This period of time since the end of Harvest School can be easily summarized in a word: CHANGES. I was home for about a month to rest and prepare for another departure, finish up all the necessary administration and bid farewell to my loved ones. Every day was a race against time while I tried to accomplish what needed to be done online as much as possible before stepping foot on the state of uncertainty (pun intended if you get it).
Entering into my second week in Timor-Leste, I have newly commenced my part-time job as a chef and pest buster in da house and started language class. Moreover, with my experience working as a project manager previously, I have successfully completed the following personal project:
Project Get Comfy
Venue: My new home
Description: Jacob placed striped branches in front of the flocks at the watering trough whenever the stronger animals drank and mated. As a result, they produced spotted and speckled offspring and his flocks prospered (Genesis 30:37-43). In Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton’s Supernatural Ways of Royalty, it was mentioned that the watering trough is a place of reflection and meditation; it is a place where our imagination gets engaged. “Proverbs says, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Our imagination is a very powerful part of our being. Everything that has ever been built, made, painted, or developed began in someone’s imagination. We tend to reproduce what we feast our thoughts upon.”
Two thousand years later, there exists another watering trough - my cosy corner. This is the place where all creativity breaks loose. I want to intentionally feed my imagination with the goodness of my relationships with my loved ones, which I consider to be the core of my life. When all is striped away from me, what shall remain are neither my treasured possessions nor even my most technically and conceptually sound paintings, but the fullness of the Godhead in me and my relationships with my beloveds. Quoting Danny Silk, I want to, therefore, make it my top goal and priority to build and protect these relationships. After all, isn’t this part of the original creation order in the beginning (Genesis 1:26-27)?
I miss my birds on fire <3
Here you go, the artistic output of Project Get Comfy. When you see my paintings hanging in some gallery or museum in the near future, know that you are part of the initiation and making.
Finally, allow me to rewind the hands of the clock as I begin to conclude my beautiful chapter in Pohnpei.
On our second last outreach, my tribe went to an outer island called Barem. We came face to face with one divine appointment after another. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Martin, the principal of the elementary school on the island, who was sitting in a chair at the front porch of the island chief’s house. It happened to be prayer week in the school; hence, he graciously permitted us to bless the children during their morning prayer and play games with them during recess time. When we were in the school, the chief of the department of elementary education happened to be on a surprise visit to check on the teaching staff. We sat with him under a tree and listened on as he shared about the needs of the department. Pohnpei is truly blessed to have an education chief who devotes himself wholeheartedly to serving the future leaders of the nation. I am sure we were blessed by his heart, and even more so to be able to pray for him. After we parted ways, we walked around the island, going door to door to invite all the villagers for a get-together in the island chief’s house. We passed by the witchdoctor’s house and decided to pay him a visit too. The witchdoctor happened to be in need of healing. He, too, gave us permission to pray for him. Jesus healed him of his sickness, of course. He opened not only the door of his heart to Jesus but also the door of his entire household! God is good.
Our last outreach was an island tour, which perfectly marked the finale of the school. Despite not knowing how to swim, I jumped off a 23-feet waterfall. I thrived at 300% adrenaline level. More details in my subsequent writings!
In my ten weeks in Pohnpei, the importance of inculcating a culture of honor in families and communities has been reinforced to me. One of the directors of the school, Ruanne, said, ”The difference between discernment and judgment is love.” Many times I have been guilty of being critical of others, even if it was just a passing thought in my mind. Even Jesus said in Matthew 5:21-24 that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. I want to be more intentional in honoring and loving; I want to create a safe place of honor and love for the people I minister to and my partners and family.
I love an analogy that another director, Tanya, gave about community: all of us form a circle in a community with Jesus in the centre. Each of us is a point of access into the circle. If anyone of us has an issue not dealt with, it leaves an open door for the enemy to enter through and take the community’s attention away from Jesus. Therefore, each of our behaviors has a ripple effect on our community. This is always a good reminder.
I had wept for hours while getting wrecked by God and when it was time to say goodbye; I had laughed for hours under the power of the Holy Ghost. I had been undone and made whole. I have come to call my fellow schoolmates family. Thank you, my MC1 family, for braving through storms, dancing upon injustice and marching in victory with me.
I would never forget laughing so hard during one of the fire tunnels with Natasha and the others around me that I could not walk straight after and my stomach muscles cramped from the workout, or the weekend drunkenness with Kenny from the overflowing joy of the Lord. I would never forget the eternal fire in Pauly G that knitted Door of Hope so closely together, since we were really united when we laughed at you. I would never forget the extended time of crying with Melvin and Ashley by the pool after we sent off a huge bunch of our family, and Alex trying to make me laugh. I would never forget the fun time spent hanging out with the jovial brothers, Joey and Bryan, that completed my last two weeks in Pohnpei. I would never forget dancing so hard with everyone that the platform almost gave way and my clothes soaked in perspiration. I would never forget the at-home moments with Sami and Priscilla, or our midnight intercession and crazy thrift store shopping. I would never forget the hearty chats with Ashley under the starry night sky and the snuggles in her tent. I would never forget running into Yasemee’s arms after being away from each other during the weekends, or our Holy Spirit munchies together with Elijah right before curfew. I would never forget the three of us just getting lost in worship and intercession wherever and whenever. I love you guys so much!
P.S. Congrats Natasha and Bobby! I was blown away by your story and am overjoyed that you found each other in God’s perfect timing. Sending my love and blessings from TImor-Leste!