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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:

Family
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.

Friends
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?

Blessings,
Rachel