Monday, December 31, 2012

A reflection of 2012: A new chapter awaits!

Here we are again....on the last day of the year. Don't u feel that year by year, time passes more and more quickly?

And usually at this time of the year, we take time to reflect on what has happened throughout the year, and also make resolutions for the coming year so we can break again. *HAHA*

But really, how was 2012 for u? For me, 2012 can be summarized into 2 halves, 1st half during my time in Japan and 2nd half back in Malaysia. It was generally a good year for me, especially the 1st half of the year.

1st Half

If u follow me on Facebook, u would have known that I went to Japan for an exchange for 5 months. It was a dream come true, and getting a good scholarship made it even better! :D I had a wonderful time during the exchange, making lots of friends and also challenging my Japanese ability to the fullest.

But things did not become so rosy after that. I'm done with my degree! It was decision time. Whether to continue study? Or start working? Where? What kind of job? All these questions were flying all over my head. But I knew that I wanted to continue to study Japanese, not because I am so in love with studying or Japanese language, but because it would feel like a waste if I just leave it half hanging. Coming back from Japan, I just felt I had the momentum to go on and if I don't continue, I would most likely lose it. And since I majored in it, I just wanted to get the highest proficiency to my ability, whether or not I will eventually use it in my working life in the future.

I looked for Japanese schools around Japan, and the fees were really costly. Of course if I could I wanted to stay on, but I also have to consider my parent's money, now that my brother Jonathan is also in college. Hence I decided to study back in Malaysia since I managed to find an institute that also have roughly the same program as the schools in Japan.

And that leads me to the 2nd half of 2012...

2nd Half

After being away from home for more than 3 years, it takes a while to adjust back ya know. The weather, the traffic here (if u don't know, Penang drivers are CRAZY!!!), and even church. During my time in Australia, I attended Paradise Community Church (now known as Influencer's Church) which I considered home. I loved the worship and the preaching, the vibrancy and the passion, the beliefs and the vision of the church. During those 3 years, I learned and grew so much in the Lord, and also in ministry. I flourished into the person I am today, thanks to my awesome pastors whom guided me and friends whom supported me. Even when I was in Japan, I attended a church that was rather small, but the DNA was similar to my church back in Australia.

Coming back to Penang, I was looking for a church with the same kind of DNA. Just for your info, I grew up in a beautiful baptist church called Georgetown Baptised Church (GBC), since I was a baby right up till my college days. I had wonderful memories there, from acting  in Sunday Schools when I was a little kid right until becoming a leader during my youth days.

But when I came back this time, I felt...different. I realized that all those are sweet memories, but I'm in a different season right now. A season in my life where my needs are different from the time I was there. Cut the long story short, I spoke to Daniel (GBC's youth pastor which I was formerly under) about it, and ask for his blessings. After that, I started looking for a new church....which led me to Exel Point Community Church (EPCC).

Naturally, it took some time for me to adjust to EPCC. Like getting to know new people, new worship songs etc. But 1 thing that made me feel at home was that EPCC had very similar DNA traits to my church back in Australia and Japan. 4 months have passed, and I feel very connected and at home there. I wanna thank God for that!

2 Highlights of 2012
On the 27th of October during campus retreat, I went out for prayer. As Pr Sam was praying for me, he said "Jeshua, I see empty vessels....It's not what u know or can do, but God wanna fill u up again." 
On the 18th of December during youth camp, I responded to 1 of the message preached by Pr Sandra. When Pr Sandra came to pray for me, she said something similar....." Young man, as I was preaching felt in my heart that God has something He wanted me to tell you. I see you have the heart to preach the word of God, but firstly God wants to fill you. He is going to fill you...I see vessels in you."

WOW!!!! After that I was stunned for a while. 2 different pastors at different camps spoke the same thing about me....It surely has to be God speaking!! o.O

Expectations for 2013
What else can I expect after what I just heard? Yes, that 2013 is going to be an exciting faith filled year for me, that God is going to fill me again with His grace and power.

I don't know what sort of year you've had, but I pray that 2013 will be a great year for you. If u had a good year, awesome!! If not, it's ok...Cheer up! Because a new chapter of your life is awaiting. =)

Blessed new year everyone!!! =D

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Placement test starts tmr! o.O

Yes, and I'm still sitting here blogging instead of studying. Lol. But it's not like I did not study before hand....I've done some revision but feel kinda lazy now to study. Haha...

The placement test is actually to examine our Japanese proficiency to know which class to enrol us into. So it's not a do or die thing, in fact I can actually act dumb and they will put me at the easiest level. Haha. But SURELY NOT! That would defeat the whole purpose of me coming here. I still need, and wanna do my best!

It's been almost 2 weeks since I came here and I'm starting to find momentum again. I'm back cooking, doing my glocery shopping and laundry. *Oh yeah! But boo to laundry....I just hate doing laundry!*

And u also start to get more farmiliar with people, the place and etc. I can proudly say I know more vocabulary than the last time I blogged! =P

So far I can say, Ryoda is my best friend here! He's the warden in I-House, my 'Japanese teacher', my friend.

Thanks to him, I've gotten more farmlilar with Nagoya. And of course, my Japanese has also improved because of him!

I would love to blog more but it seems like the internet connection right now is bad, and I need to sleep too. So....Bye peeps! Shall continue next time =D

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hello Nagoya!

I'm currently sitting here in my room, in Nagoya, Japan, typing this blog as the weather outside is quite gloomy today. Its been around 5 days since I arrived here. How has it been? It's been really exciting, fun yet challenging! Why? Cause everything is in Japanese!!!

For the past 5 days, I remember:
-Checking my phone dictionary in almost every sentences I make during conversation.
-The awkward moment when you and your friend stares blankly at each other, not understanding each other.
-Writing all the new vocabularies I've learn for the day in a book. (on average 10 new vocabs a day!)
-Looking through that book every night before I sleep.

It has been a real challenge for me, since it's the first time that I've used Japanese so often in my life. Back in Australia, it was only 4 hours of class a week and even so, we spoke English most of the time. But now, I'm using Japanese everyday! Each time I step out from my room, I know I will need to switch back to Japanese mode.

Apart from that, it has been REALLY GREAT!!!! People are very kind and friendly, and making new friends are always fun, isn't it? =D

This was the first night at I-House, my dormitory. The caretaker brought some plum liquor and snacks for us, and it was the first time we actually get to know each other!

And also, we had a city tour yesterday by the NUFS(Nagoya University of Foreign Studies) students. We went to the castle and also some shops in the city. The weather was terrible but apart from that, it was great fun!

Toshu, Koroko and Miki, the ones that brought us around.

Although sometimes I do feel a little stressed up when it comes to conversing, reading and even getting farmiliar with this new place, I'm determine to enjoy every moment of it!