Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Reposted from Rachel Coleman's blog...

"As we made our way from the school grounds to toward the road we noticed a young woman who was signing and then we noticed that the person with her put their own hands beneath hers as they replied. Miracle of miracles, it was Sylvia! Leah and I went over and began signing with her. She was pretty confused at first and asked for her translator. Then Sylvia put her hands on Leah’s and Leah told her, “I am Leah.” Sylvia touched Leah’s face and hair, and recognized her, “Leah? You have grown! Your hair is braided too.”

Sylvia told us that she is now in high school, she passed the tests and is now the very first deaf-blind student all of Ghana to enter high school. We congratulated her, talked a little more and then really had to go. We needed to pack, load the tro-tro and get to the airport. The rest of our Team had moved on without us, but it was okay. Leah and I said our goodbyes to Sylvia and then, I took my daughter’s hand and we walked down the dirt road to the street. My eyes were full of tears and I glanced over and noticed tears streaming down Leah’s cheeks. She was smiling.

I signed, “What is it?” She signed back, “Mom, she’s the proof. Sylvia is the evidence that anything is possible. She’s a deaf, blind, Ghanaian girl who is now in high school and plans to go to college. Mom, it’s not our circumstances that keep us from reaching our dreams. It’s our excuses that keep us from reaching our dreams.”"

Ever since I watched the video by Rachel Coleman about how she chose sign for her daughter, I've enjoyed reading what she says and does so much! What I love is the way she lives... Totally and completely, throwing herself into everything she does. There is an acceptance of what life has thrown to her with a daughter who is Deaf and another daughter with spinal bifida, an aggressive acceptance, not a passive one... One that makes life an adventure with herself in the bouncy, crazy, driver's seat, whilst making an awesome creation of what she is given.

I love her Foundation to those who are in similar circumstances and aren't as able to overcome challenges such as poverty because of circumstance. I love that she doesn't beat herself up over mistakes in the past, but accepts that she is human, laughs and cries, and moves on with a full life... Not discounting it because she has made mistakes.

God, I want that kind of living. Just to be Alive! No excuses!!

You know something... I was watching Somaly Mam being interviewed on Tyra Banks and the saddest thing ever was when she said, "I feel like I am dead inside." She is just going thru the motions, though she is making a humongous difference in the lives of trafficked girls. Abandoned, abused, raped, battered wife, sex trafficked victim... and now activist. She feels dead inside.

But to choose to be 'dead' when I have no reason to? No way! I'm breaking out to freedom.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fine... See you at the finish line!

My friend Kala, my very bestest volunteer friend, told me that she had shared with a guy who used to work in orphanages about my plans for a place for youths leaving the orphanages to stay.

The guy told her, "Tell your friend, 'good luck'. There are sooooo many obstacles...." etc. etc.

Fine! Let's see!

P.S. I just realised... I will be leaving early from CV for Std Chartered run this year... Which means, I'll miss breaking the board!!!! :D

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Anti-Pity Party

I love these!

From an interview with Dave Pelzer, A Child Called It:

"Are we talking about trauma or drama?" asks Pelzer, who has no respect for those who whine, keep wounds open and become therapy junkies. His recipe for happiness is to talk about your problems enough to get them in perspective, then move on. "You don't get over it, just accept."

From an interview with Somaly Mam, The Road of Lost Innocence:

"At the same time, when I come here to New York and I see the people—I met with some victims, some survivors, or some normal people. Some of them, they complain because they have been raped. Some of them really complain because the weather today is not good. It's too cold.

I just feel like they don't know how lucky they are to be here. You have been raped, but you have psychologists and other people helping you, you have law enforcement. You have many things. Why do you just sit and complain? Why don't you just recognize you've been raped and stand up and help others? Appreciate your life."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hate it!

I literally felt sick when I read this on someone's FB status... :

"I wonder if we will see this on the papers after the election:

BN ministers get pelted by rotten vegetables and eggs as they moved out of Putrajaya. Ex Prime Minister and current opposition leader Najis and other top echelons of the party namely, ex Minister of Uneducated People Moyeedin, porn star Dick Choi SL and Semi tarak Value did not make an appearance. On an unrelated matter, a suspicious mound of earth has mysteriously appeared overnight in the Gebeng industrial estate near Kuantan. Kak Ros' 30.11 ct diamond ring was discovered nearby."

She is someone who was in the AW Basic when I was staffing as a small group leader. She is a Catholic. I can't believe it. This is so horrid. I understand that people are upset with the ruling party... I do. But this is going a bit far, no?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

In a perfect time

Dreams come true in the right time!

I wrote to DE about setting up a shelter hostel for youths who graduate from the Homes who have nowhere to go... Not all of them are as lucky as to have relatives out there willing and able to take them in. In some cases, even if they do, they will not be safe.

DE replied very enthusiastically, and amongst the things she said is,

"I have been asking the government ...the welfare depart to set up one... they have other things on their plate and this is not on their year plans or KIPs.

I personally think that we need to set up a 'transition home' as I call it for kids who leave home to further their studies or even those who start working. I would love to chat with you on this.

I and a friend of mine  will be willing to help you set it up. Infact Chris and I have been discussing this for the past 2 years.There maybe people who might be willing to help you  fund this project."

Awesome!! Not too soon... For then, the circumstances are not right. Not too late... For then, the dream will die. Always, in the perfect time!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Kick-off EA M'sia 2013

The camp at Dusun Eco Resort was amazing... Beyond what we could have hoped for for a first meeting. Volunteers agreed that it is probably due to the 6 youth leaders who were strong in leading the rest of the Team and having them BE a team. They can even identify themselves as 'Agapians' by now ;>

Our tone for EA M'sia 2013 is very different... We set the bar high and keep it up there for the youths. It's a different approach. It doesn't mean we love the youths any less, but we want them to grow beyond what they did for 2012 and YLD.

Only one youth, I felt, shouldn't be promoted to Youth leader yet as she was not ready. And during the camp, when I thought she did not want to give feedback, I yelled at her. Partly, I wanted her to grow and speak up... Partly, I did not want the youths to think that it is okay not to give feedback, since Avis is emphasizing feedback this year.

She was upset after that, and another volunteer who talked to her admonished me that I shouldn't have done that, though she understood why I did. She said, "I notice that you're extra tough on the ones that you love." Yes, I am! There is such a different heart with those who've been with me for so long.

All my youths struggle with so much rejection and abuse of some form or another... It's tough to know what to say and do, when and how. God guide me please!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Road bump ahead!

My cell group leader, if I go back to CHC KL, is a lady and one of the key leaders in church. Before I even step back into cell group, I can feel the fear and resistance already.

What came out for me during the altar call in CHC Sg was a revelation of which area I had stumbled before... The people involved were women Christian leaders.

As there are no accidents in life, I believe it must be a time for breakthru! >.<

Monday, April 1, 2013

Back to You

Grateful to God for drawing me back to Him... Realising afresh after watching the drama at CHC Sg what Jesus has done to pay the price for me.

I sat next to a Sabah girl who is currently a student with SOT (School of Theology)... I felt so envious of her being able to attend CHC Sg and SOT too! That was my dream last time.

As ever, I began to whine, "Why God, don't you allow me to stay here in Singapore? Why did you send me back to KL?"

God's loving answer was, "Gillian, I didn't force you... It is your choice. Your ministry is in KL with the youths... You can choose to take up that ministry or to drop it and stay in Singapore."

I finally got it that God never once forced me to do what I am doing today. But it is a choice that I made; painful sometimes, but momentary...After this life, I can worship Him forever and be with my friends for all eternity anyway.