Saturday, April 04, 2009

Shanghai Throught My Camera

Mind you though, my husband was worry that I will be too tired carrying my Nikon so he told me to only bring my small Sony camera. There are many times when I regret not to bring my Nikon, such as when we go to the Shanghai Museum, it's dark inside and we can not use flash light, this is the moment when I miss my Nikon.....(sigh). But since I only have Sony I have to make do with it somehow. Some of these photos have to be edited heavily so they can be more presentable. So let me present it to you my Shanghai photo collection ....

Pic: Chinese paint brush that I saw .

Pic : Instead of billboard, this is advertising boat !

Pic : This photo is my favorite shot of Richard in Shanghai.

Pic : I was attracted to take a picture of that cat on the roof.

Pic : Next year, 2010, Shanghai will have a huge Expo, and that blue statue is the symbol.

Pic : View from my hotel window.

Pic: This area is full with wholesaler Fashion seller. Talk about drop dead on your feet when shopping ! This place is too big ! After 2 malls , I gave up.

IF you want to read more about Chinese cuisine and to see the food photos, you can click HERE.

Friday, April 03, 2009

My Amazing God

Just like everybody else, I prayed to God so that He may use me more in amazing way because I want to know Him more and please Him more. In the past few weeks I have learned few new things about how He works. I have learned that when we want to do good things, He will open the ways so we CAN DO those good things. I have learned also that just because you can not 100 % comprehend your own request to Him, but when you say your declaration out loud to Him. He will take your words as if you really mean it. Let me rephrase that words to make what I mean more clearly.

God said that He wants to use people with "the right heart" to serve Him. I found that the "right heart" doesn't mean "the perfect performance". People with the right heart are people that even though they still makes mistakes everyday, but their hearts never stop wanting to love God more, to be better, to serve Him more, to sin less, everyday ! God knows how imperfect we are. He knows our weaknesses . He doesn't care much about our performances, our achievements, our talents, our gifts. What He cares the most is weather we have the right heart to serve Him or not.
People with "the right heart" can still make mistakes everyday, they may sin everyday, they may still get angry, but after that, they will asked God to forgive them and repent and then they will try harder to be better the next day.

I learn about the meaning to have the right heart only now.

I know that I am still full of mistakes, I sin on daily basis even though after that I regret it very much and I will pray to God that He may forgive me once again. But I have never stop wanting to be a better child , to serve Him more, to be used more by Him, etc. I made that pledge so many times without truly understanding on how He will use me more for His works. My thought was I will spend more time in ministry. Go here and there with my church friends, you know, be more active in church activities. Start helping out more with altar calls. Something like that.

Overall I have never thought that it will be like this ....

On March 27, we went to see our first supplier in Chongsan. We took a ferry from HK airport to there. Days before we even go, I have this strong feeling that I have a job to do there that has nothing to do with our business trip and it is the most important thing that I have to do. But I have no idea what that is. How can I prepare for a job that I don't even know, but I keep on having a strong feeling that the only way I can prepare myself for this job or assignment, is by making myself closer to God. Read bible more, pray more, but don't know what to pray exactly. It's a weird feeling. Because of this strong feeling, when I packed my stuff, I also packed my anointing oil that my mom gave me from Israel. I have no idea why I felt the urge to bring it with me.

Our supplier, Mr. M, is also a Christian. Even the story on how we got to know each other is already a miracle.

My husband one day told me that he felt strongly that God wants him to open a company that sells energy saving products. Solar products, wind power products, thing like that. When I heard that I thought he is having a delusion because we both do not have the back ground on that. Our current company has no connection what so ever with a technological company like that. We are on servicing industry.

In the next 6 months or more, my husband had been trying with his own strength to contact any suppliers that he found from the internet. He contacted so many of them by phone, by fax, by emails, by sms, by letters, yet not a single one of them replied. Needless to say, he got very depressed and disappointed, but he did not want to give up. From my point of view, this become a proof for me that the vision is not from God.

One day, our Pastor suddenly received 13 Taiwanese businessmen. So he called my husband to come over to his home to help him with His guests. When my husband made small talks with one of the businessman, that man asked why R lived in Surabaya. So my husband explained that his wife is from Surabaya, and now he works in his father in law company while teaching in the universities too and he plan to open a company of his own. Originally because not a single one of companies that he contact ever replied, my husband wants to start to open a computer store because this is closer to his area, but when R opened his mouth to say " computer store ", he felt there was a hand that punch his stomach that knocked out his breath and when he open his mouth to let the air out, what came out was "solar".

The man he talked to was suddenly very interested with R. He told my husband that one of his friend that come with him ( Mr. M ) to Surabaya was told by God to go to Surabaya to look for his distributor that will help sell his solar products.

To make the story short, we met Mr. M in Shangri-la Hotel, my husband had a discussion with him and at first he will only sell his products to us but he can not promise a distributorship to us yet because he needed more confirmation from God about us. Understandable off course.

Since then, God keep on helping us to get more suppliers. Even more amazing, they all insist for us to be their distributors even though we keep rejecting their offers because we got scared too. When we told them we can not order one container because we can only order samples, they still wants us to be their distributor even though most of them have been contacted by more rich Indonesian businessmen from Jakarta first. When we told them we can not sign the distributor agreement because there are clauses that we can not do , like predicting how many sales we can do in a year etc, basically the boss himself ripped the old agreement, then he drew a new one according to our request which is like almost can not be called a distributor contract because it is so loose. Most of them directly said that they will sent every request from South-East Asia to buy from us.

God is just so amazing!

Not only we get distributorship for free with a very loose contract, those supplier becomes our friends too. Everything just came together in such miraculous way.

Because it's all started with God sent the first and most important supplier direct to us, now we both know that this is a vision from God. He did it on purpose. Just imagine if R could find suppliers on his own before we finally met Mr. M. We will never know that this vision is from God. I would have thought that it's all because of R's hard works paid off. There is another story on why God did this to us too.

When I was 8, I made a request to God that I want Him to force His will on me even though I know that I may not like it, It maybe painful because it is against my will, but deep down I know I will be better off this way then I get what I want but it is bad for me. It is better to get what He wants to give to me only. Since then my life has never been the same. In my life I never have many choices like most people. I hate it before but now I know it is a blessing. Too many choices can confuse me and lead me to the wrong way. It is better this way, more simple and safer too.

Knowing that this agreement is still in effect, I made another agreement with Him that if He started this whole thing about opening a technology and energy company then He has to help us to finish it too. I want only suppliers from Him. I want only employees from Him. I want only location from Him. I want interior designer from Him. Everything has to be done His way, not ours.

After we have our first supplier, I started to look for a location. Because I relied completely God made our landlord has no choice but to rent their place to us ( this is another story but i don't have time to tell you ). Then when I asked for an interior designer, I got it too from Him. Then when for a long time I couldn't make myself place an ad on newspaper to look for an employee ( I felt I should not do that ), then I made a request to God , " God, if all my life you leave me with no other choice but Your choice, then You can surely sent me an employee directly in front of my door without I have to place an ad first . You know that now is the time Lord, thank you, in Jesus name , Amen "

Guess what?

Someone did come to my front door, to be exact to my dining table. My own cousin's husband who happen to live next door. He graduated from University of British Columbia, he is very smart and he happens to have experience in areas that we will need him for like building website. maintaining it, answering questions, and later more technical matters too. He is more than capable to do this and he seems to be interested with this job too. He said he knew that if he wants to look for a job in here , he will wants to work for a company like ours. I guess God put that desire in him, huh?

So knowing that we finally get our first employee, we left to China. And like I said that I had this strong feeling that in China I will do God's works I felt so excited with the possibilities. Mr. M already mention earlier that later he will asked R to testify on how we met. So I thought R would do most of the talking. But God has different plan.

The first day we arrived, Mr. M treat us dinner at a Korean restaurant. While we ate, we share a lot of stories about God and family. This is the first time that Mr. M get to know me personally, before he only communicate with R. Never with me, even though he can speak English just fine.

While R and him talked, I felt the urge to get my hand phone and to read the bible in the middle of eating great Korean food. I have no idea which bible verses that I should read so I just pressed randomly on my phone. After reading it quickly I knew I received a message from Him but I do not yet know who is it for. So I just keep it quiet first and I continue eating and talking.

The next morning, I went to re-read the bible verse that I got in the restaurant again. But instead I felt I need to read something else first. I get another message, it is about don't be scared with the current circumstances, look to God, He will keep you safe. I had a feeling that I will be asked to speak soon in the factory. I was right.

When we were in Mr. M's factory, after business discussion, he asked R to testify first, then suddenly he turned to me and asked me to answers some of his Christian employees question. I was very surprised and I only had time to pray quickly to God to anointed my mouth so that what ever comes out from it will only His words and not mine. Then when I open my mouth , the Holy Spirit just took over. Without feeling nervous, scared, I started to tell them about how God's works. I spoke with the authority that definitely not from me. I knew then that I am just a mouthpiece. I am being used for His works in amazing way. Not by my own power but by His power only. It was awesome ! What ever I said just match right on with the bible verse that I received that morning in my hotel room. Without preparation, I was able to speak so well, in a way that they can easily absorb and it was so well organized that I can bring the preaching into a point that God wants to tell them and then I ended it right there because I already prayed that let it be only His words and not mine. I don't want my ego to interfere. As you can tell, I am only a simple person. I have no experience on speech. I have never been to a bible school. I am not even a very smart or gifted person. But I do have the "right heart".

From the factory, Mr. M brought us to see his supplier who happen to be a Taiwanese and a Christian also. We drove 2 hrs to Shenchen to meet him. While the men talked, I just sat there quietly. After that we went back to Chongsan. On the way back, suddenly again, I felt I need to read my bible on the phone. It was still on the same page that I left it on when we were in that Korean restaurant. I felt I need to give this message to someone right now. I knew right away that it was not for us, I knew also it was not for Mr. M. I feel that it is for that man we just met back in Shenchen, but I don't know anything about him since they always spoke in Mandarin. A language that I am not good at. So I asked R to tell me about that man. Then I asked Mr. M. The more I knew the more I am convinced that the message is for that man. So I gave it to Mr. M to delivered it to him. I realized that God doesn't want me to tell that man myself because can you imagine how will he take it? A girl he just met dare to lecture him on his own factory? Do you think he can accept the message from God gracefully if I deliver the message like that? That's why God let me give it to Mr. M because I found out later, Mr. M is his spiritual father. After hearing the message, Mr. M also confirmed that the message is definitely for that man. I am not going to say it here because that is his private matter.

By afternoon I was so exhausted because I have not sleep well for 2 days. Mr. M suddenly wanted to bring us to have a massage ! God is good, I had 3 hours of a great massage without it I don't think I can do what I am going to do next !

What happens next was, Mr. M brought me to his employee's underground church gathering. He did warned me that he wants us to speak and again I thought I will be just a background speaker. But again, God has a different plan for me.

Since we have a very busy day there is no way I have time to prepare for a preach. So when Mr. M finished his preaching, he preached that if we rely our strength on God then we will be like an eagle fly high on the sky. Then suddenly he turned to me and invited me to speak. Just like in the morning, I only had time to quickly pray for God to anoint me to speak so that the words that comes out from my mouth will only be His words and not mine. Then I walked to the front, faced my audiences, I opened my mouth and God took over again.

God's message this time is about we should involved God not only for big thing but also for small things too. But first to start, I felt to make the point more clear God wanted me to threw my self on the floor, facing down, with my nose pressed on the floor, God started to preach. This is what God wants all of us to do, to surrender completely to Him, to be shameless in begging for His help, to humble ourselves completely in front of Him. Then when He saw his beloved child in that position, how can He refused any request we made? That is exactly what I do when my circumstances has overwhelm me so much that I have no more strength to even sing praises to Him. I will just throw myself flat on the floor in front of Him and just cried my heart out to Him , begging shamelessly for Him to help me, to surrender myself to Him completely. I keep on talking with my face still pressed down on the floor. After that I raised up.

Needless to say, with that kind of opening, everybody eyes are on me. Then using my life example, I started to point the audiences one by one. I started with " When I was your age... this is what God did to me". The message built from the smallest thing up to the big thing. How my mom taught me to pray for a parking spot . Then how God make my dead gold fish alive again when my mom prayed for it ( I was 7 ). Then when I was teenager, God did it again with my dog, my dog got hit by a truck until her head become as soft as a bun, the skull absolutely smashed, but yet when my mom prayed, she was alive again. Then when I was twenties, a shrunken cashmere sweater can come back to it's original size again after my mom prayed over it. At last when I met my husband by God's grace. There is nothing to small for God to handle and there is nothing too big for God to handle too. Just involve God in every part of your life so that you know Him personally, not just by what other people has telling you.

Again, when the message was delivered, I ended it because I don't want to speak with my own words.

That night Mr. M asked me if I don't mind to preach in his own underground church on Sunday. I will be the main speaker this time. I surprise myself when I accepted his offer with happy heart insted of scared and refused. He said there will be more people there.

That night I thought I need to prepare well , so I opened my bible and pray but what I got was a feeling that what's important right now is for me to rest ( I was dead tired ), and not to worry about what I will have to say tomorrow. So I went to sleep.

When I woke up the next day, I went to pray and read bible again but again I felt that God doesn't want me to think to much. He wants me to be worry free and 100% relying myself on Him. So after I read view verses trying to find a great one that can impress people, I gave up. I know it is wrong. Instead I asked God if He has any message for Mr. M that I can deliver? He did give me a nice message for Mr. M that I am gladly give.

At the underground church Sunday service. amazingly I was not nervous at all. See, when you asked God to use you more for His works, even when you don't fully understand your own request, He will take you up on it, but after He gave you the chances to be used by Him , it is up to you if you want to accept it or not. If you do, He will enable you somehow. Like what I was experiencing right then.

But I was still surprise when Mr. M asked me to bless his church for the first time because this is their new location. Their church, just like the church yesterday, just got busted again so they have to move to a new place. Even though this will be their third meeting there but they never properly bless it yet and now he gave me that honor to bless the church. I was so overwhelm by the honor to do this ! I keep on asking God in my heart, " Who am I Lord that I would receive this honor to open your house? "

So when it's time for me to preach. I told them we have to dedicate the church first to God because it is very important. Then I asked everybody to kneel down in front of God. I started the prayer by declaring to God how unworthy I am to do this. I am only His servant. I am a sinful person. But I want very much to do His will . Then I asked God to bless this place, to purify this place with His blood, and to send His angels to guard this place. To bless, purify, guard and use the congregation more and more in amazing way. After that I let the Holy Spirit do the talking.

Again, I was just a mouth piece.

I almost makes a fool of myself when I tried to over prepared my preach the night before. Thank God, He told me that I should not lecturing on them because God said the congregation is better than what I expected. God was right. If I stubbornly insist on looking smart and start lecturing these people I will be the fool.

I started by asking them how many of them can hear God speak to them audibly? About 40% of them lifted their hands ! I was very surprised. Then I asked how many of them can see vision from God? Only 2 hands up, Mr. M and his right hand man. I congratulate people who lifted their hands because I can not hear or see vision, YET. But for the rest of the congregation who is just like me, I told them not to loose their hope yet, because their time has not yet arrived. Even mine.

Then I tell them my experience how I can hear God through bible. All it takes is for us to take that "leap of faith". There is no short cut. There is no other way. If we want to know our God personally, we just have to take a "leap of faith". Then I demonstrated it by jumping off from the stage. You can not know God by bywords from other people. You can not say that you have been to Brazil by only reading a book of Brazil or watching a video of Brazil. You just have to do it.

I told them how both my husband and me lock ourselves in on different room and just dedicated that hours to God. We both have to be patience. Waiting is not easy. R waited for 3 hours a day while I can only do 1 hour a day with no result for at least 2 weeks. But we were persistent. Then God came. Then nothing ever been the same again. Then we start to live.

Take that leap of Faith. Try God. In His time, He will answer you !

Again, I stopped talking when I felt God wanted me to finish.

When we ready to leave the place, Mr. M's wife and another lady asked me to pray for them. I was so overwhelm again with the honor. But I also realize that I am not knowledgeable enough on this. For now I can only pray my simple pray, but after that I sent SMS to my Ps. Philip Mantofa to give me word by word what to do and say via SMS.

From the church we went to Guangzhou airport, it's about 2 hours drive from Chongsan. Then we flew to Shanghai.

In Shanghai, we were very impressed with how beautiful that city is. We went there so we can see the expo for our product type. Again, supplier pressing us to be their distributor. God IS good. Always.

I will continue telling you my story about Shanghai on my next entry ...