Friday, March 20, 2009

Celebrating Last Year Christmas With New Friends

I should have write this entry last Christmas but I have been so busy lately so I neglected to write this story.

Richard, me and our church friends went to Bakti Luhur, at Wisma Tropodo blok N-22 in Surabaya before Christmas. Actually, that day event was just one tiny part of the big Christmas activity that our church had for everybody ( member and non-member ) who have the heart to spread His love to other people. Practice what we've learned so to speak.

Action always speaks louder than words, am I right? So now it's the perfect time for all of us to show our love for other people.

It is always easier to just donate some money and then we feel that we have done the world a huge favor.

Well, what the church has proposed for all of us is a challenge that not only we should be grateful that we CAN donate ( money, clothing, food, toiletries, books, toys, etc ) but we should do more than just gave material thing. We should sacrifice our times, our energy, our talent, our heart, for others who can NOT give anything in return.

Everybody are welcome to join in. Love is always universal language. And love is always welcomed.

People start to sign up for these events. They can choose which events or activities they want to join in, what day, what time also. Believe it or not, some events have to be closed early due to overwhelming amount of people who wanted to join that events. Orphanages are always the big hit with people.

I do not remember anymore how many orphanages are open for us to visit. They are just too many. And that had not include other important places too such as nursing homes, homeless, jails, hospitals, etc.

I chose to go to Bakti Luhur with my cell group friends. Bakti Luhur is a place for orphans, elderly, and people that need special care.

When we arrived in Bakti Luhur, we were assign different areas. Mine happens to be the children and some adults area. I am confuse too why there are some adults mixed with the orphans.Like always, I am the photographer of the night.

The MC who entertained the children was my very very good friend Lely. She was awesome! She entertained those children and adults and the nurses too singlehandedly. I guess because really not many people can be so charmingly sing and dance like her. Most of us will be like me, absolutely clumsy in front of so many audience.

After a period of dancing, joking, and singing, we entered praying time and we also read bible too. Again all done by Mrs. Lely Sarwono, hahaha. Who dares to stand next to her and try to be like here, she is just too good!

But when it's time to pray for these children and the adults too, all of us from the cell group go down and find a person who will want us to pray for them. It turn out everybody need a prayer. Well, who doesn't right?

So we prayed for them, bless them, hugged them, and just love them.

Then we distributed the food , drinks and the toys too. And then we hand fed them one by one.

This event started 2 years ago with a smashing success. The people who went 2 years ago begged the church to do it again this last Christmas. Yayasan Sentuhan Kasih was founded on 2008 Christmas time because of the overwhelming request from the church members who are so thirsty to spread the love of Jesus Christ to other people. So if you are interested, you are more than welcome to join us for Christmas 2009 !

Pic: Isn't she beautiful?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Let's Do More Good Work!

Since I join Gereja Mawar Sharon, I keep on learning a lot all about who God is, what is His plan for my life, and so much more. I realize this is going to be a long journey of learning, but that is what makes this is great because that would mean my life will never stay the same and boring and stale because my God is a creative God. He created the whole universe, didn't he?

Another thing that I learn is that doing good work is really good for my soul. Or anybody souls in that matter. Why is it feel so good? It's because you do something that God wants you to do to begin with. Or in other word, you were created for this. So no wonder it feels so good.

We also makes sure that all the glory should be for the Lord

Today agenda started because my good friend Fadjar met her old friend. Both their children had leukimia but now they are both cancer free. This lady invited Fadjar to come and visit the children cancer section in the General hospital.

Pic: Fadjar standing with the doctor.

Our church, Mawar Sharon, recently just launched a Yayasan Sentuhan Kasih, it's a non-profit organization, or a foundation that is separate financially from the church's body and is dedicated solely to help people in need all around Indonesia.

So Fadjar contacted the head of the Yayasan Sentuhan Kasih if they can help her bring some little gifts to the hospital. It turned out to be the Yayasan Sentuhan Kasih helped her even more. Not only they help to give gifts for the children and the parents too, then send 38 people to minister to the children and their parents, also to entertained them too with a puppet show , singing, and a balloon show.

Fadjar not only help initiate this event but she also help providing the nice towels with the embroidery for the children. She told me her testimony how God helped introducing her to a towel maker who sold her those towel with really low price. God also introduced her to a person who has a printing company and this person donated all the free coloring books. As long as you keep at it, and not giving up, and you have the right heart to please God, He will help you. Just like He has helped Fadjar too.

It was a happy day to go to the General Hospital. First we got together in the church to received briefing from the leader of the Yayasan Sentuhan Kasih, brother Liang. He gave us the basic on what we should do and what we can not do in the hospital. He also divided us into several teams so that each of us can minister to the children efficiently. Then we leaved to the hospital in our separate cars to meet again in the hospital.

When we arrived in the general hospital, we directly follow our team leader. Like usual, I got the job as the photographer. I am not sure how I should get myself prepare for this job though because this is totally new to me.

This is also something that I only recently learned. When I let God to lead me, I ended up having fun while working for Him. Now I understand what it means when God said:

"For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Matthew 11:30

He never meant for us to carry everything by ourselves ... and actually most of the time we make ourselves carry burden that is not ours to bear anyway.

I am learning something new everyday in my journey with God. Why? First because that's what He wants for me to do. Second, I asked Him to mold me and teach me His way everyday. Just ask, and He will give. Pay attention that I am not asking for riches here.

So now that we arrived. The men in our group start to carry the gifts for the children and their parents. Look at the photo below, they are all smiling and happy and excited to bear those burden. Another proof that when we are doing God's will, we will be happy. Inside His plan, we will be happy and content.

Actually I am not in entertainment team, but since my own team is not ready yet so I start taking pictures of my friend who was busy performing puppet show for the children. Look at the children reaction, they are so happy!

But off course there are some children that are too sick to be excited with my friend's performance. We can only pray in our heart for their recovery.

Then after a short while I have to go to the children rooms with my team. While my friend conversed with the children parents and the children themselves. I walked around to shot some photos. Too be honest I am not comfortable to take their close up. I brought 2 lenses, one is for long distance and the other has the zoom fixed, but it's great for indoor. I don't need to use flashlight because the aperture is only 1.8. Great for time like this. But I don't want just to be a photographer. Because we are forbidden by our leader to pray for them openly unless they request us to pray for them. We can only pray in our heart. All the while we were hopping that one of these family will ask us to pray for the child.

Again like I said, as long as our heart is willing, God will open the ways. One of my friend just said to me less than 2 minutes that he really really wish that one of these family will ask him to pray for their child, when we entered the next room suddenly the mother of this baby asked my friend if he did not mind to pray for that baby. Both me and my friend were surprise that God can "open the ways" so quickly, but we gladly pray for the baby. I joined the prayer right after I shot the photo below.

For every parent who have asked us to pray for their children, we thanked them so much because we know that in this General Hospital, most of the people have a different religion than ours. They have no idea how happy they have made us when they asked us to pray for them.

So that's why, if God suddenly give you a chance to do something good. Take it! So, come on, lets do more good work in where ever you are !

There are always people who need your help, remember that !!!

God's Power Festival 11 in Taipei, Taiwan on Feb 6-7, 2009

A year has passed since FKA 9 ( Festival Kuasa Allah ) that is translated in English into God's Power Festival 9 in Taipei and now we are back again in Taipei for God's Power Festival 11. This time the number of people who went with Ps. Philip Mantofa is less. Last year was 60 and this year is below 30, but that doesn't lessen the joy of serving HIM !

Most of our friends arrived on the Feb 5th, but we arrived on the Jan 29th and on the Feb 3rd, our bothers and sister in Christ, Lely, Adrian ( her hubby ), and Rudy arrived in Taipei. All of them slept in Richard's home. This time, it is going to be much more fun than last year for sure. Last year we just got to know each other only.

I have to say that even though our number is less than 30, but our enthusiast on working for His Work is not lessen. From our number, we split ourselves into several prayer group that later would be assign into certain time slot. Then all of us take turn to pray. Some of us even join several prayer group so they can pray for more hours than the rest.

Since the five of us were the only one that did not stay in that hotel with the rest of the group, they assigned us for the last time slot. This is a new experience for me too. This is fun! I enjoy this small group praying time with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The first night of the crusade, there was a time when I was worried that there will be too many unoccupied seats but 20 minutes after we started the crusade all of a sudden those seats are filled.

God really works in amazing way. And to be here to witness Him working is truly an honor that we all feel.

On the first night of the crusade I was assigned a job as, hmmm.... what else, a photographer. Adrian was the one who assigned me this job. He gave me a special badge that would give me the freedom to move around the room. On the other hand, his wife, Lely, did not agree that I should spent my time to be a photographer. She would rather have me be a part of the prayer team. Well, since Adrian asked me first so I accepted his job offer.

Well.... who knows that in Taiwan, it seems that the male or females officials just could not believe that I am one of the Indonesian photographers. So everywhere I go they keep telling me to stop taking pictures. Even after I showed them my badge they still gave me a hard time. On the other hand, they never stop male photographers even the illegal one who take pictures with their handphones. This is just so sexist of them.

So on the second night, I throw in my badge back to Adrian. I told him I quit. Now I want to try to be one of the prayer people. This is my first time also so I was still reluctant to do it alone. I joined my other girlfriends. We made a team of 5 people.

Now I am going to share what I learn as a first timer prayer team member.

The first lesson I got was... as long as we have the right heart or the strong desire to serve the Lord, He will always open the ways for us to serve.

So here we are, 5 girls who barely can speak Mandarin. To do healing prayer, first we have to ask the person or their accompanying family member about what is their sickness. Then to do exorcism, we have to know what kind of spirit(s) that person may have then we have to tell it/them to get out. Both of these procedures will require us to be able to speak Mandarin yet none of us are that fluent in Mandarin. But God is good. If we can not speak Mandarin to them, God can send Indonesian immigrants for us to serve. Yes, somehow, we got Indonesian people only. Out of maybe around 10.000 people somehow God gave us 5 Indonesian families ! How amazing was that? So if you have a strong desire to be used by Him, and to serve Him, don't worry, keep on believing that He will open the ways one day. Just don't give up hope yet.

The first person who prayed to was an old grandma. She is from Pontianak. Even though she is Indonesian, but she is more comfortable to speak Hakka dialect. Now she lives with her daughter who married a Taiwanese and already has a baby. The grandma was a soy bean milk seller. Several years ago, she had an accident with her soy bean milk cart. First she fell off then the cart crushed her left knee and lower leg. I believe the cart broke her knee, but because she is scared, she never wants to do a surgery on her knee and leg, even though the doctor recommended her to do that. So in the past several years, she barely can walk. She can only walk 2 meters then stop then walk another 2 meters again. She constantly in pain. There is not a single day that she didn't have to take pain killer pills. She also said that every day she always cried in pain.

After we pray together, she said she no longer feel any pain! All of us were so happy to hear that. so we brought her to the doctor for medical check up. On healing crusade like this, there will be some doctors stand by to verify if a person is 100% healed or not. After making her do some exercise movement such as walk, stand up-kneel down-stand up, lifting her leg here and there, the doctor said that yes, this grandma is now free from any pain. But the doctor said, the grandma still walk with a noticeable limp. Because she never get a proper medical treatment on her leg, now the leg bone become shorter. The damaged leg is about 3 cm shorter than the healthy leg.

So we brought her back to sit. 2 of my friends are supporting her legs with their hands. Then 2 other hold her hands, and I hug her from behind. We all prayed so that God makes her two legs go back to the same length again. Really, you know, it only takes God a few seconds to work and with my own two eyes I saw that her short leg suddenly slowly growing lengthening itself to match the length of her healthy leg !!! I thought my eyes play tricks on me !!! While I stared at that miracles, my 2 friends who were holding her legs up started to cry too because they said, they can feel the leg grow and it's like "crack...crack...crack..." like that! The grandma herself said she suddenly feel a deep cold on her damage leg. After that we asked her to stand up and walk.

With our own eyes, we saw her walking tall and straight, without any limp at all. The grandma was as surprise as us. At first she walk slowly but then because she started to realize more and more that not only she is now pain free, but her damaged leg is now totally healed and it was the same length as before. Then she start walking faster and faster and then she started to jump around. Then she stop and she cover her eyes and started crying and praising God.

How awesome is that to witness this yourself?

Beside this grandma, we also prayed for a lady ( an Indonesian again ) who was abused by her husband who now left her with her baby boy who can never stop crying. It really broke my heart. She said, the people around her keep telling her that it is all the baby's fault. The baby who brought the bad luck that makes her husband stop loving her and now ran away. Those same people did not say anything about the husband habit to cheat before the baby even born. So now the baby was born rejected. The mother is under a lot of stress and she is also under the depression. Weird thing is, even though she can hate her baby so much and she wants to kill the baby ( then suicide herself ) she said she still loves her cheating abusive husband and she still wants him back. I feel drained after prying for her and her baby. We did exorcism with her. But we all think she will need a longer counseling. I hope she will get it from someone from Taiwan church.

We also prayed for an old couple and a young couple. Both couple need to forgive their spouse in order for God to heal them completely.

Then there is another case with a child about 10 years of age. When his mom was 6 months pregnant, the doctor told her that there is a big chance that the baby she carried will be born prematurely. So her husband brought her to temple. Over there the people in the temple made her drank a piece of spell paper that was burned and then mixed in the water. They told her that would help her keep the baby. Yes, the baby was not born prematurely, but when the child born with down syndrome. The mother said that this child always angry and always hitting her and her husband.

We told them that God wants them to ask forgiveness from that child because they drank the spell paper. After we prayed for forgiveness from the child and from God. Suddenly that child just hugged and kissed both of his parents for a long time.

God is good.

There is an extra story too, while I knelled down to pray for this boy, suddenly someone knelled right next to me. I looked at that person and I thought, wow, Taiwanese prayer team member really knows how to dress up so fashionably. Later, that man asked me about that boy in Mandarin. My Mandarin is so bad so I have a hard times to explain it to him. All of a sudden R showed up and then he told that man that I am his wife and he better of talking to me in English. That man directly switched to English and right away I know that he is a native speaker. Then when we both shake hands to introduce ourselves, he said his name is Vanness Wu. My husband explained to me that Vanness Wu is one of the boy band member F4. Good for him now that he is involve with God's ministry ! Vanness Wu is not the only celebrity that we saw in God's Power Festival 11 and even God's Power Festival 9, last year in Taiwan. Vanness Wu and other celebrities will be coming also for the Asian For Jesus Conference in May, 2009.

More photo shots of Taipei, Taiwan: