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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Birthday Boy!

It would be nice to be back in Singapore where it's the 29th of July 2014.
       
A photo taken 4 years ago with Pa


It's my Appa's  (father's) birthday.  Happy birthday, Pa!!  It's going to be a great day!!

One thing I know of my Appa is that he worked hard to put my sisters and I through school.  He would pack an egg sandwich everyday to save some money.  He liked to play carom but he doesn't do that now.  He was a footballer and body-builder in his very much younger days.  Guess our liking for sports comes from Pa. And if there is one person who is current with the news, it's got to be Pa. He still reads the local newspapers from page to page, every morning.  And guess my sisters and I got our reading habit from him.

Here's cheering Appa on towards another year of blessedness.

Loving Appa together with my sisters,
Rachel





              



Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Not too Heavy to Carry


In Africa, the little ones are not too heavy.  The other little ones carry their brother or sister.  I have witnessed the other little ones carry their sibling for more than four hours on their little back.  And when the other little ones are given some food, I saw them untie the piece of cloth that secures the toddler to their back, put the toddler down and feed them first before eating what was given to them.  

The beauty of this whole scene is that the other little ones carry their sibling without any complaints.

I was also attracted to the eyes of the other little ones.  What were they trying to say?  Do they know their own worth as a little person, as a child of God?  

  Do we do that for our brother or sister?  Do we do this within the Christian community?  Who would you carry today?


Psalm 119: 73 Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. 74 Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word. 

I am thankful that Jesus carries me through good and bad times.  I am thankful that a Compassionate God always sends a friend to encourage, comfort or counsel during tough times.  I pray that God will use you and me to do the same for another person today.  God's Word is powerful, so may our encouragements, comfort and counsel be based on this Truth.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Dawn Meetings as a Lifestyle, anyone?

 My homestay with my 'family' in Ghana was an interesting experience.  I had my own room but my host family shared their entire family with me.  One Sunday night, my host and brother-in-Christ Mark invited me to his care group's dawn meeting the following day.    This was just the beginning of my morning enjoyment of worship, prayer and being blessed with the Word with other Ghanaians.
Just before light, we sit around
our minds stayed on Christ
our hearts filled with love
for a God whose mercies are new
each moment, each day.

As light breaks we remember the dawn just passed
and know the God in whom our faith lasts.
We remain blessed so that others, we may bless!

I was so privileged to be invited trice to exhort this family and friends.  They met faithfully at 5am from Mondays - Thursdays.  They met to dedicate their life and deeds for the day to God Almighty.  They met to pray for each other.
They called themselves the Generals:-) - they were leaders and upcoming leaders in their Church.  They were concerned about living a righteous life in Christ.
I was privileged to join them.  God is so good!








Psalm 119: 57 The LORD is my portion; I promise to keep your words. 58 I entreat your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. 

150 Steps

I climbed those 150 steps just by a vineyard in Switzerland.  They were quite the climb for me.  I huffed and puffed my way up.  Terribly unfit but very determined.  My mind focused on the attributes of a great God - Sovereign, Omniscient, Good, Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Divine (SO GOOD).  A missionary friend had taught me that a long time ago.  And God is so much more but it's a good start to reflect on His attributes.



I stopped halfway and turned around to look at Lake Zurich.  Calm.  Beautiful.  God creates beautifully. I stopped to praise God for His amazing creation.  Blue sky.  Green all around.  Blue-green lake.

Huff.  Puff.  Huff.  Puff.  I was tempted to hold the railings for support.  But no!  I can do this and under my breath, I ask God, " More strength, Lord".  I started thinking about my friends in Finland who were engaged in various negotiations related to their house.  "Lord, please make it all right for this couple who love you much.  Intervene, O God".

Just the last bit now.  No, I am not leaning onto those railings for support.  Oh yes, I made it to the top.  "Thank you Jesus for your strength".

I turn left and walk on....praising God.


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Reading Club

I walked into the primary school among the urban poor in Ghana and immediately saw the needs.  There are needs everywhere in Africa.  It seems endless.  It is a known fact.

I discovered that the teacher-student ratio is 1:56.  Students in the upper primary classes can be over-aged because they came to school at a late age.  In one class, at least 10 students have been identified as needing help with reading, understanding and writing in the English language.  There are 30 more in the upper primary classes.

Education in this community is not seen as an important priority due to the families' social condition.  The students return home, not to do homework but, to look after their siblings or help their parents to earn money.  Most parents do not attend PTA meetings as they are busy with their chores.


There is hope.  My ministry launched The Reading Club on 9 July 2014.  Twenty-seven students joined us.  I am thankful for our volunteer facilitators, the partnerships of Call of Hope Ghana, Children of the Light, Hope Baptist Church and Manhean Primary School.  Together, we hope to help these students.

If you like to help support The Reading Club, please email me at faithablaze.execdir@gmail.com .

Blessings of peace,
Rachel

Ps/- do visit www.facebook.com/FaithAblazeInternationalMinistries/