Sunday, 15 November 2015

When Laundry Morning Can Be Fun!

That one September weekday morning in Ghana, I woke up really early and was surprised by my team-mates.

Both husband and wife, Mark and Julie, were doing laundry the old-fashioned way.  It was such a pleasant surprise but I stood in awe.  Cooking and washing clothes are apparently not a 'male thing' to do, yes even in Ghana.  But what I saw was the love of a husband towards his wife.  Since they were both working people and have four children to look after, it was natural that the woman will shoulder most of the 'womanly' things to do.  

I am wondering right now - whoever categorized the 'manly' or 'womanly' things to do?  Let me get back to what I saw and thought when I saw my team-mates expressing mutual care and love for each other.  Truly, I went "Wow".  I was extremely pleased that I had a male team-mate, a brother who had no hang-ups about dirtying his hands in soapy water to co-wash dirty clothes with his beautiful wife.  That is such a great testimony of how Christian love can be exercised mutually in a marriage.

I was so surprised. I had never seen any man do laundry with his wife - the old-fashioned way.  Mind you, it can be back-breaking!
Throwing clothes into the washing machine doesn't count in my books.
I asked my dear brother, "Do you wash the clothes with your wife all the time?" And he replied, " Usually on weekends if there are many clothes to wash and I do not have other ministry appointments or meetings. But today, I see that she (the wife) has too many clothes to wash and she is tired too."

Ephesians 5: 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Such a small act of mutual love and respect between this couple goes a long way in their obedience to God's truths about marriage.

Can you clap and praise God for this couple?  I was grinning away at his reply and said to myself, "I need to blog this." And I am blogging with their permission too.

For the marrieds:  "A good marriage isn't something you find; it's something you make."
― Gary L. ThomasA Lifelong Love: What If Marriage Is about More Than Just Staying Together?

For the singles desiring to get married:  “Fix your eyes on Jesus and the plans he has for your life. Look ahead, and run after him with all your heart. Then look around. Whoever has kept up with you, marry that person.” 
― Debra FiletaTrue Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of your Life

Trivia:  Mark and Julie are also qualified marriage counselors.
Blessings of love and peace,

Sunday, 25 October 2015

30 Days In Singapore: 30 Blessings And More

This blog is way overdue, all because of my jet-setting ways.  I love my birth-nation Singapore and so I decided to count my blessings as I flew into this island-city.

In truth, I can count much more than 30 blessings for my month in Singapore.  Here are a few of God's blessings showered upon me while in Singapore a couple of months ago:

At first I did not want to return to Singapore as I was thinking of expenses.  Yes, airfare is easily in the region of US$2,000-2,500 per return ticket from Honduras to Singapore via USA.  I spent very little time to pray about this visit in Aug-Sep 2015 because technically, it was a no-brainer.  The main reason was to return to 'replace' my sister in caregiving to our parents.  I decided that I would trust God to provide the funds for my airfare and my stay in Singapore and proceeded to reserve my tickets 6-7 months before this visit.  And yes, I got my ticket at a very cheap rate!

I have had the best times with my parents and other family members.  It must be my longest stay in Singapore at my parents' home in the last 30 years! Needless to say, I handed over caregiving responsibilities as soon as my sister returned from her Europe holiday.

I also had the pleasure of visiting with a few elderly relatives in their late 70's and 80's.  They were surprised but very happy to meet with me.  One aunt actually prepared brunch for me.

I learnt that elderly people really need their children to need them too.  So, stay awhile and listen to their past stories, let them do things themselves so that they do not become too dependent on their children, don't give in to their occasional self-pity but encourage them to move on.  Younger children have the strength to encourage the elderly.  Patience is needed when dealing with forgetful elderly persons.  I found myself repeating the same responses or instructions often.
Most of all, as children or grandchildren, we need to honor our parents and grandparents respectively.

It was also good to meet one cousin who bought me the most expensive durians!  

But this Singapore visit ended with a family wedding and my parents welcoming a  grandson-in-law into our family.  We are now a total of 15 people in my family - a mixture of Chinese, Indian, German cultures coming together.  I love my family and the extended family members with whom I spent time.

For the first time, I realized that I had many Singaporean friends who loved me and took time to meet with me.  Some friends met me a few times, some could only meet me once, some I re-connected after 30+ years and some who wanted to meet but my schedule didn't allow for us to meet.
I love my friends! One of my best friends treated me to excellent Spanish cuisine and another to swims at her clubhouse.  Other friends coordinated ministry opportunities and blessed me to bless others with God's word.  My military buddies and I enjoyed laughter and good catch-ups over Japanese cuisine, local hawker food and medium-well steaks.  And I even got to meet my former principal of my school and exchange notes over Indonesian-Thai cuisine!
Yes, food is a big part of all my meet-ups.  A gal has to have her 3 meals a day in Food Paradise Singapore! It was too difficult to stick to my normal two meals a day plan!
My friends are busy, working people and so I appreciated every moment of our time together.  Thank God for giving us friends, and some who grow to become the best of friends.

Singapore Government
I am patriotic and I have been since I was a child.  So when the elections were announced, I started to read as much as possible about what made our government policies work, what didn't; why were some Singaporeans unhappy and what made people like me stand on the side of the current leadership.
Personally, I reflected and prayed a lot for my country during this time; pounding on Heaven's doors for a landslide victory for the ruling party.  I concluded for myself that I have enjoyed the fruits of the current ruling party's labor and I do like to support those who are honest.
Do I agree with every policy? No, I don't but with further thought on some policies that make some Singaporeans really angry, bitter and unforgiving of our ruling party, I concluded that our leaders have difficult decisions to make and they have to have the courage to make them.  Our leaders are not perfect and there will be times that they will make mistakes; in those times, Singaporeans need to stop behaving childishly and be mature enough to forgive our leaders.  We know how much we have benefitted as Singaporeans born in this nation.  We have enjoyed benefits from the time of our birth, unlike new citizens who have arrived from other nations.  

We have safety and peace which many countries would like to have.  Let us not take this for granted in current times.  God has given our nation a blanket of approval and abundance but let us not take it for granted or throw out this blanket with murmurings and groanings about our leaders, dissatisfaction with our already-good benefits and greed for more and more at the expense of our people.

I left Singapore with answered prayers and a satisfaction that our people are under good hands and God's grace.  My prayer is that our leaders will continue to love the people, operate in wisdom and integrity, show compassion and be humble and just.  May God bless them with unity for the sake of this small red dot on the World map in Jesus' Name.

I truly love my Singapore. 

Final thoughts
I do not own property and probably never will (never say never, I guess) because I cannot afford it.  I live 2-days' air travel away from this red dot on the World map.  I am a city-girl who served my nation for a few years in the defense forces but who now ministers in rough places. I am blessed with family and friends in an island city.  This islander belongs to the minority racial group but has enjoyed the religious freedom and education that has allowed for an international ministry.

Truly, I am blessed to be a Christian Singaporean who happens to be female.  God's blanket of approval and abundance covers me, I believe this in Jesus' Name.  Why don't you believe the same?


Sunday, 9 August 2015

Blessed Birthday Singapore! 50 Looks Good on You!

Today, my birth-nation Singapore turns a grand 50 and I am proud of her. I am thankful for the freedom to practice my faith. I am thankful for the education I have received. I am thankful that I was able to serve my country in the Defence Ministry. I am thankful that my parents have a home of their own. I am thankful that all my siblings have a job. I am thankful that this is where some of my family and friends met their spouses. I am thankful for the diversity of culture and races within the family and nation. I am thankful that true Singaporeans strive to remain harmonious.

I am thankful that this is where I met Christ. I am thankful that I have family and friends who continue to look out for me. 

I am living overseas but my eyes are on my birth-nation. If there was something I do not appreciate, I am not one to gripe on Facebook, I just write to the Prime Minister's Office about it but I think, "let's be constructive here and let's aways remain a blessing."
Singapore is made up of Singaporeans and those who have come from afar and truly made it home. Singaporeans are not perfect, neither are we No.1 all the time. But we do have a "can-do" mentality and we try to be creative in our solutions. For so many whom I miss especially today, God bless Singapore! God bless you, the Singaporean.
Happy 50th birthday!

Proverbs 14:  34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

blessings from an overseas Singaporean in Central America,


Thursday, 30 July 2015

Borrowed that Personal Guide to Fasting and Prayer

Why re-invent the wheel? 
I found a good link for guidance to fasting and prayer on the Campus Crusade website.  

The only thing I want emphasize is this:  Pray about the period, the type and the reason(s) for your fast before embarking on it.  Be sensitive to what God wants throughout the fast period.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Fasting that God has Chosen

So, how does fasting God's way look like?  I guess I could just say, "Oh, everything opposite to my previous blog" and leave it at that.  But I am not doing that.  So, let us see what God says in the Bible.

Isaiah 58:6 "Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. 11 And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.  12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.

13 "If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; 14 then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

1.  Fasting time is Freeing-time: Enjoy the Grace!
Wow, when I read the very first verse, I have a mental image of all chains breaking loose, and the power of freedom swooping on me.  I mean, God desires to free His children from any bondage or addiction that harms their being.  This should come as a relief to anything that might be oppressing a believer.  God's Word is the axe needed to chop away at the roots of wickedness and sin.

2.  Fasting time is Repentance-time: Reflect on God's love and mercy, and show compassion to others.
It is not a time to indulge in self.  Oh no..not the time to hoard on foodstuffs or clothes.  In fact, the prophet Isaiah being God's mouthpiece informs that we should show compassion to those in need.  Our time of repentance before God and reflection on His love and mercy towards us is a great impetus to show our love and compassion to those in need.  And for a start, they might just be our own family and friends.

3.  Fasting time is Delight-time: God's Presence + our faith in Him = Powerful, delightful, honorable blessings.
Okay, I need to hear that Hallelujah! at this juncture.  Seriously, what do you expect?  If fasting is done at the foot of the cross of Jesus, then surely God promises to exalt the humble (1 Peter 5:6).  Basically, if believers bow their head before the Lord Jesus, their head will be raised up amidst the gloom and darkness, amidst the wickedness and injustice, amidst oppression and depression.  Our heads will be raised up during the time of obedience.  
Not only that, God will guide His people with clarity, honor His children as we Rest in His Presence.  We would see the Light!  Don't even be surprised when prayers are answered and blessings overflow in our lives.

Plan to fast regularly, not feast daily.  And interestingly, the passage above does not speak of weight loss:-).  Fasting God's way affects our mind, heart and soul.

In Delight-time with God,

Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Fasting that is Not

A couple of days ago, a young lady asked me to explain about fasting.  How timely! I had just been reading Isaiah 58.
So this one is for you, young lady.  

Isaiah 58: 3b . . . Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. 4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?

For those of us who put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to understand the kind of fasting that pleases God.  What better way than to discover what does Not please Him.
Well, according to the verses above, the following stances definitely do not give God any pleasure:
1.  Seeking to gratify self during the period of fasting.
2.  Treating workers poorly or unfairly during the period of fasting.
3.  Engaging in quarrels, arguments and fist-fights.
4.  Being a "drama-mama" and pretending to be all serious and solemn during the period of fasting.   

Selfishness, injustice, dissension and hypocrisy have no place in our mind and heart during the period of fasting.

 To be continued. . . . 

Feeling hungry for God's Presence,

Friday, 10 July 2015

Reliable Service = One Thankful Customer

Some time ago, I was on the Hedman Alas bus from La Ceiba to San Pedro Sula in Honduras.  I booked a ticket on their Executive Plus section which has more leg space (and a snack meal) and sometimes they even play Christian worship songs in Spanish!  

Unfortunately, the bus which left punctually had some trouble about an hour into our ride.
Hedman Alas was prompt in serving their customers.  Thankfully, I did not have a flight to catch that day and so, I could do the Honduran thing - relax under the trees and wait for another bus to pick us all.

About two hours later, we got on a much smaller mini-bus and with legs close to my body, we continued our journey.  Now, I was thankful for the ride but I did not understand why I had to pay Excutive Plus price for that ride.  Or could it be that Singaporeans really expect much from others?  So, I gently asked if Hedman Alas could look into this discrepancy.

I am happy to report that after about 2 months, the bus company decided to offer me a ride on the same route.  The free ticket does help but I am thinking, "Thank God that they are reliable! I am one happy Promodias customer."  Personally, I like to see business serve their customers well.  Hedman Alas did not disappoint me this time.

If you travel often enough in Honduras across major cities, you can consider Hedman Alas and be a Promodias member.  Bus rides are slightly more expensive than the other local companies but Hedman Alas staff members are definitely more professional, reliable and usually punctual.  You can even deliver urgent documents and other approved items through them (station-to-station or city-to-city at a low cost).  

Oh by the way...Hedman Alas is not paying me to write this blog.  I am doing this because I think it's a reliable and safe bus service company.  And yes, I have travelled on other buses in Honduras but I still like Hedman Alas' service.  And I write again if it's not reliable or safe.  But for now, it works for me in Honduras.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men...


Saturday, 6 June 2015

It Is Not The Place; It Is The People Who Make It Home

I am glad to finally be back in Honduras.  It's home for me but unlike other places that I have visited from April-end May 2015, most people I know in Honduras are just acquaintances and perhaps, just a handful of new friends.  Friendships in a new nation takes time. Just before I left for my 6-week trip to Asia, an Honduran (new) friend bought me a single-cup tea set.  6 weeks later, I unwrapped it and use it.  This thoughtful gift has made me happy despite losing a loved one in recent days or when encountering ministry challenges.  Nothing like a cup of Earl Grey tea, and bible verses to soothe the soul and set some perspectives right.

Psalm 34: 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 23
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

It is unlike being in Singapore, my birth-nation that's turning a big 50 this August.  I have my parents, sisters, brother-in-law and nieces who hug and kiss as a form of "Glad to have you back".   My mum cooks all my favorite food and friends are mindful to treat me to meals that I have missed. All my closest friends who are extremely busy people make time to meet with me, even if to encourage, be encouraged and pray together.  We hug as we say our goodbyes.  

It is unlike Texas, my transit nation where immigration officers can be friendlier to visitors to USA.  It's only when I finally see the sometimes sleepy-eyed, wide smiling faces of the elderly Pages that I think I am home.  And thankfully, I have a few Texan friends who welcome me back with huge Texan hugs and some who treat me to huge Texan meals.  It's the Southern hospitality that shines and touches me.

It is unlike a small Middle East nation, one of my favorite Asian transit nation and destination. Again, I am home wherever there is some form of honor given to a guest.  And for some friends who treat me like family, it means that I am allowed to help make the family meals or wash the dishes.  

It is unlike another South-East Asian nation, where I suddenly found myself with new "brothers and sons, sisters and daughters".  I love the mutual respect we give each other.

It is unlike Ghana in West Africa, where staying with a family means I am invited to join their dawn prayer meetings daily and have special escort when I decide to walk around the neighborhood.  Caring for me takes on a new priority even when the heads of the family lead busy lives.

Home is not the place itself with its familiar furnishings but being with people who mutually care, encourage, love and honor you. Technically, home can be anywhere.

These earthly "homes" are really temporary, fleeting but precious moments in life.  I need a real home, a constant home and that home for me is in God.  When no one quite gets the direction I am taking, or fail to understand my offer of care or encouragements; when love, time and talents are taken for granted, or when honor is not given...what should I do?

Yes, running Home to God has always been the right action.  God is always good and faithful.  Hallelujah!

At home,


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

When Languages Collide ...Indospanglish!

My conversations these last few days and through another week might just go like this:

Conversation 1
Hotel Staff:  Ya, ibu.  How can I help you?

Me:  Si, I like to know the opening hours of your piscina?... I mean your swimming pool.

Hotel Staff:  It is open from 7am - 9pm.

Me:  oh...bagus sekali.  Por favor, jam berapa is the opening hours of the gym?

Hotel Staff:  Same time, ibu.

Me:  Terima Kasih.

Conversation 2
Me:  Disculpe, may I have your menu please?

Restaurant staff:  Ya, ibu.  Makan di sini atau room service?

Me: service.  I like to order the Ikan Gurame en chilli sauce con arroz...I mean with rice, Por favor.  And one soda water please.

Restaurant staff:  Okay, ibu.

Me:  Please goreng the fish well.  Gracias and my room number is, eight, three, nine; lapan, tiga, sembilan.

Conversation 3
Me: Por favor, could you bring the ironing board and iron?

Housekeeping staff:  Ya, ibu.  Anything else?

Me:  No, itu saja.  En berapa minutos?

Housekeeping staff:  huh?

Me:  When will you bring them?

Housekeeping staff: Dalam lima minit, ibu.

Me:  Gracias.

Dios le bendiga,

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Discovering Former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew Again!

22nd March 2015, I received a Whatsapp message from my sisters and cousins that Singapore's Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) has passed away!  Well, we were expecting it but it still shook me a little bit.  If I were in Singapore right now, I will join the millions waiting to pay their respects to a great leader.  But I am not in Singapore, though right now, my heart is among the millions who mourn for the nation's architect.
Photo by Reuters

In the last two days, I have read so many tributes from all over the world and have once again begun to discover more about this Singaporean in his death than when he was alive.  And what stands out above the rest is that LKY was a man of integrity.  He demanded honesty.  He refused bribes (  He was honest about loving his wife (, his children and the nation.  He was respected (  Did people fear him?  Well, he did haul people to the courts if they defamed him or their writings posed as threats to national survival.  What do you expect from someone who has dedicated his entire adult life to building a fishing village to a developed nation?  And yes, he did not single-handedly build this city-state, he did so with outstanding pioneers like him.

My sense of pride is not related to how LKY built this nation but more with how he remained honest in loving his wife, family and nation. He is not perfect, though a perfectionist, but he truly gave his life well for a great cause.  He was a great statesman.

I thank God that He chose this Peranakan boy to be the founding Prime Minister.  I thank God that even his adversaries cannot deny his integrity.  I thank God for the discipline he practiced and instilled in our nation.  
Rest in Peace, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

If only his death will continue to remind Singaporeans about hard, honest work; about racial harmony and unity, and about national security needed for economic progress, it is enough. Someone had to get out of his comfortable zone so that others could be more comfortable - that was LKY in Singapore.

But just remember that Christ got out of His comfortable zone in Heaven to become like man on earth, so that eternal death can be defeated, by His crucifixion and resurrection,for all who place their faith in Him alone.

Join us as we pray for Singapore, her allies and partners to continue to be led by leaders who ruthlessly demand for honesty and operate with integrity.  

Pray that God will be their Wisdom and Peace in Christ's Name.

With every blessings of Christ to my birth-nation, Singapore, to the LEE Family,
Rachel R (now in Honduras, Central America).

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Rest day pleasures

Sitting at my patio.  Having my breakfast of cheese sandwich and home-made mint/ Earl grey tea.
Listening to Messianic worship songs.  Watching the birds, bees and more than a dozen butterflies - salve to my eyes.  

The constant zooming of cars, buses and trucks do nothing to disturb the serenity.  There is a sense of peace.

Love walking around my garden just to check on them, plants and trees.

What can I say?  The song I am listening says it all, "My God, My King, Holy, Holy, Holy".

Thank you Jesus for this tranquility.

Have a peaceful day,

Friday, 13 February 2015

A Story in the Spanish Language.

My Spanish language teacher gave me a piece of homework the other day.  I had to create a story, just use my imagination.  Tough call.

After being immersed in reality for decades, how do I imagine a story? I guess, imagined stories may have bits and pieces of reality in them.  Anyway, I asked God to give me a creative mind.  And the verdict: my teacher liked my story.  I enjoyed writing it.
Naturally, there were grammatical errors to be corrected.

So, here's my little story in the beautiful Spanish language:

Era un magnífico día.  Salma, una mujer de Indonesia estaba de pie en la playa del hotel.  Su cabello volaba en el viento.  Pero su pensamiento estaba muy lejos.  Ella volvía a su hogar, en su pueblo pequeño en Bali.  Ella recordaría ese último día in Indonesia. La lluvia más fuerte para Bali fue registrada en ese fatídico día.  Su pueblo sucumbió ante las inundaciones.  Salma escapó subiéndose al techo. A ella no le importó todas las personas y las cosas a fin de que podía sobrevivir.  Ella se sentía egoísta y culpable.  

Por gracia de Dios é intervenciones, ella se mudó a América, se enamoró de un empresario Hondureño amable y se mudó a Ceiba.  Sintió que su vida tenía sentido completo pero su corazón deseaba estar con  su gente en Indonesia.

Parada en la Costa de Ceiba, Salma vió la tormenta levantarse.  Era tiempo de correr a su carro y volver a su casa, su lugar seguro.  Marcos esperaba por ella.  Este pensamiento la hizo sonreír.  Ella esperaba que la tormenta no dañara la comunidad de pesca.
Y si pasara, ella sabría que hacer para la comunidad.

Salma oró y corrió   a su carro cuando las cristalinas gotas de lluvia caían sobre ella.

Dios le bendiga,

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Who Says that Studying the Bible is Easy? Raise Your Hand, Please.

As the New Year begins, I am studying the epistle of Jude, a psalm and the story of Samson and Delilah in both English and Spanish.  And it is definitely not an easy task.  It's taken more time to get through this study.  The essentials are all there; still, after making a major word-error among friends in a casual setting, I thought that it would be to my advantage to study in both languages.  Well, everyone had a good laugh at my expense:-).  And then, to be even more accurate, I definitely need to refer to some Greek and Hebrew meanings of certain words as well.

Who says that studying the Bible is easy?

At the end of the day, I am the one who benefits tremendously from the insights and revelations guided by the Holy Spirit.  So, I gain some knowledge...and then, what?  I usually tell the pastors and leaders whom I have taught, "You have learned nothing until you learn to apply the truths to your life and relationships".  

And I need to do that myself first so that the truths of the Bible are first reflected in my life.  Imperfect me handling perfect truths can only be done with plenty of God's grace.

I thank God that I am recipient of this grace.  I pray that you are studying the Bible in His grace.

And check this link: Samson and the Philistines.

Waltzing through 2015 with Jesus,