August 8, 2007

A Morning With the Old Folks

Greetings from down under - sunny Queensland! Brissy's winter is really nice... cool and sunny. Sometimes its cold but it is mostly not too cold. I love the cold weather, although some nights were a little too cold that its difficult to sleep. Originally I didn't want to use the heater since I had 2 blankets already. One night, I was so cold that I refuse to get up to go toilet, didn't want to barge a single bit to even to switch on the heater because my bed will end up colder if I move. So I relied on my own body heat to warm myself up slowly and try to fall back to sleep again.

Life here hasn't been too different as yet. I mean I haven't been working for 2 months and now in Brissy, I'm also leading the life of an unemployed. But of cos I kinda do different things here. I wake up very early (sun wakes me up about 6am+), try to take a nap in afternoon and sleep about 12midnight. Sun sets at about 5-6pm (like now) and it feels like the night is long and the day is short. Ask me what I do in the day? Its a bit hard to tell you something substantial. Anyway, I'm sure life will change more and more as I gear up for my new life ahead. Actually there's many things to do but I'm taking it slow and needs extra inspiration to blog :p

This morning, I followed my future MIL to "长青团契" or "Evergreen Fellowship". This is a gathering of Christian Asian old folks ranging from mostly 50s to the 80s. Most of them averages 60-70 years old and they belong to the Chinese congregation of the Chinese Christian Church of Brisbane (CCCB) at Coopers Plains (a suburb in Brisbane). These uncles and aunties (quite a handful of them are old enough to be my grandparents) were all migrants to Australia when they were young. There were some who migrated in their retirement years... This gathering takes place weekly and sometimes takes place on Wednesday and sometimes Saturday. Today, the gathering is specially held at a park. We set off one hour before the appointed time and went to various venues to pick up various people from their homes. In my car itself, there were Chinese, previously from different countries - Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and China. They were all migrants from a long time ago (except for me :p).

Parks in winter is really good - bright and sunny but cool enough to walk around. The 34 of us (I was obviously the youngest :p) gathered in a pavilion. We sang Chinese Christian songs, did a bit of physical activity, reading of scriptures, sharing of testimony and celebrated birthdays for the folks born from May-August. I was more like an observer and snapping photos away... You could see the folks really enjoyed themselves chatting with each other and encouraging each other. At one time, the Chairperson suggested to sing "The more we get together". The chinese version that we sang goes like this... (see video below)


I used to sing this song as a little girl. One old lady stood up and said that she learnt this song when she was 9 and now she's 81!

Looking at the folks, I pray that when I grow old, 40-50 years down the road, I will continue to have that joy and faith in the Lord. One birthday lady (also from Singapore) shared how God changed her life many years, when she was at a point of depression. She shared in Mandarin with so much conviction and thanksgiving, its just really very encouraging. It warmed my heart and a few times, I was almost touched to tears. This lady and I spoke a bit... her hubby has the same chinese surname as I. So she's Mrs XX and I'm Ms XX. And her chinese name is almost very similar to mine too!!

When they read Psalms 19 in chinese, the Bible verses seemed to come out much nicer and the words really seems more powerful. The prayers prayed in mandarin was also very moving. I thank God for being the creator God and a God whom we all can praise and worship all our lives. Psalm 19:14 says "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." How true this speaks of the folks I see today. Somehow, I do feel a bit ashamed because they seemed more 'on' than me. I am no where near them...

I am thankful to be able to have a glimpse of how (hopefully and prayerfully) I will be when I grow old. It helps me not to take for granted, my life now... and seek to praise and worship my Heavenly Father all of my days on earth.

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