Archive for the ‘FMS’ Category

Remembering Good Friends

 

I really like this picture.

 

Kristi, who is 6, really likes to play with Sophie very much and they play really well together. Last weekend before Kristi and her family left for Auckland, I got them to take this picture. I was quite glad Sophie was actually keen to take the picture with Kristi coz sometimes she’ll just run away.

 

It’s hard when friends come and go on the base after each school ends. This time round, we made sure that we talked to Sophie lots before her friends started leaving and she was ok saying bye. I hope we handled all the farewells better than we did the last time.

FMS 2010 Grad Nite

Top from left: The Class of FMS 2010, James and I all dressed up. Me in my Hansel dress with lovely handmade brooch by Sue (I finally found an occasion to wear it!)
Bottom from left: Sophie’s creche teachers, Sophie and Evan dresses as princesses on their own special kids’ banquet table.

 

I can’t believe we’re done staffing our second school!

 

The students graduated last night and we had a "Banquet with the King" celebration dinner with lotsa good food, great fun and dancing! Congrats Class of FMS 2010! It’s been such a pleasure serving all of you and growing with you.

 

Sophie and her little classmates did some songs too. SO CUTE! Hope to upload a video real soon.

Teaching Together

This week is going to be interesting. James and I will be teaching in class together for the first time. We’ll be teaching for 2 days on pre-maritial counselling. We’re not conducting a pre-marital course but sharing with the class about pre-marital counselling and how to go about doing it.

 

First of all, it’s super humbling because we’ve never conducted a pre-marital course in our lives before! Second of all, we’ve only been married 5 years… almost 6 years. Third of all, we’re still working through so many issues in our own marriage. And now we have to train others to do pre-marital counselling! But but but… we believe this is what God’s been calling us to – to teach together and minister together. It’s a great challenge but we’re happy to do it. We’ll never get anywhere if we don’t start trying. So we’re excited and the prep has been going very well, thank God.

 

So, we will really really appreciate prayer for this Thursday and Friday. We’ll be teaching on why pre-marital counselling/preparation is essential esp in this time and age, who can do it, debunking myths about marriage, how to handle different pastoral situations e.g. cross-cultural marriages. Yep that’s the gist! Our heart is really to inspire the class to be pre-marital counselors/mentors and to help to sow truths about marriage is as God intended. Pray that the Holy Spirit will unearth lies about relationship and marriage within the class. Thank you for praying with us!!!

Family Games

 

Last Friday, we had a family fancy dress and games afternoon.

 

The girls came as princesses and boys came as prince/superheros. The adults too had to come with fancy hats!

 

 

Oooo Sophie was SOOO pleased to dress up. I made her a crown, got fairy wings from the $2 shop and James made her a wand out of bamboo and paper stars. She had so much fun playing the games and running around with either me or James. But the best parts were the ice cream after dinner and the chocolate gold coin treasure hunt at the end.

Stick Bread!

 

Last nite, after the kiddos have gone to sleep, we gathered around a bonfire to cook stick bread and marshmallows.

 

It was SO FUN!

 

I’ve never done this before. Tina made the bread dough and all we needed to do was wrap that around a stick and put it over the fire and cook it! After that we eat it with honey/butter/jam. YUMS!

Playtime? Nature Study? What’s Dat?

I had a really interesting experience today. Our topic for these two days is Learning Styles. We are learning about our individual learning styles and how that affects our learning. Sheryll, our lecturer who is also our base director, used to be a school teacher so this topic was right up her alley.

 

As she was teaching, she got us to reflect on what we enjoyed most about school or hated most about school. As she did that, she started to share what she enjoyed most about school in New Zealand and she said "Playtime" and "Nature Study" and I was like going, "Huh? What’s that?!?!".

 

It took me a while before it dawned on me, oh ya we used to have recess time and we did attempt to do some sort of nature study. But thing was that, it wasn’t a big part of my school days at all. I hardly remember it. I remember eating really fast, playing some games and we were back in class. I even remembered that sometimes I used that time to study for the upcoming test in the next period. How long were our recess times anyway? 30 mins? In NZ, they have 1 hr! 

 

We have such different education systems. It’s amazing that I managed to survive ours without much scars. I guess I’ve always did pretty alright in school and it wasn’t so stressful during my time (yet.). I’m also thankful that my parents hardly put any pressure on me. 

 

Anyways, it was interesting to note what was missing in our education system. Guess I’ve always known it and tried to expose Sophie to as much of that as possible. Sheryll also got us to pray and redeem those moments when we had scars from learning and said to ourselves, "I’ll never learn that again!" and it was a powerful time. It’s amazing how many people have been hurt through the education process either by teachers or fellow students.

 

I also learnt that both James and I are visual and kinesthetic learners. No wonder we can’t hear each other very well! Ha! Looks like we’ve gotta write to each other more. It’s amazing to also note that so many of us are visual and kinesthetic learners but so much of our education system is auditory learning! No wonder so many didn’t get it!

Word of our Testimony

Rev 12:11 says this:-

"They overcame him (the enemy) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death."

 

God’s really been so good to us and we want to testify to that.

 

Firstly, we are so thankful that we got our NZ working visas in record time! Less than 10 days! It’s amazing. We were planning to submit our visas in NZ before we left for Vanuatu. However, when we went all the way to Hamilton (1 hr from Matamata where we lived) to the NZ embassy, they told us that they couldn’t promise us our visas in time before we left for Vanuatu and we needed our passports to travel, etc etc…. long story and finally James felt the Lord saying to wait so we didn’t submit it in NZ.

 

Turns out that it’s so much easier to do it back here in Singapore. In fact, on the NZ embassy Singapore website, I found out that they actually state that they understand the urgency of the visas and they try their best to get it proceesed in 10 days if all the supporting documents are in place. Singapre my homeland, I love how efficient we are! Also turns out that they needed more supporting documents etc Certificate of No Criminal Record (ya, we now certified we got no criminal record, don’t scared), Marriage Cert (which was stuffed somewhere in our backroom in our old house!) and even our DTS cert! Soooooooo thank God we did it here, if not, it’ll have been a hassle trying to find these documents while we were in NZ.

 

So yes! We got a three year working visa for NZ as missionaries! Woo hoo! Praise God!

 

Secondly, YWAM is a faith-based organisation which simply means it’s fully volunteer work and we do not receive salary. We have to raise our own support. Actually we learn to trust God to raise our support. :) So by faith, James and I decided to draw up a financial plan to work out how much we will need a month (minus our outreach fees which are one offs). So we came up with a figure C. We know that our rental income will provide us with figure A so we had to trust God for the remaining figure B (A+B=C). The amazing thing was as we were sharing with the church abt what we were going to do, they decided to adopt us as Missions Associates, as part of the missions department. In this scheme of support, they work out a sum to support missionaries with a sum for adults and a sum for children. When they gave us the acceptance letter and told us the amount, we added up the figures for 2 adults and 1 child, it was exactly, guess what?, figure B! It was such a God moment for us. God knows our every need and He who calls, is FAITHFUL.

 

We are really thankful for the signs that God is with us and He is going ahead of us. We are also so thankful for all the support from our family and friends in terms of friendship, prayer and even financially.

What’s Next?

We’ve finished 3 months of school, 1 research paper, 7 hours of homework per week, 1 oral presentation and 1 exam! Woo hoo! We had our graduation last nite.

 

It’s been a great run. We really enjoyed the school and God has done tremendous things in our lives.

 

We have one more week of outreach preparation on the base and then we’re off to the lovely pacific island of Vanuatu on the 19th of April. We’ll be there for a whole month. We’ll be living on the YWAM base and working with the local churches to conduct marriage seminars and parenting courses. It’ll be quite an interesting outreach because our team has 3 couples and we have 6 children ranging from 1 – 12 years old between us! That really means 6 adults and 6 kids! Woo hoo! Sounds more like a family holiday than outreach. This is my very first time on a family outreach and I’m not very sure what to expect. But I’m sure it’ll be good. :)

 

Please do keep us in prayer.

Prayer requests

1. Effective teaching and outreach

2. Wisdom and Holy Spirit guidance

3. Sensitivity to the culture and ability to transend language (Languages: Bislama, English, French and over 100 local languages)

4. Love for the people

5. Health for all of us

 

I’m really looking forward to this. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a mission trip! The last one I did was a local outreach in Feb 06! It’s so cool to be able to do this with Sophie. I’m really really excited. I’m also looking forward to a bit of beach, sand and sea, without the cool chilly wind. Hiak hiak…

 

Cultural Nite

 

A few weeks ago, our school held a Cultural Nite where all of us had to bring a dish and present something about our country.

 

Guess what we made? The wonderful Prima taste Singaporean Chili Crab gravy using crabstick (!! No real crab lah!) and served with prawn crackers from the Chinese fast food place in town. Just for a dip and a taste of Singapore food.

 

Ok they loved the prawn crackers. We had the gravy for breakfast with bread for the rest of the week. BUT IT WAS OOOOHHH SO GOOD! I can’t wait to be back to eat yummy Singapore food.

School is ending

We’ve just finished the last week of lessons for us. So fast three months have passed! I’m sorry for the silence.

 

We’ve been so busy with the research papers. We’ve finally all done and have submitted. I’ve written a paper on how motherhood affects our spiritual life and James wrote about how marriage and fatherhood changed his life.

 

This coming week is the final week for the course. We’ve got exams tomorrow morning and also oral presentations for our papers. And we graduate on Wednesday! I promise more updates when we’re done with the exams tomorrow! Now back to studying!

Walking up the hill


We were invited to our Family Ministries (FM) Director’s home and farm on Sunday. They were farmers before the Lord called them to run FMS full time. Their children have since taken over the farm.

 

Ooooo I love their house! It’s set on a hill and the scenery from up there was just amazing. I just love the space!!! They had a sand pit, BBQ area, lotsa green for us to roll around on.

 

After the BBQ lunch, we took a walk around the farm to see their cattle, saw some apple trees, kiwi trees, chestnut trees and then walked even further up the hill. Took us almost an hour to walk up! James carried Sophie on his shoulders and at times we took turns. She walked a little bit too. But it was so nice, very tiring but the view was well worth the hard work of walking!

 

On the way back, we got to see how the cows are milked with machines. Sophie was very intrigued. I could see she was really trying to figure out how it worked. Silly me, I thought they still hand milked the cows so I told her she would get to do it again (She did it once in Melbourne last year). I hope she wasn’t too disappointed. At least she gotta eat a walnut off the tree! Hee… I never knew walnuts grew on trees. Sigh… so many things I donno.

 

You can see more pics on our flickr site.

Tauranga

 

Over the weekend we attended a YWAM conference in Tauranga.

 

In between the morning and nite sessions, we got to see Tauranga (a city about 40 mins from the base). We had a nice meal at The Coffee Club. Had my fav Lemon Pepper Calamari. The first time I had that was in Australia. When I saw that there was a similar outlet in Tauranga, we had to go!

 

After that we went shopping. It was my first real shopping trip in 3 mths!!! Poor deprived soul!! :) Hahaha… Matamata New World supermarket and Postie’s not counted ah. But the shops closed at 4pm! Faint. These people really know how to enjoy life! :) Ended up we didn’t buy anything but it was nice just to walk around.

 

Tauranga actually looks a little like Singapore because it is one of the country’s biggest export ports. You can see containers and boats. It has two marinas and waterfront dining. Very pretty.

 

After the shops closed, we drove to the beach at the foot of Mt Maunganui. Mt Maunganui is a small mountain that over looks the sea. Very pretty but we didn’t climb it although we did hear that there is a nice trail up the mountain. We just spent some time at the beach with the kids. They were very happy playing with sand and sea shells.