Sunday, July 10, 2011

SEAsia Update #2

10 July 2011, 4:30AM.

Good morning Islamic morning prayer bullhorn! Good morning punctual rooster! Please let me sleep more. If I find you, I will eat you, although...

It feels like we haven't stopped eating the last few days, as we've been getting acquainted with the various slumvilles along with the band of food bloggers who have been raising tremendous financial support for Goducate's work in Sabah--their goal this year is 100,000SGD. The fifteen of them, led by Dr. Leslie Tay, are united by passion in eating. But through the budding relationship between I Eat I Shoot I Post and Goducate, many of these epicureans are hearing about the Lord of the Feast for the first time. Many of them were moved emotionally, especially by the "sacrifice" of those who are the gears of Goducate. Who though they were rich in the world, poured themselves out as an offering for their fellow poor. With us constantly the last few days were a Filipina missionary who oversees the work in Sabah and who is often away from her three children and her husband, a pastor in Kuala Lumpur, and from her homeland where she has legitimate papers and jobs... A local Chinese recycling tycoon who is an elder at his church, who donated Land Cruisers and other 4WD's as well as a house now used as a training center, and who chauffered us around since our arrival... And of course Dr. Paul Choo (now Papa Choo) whose wallet is thinner than it once was but whose heart is fuller and whose ministry is larger every day...

Praise God for the many conversations that were had since we all met Thursday. They marvel at "sacrifice" and compassion for the least of these. And they ask why, how. May there willingness to ask, seek, and press in bear fruit. We are grateful for the opportunity to share the way we understand all that we've encountered (I've been praying, as a foreigner in SEAsia and in this world but also especially for our times spent in the slums, that God would tell me what I am seeing and help me see things the way He does). The way I see it, poverty is swimming in your own poop.

Pray for those foodies to know Christ and to hunger and thirst for righteousness. May their curiosity deepen and our new friendships continue. Maybe I'll even follow through on their many invitations to show me what Singaporean eating is all about, and on their inviting themselves to food-tours of Chicago/NYC now that they have a host/friend in us.

Pray for Ali and Steve and PC's return home. I'm so thankful for them and I learn so much from these brothers who plant one developmentally minded foot each in both the City of God and the City of Man. Remember Ali especially as he flies to NYC Thursday, he has been away from Wendy and you all for six weeks. He and his gargling stomach have endured much especially from traipsing around with Singaporean foodies, ever since a spicy pawn he ate in Indonesia. We did have high tea yesterday during which he taught Steve and me how to play croquet, which he then did not win. They've just left for the airport and will be attending church this morning in Kota Kinabalu, then returning to the Sings--Steve to his work and his Lish, Makeila, and the gestating one. I'll be staying here, living with the missionaries and walking alongside the teenage teachers, girls who just a year ago were themselves Goducate students. When I look at them I see God's gracious hold on Ellen, Connie, Carissa and such girls.

Please continue to pray for the locals. Both the majority Muslim Malaysian population of the town and the displaced, stateless migrants of the slums, who constitute the largest unrecognized refugee population in the world. The UN has taken no action here and Malaysia is not a signatory to the declarations for the protection of children's health.

Pray for me both at home and abroad to love the LORD with all my heart, soul, and strength, and my neighbor as myself. And against falling through rotting wood planks into poop, mosquito-borne malaria, farmer's burns (not tans), theft and assault. Also I may need to drop another $250 to rebook the correct flights to and from the Philippines and anti-malarial pills tickle my gag reflex. Will be heading to a local church for service soon. Until then I will be thanking God for you while I improvise my "universal" travel power adapter with a nail file to accommodate that darned American third prong.

Love, peace and fried chicken grease (the foodies' last meal was KFC for yesterday's dinner... they were not pleased),


P/s Feel free to write back, let me know how you are and how I can pray for you. I'm textable! Technology is amazing.

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