Jan 4, 2017

December 2016

Just a quick update on what's been going on in the past month because I'm taking a break tonight from studying (in fact almost forgot to write this post, was watching NASA space videos just now instead, the one of the lady explaining how they live in the space station is so cool!)

So Term 1 of Year 3 ended on 16th December. To be honest, any more than that and I would have been so exhausted by university. It has been physically and mentally very exhausting. But God has been good and I have enjoyed the term, I just really needed a break ahahah.

Then 30 of us from the course went off on Sunday for a trip to Johnson&Johnson's The Vision Care Institute down south. We had a night of hotel stay (the few of us girls spent the night playing Politiko and taking crazy backward videos), then a day of workshops at the institute.

I then followed Piriyanga home in Ilford, near London. I loved spending time with her family and really enjoyed their hospitality.

Home cooked & tapao-ed food! Aunty told Piriyanga's uncle that she had a friend around, so he made extra apam (bottom left and top right) for me to try some! I did like it, especially the milk one! Apparently it's putumayam in Malaysia)

The lovely Piriyanga, coursemate and friend, thank you for being a great host and for bringing me around
We went into London to just walk around and enjoy the Christmas lights. I used my phone function to compile the videos together:

Tamil love on a plate :)
 To be honest, I would say I enjoyed spending time with Piriyanga's family in the house more than going into London for pretty Christmas lights but I guess that's me (or maybe I just didn't like being in the cold). I enjoy 'people' more than 'place'.

Leaving Piriyanga's home (so she can study without being distracted by me :P), I went to Uckfield to visit the store I'm doing my pre-reg next year at. The colleagues at the store are lovely, am again thankful for that.

Took a train to London (to take a train to Manchester). Had a few hours so spare, so I rang up Joey Chee whom I haven't met for 2 years since leaving MCKL and we had a quick Chinese dinner/catch up at Chop Chop (which was surprisingly Cheap Cheap too, but Chee Chee told me the reason why) near King's Cross.
The Joey Chee. Thanks for meeting up even though you had lots of revision to catch up with
(actually you won't even see this because you probably don't know I have a blog)
So, technically, after the term ended, I was still on the go for 5 more days or so before getting back to Manchester again. The day after I arrived Manchester,  I met up with Su Jane and Charis (I haven't met this girl for 2 years too!!)
It was so nice to catch up with these two beloved sisters in Christ :)

On Christmas day, I went for Christmas service at church, and sat with 2 Chinese students Kevin and Bing who were visiting for the first time, We then went to the Matholes' and they hosted us for their Christmas meal! Thank God for their love shown through their acts of service. Their kids were lovely too!

Donald Ye Ye asked me to bring a few friends over to his place over on Boxing Day too, so I brought TWO other Chinese friends to meet him.
...AND TOOK A PICTURE YAYYYY I have a picture with Donald Ye Ye (Yay Yay?)!
I studied with Pui Yee for most of the next few days at the Learning Commons..

Then I caught a cold so I was sick over the last day of the year and the first day of the year. But I think it was my body shouting at me to get some rest. It also made me talk more to God and pray for family and friends which I might not have done if I was well and busy trying to revise.

I was reading an article on meditating (focusing of mind, not emptying of mind) on God's word and I realise that I have been swallowing but not chewing on God's word. I have been rushing and not savouring my time with Him. When I haven't been fed well with His words, it made me fall into the pit of worrying once again for the future etc.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

And the only person at loss when I don't feed myself with His words is--me. Because I worry instead of claiming and experiencing the joy and peace that is given freely to me in Christ.

Read Philippians 1 just now and did have a few things to ask God for. A love for Him that abounds more and more, boldness, to take charge of ME, to make my life worthy of Jesus' good news, to stand firm with my Christian brothers and sisters, and to be the 1st place in my heart above pride, money, success, wanting a comfortable life..

And how my heart is so prone to wander (Edit: Just realised I said the same thing in 2 recent other posts too, just proves a point innit). God is so faithful even when I'm unfaithful.

Then I happened to read this:
Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' Luke 15:3-6

A reminder of how God chases, relentlessly, those of us who are lost.

Okay those were a whole bunch of random musings thrown into the mix of updates.

I'm still such a workaholic even though I think I'm a lot better compared to last year. Like, tonight because I'm not studying, somewhere in the back of my mind I'm thinking to myself whether I will regret not studying tonight. But I think I will be fine so I shouldn't worry so much.

It was nice to give random calls to Ajia, Mummy, Gugu + Ah Ma in the midst of studying too (because the future me would've wished I did things like that instead of just study, so hey, I think I have a good balance already).

Well, nice to have a litttttttlle break before exams start in 17 Jan. To be fair, this is much less stressful than term time so I should embrace it!

Aug 29, 2016

Summer 2016

This is almost definitely my last long summer holiday of my life, because I am graduating next year (wait what?!). Just thought I'd have a recap of what happened this summer! Technically, summer hasn't ended, but I don't think I will bother to write a blog post in a few weeks' time so I shall do this in advance instead, and pretend that summer has ended. :P

1. In my 2 weeks right after exams ended: Salford Quays with some coursemates. Afternoon tea @ Teacup with some girlfriends. Met up with Maria my Moldovan flatmate from first year and she drew me a portrait at Whitworth Park. Went to Fletcher Moss Park with Joyce Cheng. Had Sarawak Laksa (brought the paste back from Kuching ages ago but never used it) with the Best Investment Girls. Afternoon tea @ Richmond Tea Rooms on my bday with my Jesus girls. Potluck at home with the Singaporean and Malaysian Optoms to celebrate Jit Ming and my birthday. Last lunch with Amanda Tan with other girls @ Didsbury where she gave us a really cool mini Linguistics lecture. Had Pizza Hut lunch with Chia Hui, someone I became friends with through the Malaysian Night Props Team. Archie's with Chloe Yinn. A bible study at Sabine's house for people interested to find out more. Solo IKEA trip (more like solo-bus-trip-to-make-use-of-bus-pass-before-it-expired). Went to a BBC Philharmonic because I got an unexpected free ticket online. Met up with Kunju, a Korean friend I made through another Korean friend. Catch up with Theresa Lau at Al-Taiba where we had my favourite Chicken Al-Fahm With Rice (Grilled chicken with rice).





2. Specsavers Placement (20June-15July)

Shin Yi, Jit Ming and I arrived in Portsmouth. Specsavers provided us with accommodation: Harry Law Hall (a Uni of Portsmouth student hall). We made some new friends: Liz, a Canadian doing her pHd; Vivian, a Dental Nurse; Angela, from some French-colony island. I enjoyed my placement. My colleagues at work are very nice: Leanne, Wendy (with her dugh-dugh-dughhh!), Marianne,..Shin Yi, Jit Ming and I visited Bristol (hosted by lovely Serena Chew), and Bath. We also went to London twice: First time was a food trip, we went to around 6 different places. Second time was to watch Phantom of the Opera, which was my first theatre (it was more like an opera though..duh Angeline).






4. Came back to Manchester and hung out with Ally Suen and Veronica quite a lot. Went to iCafe and as it happens every summer, I get a few new Chinese friends on my WeChat hahaha.
This was when I was cycling back home using Joyce's bike and Ally & Veron called out to me when I passed by them on Oxford Road ahahaha

3. Greece (3Aug-12Aug)

Went to Greece with Serena! Had various adventures. I'm really lazy to type it all out again because I've told people about them, but I feel like I should, for the sake of keeping a record. Before the trip, I realise that I didn't buy tickets get to London because I was so sure the past Angeline must've done it half a year ago. Then we realised that we didn't have a flight from Santorini to Athens because it was refunded due to schedule changes and we thought it only applied to another flight. In Greece, Serena almost got pickpocketed on our first day out but I was wary and we managed to get away before the person got anything. I started getting very bad rashes which made my whole body itchy and red. Went to the hospital, and the doctor said it was bug bites. I had to wash all my clothes in hot water and try to vacuum my suitcase and iron clothes. We accidentally burn the host's floor. We decide to be honest and tell our Airbnb host. We communicate with our host through an online translator (she could only speak Greek) and she is frustrated at the end because we don't understand each other (technology fails sometimes). We pay our compensation. I try not to think about it. Serena is great though, she tries to laugh off things and it makes everything a lot less worse. Then in Santorini, I couldn't unlock the combination lock of my suitcase. That sums up our adventures hahaha. When I was in Manchester, I broke my new spectacles because I tried to fix a problem myself. Then, I wasn't happy to pay the price of a replacement frame and tried to fix the new problem with superglue. It didn't work for long (in fact, the glue wore off on the day of flight to Greece), so I took it back to the store, but realised that I had to pay double the price but because my failed superglue solution to the problem caused another problem. I pay the price. I try not to think about it. In fact, I think these things are probably there to train me to not have a tight grip on money. Some people say "think of it as paying for a lesson", and I only hope that I have really learnt the lesson of being careful and not try to be too smart.









4. Hospital placement
Went to the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital for a week of hospital placement! I really enjoyed it. There were so many things to see but too little time! Went to clinical imaging department, corneal imaging, macula treatment centre, operation theatre (watched trabeculectomy), A & E, and Withington cataract centre.

5. Eurolens work experience
Had the opportunity to have a week of experience at Eurolens. I helped Maria with video analysis which involved a lot of clicking with the mouse. Watched 2 clinical visits. Overall, I thought it was a good exposure to see what they do and it was a good use of the 1 week (also managed to do some revision for 3rd year using a Clinical Ophthalmology book lying around in the office)

6. Sheffield alpaca farm with Selina, Lu Fang and Estelle!
  To-do list: Touch (and feed) an alpaca. Check!



7. CU Forum
Will be going in a week, hope I will enjoy it, because I really..dislike...camping..
8. International Freshers & Freshers Week
Right after Forum. May God use the CU events mightily and work through them and let us see people coming to hear the good news that brings life, and relationships being built where friends will actually have their eyes opened to see the light of Jesus!

8. THIRD. YEAR. STARTS. BOOM.

Jul 31, 2016

30.07.2016


Some musings.

These few days, I've been a bit moody, and it might be because of the cold I'm having, but I just felt that life is weary; you need to work/study, toil every day, and the cycle repeats. And feeling a bit weary in the Christian journey as well. I often wonder how a Christian presses on for 70-80 years, if they live that long. Donald Ye Ye told me, "It's Jesus who keeps me going." The irony of having such thoughts is that I'm in the most restful season of the year: summer. I sometimes think it'll be nice if I can just leave and party in heaven already. But I told Ajia not to worry, I'm not having suicidal thoughts. It was apt to read this in Isobel Kuhn's Nests Above the Abyss book today:
"..perhaps you are facing a drab period when all the colour has seemed to depart from life....First, remember that this has come only to pass. Second, be sure that they are an opportunity for more abundant fruitfulness. That is always their purpose. It was the ugly confinement of prison which brought Luke's Gospel, Paul's prison epistles, etc.. Third, go on and open your eyes to see God's edelwiess. That is what Miss Carmichael calls the little happy things sent to cheer the greyness of the Heat Mist days."

I do get the "what is the point of life" feeling every once in a while. And they always remind me that I don't know where I'll be without Christ. What does one hope in? What does one find joy in? Where does one go to for refuge? Things of this life are so fleeting. They are here today and gone tomorrow. Isn't that true also of our fragile lives? If I didn't know Jesus, I would imagine myself living aimlessly, trying to please people and gain acceptance to feel like my existence is just a little more justified. I wouldn't know what to live for! I would think life is difficult. Money is hard to earn for. I would be so scared of death that I would just live in denial of death. I would feel very insecure. Yes, insecure is probably the word which would describe my life best--except! Because I know the person Jesus! Friend, redeemer, refuge, King, Lord,..who loves me before I even knew Him, who is faithful when I am faithless or unfaithful, who is always there even when I don't think of Him, who redeemed me from my pit of self-centredness that separates me from my Creator.

Yet, my heart wanders so often and my love for God is like the morning dew. But this period of emo-ness will pass. May it be an opportunity for abundant fruitfulness. And may I remember the little happy things that God has put in my way. I just need to notice them. What a whiner I am! I read Isobel Kuhn's book on the trials and hardships and unimaginable sufferings that Christian missionaries and new Christians have had to go through in Lisuland, China. I don't think I would be able to go through what they did! And here I am whining over..nothing.

Today, this song came to mind:
There is none like you
No one else can touch my heart like You do
I could search for all eternity long
And find, there is none like You


Jun 11, 2016

2nd Year

Completed 2nd year! It's quite unbelievable. I still remember going into 2nd year and feeling nervous last summer, but now it's over! 

The first semester was really hectic. Our schedule was packed, and there were so many things to learn and do. I was really quite stressed, but I think it also taught me to fix my eyes on Jesus and to find joy in Him instead. It's probably only easier for me to look back and be able to say that. I also took up the role of hall group leader, which was new to me and many times I still felt like I was so unequipped for it, but I also learnt that weakness makes us humble and completely rely on God. It is tricky when you feel like you've so much course-related stuff to do, but need to head off to hall group and CU (especially harder because no one turned up at the Ashburne one, it is a test of faithfulness). Another thing to learn was seeing the big picture of God's plan, which is to bring in as many people into His kingdom, and to want to be part of God's big story. My heart is so prone to wander, and I can resonate with what Paul says. "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

Thankfully, the 2nd semester of 2nd year has been the most enjoyable semester so far in these 2 years. I've really enjoyed almost all of the modules, and there has been a lot more free time. The 4 Christian Unions of Manchester put together an events week, where events were organised everyday and great speakers Michael Green and Michael Ots shared the gospel clearly everyday. We had the joy of seeing students seeing the truth found in the good news of Jesus Christ and accepting Him into their hearts as Saviour. 

Friendships have also blossomed this year, and I am really blessed with many close friends that I treasure dearly. If I can experience such love from friends on this fallen earth, how much more deeper is the love of God for us! 

I've also taken up (with much hesitation) the role of hall group coordinator. Still feeling weak and unequipped but I need to look to God for help! And may I always have the joy of serving Him and staying faithful even when life gets busy. I also had the joy of celebrating my 21st with friends. Felt very loved receiving all the gifts and cards with sweet messages. 

I've been thinking "I feel like my life has been smooth these 21 years. I wonder what things will come at me in the future." But I hope I will be able to be like what the Psalmist says, "He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord." 









With the guests from Europe who came to help during CU events week! 







 At Richmond Tea Rooms with Amber, Estelle Ally and Nancy (who is leaving for Cambridge for Masters!)

Potluck at my place with Jit Ming, Pui Yee, Amy, Andrea and Shin Yi