Saturday, June 27, 2015

Post-Trip Reflections, Part 1 (Sam)


Hello from the wonderful world of CI!

Well, the trip is over, but for the team, the adventure has only really just begun! Looking back at these past weeks, I am so grateful to see how God has worked in both the lives of the children that we had the privilege to work with, as well as ourselves as a team. 

We experienced great times of fellowship, coupled with everyday struggles and growing pains. But we did our best learned from each situation we encountered, and grown despite the trial. Throughout the trip, we all shared in group devotions and the small group discussions afterwards. These were great times for honesty and growth. I think each of us came away with a different perspective of God's word. 

For me, I realized a bit more about just what it looks like to love God with All our heart, soul, mind and strength, and some of the differences between them. How, in reality, All our love must go to God alone, and then it's through His power that we can love others with the love that he gives back to us. Also, the fact that when Jesus calls us to himself, he asks us to count the cost of discipleship. We must take up our cross. It sounds so cliché, but in reality, it should be totally life changing. I must live as a slave to God. Nothing I have is my own, including the rights to say what I want, watch what I want, listen to what I want, wear what I want, and do what I want. It's all about what He wants. I discovered this through another topic we discussed as a group, and that was the power of questioning motivation.

I've learned that it's so important to ask "why?" Why am I doing this? What are the reasons for this decision? Is it to look good, or to please God? The actions can look identical, but the motives are extreme opposites. And it's all about the motive. 

As we all return home, it's my desire and prayer that we will take what we've been shown through God's word, and apply it to our everyday lives. And not only that, but that we would be able to "teach others also" through starting up intentional discipleship small groups. It's our goal to live with an intense intentionality, knowing that life is short, and we must spend it wisely. 

Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement!

Sam Oliviero
Staff Member

Day 23: Give Thanks!

I woke up this morning and wondered why I felt so sad. Of course, it was the last day of CI! Today was the day we have to say goodbye to each other and return to our own respective countries. As I continued on feeling sad, from my room I could hear someone softly playing "Give Thanks" on the piano in the living room. As the sweet music continued to flow into our room, I was reminded to give thanks. Indeed, saying goodbye is always difficult, but looking back at the whole trip, I have so much to be grateful for!

Team 5 says goodbye!

I am grateful for yet another year in CI, the immense blessing of having the opportunity of serving God with a group of like-minded Christians! It's truly an irreplaceable learning experience. But one thing I am especially grateful to God for is how He has truly stretched me this trip in my people relationships. This was an area I havent been growing much in and I am very grateful for how He has been showing me my need to start growing - to learn true love (though it may be tough), to grow in maturity in relating to different people, to not be biased, etc. I am grateful God did not give me what I would have wanted, but what He knew was best for me.

Having said that, when we sat down for breakfast that morning, it was still sad to know that that was our last breakfast in Jakarta (in 2015). :( After breakfast in our host's house, we moved on to the Hartono's to meet up with all the other team members (for the last time). :( As a whole team, we went to a nearby mall for lunch and some last shopping (for the last time). :( Then we went back to the Hartono's with only a few hours left till we had to leave for the airport.

Everyone was trying to make the most of those last few hours we had together, talking, sharing, jamming, playing games, and of course signing each other's books. And the sad time has arrived, it was time to say goodbye. Last pictures were taken, goodbyes were said, a few tears were shed - this was always the part of CI that I hated most because we have lived with each other for over three weeks and the bond was there. But life is like that! :D It's time to move on!

Praying for one another

And yet with sad, wistful feelings in my poor stomach, there was also some joy deep down mixed up with it because we were going back to HOME SWEET HOME! After all, there's nowhere else like home! About to be reunited with Pa, Ma, and little sister :D

Overall, reflecting on the whole trip - it is heartwarming to see how a lot of us have grown through CI, whether spiritually or in learning to journey together as a team! I praise God for how He has worked in our hearts and lives - because ultimately it is Him who causes changes and growth and CI would be nothing if not for our Heavenly Father. I will cherish the fond memories we have made together, going through ups and downs together and coming back stretched and matured and thankfully still in one piece :D. I am excited to see how each of us will bring back the things we have learned and impact our society today, to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind, and all of our strength!

Grace Ling
Team Member

Friday, June 26, 2015

Day 22: Shopping in Bogor

Hi!!! Elijah Kong here reporting from Puncak. Today, I've some good news & bad news. The good news is: we are going back to Jakarta!!!! Yay!!! But the bad news is.... None of us wanted to go back (including myself). But anyways, let me just tell you guys what we did today and personally what I learned from this trip.

SEA CI Team 2015

D'Jungle, Puncak

Our day started off with taking individual and group pictures. Imagine the sleepiness that have left its mark on these mortals' faces after a day of hunger games and 'stay-up-till-late-night'. ;) After taking pictures, we soon headed home to Jakarta, well, not really, because here comes the fun part: Shopping!!! Yay!!! We stopped by at Bogor to buy some souvenirs for our families. After that, we departed to Jakarta.

We arrived at the Badudu's house and all of us were deployed to our host's vehicles and were soon heading back to our respective places.

Personally, I learned lots of stuff in this year's trip. But what encouraged me the most is the devotions which Victor conducted. Loving The Lord is not easy, which includes giving up our dreams & desires, our deeply treasured belongings. But God wants us to put Him on top of all these things, then only will His Power be in us. Nuff' said. :)

I think that's all from me for now. Goodbye!

Signing out,
Elijah Kong 
Team Member

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Day 21: Let the games begin!

     HAAAIIIIIII!!!! I'm Nathaniel Kong from Malaysia! (woohooo!) Today is the second day of the retreat that we're having on the hills of Puncak. And today is a very special day! Wanna know why? (drumrolls) Because today is GAMES DAY!!!!!

          Okay, so let me get started. Everyone is needed to wake up early and meet together at our meeting place (and it's already bright by then!). But imagine waking up early when your sleeping place is almost surrounded by dew! After some struggle with the sleep and cold, we finally assembled at "Aula", our meeting place.

Morning exercises
Getting all ready for the games!

              Over there, Victor split us into groups of four. He then told us about the game which we are about to play, which is called the Spiritual Hunger Games. It goes like this. All four groups started out as tribespeople and have to come up with their own tribe name, and each individual need to have one name, and each group need to come up with their own language. And worst of all, no English! (gasp) The goal of the game is that each tribe needs to be civilised. To be civilised, you need to earn TDPs (Tribal Development Points). To earn TDPs, you need to buy things with TDPs. And to buy things, you need gold. AND to get gold, you need to play mini games. AND to play mini games, you need everyone from your tribe to be there. After that, we ate breakfast and then, LET THE GAMES BEGIN! And it lasted till lunch.

             We had a great time playing with each other and spending time together. And that night, we see videos and pictures about the whole trip. Everyone spent their time getting people to write in their notebooks and exchanging information. 

             Lastly, had Curt from Junior Master Chef Indonesia cook for us! It was one of the best moments I have and I'm really grateful God for allowing me to join this trip and all the people who made this trip possible. As for me myself, I have learned a lot from this trip and I would really like to join this trip again.

              So long folks!

Nathaniel Kong
Team Member

Day 20: A River Retreat in Puncak!

    Hello! My name is Jemima and I'm from Malaysia! Yay! It's my first time joining CI this year! I will be talking about the last Saturday of our trip, the 20th.

    I woke up at 4 in the morning to begin our journey to 'Puncak' for our little retreat at River Camp to wind down and celebrate after three weeks of CI. The location was high in the mountains, so the weather was cold. We had much fun and games together during our stay there. I really enjoyed the fellowship.

    One very fun event we had was our hike upstream along a river to a waterfall. There some of us played under the splashing waters, screaming because of the freezing water. I did not join their splashing and screaming, but as I watched them, I felt that I would want to spend more time with my dad hiking in the forest when I get back home to Malaysia.

    That night, all the families and CI teachers gathered for a fun Family Night. The theme was the SEA Games and each group was a country. We had to come up with a cheer that represented our country, then we played the game Telephone Charades It was enjoyable seeing each group act out the word they were given.

Team Singapore's Cheer!

Team Philippines!

    After supper, we gathered in a circle and read some of our "Story of My Life" stories. Someone would read a personal story written by another person and try to guess who that person is. It was fun and really interesting getting to know more about one another.

    In all, this day had been a very enjoyable experience. I loved spending time with my friends, and I look forward to seeing them again in the future.

God bless!
Jemima Chong
Team Member

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Day 19: Last Day of CI

What a crazy and amazing few weeks it's been here at SEA CI. With today being the last day of CI there are so many feelings going around, mainly sad ones since we had to say goodbye to are CI kids, which in turn inevitably means that we CI teachers, CI staff, and CI translators, will also have to say goodbye to each other in a couple of days.

Though it is my main hope and prayer that the CI kids will be able to take away and remember the key points that we taught them, from God's Word, the skits and all the Principles and Character Qualities these past weeks.

I also pray that the teachers, myself included, the staff and the translators will walk away from this last month with a deeper and great hunger and desire to love God, and to really know what that means.

This CI trip has been so much more than I had hoped for.

It has been so amazing to see and feel how God has worked in me and around me throughout these few weeks.I've been able to meet so many other believers in Christ, and made so many new friendships.

I will always remember my time here at SEA CI.

God bless,
Erik Fredrickson
Team Member

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Day 18: The Treasure (Philippians 3)

'Twas a beautiful morning in sunny Jakarta. I stopped outside for a breath of fresh air. When I heard laughter and hooting of a scale I have never witnessed. It was Victor who was painting a picture of a man so desperate he sold everything he had to buy a pearl, even the clothes on his back.

He challenged us so that we might want to give all that we had to know God more in a Philippians 3 context.

As of writing this, that picture is still ringing in my mind as we all sit down for lunch. Everyone is talking, some about relativity; others about other things. We have also been required to write the story of our "SEA CI Lives".

Writing our individual SEA CI stories

In mere hours, we prepare for the second last day of CI. Oh my, so fast... Ah well, still fun. Oh and we'll have a sequel of our skit about Sakura. Tonight, I'll write about how CI actually went.

The Sequel of Sakura

Down to a duel with the Ninja

Sakura finally retries Yoshka

"Hi there again!" I'm writing this after CI. Tonight was amazingly AWESOME! Significance at its finest! 

The kids were super attentive and energetic at the same time. I taught the best lesson I ever did these past 3 weeks and I can only hope that tomorrow is a through-the-roof significant day!

James Pasaribu
Team Member

Day 17: Beriku Hati Orphanage

Hello! I'm Dorcas, writing from Indonesia! The CI team met in the Badudu's house, and then we set off for the Beriku Hati Orphanage. It took us about 1 hour to reach there. The kids greeted us very politely and respectfully, and there was a cheerful round of shaking hands and "hi's". 

The kids sang 2 songs for us, 1 of which they made up themselves, and it was lovely! When they were done, Adlai introduced us, and then we sang 2 songs also.

The kids performing a beautiful song for our team

Martha had a skit for the kids! It was a modified version of Jesus and His love for us, and how He died for us though we were sinners. It was awesome, and I really think that they did a good job.

We played a game, and it was called the Cat and the Mouse. The game really warmed the kids up. They loved it, and were shouting excitedly during the game. 

To end off, we had lunch & had to say goodbye to all of them. :( 

We went back to our respective host's homes to wash up and prepare for seminar night. We went to church and started preparing for the night by cutting crafts and planning lessons etc.

Dinner was hamburgers - yum! Then... The kids arrived, and the night had begun! Our team teamed up with another team in the first lesson. Jerry used a magic card trick to illustrate the character of discernment.

We went back to our own teams and I taught the kids the craft of three different coloured lenses.

Large group one began and we learnt the songs and verses. After that, we had "a... STORY!" 

It was an interesting plot of a little eight year old boy Junior who had to fight against three little boys of the same age, the greatest of them called DALE. Junior lost, but kept training while the other 3 lazed off and defeated them in the next competition. This showed DETERMINATION and responsibility.

Back at our small groups, James our team leader taught the kids about how Christians are foolish in the eyes of the world, but are wise in God's eyes. We did a craft and large group came again! 

We revised the songs and verses and had a wonderful skit! This time the setting was in ancient Japan, and there lived a general called Sakura and his son Yoshka. General Sakura loved and took care of his son and guarded him against any kidnappers. But as time went on, Sakura grew lazy. He fell asleep and that very night the great Thief came. He stole Yoshka and ran away with him.

Sakura awoke to find Yoshka gone, and fell down crying. This story illustrates of how Jesus will come back like a thief in the night and that we have to be vigilant or we may not be ready. We ended the night and played Mr Wolf while waiting for the parents.

Cooldown (debrief) started and each team leader share shortly of how his/her team was doing, and then we were home bound.

Yay, today was outstanding!

Dorcas Ling
Team Member
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