"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16
SNCF ~ 30th Dec 2004

I guess some of you are waiting for this. Yes, last night was the event itself and if any of you did call me last evening, I apologize for my brief reply or even no reply. In a meaningful way, I was busy throughout the whole event either preparing stuffs for the event proper, catching up with some old faces or entertaining some of the fellow co-workers.

Throughout this event, which I think I have mentioned some of the challenges and difficulties to some of you, I have learnt a lot from this opportunity in serving, be it a matter of logistics or personal relationships.

First of all, I always fail to understand why some people can come in late for the final sound check, with reasonable reasons as most of them are working adults and it's a weekday, but still quite demanding in their tone when requesting something. Perhaps I just got a biase against those professional singers. At the end of the day, they messed up my sound adjustments when they did theirs. Maybe there's a better solution like asking the technicians to take note of the sounds adjustments for each different teams. Will take note of this in future.

At any rate, while these professionals are performing, they encountered some technical difficulties and was forced to be on the stage waiting, for quite a couple of minutes. I think it served them right for messing with my sound adjustments. Not trying to be mean here, but I think when they did their sound adjustments, they show no concern for the other teams as well. At any rate, I also realized the hard work of being a technician as I stayed in the control room to look at them running the show. And to think that they are often the people least appreciated. My salutation to them, with hats off!

Generally, the event went quite smoothly without much delay in the timing. Though honestly speaking, the session in which we were leading has room for much improvement. But I am contended that I am present there this year to hear her sharing before the student nurses. And to hear that the audience remarked that I am from Hebei while I was on the stage asking them to guess my province was something. I managed to sell the idea that I was from the Jurong Province as usual. Seems like a lot of them are surprise that I am a local, haha...

I had a great time talking to the PRC nurses whom I got to know a year and a half ago too. Really glad to see some of the old faces and they brought along some friends to help as well, which is much appreciated. Think I have managed to build some further rapport. I was also surprise to see a husband and wife team from Campus Crusade to take up the role of a mentor last night as I saw them walking into the building. Am also really glad to see two of the old mission team members from Mission @ Backyard too, as I invited them to come down to help.

Anyway, two separate groups of people asked how long we have been together, with one even guessing one and a half year because that is the maximum. Another person from Grace Vision, the other team playing for the special item, also commented that we have cooperated well as a couple. Some old folks, the mentors, even expressed their gratitude in our works. So praise God for all these positive feedbacks. May He grant us wisdom to fare better the next time, if He allows.

Personally, this can be said to be one of my first time in managing such a big event, because the coordinator gladly pass all the responsibility of preparing the stage to me, with all the different teams, who were performing, chasing after me for their needs. Thank God for such opportunity to learn and grow. I will paste the relevant portion of my reply to the coordinator's letter of gratitude here for your reference:

"As a thanksgiving item, we really thank God for all the helpers He has poured into this ministry in the last minute. Though we have contacted a lot of student nurses we know, it was not until the last moment that we could get confirmations to help. Personally, I thought we couldn't make it through 7 initially, and 2 out of the original 15 dropped out in the very last minute, but God sent 2 replacements in their places making a total of 15 after prayer. Thank God!

The main lesson I have learnt is that do we dare to ask for more from God? Biases against charismatic theology asides, I think there's some truth in the former statement. Dare we ask for more from God when it comes to His works, and trust that He will give?

Even the sourcing for the band is a big challenge for us. Though, personally, I have some regrets because I couldn't work with Andrew's family this time round, God has a better plan for us. I can see that God is using this opportunity as a platform for us to interact with our own youths and to expose them to more of this kind of works. At the end of the day, I think we have also make some new friends like Grace Vision as well. Praise God for all that!"

As a side note, we have also bought some gifts and wrote some cards as an encouragement to those youths who offered their help. May God bless them as they served Him in their capacity.

One sentence to describe this event throughout? Anything less than this is an insult to Him: God is with us!