June 19, 2008

2 Camps Miles Apart

On the first weekend of June, my friends in Singapore gone to Malacca for the church's annual camp. Meanwhile I was with a bunch of brothers and sisters in Christ at Mount Tambourine for an inaugural Clay retreat/camp. Clay is the name of the fellowship group that me and hubby belong to. It is a group for young working adults (yes, I am still pretty young :p) from my church here in Brisbane. There are also a handful of people who joins us for bible study but attend other churches.

This is the first time Clay has a live-in retreat where we had a speaker to come teach us on God's Word. GK's presentation on 1 Thessalonians was really good and clear. I was really happy and blessed during those 3 days where I could learn God's word and have to know my brothers and sisters in Christ better. I walked away with 2 main lessons and reminder: (1) through a workshop on work that work is a gift and it is something good that God has given man to do (2) how I must live my life in the 'now', having the hope and knowing that Christ will come again at a time when we will not know.

It surely humbled and rebuked me regarding my attitude to work. Just before the retreat, I completed a 3-week full-time work stint. Although I was earning quite good money for the 3 weeks, I carried a complaining, frustrated attitude to work. Perhaps I have been used to homemaking and part-time work and enjoying it, that when I had to be both a homemaker an a full-time worker, I became frustrated at the many things that I wanted to do but could either have no time nor energy to do. At the same time, I was frustrated and full of complaints for the work that I was doing. At some time, I also felt somewhat humilitated, thinking that I am a Uni grad and why am I doing the work that I was doing. But God humbled me and taught me big time, that Uni grad or not, every work is good and given by God. If prayed for God to provide me with work, I must not complain. He must have known that it is something good for me. In fact, it was only on my last day of work that I realised something: God took away my previous job (which I thought was perfect and good) and gave me this 3-week temporary work so that I might have a chance to sow seeds for Him.

In the 3-weeks, I got to meet and interact with more Aussies and it helped me to understand the Aussie culture better. Yet the same time, I saw the sinfulness of human where it is completely acceptable to have 'partners' and you know that they are not referring to their spouses. I also got to know 3 Aussie girls. On my last day, they bought me cupcakes as my farewell. Prayerfully and boldly, I gave them each a card and a evangelistic tract/booklet as my farewell gift to them. To one of them who is a 'sleeping' Catholic, I gave her a book “Nothing in my Hand I Bring” (I will blog about this book next time but you can read the review from one of my friends here) Prayerfully they will read the book/tracts at some point in their lives and come to realise that they need God as their personal Lord and Saviour. I figured that I will not be able to meet these girls if not that I left my previous job. I humbly was reminded that God knows what is better for me in my life and I shall leave it to Him to guide me in my life and provide all that I need. This is a good reminder for me as I consider my next job (which I will begin soon).

At the retreat, GK suggested that we as Christians must not be surprised when Jesus comes again. It will happen like a thief coming into your house at night. The timing is unexpected and it can happen possibly in a time of peace and security. Jesus's coming is inevitatable. In the Bible, we have been warned and hence we should live our lives as if Christ is coming the next hour. Our future is guaranteed. We will live in heaven with God in eternity. How then should I live my life now? This means that I need to constantly make choices that matters in eternity – the work that I do, the words that I say, the areas that I spend my time on, etc. Knowing and reminding myself about this has helped me decide regarding a recent potential job prospect. I am full of thanksgiving, to my God, my provider.

Back on the topic of camps, I still do miss my folks back in Singapore where 680 of them spent 5 days 4 nights in Malacca where they had a Aussie pastor to speak to them about “Strength in Weaknesses” Hubby and I are hoping to go back in June 2010 for church camp and hopefully, my other girl friends all over the world will also meet back there to gather and catch up.

1 other thoughts:

Anonymous said...

super encouraging; I think your next job will be another wonderful opportunity to serve God, and SUCH an important role (missions support) - assuming it's all-but-confirmed! ky

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