Sunday, September 11, 2011

Prayer for our 2 YaYA missionaries

Dear YaYAs,

Last night, I  managed to talk to Shaun, and also got an update (which I posted below) and a personal email from Joyce. The two of them are coping well, and are clinging even closer to the Lord every day. Yes, EVERYDAY in their secret place with Jesus. It's an amazing faith building journey for both of them, as well as trying to understand cross cultural issues. Below are some prayer pointers, do continue to pray for them.

Shaun Ho
·       Pray against Mosquitoes
·       Praise God for seeing me through every day
·       Successful Launch of English Project (Every Wednesday)
·       Launch of Soccer Team (Next Wednesday, 14 September)
·       English Club
Joyce Goh
·       Thanksgiving for Joyce’s healing last week
·       Pray for Joyce’s ability to quickly pick up the Tetum language·       Pray for strength and wisdom
·       Pray for Joyce’s eyes being fixed upon Jesus.

Uncle Henry

Joyce: Summary of 1st Week update in Timor

It has been a week and I figured a weekly update might do a better job of what takes place on a typical week. Hereʼs the neighborhood that I live in - Bairro Pitte. (Bai-ro Pit-teh) and that is Li Shan in the picture. Yes, it is kampong lifestyle with loads of dust, slippers, walking and chicken, pigs and dogs strolling around. We wear a cap around if you donʼt intend to get a tanned mark of your spectacles on your face, for vanityʼs sake.

This week has been observation week for me, of what takes place on a typical week at Cocoon as a teacher (Iʼm more of a teacher aide right now lah). Getting from home to our workplace is a short walk away, about the distance of walking from Little India MRT to church:) We donʼt really get around out of the area quite often unless there are some errands to be made and we will take a short taxi ride out, each at about USD$1-1.50 per ride, which runs by distance and not by the meter.

Thanks to the weather and lifestyle here, I usually am awake by 7.45am and by 8, I am sitting on a chair, chilling out with Li Shan (who is my house mate) and eating our cereal breakfast and a hot drink together. This new habit that I have cultivated, really took a couple of days to sink in, but once you got it, it actually isnʼt such a bad idea to start of your day, unhurriedly.

The day begins at 9, apart from staff devotion on Monday mornings, staff training on Saturday mornings and church on Sunday mornings, I will have my 1.5 hours of private Tetun lessons with Zeze every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Lunch will be at nearby Warungs with every of the Cocoon teachers, at 11.30am and by 12.15am, everyone goes off for their time of Siesta. Unknown to us Singaporeans, it is the entire nationʼs culture here, that from 12-2pm, it is an official time of rest. Everyone heads back to their homes and literally, head home to rest,
shower or take a nap and life begins at 2pm again. SL, LS and me usually ends up heading home, feeding Blackie with our lunch leftovers and eating some oranges and chilling around before heading back to the library again. Classes starts at 3pm but the kids usually are in the library before that. Kids club falls on every Monday and Thursday. Tuesdays are when the kids just comes in to play some educational games on the computer. The pre-teens takes up the Wednesdays and Friday afternoons.

Kids club was fun being around, as the library will take a theme/ story for the entire month and for this month, it is the story of the lion and the mouse. A big book gets read in Tetun to all the kids seated on the floor and activities will be carried out thereafter. We made lion masks on Monday and I lent a hand in helping them cut out the lion masks, putting on the rubber bands and poking the eyes of the lion. I love the games they have to teach the children on the numbers and words of the week. It is called hop scotch and the teachers will call out the
words on the floor for the kids to identify where to hop next - explains why you see sheep, 10, 19, written on the floor, old school huh? :)

The 5-6.30pm slots will be taken up by the adults and it is done at a nearby primary school. For many who do not realize what lovely classrooms we have back at home, the chairs might fall away! That is Francs teaching the Module 1 lessons. They are a bunch of young adults that SL and LS has groomed, from being their students, to graduating to now, becoming on board as paid staff, teaching English to the community.

Wednesday night was awesome as we had our Singaporean team devotion, where SL shared her thoughts and we worshipped. I havenʼt touched the guitar since I reached till that night where we sat together and just sang “This is My Desire” and “Jesus Lover of My Soul”. Somehow, in a foreign place and when I start singing something in a familiar language and something that has Jesus in it, always brings a refreshing take. LS went on to sing for me some
worship songs in Bahasa Indonesia and Tetun that led on to us singing Kit Chanʼs “Home” in a foreign land, that had such a nice feel to it. We had our team prayer nights on Saturday. It is quite cool seeing how these Cocoon leads this entire project with such a holistic and wholesome feel to things.

Adjusting here hasnʼt been at all that bad apart from feeling sickly on Thursday as I took a day off to rest, but the first few nights were rough, not because I was thinking of home, but because of how the time before sleep is spent in your room, and since it is relatively quieter and darker on this side of earth, you actually make a choice of what to focus your thoughts on. I have started developing my favorite habit of digging into the word and journaling and that easily takes up at least 2 hours of my time before I head to bed. Journaling used to be out of a need to clear my thoughts but over here, it has been more than a need but a want and an enjoyment of writing.
Dinners are home cooked daily, which alternates between SL and LS. I added my touch on Friday and that is fried chye-sim (vegetables are extra fresh here, they whither by the end of the day) and black sauce-sesame oil with diced chicken and rice, so you get to see my face. It has made the mark and I brought a taste of Chwee-Chian down to Dili (with all the years of feeding on my momʼs cooked food).
Signing off with a picture taken with Pastor Dong and Susantha! Pastor Dong touched down
yesterday and is doing his typical runs and called to meet us out for coffee. I thought I took a picture to commemorate just how one year ago, I was merely contemplating doing some missions here and now, here I am :)

Keep the prayers coming, for sustained good health and His love and joy to keep flowing, as I meet the kids/youths, learn the language and spend my own time being with Him. Maromak forbenza ita hotu hotu. (God Bless You All)! Loves, Joyce.

Shaun: Summary of 1st month in Singburi
Hi friends!
I know, i know. I haven’t been blogging. But honestly, sometimes I reach home its already 8 or 9pm and all i want to do is read a good book, and sleep. Switching on my computer is a hassle as well so I only open it when I really want to sit down for an hour or so just to blog.

Anyway, I want to let you all know I’m well, but I am feeding mosquitoes every night. Sigh, the bites on my feet and legs is quite ugly but I am learning new ways to tackle the biting problem! Pray for me that the insects will give it a rest and leave me alone ok? Other than that, Singburi has been awesome. I almost feel like a country bumpkin also. My home (Thanpraporn church) is quite far from Singburi City (Yes same name as the province), so whenever me and Air go into the City, I get all excited and in the city my eyes open big big and when I see things like KFC. *rolls eyes* haha!

Another reason why I haven’t been blogging is that my Internet dongle didn’t have anymore $$$! So that meant another trip into the city! But I always enjoy it as I can always enjoy guitiao and beef noodles at my favourite shop!!!

 Pi Gek and Nong Gong, Singburi City Church members!
And yes from the title of this post, I HAVE BEEN IN SINGBURI FOR 1 MONTH ALREADY! Praise God really for seeing me through every single day and always giving me wisdom and discernment. I have preached 0 times in Singapore but since coming here I have already preached 3 times! Twice in Sawingha Church and once in my own church! And God has always been good. I’ve never been to bible school, and I have only been a BAG leader only recently but God has used all my sermons to touch the Thai Christians! God is good. Without him we REALLY can do NOTHING.
Recently life has been good. Its been pretty much the same so I wont be telling you what I have been doing everyday. Only those that I think stand out.

Wednesday English project
Just want to thank all who have been praying for the English project every Wednesday! It has really taken off well! Every week I meet the English teacher of the school and she will hand me my “assignment” and teaching materials for the next week, and its always a different class and different level. At first I wanted to just stick to one class so I asked her if it was possible, since it would be much easier to foster a closer bond with my students. But she said the other students notice that I am around and they also want me to teach them! Hahaha! Wow, felt so encouraged when I heard that! So every week our team will be rotating among all the different classes so that everyone would have a chance to be taught by us! And these are the things that missionaries can offer when they are here. Because there was never enough competent English teachers in Singburi, so Ps Engkiat can’t really expand into the schools to do anything long-term or substantial. But now that I am here, I can go in to teach English and also make friends with the students and advertise our church and our Saturday English service! Its really a foot in the door! Another thing that is happening is that next Wed we will start our soccer team registration! Saiyan will be the “Alex Fergie” while Air and myself will just assist! Pray that it will be a good turn-out!

My Pri 6 class. Their English is the best so far.

Thank God for sudden inspirations during class. I noticed there was a bored atmosphere then I just decided we should place a game to put what we learnt into practice. Gosh they loved it so much. :)

This is the treatment we get as teachers each week. Super hospitable.
I am very happy and very proud of the above photo. Finally, after 3 weeks in the school and advertising our English club, we FINALLY SEE FRUITS OF OUR LABOUR! These 3 girls are from the school that we teach at and they really came! I really feel so so happy. And 2nd best part, they also came for church on Sunday!

But after talking to Qihui about this one night, I also realised something. If we compare this same process with Ps Engkiat’s mission in Singburi for the last 10-15 years or so, we can really see how difficult and discouraging it can be to be a missionary. Already each week we advertise our English club and all the kids will always nod their heads eagerly and promise me to come. But they never do.

Imagine how difficult it must have been for Ps Engkiat all these years. And if I do recall correctly, his first year in Singburi had ZERO converts! It can be very demoralising and discouraging but missionaries need to trust in God, be patient and just keep working the ground. The fruits will come!

Ok friends I’m going off now. I promise I will make it a point to blog each week. If I don’t, please forgive me! Can be quite tiring! But it is easier for me to update via twitter and facebook. Again, please add me at From my phone is so simple to just take a snapshot and shoot it to Facebook or Twitter. So that will be where most of my updates will come from! Cheers and Good night!

- Chawn (My Thai name) :)


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