Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sheer crackers!

I am literally going crackers this end of December! What on earth is going on that all the storms are blowing in?

First, it was exams... Just nothing else but cramming and exams whilst trying to manage camp as well.

Then, it was a slightly maverick volunteer, whom we'd chucked out earlier, trying to 'prove' himself (as far as we can tell!) in another program and going way too far!

After that it was full steam ahead for camp with 2 more volunteers pulling out last minute, one because she didn't realise camp was still on (>.<!!) and had health issues, another because of college open day! (>.<!!!!!!!).

And the day before camp, I host our family Christmas party with extended family on my dad's side... and race to hospital in the wee hours of the morning because my oldest uncle who came to KL specially for the party, had a heart attack.

Then camp where I was once again, discipline person (my favourite position... NOT!!!!!). And trouble in the form of a friend's son - A. From Day 1 to Day 4, the only complaints in camp were all about A, A, A... So much so, I had to babysit him and follow him around like a hound dog. All because A was extremely unhappy about being sent to camp against his wishes. Extra guilt on my part for inviting him to camp just because I felt sorry for him and thought he needed more interaction and fun with youths of his own age. My error.

Ran games (short argument with new volunteer who couldn't understand why we 'force' youths to do activities and why we 'make things so difficult for them), ran session, and end of camp... time to go home, with a tummy bug picked up from camp (and still not over).

Went home and lots to take care on mom's side.  At least happy she'll let me take care of things!

Then back to KL where... volunteer no. 2 who skipped camp because of college open day and who borrowed RM2K from me to attend AW Basic and promised to pay it back by working in our secretarial firm .... emails his supervisor to say he is going to take the day off for his college student council meeting (>.<!!!!!!!!!!) and is not planning to come back to work anymore!!

I swear, the gods are out to get me this month!!!!!!! Rant rant rant!!!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Battered women

When I was in England, there was a women's shelter run by the Women's Aid Organization in the nearest town. I attended the training and roped in a couple of friends to join me.

In one of the classes, they played a casette recording for us to listen to... It was the testimony of a lady from the WAO who had once been an abused wife and is now running one of the bigger shelters.

She shared, "I remember my mother telling me that I would be beaten by my husband. When I asked her why, she said, 'That's just the way it is.' Sure enough, not two weeks into my marriage, my new husband slapped me across the face hard. I was shocked because according to all my mother had taught me, I had done nothing wrong. And I could hear my mother's voice in my head telling me, 'That's just the way it is.'"

Here in Malaysia, some of my kids have told me that they have been beaten along with their mothers. What shocks me is that they tell me they've been to the emergency room of the local hospitals 'many times'. My kids even get hospitalised because of their injuries.

My question - why doesn't someone rescue and save them there and then? Why must it take 'many times' for them to be safe?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Heading to 2013

Phew... December is always an exceptionally full month, what with year-end camp, and with GST licence in between as well...!!

My calendar is filling up full for 2013 already, and I'm not too sure whether or not to drop a couple of the activities I've planned!

I find myself wondering whether the direction I'm headed in is correct... or whether it's time to shift. Maybe the restlessness is God's way of nudging me to move.

I'm looking again at other countries... I think if I can save the funds, I'll drop by Africa and have a look.

But ultimately, for a movement to make an impact, it has to reach a solid size. Until and unless I 'settle' and choose ONE thing to grow, nothing will.

I struggle with the question, "Do I make a difference?" Right now, there is nothing that I can measure... Working with youths, I won't know the results in their lives. I've volunteered with youths and kids for so many years... And I find that because I hop here and there, serving so many in different capacities before I finally settled down with my own society, I have never 'measured' results. And there's nothing tangible to measure anyway. Just because a youth grows up and finds a job and works steadily, have I made a difference?

And sometimes I struggle with the question of should I serve those who need healing in their hearts and empowerment to move forward, or should I serve the poorest of the poor or the sick or the disabled? How do I measure the 'worth' of what I do?

I have bigger dreams than what I've produced so far. Do I stay with the society I've created or do I make a quantum leap to my dreams?