting.
It is in this waiting where your real courage and character are forged. It is in this period of uncertainty that you’re life takes on a whole new dimension. You learn how to trust God. You learn to lean on God. You learn what’s important and what’s not important.
So if you’re like me and you really hate to wait, know that waiting is trusting.
Article taken from crosswalkdotcom
May 14, 2009
Two of the many joys my children bring me are being appreciated because of how pleasant they look (stage momma!)and how well they interact with other expatriate children and grown ups surrounding them in our community. Many people have given their differing opinions as to who resembles who (Thea as very Jinggoy and Rinnah as very Jeaneth and vice versa, which is rather more conscientious than a compliment),but here's my take on this. I believe that both of them (we all are) are beautifully and wonderfully made because Jesus is their Maker, I would like to think further that they be getting more of His image as they journey this life. I'd really like them to resemble that of the Fathers likeness more than their earthly parents because neither me nor my husband has something good except for the faith legacy of introducing the Savior to them.
May 11, 2009
May 7, 2009
I had a Women's Retreat post mortem meeting last night at a friend's plush villa in Ciputra. I left home hours before time trying to evade the traffic jam that often impede every road trip because they just build up in some of the major pathways of Hanoi in split seconds. I ran off without saying goodbye to my two girls. I had fun chichatting with my girl friends over some home baked pastries. After nearly four hours of being away from my lovely spawn, I headed back home quite late. When I stood outside the gate, my little girl, Rinnah asked me in a raised-clear-straight English "did you go out Naynay?". I stood there astonished of what I heard from her. She can speak clearly now, I have not even noticed it come out so quickly. My baby is now a budding toddler who's so fascinated with language that she encounters everyday and one funny thing about her also is she gets it all mixed up sometimes, Vietnamese-English-Cebuano. One example to this is "di up" which means "go up" (di-Vietnamese word for go). Well, I must say, bits and pieces of everything doesn't hurt anyway.
May 6, 2009
Today is my eldest daughter's big day out. She's gone to her friend, Brittany's place in the Water Village. The date was set last Sunday as we were invited by our family friend (The Fryer's) over for lunch. Since then on, Thea never ceased to bug me and the whole household with her excitement for her big day out, which is today. She is totally unstoppable on this. She would do everything not to lose this opportunity and experience. Ann, Brittany's mummy, had all the activities set for the two playful girls. I bet, they're having a blast right now.