Monday, 10 July 2017

Our 12th Chinese Annual Bible Lectureship (CABL) @ Ipoh

We look forward to attending our annual CABL as a family every year! And this year will be baby R3's 1st time attending with us, I'm so excited! Ipoh was chosen as the venue this time round, it is no doubt a bit far (very far in fact) but it didn't deter us from attending. There are many things that we are thankful for and I think it is really a great experience for us.

Baby Rayes in the car on the way to Ipoh
I am thankful that the boys look forward to attending CABL with us. R1 and R2 knew what it's going to be like, nothing like a holiday but 2.5 days of intensive lectures with us. It's a bonus if there is a children's class but nope, there is none this year.

R1: 我喜欢和教堂的人一起出去,有他们在我就很开心。(I enjoy the company of our church members and I feel very happy whenever I'm with them.)

I am thankful that our small little 1.4L car is able to withstand this long journey. After baby R3 was born, I wish we have a bigger car so that we can still give our parents a lift, it will also be more convenient and comfortable to bring everybody (including the grandparents) out if we have a 7 seater. Nope, there is little space in the car, even for me, now. However, I remind myself to be thankful, at least we have a car! Big or small, at least it moves and moves very well. It endures 8 hours drive with us. Hey, good job!

The 3 car seats took up most of the space in our car and so I am squeezed or squashed at the back between 2 car seats. This time round, I decide that I could stay squashed for an 8 hours or longer trip and this saved us at least 1k because we would not need to rent a car then. Unexpectedly, it isn't as uncomfortable as I thought. I am thankful for my petite frame.

The day the boys have been waiting for finally came and we set off early in the morning. It was raining a little but the traffic was pretty smooth.

I told baby R3: "Please don't poop in the car."

I am thankful that my active boys take road trips pretty well. No toys or busy bags (ok, maybe 1 fidget spinner for R1) needed to entertain them on the car. We passed our time chatting with each other, eating snacks and sleeping.

After 8 hours, we finally saw our destination and we cheered! IPOH, here we come!

I am thankful we reached our hotel Syeun Hotel without much difficulties. It's a really nice and big hotel with great food. Just that you will be confused by their spelling of their hotel name = Sometimes it's "Syeun" and sometimes it's "Syuen". Did you notice it? Is it a deliberate mistake?

I am thankful our room is so big and spacious (this is unimaginable in Spore as it would cost a bomb!) the boys have plenty of space to run about. We would stay here for the next 6 days!

Hubby suggested reaching Ipoh 2 days earlier so that we could have more rest before the CABL and also go sight-seeing. I wasn't really so keen on sight seeing at Ipoh in this horrible weather and thought we would most probably end up lazing around in the hotel room, that would be a waste of time. Are you sure we are going to reach Ipoh that early?

Anyway, we did not plan anything for  that day because we just wanted to rest after a long journey.
It was a pleasant surprise the hotel has a nice children pool and the boys had a great time water playing.

Sight seeing around Ipoh

The next day, our brother and sister in Christ kindly brought us sight seeing around Ipoh. I am really thankful the weather was FANTASTIC! You know how terribly hot the weather has been these recent months but that day, the weather was perfect! It was cloudy and cool, but not raining. I am also thankful there is someone to bring us around because I did not research much on Ipoh.

Gunung Lang

I really do not know why am I wearing the life jacket with baby R3 in my carrier, just for show maybe . After crossing the lake, we took a nice walk leisurely around the recreational park.

There are some animals, not many but R1 had fun with the ostrich. You know how children are always so intrigued by animals. There's also a nice dinosaur themed playground at the park! Oh how their eyes twinkle when they saw this.

Concubine Lane

Next we explored the "Concubine Lane". The name is so interesting I wonder what's the story behind these lanes..hmm. I love their nostalgic feel which reminds me of "九份" in Taiwan. If I have a chance to visit again, I'll surely spend more time shopping at the little stalls which sells very interesting things.

Kek Lok Tong

After lunch, we went to one of the many caves in Perak,"Kek Lok Tong" (which is also know as "Cave of Great Happiness".  It's a good chance to show the boys how a cave looks like. R2 asked me if we'll see a bear inside. ( because he read "We're going on a bear hunt")

Well no bears, only some goose on the loose. 

I would say I have a very good impression of Ipoh! I love how we could always see the mountains afar and even the air seem fresher here. It has a number of interesting places of interest too. But I guess the fantastic weather is the main reason why I can appreciate its beauty. When you're hot and sweaty, your judgement of a place will just go off.

Birch Memorial Clock Tower
This marks the end of our great sight seeing session . We have been out since morning and this is the perfect time to go back to the hotel for a nap.

Our 12th Chinese Annual Bible Lectureship

Lectureship starts the next day.

This is the 5th year that we attend our Annual Bible lectureship as a family. This year, we are so blessed to bring baby Rayes along, though he sticks to me most of the time and mostly in my carrier, but I still get to listen to most of the speakers.

Rayson and Rayden "camped" in the lecture hall throughout the 2 and a half day lectureship.

Rayden was very happy with his blue little picnic mat and kept himself occupied.
He played with his toy cars, did some colorings, wrote his journal, drew on his boogie board, talked to Totoro, bathed Totoro, changed Totoro's diaper, ate his blueberries, "swam" in his  blue little pool (the blue picnic mat). And fell asleep on his mat when he was tired.

For the 2nd day, we stayed in the hall from 9 am to 6pm and when they announced that the lessons for that day has ended and we could go for our dinner....

Rayson: So fast??!!!

Me: Fast? You have been here since morning?!

Rayson: But the sky is still bright!

Learning point: It's all about managing our expectations! 

I really think less is more for kids and I wish I realized this sooner.

And the unexpected takeaways for this Ipoh trip are

1) Rayden learned how to button and unbutton his sweater (something which I have been wanting to train him)
2) He became diaper free at night!!! Yes!
3) He learned how to spell "IPOH" (when he doesn't even know how to spell his own name)

God heard my prayers. Thank you Father.

And it's not the end yet.........After lectureship has ended (Saturday), we drove to Kuala Lumpur for a night's stay @ OneWorld Hotel because we wanted to worship at Church of Christ @ Klang on Sunday.

Enjoying their breakfast at One World Hotel
 After breakfast, we drove to Klang Church of Christ on Sunday morning to worship God.

Ray sharing during worship

This is the man who has worked the hardest for this Ipoh trip.

The only driver for our 8 hours trip (where we can sleep as and when we like), the one who woke up in the middle of the night to work (after helping to put the boys to bed) and prepare for his sharing (I sweat and pray for him). And yet not a tinge of frustration nor a word of complaint from him. Nothing but admiration for him. 

He has come a long way. From a non believer  to a Christian now sharing about his strong belief in Creation. I hope we will continue to grow as a family.

After worship, we made our way back to Singapore. We thank God for the smooth traffic and also for making home alive with the driver seriously lacking in sleep. It was already 6+pm when we reached and we decided to reward the boys with a Macdonald meal because they have been so good enduring these long journeys with us. 


What Rayson said is very true : I feel very happy in the company of the Aunties and Uncles from Church . 

I hope our boys will always feel this way, that they are always happy whenever we are with our family in Christ.

Sometimes, we look for reasons to attend Church gatherings. ( other than Sunday Worship)
Sometimes, we feel that if we attend, we must gain something, perhaps some knowledge or perhaps to be encouraged by the speakers...

Maybe we are too busy with work. 
Maybe we are too tired. 
Maybe it's too intensive. 
Maybe it isn't Sunday worship. 
Maybe there aren't many people attending. 
Maybe I wouldn't understand the speaker anyway. 
Maybe it's just a camp! 
Maybe, maybe...many maybes...

Maybe we don't necessary need to get something out from anything we do. 

Maybe everyone just need to do our part and plays a role in supporting all the gatherings ( be it bible classes, church camps, worships, lecturships etc). 
Maybe we just need to say "Yes I will go " and leave the rest to God. 
Maybe this is what God wants in his family. 
Maybe our Father in Heaven wants to see his children enjoying each other's company, just like how we wish our children to have a close relationship with each other. 
Maybe we do it for God, not for ourselves. 
Maybe the organizers put in a lot of hard work.

Maybe we gain more than we expect and have grown unknowingly. What do you think?

Kai Sin

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