Daily Archives: November 28, 2009
shanghai tan part 2 – sleepless on sq.
It’s quite amazing that the last person to get onto the plane was actually given a window seat. No complains whatsoever, of course.
Well, after settling down from that pre-flight adventure, I caught my breath and got started on planning for next year. I can’t divulge information here so let’s just leave it at that. I decided to stop at 3am and to reward myself after such a dramatic evening, I clicked “Start New Game” on my newly purchased and installed Football Manager 2010. I know I’d regret embarking on this addiction but it’s the only game I play; I’ve built up quite a collection of original Football Managers since 2005.
It’s funny how guys connect via (fantasy) football; at 3:30am, after a glass of riesling and after putting unwanted players on transfer lists and putting in bids for desired players, the passenger sitting beside me decided to break the ice with me. I actually had the feeling that he would because of the occasional glances at my laptop.
“The new Football Manager, ah?”
I think it went something like that. Well, I shall not reveal his name or initials (because he might read this and I don’t want to embarrass him) but I’d like to think that it was a pretty divine appointment. He was my age and he also plays football and has a team. Like me, his girlfriend was from NTU and was doing her GIP in Shanghai. I think those common denominators were adequate for a good, long conversation.
The conversation naturally included what each of us do for a living. He’s a banker who used to serve as a youth leader in his church. He said he backslided a little and one reason why he’s heading to Shanghai is that his girlfriend, whose faith is a little stronger, wanted to help get him back on track in his walk with God. He also mentioned that he was getting a little tired of his job.
Well, I went on to share with him a glimpse of my journey towards full-time ministry and how important it was for me to pursue what was in my heart. I’m not sure if I’ve stated it on this blog before, but there is nothing more satisfying than waking up and going to bed every day and night knowing that you are in the centre of God’s will for your life. I feel like that at this point in my life.
Anyway, after hearing my sharing and after sharing his heart out to me about failed relationships, a collapsed ministry and a career standstill, he was also convinced that it was a timely and divine appointment (as he got onto this flight due to a last minute change). He told me that our conversation ignited a desire in him not only to get back on track with God, but to get his youth ministry restarted. How could I not beam with joy and praise God for His grace and goodness in blessing a 3-hour friendship?
We talked until the plane touched down in Shanghai and until the sun rose at 630am. I bade farewell to him at the baggage collection belt but I believe that we will keep in touch. On a side note, I’m pretty sure I will be able to share with him some of my youth ministry experiences as well as to get his church team to play against TeamR-AGE. I was extremely exhausted by the time I cleared customs but this encounter was worth losing sleep for. God used a random person like me in a random situation to draw His child back to Himself.
the youth ministry you dream about.
During the prayer time before youth service, God directed me to 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 and downloaded an entire sermon into my head. But its contents are gonna be really tough to deliver so I think it’ll remain brewing in my head before it gets served.
VY and I had a good conversation over lunch today. I think having similar mentalities and visions towards ministry do help people to bond quickly. I enjoyed hearing him share and I also enjoyed sharing with him. I do hope there’s more to come from this fusion of hearts.
I crashed YX’s cell today (much to her reluctance and her sad face x 10) and I’d like to think it turned out better than I thought. I also joined the entire cell for dinner at Lot 1 and hung out at the top floor of the compound after we ate. It was there that I asked them to dream about the kind of youth ministry that they wanted to see. Here’s how a group of 14-18-year-olds responded:
“Everyone is discipled.”
“Hang out more, bond more.”
“Every youth knowing one another like one big family.”
Well, these are all great things to have. And I believe that if we all play our part, these dreams would become reality. The above-mentioned does resonate with what’s in my heart. I believe that for R-AGE to head to another level, we need to come to realise that this is OUR ministry and that we have to take ownership of it.
One thing that I really enjoyed about the SOAR youths was that they knew that they would exit the ministry (and Shanghai) once they turn 18 (and leave the country for college). And so a good number of them endeavour to leave behind a legacy. They knew that they were the ones who had to make it work. They knew that if they didn’t own the ministry, no one else would. I pray that this attitude would also be birthed R-AGE. I know a number of youths who already feel that way and I believe that I am strategically positioned to enable and empower more young people to catch this vision. Imagine its life-changing, Bukit Batok-shaking, ministry-revolutionising consequences!
I believe with all my heart that there is nothing more satisfying than witnessing youths leading youths. And what a great privilege it would be for me to help play a part in making vision that come true. I believe that R-AGE is on the threshold of a new dawn. Let’s put our hands into the plough. Everyone has a part to play. The youth ministry in G2 is about to explode. I believe that by faith and I believe that with all my heart. May that be in line with God’s will.