Sunday, 19 June 2016

Thoughts after attending the 11th Chinese Annual Bible Lectureship 2016

June is a very exciting month which we all look forward to every year. Besides looking forward to the June holidays when I can spend more time with my boys (including hubby!=)), we also look forward to attending our church's Chinese Annual Bible Lectureship (CABL) together.

This year, our CABL was held in Malacca. Unlike for the past 3 years when I was still on no-pay leave and had absolute freedom to go off whenever I want during the holidays. This year, I worry if I am able to attend the lectureship as it was held during the work week (1st week of June holidays) (Yes, teachers have to work during holidays too!). 

But thank God, my principal granted me time-off and we were able to make our way to Malacca in the afternoon (a pity we missed quite a number of speakers though).

I thank God for blessing me with 2 very active boys who have endless energy to exhaust. Well, it kind of trains up my stamina and patience.......But surprisingly, they can take road trips really well! All they need is some food and music and should they get bored, they will just sleep in the car.

I'm so glad that the journey this year was very smooth, we set off at 2.30 pm and reached Makkota Hotel @ Malacca at 5.30 pm, just in time for dinner! I can't believe we only take 3 hours to reach our destination. We have ever been stuck on the road for 5-6 hours (and that was from KL to Malacca) because the road condition was so bad and the narrow lanes in Malacca doesn't make things better.

Our theme for CABL 2016
We thank the sisters in Christ for putting in time and effort to prepare for the children's class
While gor gor Rayson was attending children's class, Rayden chose to stay with me in the lecture hall. I really have to commend this boy as it isn't easy for a 3.5 years old little boy to stay seated in a lecture hall from 9am till 6pm.

Rayson doing his coloring and Rayden reading his Bible story books......

How does Rayden entertain himself after Rayson went for his class? He continued reading and did his coloring......

And he decided to take a nap......

This is how he napped in the lecture hall.....while Papa and Mama listened to the speakers......
Change of position......
When gor gor was back from his class......

He sure was happy to have gor gor back for company.....

     Fooling around during our short break......

And this was how Rayden spent the whole day with me in the lecture hall while Ray and I listened to the speakers.

Never underestimate children, they are highly adaptable and their behavior depends highly on how parents communicate their expectations of them to them.

Waiting patiently in the room while Papa was meeting with the church leaders.......
These children will grow up and serve the Lord together  =)

Back in 2013......CABL @ Klang 

I think Rayden is really fortunate to have attend all the lectureships with us since he was born. The first time we attended CABL in Malaysia was in year 2013. Rayden was just born and as Rayson has been quite a handful to handle, I felt hesitant about bringing these 2 boys with us to Klang to attend a 3D2N full day lectureship when Ray suggested so.

Worries worries on my mind - "Can the boys take the long road trips well? Will they fuss?  How do I breastfeed Rayden if we were stuck in a jam? Will they last throughout the long lectures? Where will they take their afternoon naps?".......

So while I was worrying about all these......the then 2 months old Rayden came down with a bad cough which developed into bronchitis. Then came the endless visits to the paediatrician to have his phlegm sucked out. His condition dragged on and I wonder if he will ever recover.

"Do I still take him to Klang for our CABL if his condition doesn't improve? Maybe I should just stay in Singapore. It would be difficult to handle him in this condition....."

Well, we prayed about it, hoping that God would give us an answer. As the date of our CABL drew near, I was almost certain, we would not be able to attend.

But then.......Rayden miraculously recovered! I was stunned because the previous day Rayden was still having a phlegmy cough but the next day he was completely well! I guess this is the answer that God gave us =) There was no reason (or excuse) for us not to go.

Rayden taking his nap during the lectureship

Sharing the stroller with Rayden 
Drooling in his sleep?

Rayden cozy and comfortable at the hotel at night

I think everything went pretty smoothly though Rayden was kind of fussy and couldn't latch properly, perhaps he was distracted as he was in an unfamiliar environment.

As for Rayson, he was unexpectedly good! He sat with us at the lecture hall for 2 whole days, playing by himself and also found ways to take his afternoon naps. 

On our way back to Singapore, we were caught in a jam and were kind of stuck in the car for 6-7 hours. The usually short-tempered and easily frustrated Rayson took it pretty well. We enjoyed ourselves chatting with each other, listening to Papa's favorite songs from 动力火车 and snacking in the car. I think it's a fabulous family bonding time. 

At this moment, I realized my worries were all unfounded because God had it all planned. 

Moving on to 2014......CABL @ KL Sepang

CABL was held in KL and this was the boys' maiden trip on the plane. Our whole family fell sick before the event. And even though most of us have recovered.....Rayden was still having a diarrhea when it was time to set off. 

He diarrhea all over a cafe at the airport just before we were set to board the plane. It was so watery that no diaper would be able to hold it. I was just glad he was not sitting in his stroller but IKEA high chair. We cleaned up the mess of course because I would not want to trouble the cleaning Auntie to clean his poo poo all over the floor. worries came again....I was worried he would diarrhea on the plane and in the lecture hall. It would be a nightmare if he dirtied the carpet, how are we able to clean it? Would the hotel make us pay? We even contemplated putting Rayden in a basket from the hotel room so that the basket will be able to hold his diarrhea. But at the end of the day, thank God that none of my nightmares came true. However, Rayson fell sick on the last day and was hospitalized when we returned to Singapore.

Theme for CABL 2014

Rayden looking blur in the lecture hall

Nice resort which we don't have time to enjoy..haaa

On our return flight from KL to Singapore, Rayden cried for the whole journey, I have absolutely no idea what caused him to be so upset. Even latching doesn't comfort him. I'm just glad nobody on the plane chided me for not being able to pacify my child.

Rayson down with fever and Rayden with his swollen eyes after crying non-stop for an hour

Moving on to 2014 2015......CABL @ Johore

I can't believe that I did not take any pictures for this CABL, how can this be??!!!! There is no record of it at all!!! 

*Reminder from Ray*

After reading my write-up, Ray reminded me that there was this episode where he happily drove in to our destination in Johore without a GPS. How courageous is he! Now I remembered I was fuming mad but tried hard to control my mouth from shooting off. Well, he must be feeling anxious enough for losing his way, and for feeling bad that he had felt so confident the previous night that he does not need a GPS in Malaysia. I was terrified! It's a totally different story for being lost in Singapore and Malaysia. And also a great difference whether you are alone or having 2 young boys at the back of the car.

But thank God, we made it to our destination safe and sound eventually.

However, we are already kind of used to falling sick together before the event, this happens every year. We weren't too worried anymore, perhaps this is God's way of preparing our bodies. Usually, we recover in time. For this year, 2016, I was sick for almost a month and lost my voice 2 times but thank God, I was well before the event. And everything went really smooth, great trip, great weather, great road condition, we couldn't ask for more.

Having babies and children are great blessings from God. I remind myself everyday that although our children's needs are important, but our almighty God is so strong and powerful that there is nothing He can't do, we should not neglect God because of our children or family. Many a times, if we hand our worries to Him, He will definitely plan for us and along the journey, we will grow together as a family. Children, they are so sensitive and observant and are always ready to catch us if we do not match our words with actions. When we teach them that God is most important in our lives, do we show it to them as well? 

Do we miss Bible classes because we are tired? Do we miss church gatherings because our children need to have more rest? Do we stop coming to church because it's just too troublesome bringing our children? Do we teach our children or are we manipulated by them? Did our children just become obstacles to our spiritual growth? 

Let's not forget how hard we have prayed for God to bless us with children and when He has answered our prayers, let's not get distracted with our children and lose focus along our spiritual path. Instead, let us grow even closer to God as we enter parenthood. 

Kai Sin

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