Friday, December 14, 2012

My Final Year at QUT

So this year, I was given the privilege to serve God in many areas. Besides being an usher on a few Sundays, I was involved in planning and managing Orientation and Market Weeks. I also helped out more in lifegroup in the area of prayer, praise, and even sending out weekly bulletins. As I served God more and more, I have came to realize that compared to what He has given me, what I gave him is close to nothing. In Matthew Chapter 6 verse 33 of the Bible, it says “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”. Today I would like to share with you how God has blessed me as I served Him. 

Last year, I didn’t score very well in my exams. That caused my GPA to be dragged down and I was not very satisfied with that. But during Semester 1 this year, God blessed me with good teammates for my group assignments. Thanks to God, we scored very well for our assignments. While I was sitting for an exam I realized I do not have enough time to answer all the questions. But, knowing that God was with me gave me the assurance and peace of mind. Which in the end, helped me to finish the paper calmly. Five days later, after a prayer meeting, I found out that I scored 92 over 100 for that paper. Without a doubt, I know this only happened because of the combination of my hard work, your prayers and the Lord’s favour and grace upon me. 

As semester 2 came by, I was very indecisive of what subjects to take. I dropped a few subjects because some of them clashed with our lifegroup and prayer meeting times. But then God gave me the idea of applying for 2 other project units instead of the usual classroom subjects. For the first few weeks, I was trying hard to look for a suitable project and supervisor. 

Although it was tough, I was able to enjoy my weeks and that was because deep down I know that as long as I do my best, God will take care of everything else because He has a perfect plan for me. And true enough, I ended up getting 3 project units. That means I only had to be in uni for only 3 hours a week on average. These projects allowed me to interact with real clients in the corporate world which will also look good in my future resume. 

On top of that, I was also able to get a good supervisor to oversee these projects. I really enjoyed the flexible timetable as I was able to do different things with my spare time. I thank God for this because even though it was the last semester of my final year, it seemed to be easier than all my previous semesters. 

Although I served God the most this academic year, it was during this year that I scored the best. For both semesters this year, by God’s grace, I got into the Dean’s list with a 6.75 GPA. To be honest, I didn’t study that much and was quite laid back this year. But it was God’s favour upon me that I was able to serve God, enjoy this year and even graduate from my degree with distinction. 

Earlier today, I collected my ielts test results and it was not enough for me to apply for PR. Even so, I still am able to go on without worry about job hunting or how to stay in australia. This is because I know God is in control and He has the perfect plan for me. Meanwhile, my project supervisor has offered me 3 months of casual work from January till March next year while I look for a permanent job. A week ago, I even had a casual interview for a possible long-term job. I didn’t even need to look everywhere and sent in many resumes for this. Instead, this job was referred to me by a friend.

With God being my Father, friend, and provider, every day I have hope and peace. There is also never a need to worry. More than a year ago, I heard this verse from someone who came out and spoke during lifegroup. I didn’t really believe it at that time. But now, after experiencing it myself, I can confidently say that this is very true. It’s from Jeremiah Chapter 29 Verse 11. Here it says 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”. 

Before I end this post, I’d like to thank my friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, family, and most importantly, God, for all your support and love throughout these years. Thank you.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Street Evax

Today I went for my first street evangelism with my brothers and sisters from Hope Church. Was paired up with Sophia and we started with worshipping God. Then, we talked to a few people who rejected us.

But I learned from Sophia and really admire how she never fails to love the people and go on without being discouraged.

Then, we talked to a girl and she was so open to us. She was going through a lot and spilled everything to her. We explained to her about God and shared a few testimonies. Later, we even got to pray for her and she was really greatful for that.

That experience was really God's divine appointment and I can't wait to see how God brings her back to Him. Beliving for greater things!

After meeting with our group, we prayed for a few of our brothers and sisters and saw another 2 healings! God is awesome and I'm super excited of being used by Him to love others. Can't wait to join this again.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Canberra Mission Trip: Summary

Just two days ago, I came back from a short mission trip to Canberra. Our team were made out of 5 guys and 5 girls from different QUT Lifegroups. This 6-day mission trip was focussed on supporting and encouraging the local churches there, which are Hope Canberra and Hope Queanbeyan.

Throughout the mission trip, we had the chance to help out with their prayer meeting, church services, and lifegroups. It was a great experience for me as I was given the opportunity to try out different ministries. On top of that, we also got to observe how different individuals had to take on multiple roles when the church is smaller in size. One of the brothers in Hope Queanbeyan had to set up the equipment, serve as a visualizer, and after their prayer meeting he would send different ones back to their home. Another brother in Hope Canberra had to play the guitar for church, preach, and when the service ended, he humbly vacuumed the floor.

During this trip, we also stepped out in faith to try out new things such as going out to the streets to invite people to church and share the gospel to strangers. We also went to the Parliament House and did a prayer walk to pray for the country and the people of Australia.

Besides that, we also had the chance to have meals with the core team from both churches where we were given the chance to ask them questions. These sessions really inspired us as they shared how the team persevered and selflessly served God through their tough seasons. Listening to them share why they never stop giving and serving was also a great encouragement.

Throughout these 6 days, I also learned that teamwork is really important. Each of us served with whatever gifts we had, be it playing musical instruments, leading praise and worship, sharing, cooking, and even being a human-GPS. Personally, I didn't think I contributed much but I'm glad I was able to be used by God throughout the trip.

After this trip, I am even more convinced that my God is real and He knows each one of us intimately. Besides that, knowing that there are many other brothers and sisters out there persevering to do His work has greatly encouraged me to be missional for God.  

Words can not fully describe this mission trip and I really want to encourage all of you to go for a mission trip if you have the chance, and experience this for yourself. Before I end this testimony, I would also like to say “thank you” to those who supported our mission trip through finance and prayer because we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Canberra Mission Trip: Day 6

We started our day by having breakfast and doing our quiet time as usual. It was our last day of the mission trip and we were all excited about it. Our team then drove to the Parliament House. We visited the place and prayed for the government as we walked inside the building.

Australian Parliament House, Canberra
The team outside of the Parliament House
The team on the roof of the Parliament House
Later, we headed over to ANU (Australian National University) and spend 2 hours talking to the students there. We invited them to join Hope Canberra's lifegroup later in the night and also had to chance to pray for a few people and speak into their lives.

For lunch, we ate at Subway in the university's cafeteria. Each of us had half a cup of Boost Juice too! :P We went back to the motel and recharge for the night's lifegroup.

Munching away at our lunch

At 5.30pm, we started driving back to ANU. This time, we were there for lifegroup. It was a little bit unusual for me because I always had lifegroup on Fridays. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed it very much.

I shared my testimony tonight and I'm really glad I was given the privilege. Besides that, we also had some games, passionate praise and worship session led by our team, and a great sharing from Kelvin.

ANU's Graduate House (Lifegroup Location)
Irene and the team leading us in a praise song
After lifegroup, we also got to mingle around with the other brothers and sisters from Hope Canberra. For the night, I talked to Trent the most and really enjoyed how we could share with each other our experiences.

A time of sharing and friendship
Hope Canberra Student's Lifegroup 27/11/12 
"One more for Jesus!"
We went back to Queanbeyan a little after 9pm. My shoulders felt much lighter after that because this marks the end of our mission trip. To celebrate, we bought supper from Macca's and Hungry Jacks.

But apart from feasting we still had one thing left to do. It was Tracy's birthday so we all gathered to give her a SURPRISE!! I recorded the entire surprise but I probably won't upload it here. After our stomachs were all fulled, we went to bed satisfied. :)

The girls with Tracy and her cake :)
One last group picture!! :D
Well that's the end of my mission trip to Canberra. To sum it all up, I've wrote another post summarizing my thoughts, experiences and what I've learned. All in all, I'm glad I can finally say "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"

Monday, November 26, 2012

Canberra Mission Trip: Day 5

To those who think mission trips are boring, this is to prove you wrong. Half of today has been dedicated to exploring famous places in Canberra. Our first stop was Mount Ainslie. From the lookout point, we were able to see the entire city of Canberra.

Group Photo at Mount Ainslie
Winning Canberra for Jesus!
The view from Mount Ainslie Lookout Point
After a few pictures, we moved on to the National Museum of Australia. I was really impressed by the different creative and interactive exhibits. This is really what makes learning FUN! :)

The team at the National Museum of Australia
Since it was our partial day-off, we went to the city for lunch. We were each given AUD10 to spend on anything we wanted to eat! :D 

Our final tourist landmark for the day was the National War Memorial. The museum was HUGE!! Due to the limited time we had, I could only quickly scan through the exhibits. If one were to explore everything there, it could probably take one whole day.

National War Memorial
The team at the National War Memorial
When we were done, we then drove to the city and got some groceries. Then, we drove to Caroline's house to have dinner with the Hope Canberra Core Team. A few of us cooked curry for dinner. As we ate, we had the chance to talk to the core team of Hope Canberra. It was really nice to be able to talk to different people in the Hope movement.

The team preparing dinner
A crowded kitchen :P
Our dinner - Japanese Curry with Rice
The highlight of the night was the session after dinner. We all gathered for a time of sharing. Both sides got to ask questions and learn about each other. Personally, hearing the team describe their struggles and why they choose to persevere really encouraged me a lot.

Later, Tony also shared a short message on the importance of Love. We were also given a book each as a token of appreciation. Then, we formed several small groups where we got to pray for one another. This was my favorite part of the mission trip because after the prayer, my whole face was covered in tears. :P

All gathered for the sharing session
Group Photo: Hope Canberra Core Team with the Hope Brisbane Mission Team
When all that was done, we went back to Queanbeyan. Had supper in Hungry Jacks before going back to our motel. One more day till the end of our mission trip and we were getting excited...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Canberra Mission Trip: Day 4

Since it was Sunday, we got up early and got ready for church. Five of them went to Hope Queanbeyan while the other five of us (Kelvin, Tracy, Rose, Daniel and I) went to support Hope Canberra.

The church was in the middle of the city. Though it was a small church, I really admired their humble hearts. Every person has multiple roles to play and are involved in so many ministries. Imagine doing that week after week! Talk about going all out for God!

Hope Canberra's Welcome Table
Sunday Service

We were given the opportunity to help them with setting up and packing up. Rose shared her testimony to the congregation too, which was great. After the service, we attended their evaluation meeting and learned abit of how they organize things

Rose sharing her testimony
Daniel and Tracy cleaning the communion cups
Then, we went back to Queanbeyan where a big feast was taking place. The people from Hope Queanbeyan hosted the huge picnic for us. We also took this chance to celebrate Misty's birthday. As usual, there were TONS of food!!

In the evening after a short nap, we went back to Arnel's house for dinner with the Hope Queanbeyan team. Jason and a few others made Tom Yam Fried Noodles for us.

Preparing Dinner
Chopping onions :P
After that, we got the golden opportunity of asking the team any question we had in mind. Through this session, we heard what they have been through, the sacrifices they made, and most importantly why they serve God.

Listening to the sharing session
Part of the Hope Queanbeyan Team

Arnel Jr and few of us guys
Arnel Jr and Sr with the girls
We took many photos and mingled around. And finally with a heavy heart, we bid them goodbye. Though we won't be seeing them in the near future, I'm sure we will meet these bunch of God-loving brothers and sisters someday.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Canberra Mission Trip: Day 3

Got up at 6.30am and took turns to wash up. We all had toast for breakfast and later did our quiet time followed by the group discussion.

Briefing after Group Discussion
Then, we drove to Canberra and walked around the city inviting different people to church. Had a few enjoyable short chats, encouraged someone to think about life after death, and also met a very angry old lady.

Canberra Centre
For lunch we went over to the Banson's house for lunch. The family cooked up a storm for us and all of us were so bloated. Arnel introduced to us a new slogan, "NO DIET!". Pastor Nonoi shared his story with us and encouraged us to think about coming back to Hope Queanbeyan to help out and serve God here.

Lunch at the Banson's
Pastor Nonoi's sharing session with the team
Group pictures!
When we were physically filled, we headed out again to the streets of Queanbeyan and tried to invite more people to church. It was really hard because it was super hot and there were barely anyone on the streets. But it was still a learning experience that challenged us to serve even in hard situations.

After that, we bought some chocolate, fruits, nuggets and drinks for the night's youth activity. We went back for a short rest and drove to the Banson's house again.

We were there to bless the kids of Hope Queanbeyan. Jason hosted the lifegroup which started with some fun games, followed by awesome praise and worship, continued with Kelvin's very creative sharing, and ended with a fun song and prayer.

Introducing ourselves
Daniel taught us how to play Ninja
Ninja Team A
Ninja Team B
Jason hosting the night
Praise and Worship
Really enjoyed myself although I was too old for that group. Later, we ate some home-cooked food for dinner and had some chocolate fondue for dessert! =P

Having a great dinner
Kids enjoying the chocolate fondue
The three Banson brothers soon started playing some music for us and we started praise and worshipping in the living room. Andrew joined them as well and all of us had a great time singing to God.

The Banson brothers and Andrew jamming as we worshipped God
After that night, we drove back home and called it another day. Personally I found this day very interesting as I managed to do things I haven't done before, street evax and kids lifegroup. Haha, praise God for new things. :D

Friday, November 23, 2012

Canberra Mission Trip: Day 2

We started the day with a loud knock to on our door. We were actually supposed to wake up at 7am and get ready by 8am. But, we all overslept and one of our sisters had to wake us up. 

All of us quickly washed up and headed over to the girl's room. There, we had a great worship session before we went to have our individual quiet time. Then we formed guys and girls discussion groups to discuss what we have learned. I was appointed to lead the discussion which I didn't do very well. I guess it's something I can work on next time.

Later, we went to Hungry Jacks for breakfast. Managed to get 50% discount thanks to the "Shake and Win" app. When we were all satisfied, we walked over to the mall and did some grocery shopping. The rest of the guys went to collect our rental car while the girls and I walked home with the groceries.

Saved us a lot of money! :P
Walking from our Motel
Hungry Jacks for Brekkie
The girls enjoying themselves while walking to the mall
Our rented cars
We only had one activity planned for today which was the Hope Queanbeyan prayer meeting. So some of us took this opportunity to rest while others prepared and practiced for the night.

Worship team practicing for the prayer meeting
Our microwaved dinner
When it was time, we drove to the prayer meeting location. Had a short worship session among our mission team as we were waiting for the Hope Queanbeyan people to arrive.

Outside the Prayer Meeting location
I was asked to help with the visuals for the prayer meeting. It was a great experience for me because I never used the Visuals software before. Found it quite fun except when the computer shut down and couldn't be turned on for like 10 minutes. Prayed like crazy and after a while the problem was solved.

Other than that, the prayer was really powerful and we even managed to pray for the people of Hope Queanbeyan. We all had a great time worshipping God as well and when we ended the session, the pastor still wanted MORE! :D

Worship Team practicing for Sunday Service
The team waiting for supper at Hungry Jacks
After the prayer meeting, we went to Hungry Jacks again for supper. Had a great time before we went back to our motel to rest for the night. This time, we remembered to set the alarm so that we don't wake up late again! :P
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