20 Nov 2008
Dear Prayer Partners,
1. TQ for keeping us in prayer, especially during our time in the UK and Germany. The Lord was gracious and gave us good weather and mercy journey.
2. We stayed with a family, where the wife is one of the Malaysian university students whom I had met in the early 1990s. She had since married a British and moved there. They were most gracious to pick us and allow us to stay in their home in Southampton.
3. Incidentally, the night that we arrived was Halloween night. Their church had organized some event – calling it the Festival of Light – so that the community does not have to celebrate darkness and evil. They had a live stage concert Christian band and a fantastic fireworks display, as though welcoming us to the UK.
4. The next day, we visited Winchester, a short drive from where we were staying. In the evening, we visited some Christian leaders who were involved in praying for Malaysia, since the early 1980s. We had a good time of fellowshipping and discovering what God has been doing all these years.
5. The following day, we left Southampton to London (a 2 hours drive) to take a 9 hours train trip to Aberdeen, Scotland. We travelled from the South of UK to the North of UK in one day!
6. The train tickets we had was open, thus we could only sit in seats that were unreserved. We had to drag our bags around and finally found a carriage with some unreserved seats. But we had to sit separately as there was no double seats available. I sat beside this person who was busy doing his assignment. He was an American studying in the UK. We had an interesting general conversation, then he had to continue to do his work.
7. So I started reading the Bible. I felt that since the Western world did not prioritize the Scriptures, I would take every opportunity that I had to read the Bible throughout Europe, starting from the first day we arrived in London. So I read the Word of God for 45 minutes in the train.
8. When I stopped reading, the American guy who sat next to me said that he has not seen the Bible or seen anyone reading it for years. That was the opening that I was praying for! So we started to have a spiritual conversation. Found out that he believed in Christ years ago but has now become an atheist.
9. Like most Westerners, he rejects the authoritative claims of Christ. He was a gentle person with a good heart, but probably blinded by secularism and the evil one. I shared with him about God and His work, but unfortunately he had already closed his mind. The western world needs more missionaries to preach to them the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
10. Half way in the journey, the person sitting next to Jessie got off and I changed my seat. Then she told me that I was so loud that almost the whole carriage heard my preaching. Across the aisle where we were sitting, an older lady saw me reading the Bible and smiled at me. And we striked up a conversation. Turned out she is a pastor’s wife! And was rushing back to Edinburgh to take care of the grandchild. We had a great fellowship talking about their ministry in the UK.
12. So the unreserved seatings, was all part of God’s predestined arrangement to lead us to different ones to evangelize and to edify one another.
13. We reached Aberdeen at night – freezing cold but scenic Aberdeen! We travelled so far and long because I wanted to meet one of my ex-Yayasan students whom I have not seen for more than 10 years. He is working for an oil company there.
14. This has been my commitment to the East Malaysians tribals since 1982 (though I knew them since 1978, 30 years ago!), and now locating them as they have been literally scattered all over the world. Wherever I can find them, I will travel to visit and pray with them. Its all part of the mentoring responsibility.
15. He and wife graciously took us around to see castles, beaches, farmfields of the Scottish land. We had a good time catching up. We even paid a short visit to an African church and prayed for the Nigerian who is just becoming an assistant pastor. Wherever we go, we try to sow – and trust God for the harvest!
16. We arrived Aberdeen late Sunday night and on Tues night we took the sleeper train back to London. And travelled to Cologne, Germany where Jessie had her training course.
17. Another East Malaysian student whom I have met years ago and continue to mentor, flew in from Lausanne, Switzerland to meet with us. She is currently doing her PhD there and she took the opportunity to come over to Germany to meet with us and took me around.
18. On the last day, Jessie and I climbed the 509 steps of the Cologne Catheral (aka Dom) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cologne_Cathedral.
Many times, I had to stop to rest! At the top, was the excellent view of the whole city. Then we headed to the airport and flew back to Heathrow, to wait for our connecting flight back to Singapore.
19. It was a good short holiday break that only the Lord could have provided at this season. Only He knew our schedule and the need for us to take a break. Thank you for praying and giving. Thank you too for praying for Anastasia as she took our absence very well.
May Jesus be glorified forevermore!