Lyriquote: 29.03.17

“I’ve got to let You know

That You’re my everything

With every part of me

I’ll praise you now”


(c) Dance Now by Planetshakers

Advertisements

This Scar: A memento

In one of the ordinary noon breaks, while in the school’s comfort room, I was checking on myself whether I still look appropriate for the eyes of my first graders – the hair, not much of the face because I expect no disheveled makeup (I just wear it occasionally); that when I noticed the quite a big scar on my leg, almost on the side of the left knee. It’s barely noticeable since it’s almost the same color as my skin but unknowingly my eyes just led me to it. Flashbacks of when, where, when and how I got this flashed like a series of book leaflets blown by a strong wind in a sudden instance. I believe it was there for more than a decade to serve its purpose today.

A memento of the nearly forgotten past. 

I had a very exciting childhood years which I spent most in the rice fields. Being a pastor-farmer’s daughter, I grew up playing in the muddy puddle (I sounded like a piglet here saying proudly “I got wet, I got dirty but see I learnt, oinky oink oink” lol), in a newly plowed rice field and in the trees swinging with its branches or hanging from them upside down like baby monkeys in a jungle. Those days were when I was still quite flexible. I missed the gymnast side of me.

As I look at it, I remember how I acted like a boy.  As the only girl child in the family with two boys before and after me, I would always imitate my elder brother. My mom would make an effort to dress me up like a princess and neatly tied up my hair with a red bow as I rebelliously acted as one of the sidekicks of my elder brother in a shooting game or as I play as his base camp general. I am not fond of Barbie dolls or cooking ware toys. While other girls of my age played with them, I found myself playing with a bamboo shooter with small balls of wet paper as bullets or a homemade slingshot or a pulley-car made out of sticks craftily attached onto four inedible green fruits which until now I do not know the name. My elder brother is so much knowledgeable about these.

I never had a flawless legs when I was growing up, my legs are full of abrasions, lacerations and punctures. These legs are part of my physical insecurities. The scars created by these wounds are quite interesting now. They serve as reminders of how exciting my childhood days were and of whom I often played with and how scenic was the place where I usually play. Simple life in a very simple rural community with simple lifestyle and humble living – simplicity at its finest. 

As I look at the scars again, I contemplated. Wow! What great years I had during those times! This is another reason for me to thank God Almighty for giving me those priceless experiences which I wouldn’t trade for golds. Not all grown-ups of my age got to be hugged by the earth and be bathed by the stars under the umbrella of the misty night sky while playing “patintero” or “agawan base”  (both are traditional outdoor games). It was a perfect environment to make friends, to build relationships with mutual understanding, to learn to respect and to obey rules. It was perfect for the appreciation of the great past which led to who I am now,  to who my playmates are now, to who we are in a situation where we need to stick with the rules as our games dictated during those years, to  how we respond to those who leave us for reasons like our old friends  who transferred to another town and to what will we cherish from that experience beyond compare.

As one puts it, childhood is a short season. It is always fun to reminisce, to dive into those memories again and to freely feel and embrace the true emotions living in those memories.  I wonder whether this scar will ever be gone. However, so be it if it choose to stay in that corner of my knee. I would love to glance at it once in a while to remind me that inside me, there is a child who wants to play.

signature

 

FREEDOM in SURRENDER: Pakistani Refugees and their Unshakeable Faith

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTIONS. As the percentage of the world’s population edged upward, the rampant religious hostility gradually escalated through the years. Christians in areas with dreadful religious restrictions are compelled to pay a heavy price for their faith. Persecutions are experiences on a daily basis ranging from public humiliation to rape to torture to slavery to discrimination in employment and education and even more worst is death.

I’m not writing about them because I knew a lot. I knew little. Little things that make up the bigger ones. I knew and understand, with all my senses attesting to it, their deepest sorrows and grave suffering.

I came to Thailand bearing in mind this thought of religious persecutions;  not considering the fact that at some point, somewhere and somehow, I will be able to meet people who have experienced religious hostility and have fortunately escaped from the pangs of the oppressors but remained imprisoned by the discriminations and the end-result of their sudden flee.

The Compassionate God has opened the door for me to grasp the reality of the existence of these religious persecutions. I meet some Pakistani Refugees who are currently stuck here in Thailand and patiently waiting and seeking for the approval of their asylum status requests from UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). For most of them, application has lasted for more than a year or even so which bears great agonies, burdensome day-to-day living of no assurance of food and the frightful fleet from the eyes of the national police. Once caught, they will be imprisoned with a bail or deported back to their home country where persecutions are evident and rampant.

I was deeply moved by their situation knowing that the only hope they have is the assurance of God’s presence in this darkest moment of their lives. I was not sure of my calling of being a missionary but God has allowed me to feel the compassion He has for these people. One Sunday as I led the Praise and Worship, their great sorrow just fell onto me that it burdened me to pen this for the sole purpose of creating or opening even the smallest window of charity for them.

In their very present situation, families lack food and other basic needs. They adjusted themselves to eat “roti” or  “chapati” (a flatbread made from stoneground wholemeal flour) three to more times a day. The children have no sustainable access and resources for education. They get to learn from the visiting missionaries which classes are in an irregular occurrence which are usually conducted in a room that is not even conducive for learning.  The mothers who are in-charge of the whole house culturally have experienced the intensified burdens of the day-to-day demand for security of their husband and children and the stress being brought by the patrolling policemen. The fathers grow helpless due to unemployment and the lack of means to provide for their family. They are capable of doing things but the opportunity is little to none due to the issues of their documents or visas. Old people lack medical attention. They are not given adequate and proper care. For all of them, the access to medication and hospitalization dropped less to none. Only few missionaries would come to check on them, visit them when they get extra time, provide supplementary food when extra budgets are saved up or teach the kids when there is extra time on Sunday afternoon. Very few devote time or reach out to them when they needed it badly or maybe only few understand the real picture of their daily cross.

I heard one Pakistani mom’s cry of hopelessness during the Praise and worship and it bothered me. I cried out to the Lord for clearer message of why am I discerning their afflictions and He spoke to me.  He wanted them to know that He promised to never leave them nor forsake them especially in this most difficult struggle in which they are in. He wanted them to understand that He is true to His Words and promises. That as they suffer in the pursuit of their faith, the glory of the Lord will be more revealed to the nations.

In this present time, I praise the Lord for people and organisations, the individual churches, who tried their very best and stretch out their resources to give them a little to enough. I praise God for opening the eyes of the world for this kind of Christian battle, that at times like this, we can only find the genuine hope in surrender. There is freedom in surrender when we let God take lead of the battle.

Let’s continue to pray for these refugees and reach out to them in our simplest ways.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

signature


Romans 8:17
And if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ–if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him.