Tuesday, January 15, 2008.
OF CHOCOLATE AND GIRLS :)
Two words always associated together :) Where there's chocolate to be had, there will be girls :) Been meaning to blog about a chocolate experience I had last Friday but never got down to doing it so, here it is!
Last Friday I had lunch at Capers with Sonia. Now Capers is famous for its "All You Can Eat" Pasta and Pizza Promotion, but due to my diet (which I must say is kinda working!) I just ordered a plate of pasta for myself, while Sonia, who had an earlier function and was stuffed, ordered the chocolate fondue with fruits. Pasta was so-so, my memory of it was much better than what I tasted that day, and am I the only one who feels like I'm in a life-sized version of Diner Dash in that restaurant??? Must be the counter and the red and white checkered table cloths... Anyway the fondue came, looking like this....
Okay first of all, I must explain that this photo was taken after much shock at the assortment of fruits, and some wary taste-testing of said fruits in the melted chocolate. My rants?
1. You DO NOT serve WATERMELON with chocolate fondue!
2. Chocolate + half-peeled oranges= no way! (ok, to be honest, after removing the peel, the taste of orange and chocolate was not too bad although I'm not a great fan of that combo)
3. Serve plain melted chocolate, not some left over (probably) bar of Cadbury Fruit and Nut or the likes...If you wanna serve nuts or raisins, serve separately can?
(I still think it was a Fruit and Nut bar! I mean three raisins and a few tiny pieces of chopped nuts?!)
4. Always serve with a tea light or heat source... The chocolate is supposed to be melted and liquidy, not slowly solidifying and clumping by the side of the bowl. The lady served it without a tea light, and when we asked her for it, she said "Oh, ok.." like as if it wasn't common practice.
5. Charge according to the quality of your chocolate and amount of fruits ($12 was too steep for a few watermelon slices, slices of GREEN APPLE, an orange and two small bananas! and of course the Fruit and Nut bar...)
Suffice to say, we were not very impressed with the way it was done... Which got us talking to IF WE WERE TO SELL FONDUE...a long talk about potential business ideas revolving around a desert bar/restaurant (like those you get overseas, specializing only in quality deserts...ice kacang does NOT count!) Something we might consider within a year, provided we have the means. Capital, sourcing for ingredients, labour and of course, location... That's gonna take a while... Anyone wanna invest? :)
Wednesday, January 02, 2008.
REFLECTIONS PART 2
This was written today :) God bless and Happy New Year everyone!
My Reflections for the Munoz (Philippines) Mission Trip 2007
This year’s mission trip to Munoz was my second mission trip to the Philippines, and this time the group was bigger, with ten of us. Initially while preparing (or TRYING to prepare) for this mission trip, I felt uneasy doing rallies in CLSU because I felt that the concept of rallies was misunderstood, as well as ineffective in that particular setting (in my opinion). I would have preferred to do church visits and minister to local churches.
God works in amazing ways. Plans for CLSU were scrapped due to conflicts within the campus ministries (which I believe was one of the "things" that I felt the first time I was there) and as it turned out, we focused on a local church in the village of Santos (Villa Santos), spending time with the children, young people and older members of the church. It was a great time of fellowship and bonding, and fun time for the kids and us! We visited Villa Santos twice, the second visit involving some house visits around the village and praying for some of the villagers. In between, we also had a youth gathering at a local church in Munoz Town, which was just an afternoon of fun, games and singing. All in all, the visit to Munoz was, for me, a successful one in terms of being able to connect with the local church and ministering especially to the children.
The program in Manila saw us giving out rice and stationery to needy families in the squatter villages of Antipolo and Payatas. Travelling took up much of our time so we could not stay long in each village, although I would have personally liked to-just to spend more time with the children, play games with them and give them a day to just have fun, smile and forget their troubles. Praying for the families in these two villages made me realize that these people had huge burdens in their life. Throughout this whole trip, God reminded me over and over again how blessed I am in Brunei. The people we ministered to had not much hope and were uncertain of their future, but I believe that God is doing His work in these two villages, and I make it a point to remember them in my prayers. The local church in Santa Mesa, FTJC International, were good hosts and we managed to get to know some of the youth who were important in our ministry in Antipolo and Payatas.
Travelling on this trip was a nightmare in terms of cost and comfort. Lots of grumbling about transport, but I believe even then God was teaching us about humility. Lots of people travel in much worse and uncomfortable conditions! At least we got to our destinations in one piece, so praise God! (even when someone’s car broke down...)
It was interesting for me also to get to know Caroline and Michelle better. It was good to hang out with younger girls. Sometimes I think everyone in YDM should go for a mission trip, you build relationships being stuck together for more than a week!
Personally, on the whole, I think this mission trip was a success for everyone involved, despite the hiccups we encountered. I believe we achieved what we had set out to do, and even more than we could have imagined. I believe God showed each one of us many things, personally and collectively, that will leave a lasting mark in our lives and change the way we live our lives for His glory.
REFLECTIONS PART I
Something I wrote for the mission trip, 2006...
Many young people today feel that we cannot relate to Jesus or vice versa. How would He know how we feel now? Times are different and the youth of today seem to face all sorts of struggles and hardships that Jesus did not seemingly face during His time on earth. How would we know “What Would Jesus Do?” in the situations that we face?
I too had a hard time relating my experiences to that of Christ, and many times I wondered if He knew what I was really going through.
Early last year, I experienced something that until today, the emotional scars are still fresh. A group of girlfriends, so called my good friends, began to spread nasty rumours about me. I did not know this was happening as they were still nice and friendly to me, until I found out what they were doing. They had an online forum where their main topic of discussion was, surprise surprise- me! They seemed to have so much hatred and contempt for me and the stories they told about me, those lies, seemed to fester and become more sensational and out of proportion that by the time they had shared all their little stories within their group, they hated me even more! One of them even apologized when I confronted her about it, and the next day, she posted something nasty about me on the forum again! It was just three girls, but in the span of half a year, I had lost 90% of my core group of friends. Either they bought into the lies, or they were afraid they would be singled out for attack as well and so they steered clear of me. I was hurt, betrayed and depressed. I cried to God many times, asking Him why I had to be hurt and singled out in such a way. It was only towards the end of last year that I realized Jesus went through the same thing! He was betrayed by His own disciples, many did not like Him and tried to spoil his reputation or get Him killed, He was cursed at, spit on (not that any of them spit on me!)-basically the same situations that would affect me emotionally also happened to Him. Jesus actually knew how I felt!
During the course of the last year, I thought of many ways to retaliate-maybe start talking about them as well (and apparently there were more stories about them than me!). I could have joined in the gossip and added my own fuel to the fire. I was full of anger and I had lots of ideas for revenge, but God reminded me-Jesus did not retaliate. He did not seek revenge. He instead commanded us to love our enemies, to pray for them. To forgive those who have wronged us. Today I still struggle with these things, especially forgiveness, but I know God is slowly mending my wounded spirit, and giving me strength. It is not easy to love people who have hurt you or wronged you, but if Jesus can, then I want to do the same. For to this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in His steps (1Peter 2:21). Christ should be our example. Whenever you face situations in which you are not sure how to react, just stop for a while, and just pray and ask God to show you the right way to react, to do what Jesus would do.
Lorene: Dec 01, 2006