Vanuatu Life


Vanuatu has been invaded by Chinese people (ok… as with everywhere else in the world). The Chinese (mostly from China or Hong Kong) own most of the stores around and the Ni-Vans work for them. This has caused some sort of discrimination both ways. 


It is really quite unfortunate I feel because they don't realise how similar they both are culture wise because of the language barrier. Of course when we walk around, the Ni-Vans who don't know us automatically link us to the local Chinese people. The kids on the streets call us "chineese! chineese!" which we laugh about and repeat it back to them in the way they say it but we know there is an underlying discrimination of sorts.

It's funny how God brought us here. We've made friends on both sides. There's a Chinese guy in town whose family owns some shops who calls James "bro" on FB. We also enjoying chatting with the aunties in the shops.

P/s We chanced upon this Chinese takeout. They serve one of the cheapest meals around and food taste like home. The setting looks like S'p in the 60s. Tres retro!


What we’ve been up to


Sorry for the slow down in updates while we've been here. 


James has been teaching since Monday and it's been going well! It's a small class of 5 students and 3 staff. It's been cool to see how God works differently each time. James' been learning how to not teach the same things but to really press in and hear God for the specifics each time. He decided not to email everyone daily like the last time but I'll leave him to do that when he is ready.

We accompanied him on the first day to the base but after that, I decided to stay home with the kids instead. I would love to be at the base to hang out and catch up with people but it was just too stressful managing both kids and trying to keep the flies off Levi. It was much easier being at G & A's place. Much cooler with the fan too. But Sophie really enjoys being at the base. I think it's because it's familiar to her. Each time we've been to Vanuatu, we've stayed at the base. This is the first time we are staying off base. She enjoys running around and having the company of the che ches and kor kors.

Tomorrow is the last day of the teaching and we'll go to the base again with James.

Pls continue to pray with us for open heavens. For the students to experience a breakthrough in their struggles and in their relationship with God. To come to know God as their loving Father and to feel safe enough to completely surrender to Jesus as the Lord of their lives.



From Left: Clement from previous DTS, Sophie & Leiana, Nico & Krisma, Dinner at Geoff & Amanda's home


It's good to catch up with our friends here again.





We are in Vanuatu. 


We are staying with Geoff and Amanda, the YWAM base directors here. James only starts teaching next Monday so we're adapting into island culture, relaxing and enjoying the company of our dear friends.

The kids normally takes a day or two to settle in. Since Tues, Levi's been quite erratic in his feeding and sleeping. He's only starting to feed better and seem more relaxed today. Sophie's happy to have a play mate Leiana (Geoff and Amanda's 4 yr old daughter) and they even slept in the same room the first night. Our days starts real early coz the cocks start crowing real early and the room is not completely blacked out.

The beach is opposite the house and mangos keep dropping on the roof from tree next to the house. I'm in heaven. :) Except my heaven will have no stray dogs. :)


Being Brave


I'm quite a scardy cat and tend to avoid the hard stuff. But God seems to delight in pushing me to the edge, like what a good Father does. The bible says in James 1: 2-4: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."


Yesterday I had to do one of the most challenging thing in my life thus far. I had to pack up, drive with two kids up to Auckland n meet James there. It is prob easy for most but it was harder for me for a couple of reasons. One, one of my two kids is a newborn. Two, I only started driving in June. Three, I have never driven long distance to an unknown location without James helping to direct me.

But but but with the grace of God, a praying husband, relatively obedient n independent 4 yr old, a newborn who slept n woke up at the right times, google maps, a kind Shell attendent who directed us when google maps failed to pick up info of a road closure that threw me completely off n finally the familiar M sign that assured us of a familiar menu, toilets, a playground n even changing table. What an adventure! We left at 330 n finally got to the motor lodge at 7. Took a bit longer than usual coz we took a break when we missed a turning and got lost but very glad when we got there.


Thank you Lord and thank you all for praying. I'm writing on the way to V2.


Family News (November 2010)



James has been invited back to speak at the DTS and this time we're going as a family! I'm really excited.


It's been a year since I've been there (James was there in June on his own) and I really miss the people and the place. I so love the vibe and the people. We'll be staying only two weeks. The first week James will be teaching and the second week we'll be on holiday.


Please keep us in prayer. It's been a up hill battle till this point – trying to get Levi's passport, stress on our relationship etc. The evil one knows our weakest points so please pray that we'll press in and be strong. The topic that James will be speaking on is "Lordship of Christ" and "Fatherheart of God". This is a crucial topic on a DTS because it is a turning point when the students make a deliberate choice in their lives to make Jesus Lord. The last time James spoke, many miracles happened and we expect no less this time! So pls pray with us coz we're really excited. Also pray for good health for the family esp the kids and that Levi will travel and settle well. Oh yes and that we'll have a good break and holiday after.


When we return, a few exciting things will be happening. Sophie will be in her first stage performance with her dance class. My parents and sis are coming for a week. And in Jan, we'll be getting ready to lead the next family ministry school. It's a great challenge but we're excited.


Lord come and have your way!


P/s The last time James was in Vanuatu, he sent out a daily prayer email updating family and friends to pray. If you were not on that list and would like to be, pls email us. It was really exciting to read his emails recounting the daily challenges and miracles. Thanks for praying and loving us!


Homeschooling Update



Sophie has "graduated" from Nursery!


We completed her Chinese and English workbooks last week! Woo hoo!


We took about 5 months to do so and stopping for about a month when Levi was born. It's not a race but I just wanted to celebrate her efforts so each time she finished a workbook, we celebrated with a glass of milk and cookie! She loves that! She also got a book as a present. I remember I used to get book prizes in primary school and it was just such an encouragement and I felt so proud! She doesn't go to school so we just want to celebrate her efforts at home.


Yeah Sophie! You've done well and Mummy and Daddy are so proud of you!


I'm really thankful that we've managed to keep up the homeschooling this time round and Sophie has really flourished in both languages. I thank God for the strength. It hasn't been that much work on my part and we've kept to the books and basics but it helps that Sophie is a quick learner. Flipside is that she gets bored easily so lessons have to be quick and interesting. The Math book we got is too tedious for her so I stopped using it and only recently changed to another syllabus that is much more interesting (will write more about it next time.).


We take a "school" break for the next two weeks. We'll be in Vanuatu and I'm sure we'll have lots to learn on the journey. When we return, we'll start on the K1 books and new stuff. Excited :)


A Magical Childhood

I read this on A Magical Childhood and was inspired to write a post about my childhood. Plus Wanz started this thread on Facebook about our MGS school days and triggered many many happy memories.


Compared to kids these days, I think I had a pretty carefree and fun childhood. My parents were at work most of the time and we were cared for by our grandmas. That meant that we spent most of the time just playing with the cousins. School work was hardly like how it is nowadays and my parents were quite relaxed so I had it pretty easy. These are some of my favorite memories:-


1. School holidays! Walking to the market hand in hand with all my cousins and grandma. We used to stay at my cousins' during the holidays coz grandma lived with them. She'll look after all 4 of us – me, Kel, SL, SM and later KH at the same time. Wonder how she did that… I miss my Ah Mah… I wanna be like her when I grow up.


2. Weekends! My dad used to play mahjong at my uncle's place on the weekends and we'd all go along. The cousins would play together while the adults play mahjong. I remember mashing up bouginvillas and rubbing them on our legs like medicine.


3. Going to the beach with my parents and sometimes with my cousins.


4. Family holidays to the US, Perth, Brisbane, Malaysia – we were not all that well off but Mum and Dad made it a point to bring us out of the country every 3-6 years. I went to the US/Japan/HK when I was only 6 and then to Perth when I was 12. But those were super memorable trips.


5. Going to the National Library at Stamford Road with my mum on the weekends.


6. Buying otak and bread from the stall outside my primary school. 10 cents ice lollies! Tuk tuk sweets! Mamee!


7. Chinese New Year celebrations, reunion dinners, ang pows, cookies, visiting, staying up late and playing with cousins etc…


8. Thomson Plaza (or Thomson Yaohan as we used to call it), spent lots of time there when we lived in the North. We only moved to Bukit Timah much later.


9. Playing badminton at SJI (now Singapore Art Museum) with a friend (can't even rem her name now!) and running to school at SAC when the bell rang. Playing 5 stones and skipping rope! Teddy bear teddy bear turn around, teddy bear teddy bear touch the ground… I sucked at zero point tho.


10. Mum making us writing letters to Santa and receiving what I wanted at Christmas on my pillow (this was before we became Christians and I realised that Santa did not exist!). So exciting!


Ooo I miss those days… My favorite times have been times spent with my grandma and cousins. I'm sure there are lots of other memories. Funny how I don't remember much of studying or stress but remembered only the fun times. I think the most memorable bits are mostly related to food and fun. Makes me think about the memories that I wanna help create for Sophie and Levi.


What about you? What were your favorite childhood memories? Being a mum sometimes I forget that I was once a child too.


Levi: 2 months old



Our lil chubby chub chub just turned 2 months yesterday!


He's been breaking out into smiles and we're all just trying our best to make him giggle and smile. So very cute. He's been quite easy probably because I'm just taking it easy with him. He's still waking up lots in the night and only sleeping short naps in the day. He's growing real fast. At 8 weeks he weighed 5.8kg and measured 61cm. Everyone keeps teasing that he's outgrowing me!



Sophie's been a great che che (big sister). She helps to rock him when he's whining on the bouncer, get a tissue to clean his drool, turns on music to entertain him when we are busy etc. I think Levi is super blessed to have Sophie as his older sis. Of course there are the times when she runs around the house like big foot when he's sleeping and wakes him up after only being asleep for like 15 mins (Yeeks!), and she hugs the life out of him and jumps on the bed when he's on it but really, they are a great pair. He breaks into big smiles when she goes near him.


New Dress



Sophie's into long twirly dresses, like Cinderella.


Thank you Mama and Yeye for this beautiful one. She loves it!


My little village girl



Sophie LOVES to pick up rubbish. I'm not sure if any other 4 year old do that but she keeps picking up stuff off the ground – flowers, rocks, stones, leaves, trash, paper, feathers, treasures at times, etc… Does your 4 year old do that? I found a whole pile of rocks in her pocket once. Sometimes she puts them in her mouth! Ya! She still puts things in her mouth!


I find it so hard to tell her to stop doing that because she is just so curious! I keep telling her but it's almost like she can't help herself. She'll stop when I remind her but more than often, she'll forget.


Last weekend at Tauranga, we spent almost an hour just picking up rocks and throwing them back into the sea to hear "splash!". She picked up some other rubbish and wanted to throw them into the sea too but I had to stop her. I thought I might as well teach her what trash is and how it'll harm the sea animals if the sea gets dirty. Here's where characters like Nemo come in handy to explain to a 4 yr old what happens if we throw trash into the sea. So we spent some time picking up trash and throwing them into the bin where they belong.


I guess sometimes if you can't stop them, put limits (e.g. wash your hands and don't put it in your mouth!) and join them in the fun! I had lotsa fun throwing stones into the sea with her. :)


It’s my birthday…



… and I do what I want to!


I'm really bad at just doing what I want. I'm always doing something for someone else and feel almost guilty spending money to pamper myself. It's a bad habit and not a good thing at all because deep down, I really just want to do what I want to do and if it goes on for too long it festers into frustration and self pity! Yeeks!


But thank God, James knows me best and this birthday, he insisted that I go wild and I did!


We went to the Mount for sushi on Sat, bought a couple of Spring pieces from good ole Valleygirl, I had a whole lamb rack for dinner on the actual day, lovely pineapple and malibu cheesecake, and finally an absolutely well deserving massage at the local Matamata spa called Indulgence. Woo hoo! That's a real birthday treat! Ooooo and I almost forgot, Sophie gave me three dance performances on a stage at the place where we had dinner. So cutee….. I am truly blessed…