Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Goodbyes

The goodbyes were in order. 

First WY and Hilda, then church, followed by ICM (oh gosh I really miss those life-ly bunch), then KH and NY (missing them already). 

Was kinda sad-confused when I woke up in the cold just now after coming back from Tap Mun. This feeling called 失落 in Mandarin. Guess I was expecting to meet the peeps from ICM for one last time, then Evelyn or the guys. Was still processing what was said last night too. Dragged my feet to Streams of Praise conference alone while trying not to feel lonely. 

Okay so this is the back story.

Today's message is a very simple one which everyone needs to hear but probably finds it trite. Father loves you. Our Father God loves us. Such a wave of goodness and love washed over me just now, even as I knew that my heart was wavering. His love is so so great, I can't even :')

The conference was in Chinese/Cantonese and somehow these verses in Chinese spoke so deeply to me. 

"神 啊 , 你 的 意 念 向 我 何 等 宝 贵 ! 其 数 何 等 众 多 !我 若 数 点 , 比 海 沙 更 多 ; 我 睡 醒 的 时 候 , 仍 和 你 同 在 。" 诗篇139:17-18


"耶 和 华 ─ 你 的 神 是 施 行 拯 救 、 大 有 能 力 的 主 。 他 在 你 中 间 必 因 你 欢 欣 喜 乐 , 默 然 爱 你 , 且 因 你 喜 乐 而 欢 呼 。" 西番雅书3:17

Think I really needed this in this time of the year filled with transitions- back to Singapore with all its commitments and the end of my adventures in Hong Kong, navigating relationships back at home and those made here with my return/distance apart, coming to terms that some relationships are meant just for that season also.

Goodbye, goodbye, it is well. Through it all, it is well.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Merry Christmas



The transformation was complete when I added the green sash to my Nepalese outfit. I was ready to be open and friendly like my friends were. 

It was an awesome awesome night. Singing Angels We Have Heard on High, dancing freestyle mimicking the other two's graceful movements, laughing with Adarsh. Just basking in the joy of Christmas, singing Gloria in excelsis Deo and meaning every single line. There is just so much to give thanks and praise to God for. Thank You once again for this Christmas which reminds us of how Your great salvation was in the form of a baby. Jesus, Son of God deigns to step down from His heavenly throne to dwell among sinful man. For this reason, my soul shouts: Alleluia! 

I felt so free just dancing like that, enjoying my body, enjoying my movements, enjoying the attention, and the flow between those dancing. Never felt like this before. This must be a bit of what Heaven feels like, no barriers and no strangers. Praise God for the glorious inheritance that we have above.

If you are reading this and still do not have Jesus Christ as Your Saviour, I appeal to you: Come, the gift of salvation is free. Jesus says that He is the bread of life, apart from Him you will perish. He alone gives joy and peace for this world and eternal life for the next. Will you make a decision to trust Him as Lord and Saviour today? Do talk to me or any Christian friend about the faith to find out more, I will be glad to talk :)

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you." Isaiah 60:1-2


Christmas. This year's will be special in my heart. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Exchange Life: No Bakes

It is almost a need to bake or make something sweet, at least once a month. But given that I can't get my hands on an oven here, I had to be creative. What I've made over these 3 plus months:


Steamed matcha cake, with a rice cooker!


Coconut kaya on an induction cooker. 2.5 hours stirring the mixture non-stop. But the results were well worth it. For those that are yet to be enlightened on the beauty of kaya, it is a coconut spread found in SEA! We use it as a bread spread.


White chocolate peanut butter bars <3 They were Abby's and my contribution to the Christmas potluck at IBC and they were gone by midway of the potluck. Loving those swirls that glams up the entire look, plus they are so easy to make!


Parfait pie. Made them today and it basically just involved melting, mixing and processing. Easy peasy.

Now for the recipes!

Steamed Matcha Cake (Adapted largely from here)

2 cups AP flour
6 tablespoons matcha powder
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
18 tablespoons milk
8 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil

Grease rice cooker pot with a little oil.

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients with a fork, till the mixture is evenly green.

In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients well.

Add the wet mixture into the dry one slowly, gradually mixing till smooth.

Pour mixture into rice cooker pot to steam. Depending on the model, it should be around 2 cycles. 

Check if it is done by inserting a skewer. It should come out clean.

Coconut Kaya (From Malaysian friend KH, translated from Chinese)

500g egg (about 9 eggs)
400ml coconut milk
300g sugar (using brown sugar will give the nice brown colour)

Mix the coconut milk and sugar together. Beat the eggs slightly.

Combine these 2 mixtures.

Now the tedious part: In a water bath over low heat, heat the mixture. Stir often to prevent clumping. This will take about 2.5 hours. 

Don't worry too much if white bits start to appear; just beat into the mixture or use a sieve to remove when the kaya is done. 

White Chocolate PB Bars (Adapted from here)

Basically didn't change anything except use white chocolate and peanut butter with no sugar so as to offset the sweetness. Note that white chocolate becomes brittle when it is hardened. You can make candy shards with it. 

Parfait Pie (Adapted from here)

1 package cream cheese (8 oz)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
1 carton vanilla custard (21 oz)
1 bar of chocolate (6 oz)
14 oz graham crackers/digestive biscuits/Kellogg's All-bran
1.5 oz butter (more in case the crust is not firm enough)

You can either use 2 6-inch round pans with a deep base or jelly cups.

Process/crush the biscuits till they are crumbs. Melt butter. Mix together to form a crumbly mixture that feels firm when pressed down into the bowl. 

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and condensed milk till smooth. Mix in the vanilla custard.

Melt the chocolate.

Add the parfait layer by pouring slowly into the pans/jelly cups. 

For the chocolate marble effect, add dollops of chocolate onto the parfait layer. Use a skewer to run through the mixture to create patterns. Have fun!


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Throwback Sunday


Feeling sonder again. 这次不是伤悲,而是比较positive. (Strange eh, I start blogging in such a rojak way only in a foreign land)

sonder n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.


The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

12 more days. Before I end a chapter of my life in Hong Kong, and go back to Singapore. My mind automatically added to "face the shit in Singapore". 

Honestly am feeling quite apprehensive. Dust from old things I thought were buried in the past for good stirred up as I tried to prep myself emotionally for termination in HK. Because my latest physical memories were like 4 months back and this feels so long ago. Ages ago, when I was another me. I feel strange seeing Kang in those memories now, like I have changed so much. I have changed for sure. I have changed and I have gotten use to this place. And I have made such delightful relationships here. I hate to say goodbye.

Guess I am also not entirely sure if I will have the same community I have built in the short time her back home (this feels more like home). I'm talking about church. At Island Baptist Church I feel so comfortable, much more so then after 3 plus years in Glory. Sure, I have people I'm closer to in Glory but the warmth felt in Glory in general is somewhat lukewarm, to put it bluntly. I am probably afraid of dreading church and feeling discouraged- don't want to go back to asking myself why am I up at freaking 5.30am from my warm bed to go to a cold church. 

The next semester is going to be challenging too, balancing internship at Rainbow Centre with school. But I look forward to practicing social work :) Ini masa bagi gulung lengan baju. Just a bit sad that my two dear friends won't be there. But creating new memories in foreign lands like I am now!

Aku terima kasih kepada Tuhan kerana tak ada penyesalan atau perasaan tergantung. Walaupun aku tahu bagaimana dia merasakan, aku akan tetap senyap. Senyum mengucapkan selamat tinggal lebih baik. 

Hong Kong. HK. His Kingdom. I think I have seen His kingdom come more clearly here these 3 plus months. Because I am also rejected this same kingdom here. Grace has indeed found me, again and again. Alleluia. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Journalling a Hedonistic Day


"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap." Luke 21:34

Having purely pleasurable days like can also be good for the soul. But I put that verse from my quiet time yesterday as a reminder- especially not to let my heart be weighed down with dissipation; those needless thinking.

It was really a fun day out food hunting- Sharetea taro milk because I had intense craves, chocolate chip egg waffles, egg custard 烧饼, 猪扒菠萝包- that alone for lunch. And then Hong Kong style zi char for dinner with traditional dessert after that.



Walked around the Sham Shui Po area which I am not exaggerating when I say it has EVERYTHING. Clothes, shoes, textiles, even industrial-kind drilling machines in assorted colours.


The best part was exploring the bead shops in Yu Chau Street and ribbon shops in Nam Cheong Street. The rows upon rows of beads and ribbons unlock the little artsy child in me. There is a sense of joy at seeing these pretty things.



Dinner was jovial; getting to know people and bantering around. Was a good one, with Open Rice endorsement you can't go too wrong.

Apliu Street flea market fascinates me by the array of things sold- one can get blinded by the bright lightbulbs at one store and then enjoy classical Chinese music from the impromptu orchestra at the next. (This unexpectedness of things is why I really love Hong Kong)



Heading back, we passed by the subway lined with mangy mattresses again.

"I didn't know that Sham Shui Po had so many homeless people", I remarked.
"Hong Kong has a lot of homeless people" my friend replied.
And we left it at that.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Running in circles

The exhilaration was real,
The feelings were real, 
I thought to myself,
Where will all these go.

I hid the Christ in me,
And threw myself into the potent pool, 
Yes enjoyed myself for a moment still.

Chasing the wind everyday,
Knowing that it was not the way,
Running in circles,
Refusing to be gathered.

The cost is real,
The feelings are real,
But the goal is greater still.
So Abba I pray,
Keep me close. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

矛盾

I remember how much I liked this phrase when we first learnt it in Chinese class. Then in university I learnt the more technical term of cognitive dissonance. And 矛盾 grew larger to occupy permanent brain space. It has always been there as a part of me; I might just have been real comfortable in my own world with its safe goodness in community work and Christian friends.

It struck me today: Have I become someone so different? I'm not sure. This uncertainty is telling too.

I wish I could be stronger yet I wish it wouldn't have to be so hard.

对与错黑与白,似乎还存在。不过好像是在无情感的空间。安慰自己,深有感触的心活出更微妙的色彩。

还是矛盾。觉得累但是不可以这么容易累但是我真的好想就让河流带着我走。