Hey. I’m writing you just to let you know that I’m still hung over from our last conversation about God’s sovereignty.
As I read Daniel, I can’t fail to be amazed by how He caused fire not to burn Daniel and his cronies, and how He shut the lion’s mouths. How He turned Nebuchanezzar think he’s a 4-legged animal, how He took the power from Babylon and gave the throne to Darius the Mede. And it goes on and on, each story filled with clues of how He has command of everything. With my “right now”, I acknowledge how He is over everything.
I can still see you talking to me about God being able to change things in an instant inside my head. And I think I can see how His hand moves even at the minute details of my everydays.
From here, I might as well trust Him. He’s got it all perfectly planned out, anyway.
Come to think of it, Oreo has this charm. :)
Why I Went to CDO
April 15, 2013
Cagayan De Oro’s National Baptist Church hosted the Global Youth Ministry Network (GYMN)’s Level One training for youth leaders from different churches in the city.
The participants were apparently the first ones in CDO to undergo the training. They’re a happy bunch and are wonderfully welcoming. I was impressed with how they behaved themselves—big point for me, I know it’s not easy to sit still. But these guys were attentive. You can tell by how their eyes followed you, and how their faces seem to shift to “don’t-disturb-me-I’m-listening” mode every time a session starts.
One more show of full-interest: play time. These kids fly. Kinda. But most of the games require a good amount of levitating. The photo below is Flying Ely who’s clearly the competitive sort. The game’s a spin of the classic Rock-Papers-Scissors, and there he is, hanging in mid-air.
Here’s the teaching part: I jumped-in to what ate Ethel coined as “ambush semi-level three”. Goal Setting lesson was assigned to me just a day before. Surprise, surprise. I didn’t expect this at all, since I’ve only gone through Level Two, and it wasn’t exactly “procedure” for noobs to teach right away. But in spite of that, it was actually a nice surprise.
The thing with me, however, is that I’m not a crammer. I don’t do well unless I prepare. So I tried to piece together what I can remember from college, trainings, and other literature. The team’s encouragement and support was heart warming, but I couldn’t still my rattling heart.
So I prayed I won’t faint, and I prayed I’d get the message across.
Taking the floor, I talked about Goal. What it is and what’s its importance. Along my discussion, I remembered a quote I recently posted. (Photo below) Quite useful, Pinterest things are.
I have a favorite quote from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and it seems to me that it’s always handy from time to time. So I figured, why not conclude the lesson with it. No visuals, though, so I tried to tell the story the best way I could.
You know what? Being stared at is scary. Along the discussion, I mentioned that goal-setting is an important thing in the training because the lessons that will follow will ask them to write goals. I wondered if I gave it justice. Now, back to the staring part:I don’t know if that was their “AHA! face”, so I humoured them by making faces. They laughed. Whew.
After that, I wish I’ve gotten more time to prepare. I was a bit doubtful if the participants got something out of it. I was wary of my Tagalog, and for some reason, quite wary of my English. I kinda wish I spoke Bisaya. But later on, I got good feedback from the team, and checking their goal-setting activities (which was one of my favorite things to do), they seem to have understood it.
We rolled along the days teaching, exchanging stories, writing goals (and checking them), playing games, and (as for me) taking pictures. A couple of the days were especially long, but were well compensated by the fun we got from them.
The whole training was refreshing. I think I learned more than I taught. I sat in most of the classes, and was moved by the same lessons I thought I already learned when I took my Level 1, despite that it was taught in Bisaya. It was also nice to see how the guys roll down south. We got a peek of their “culture”, learned about their challenges, and how they respond to them.
By the closing of the training, I had this pinching feeling because I’ll be saying goodbye to the participants, whom I’ve had a profound care for.
After that, I decided that this was an experience I wouldn’t want to forget, and I truly hope that I’ll be able to see them again in the next GYMN Level 2 training.
Last day for Level 1 training in CDO.
There’s this sadness that has pinched me when it dawned on me that today meant bye-bye. It kinda sucks ‘cause I have a profound liking for this batch. But then, I thought that’s just how it is. Keeping them in the classroom will waste the value of the training. So I shrugged it off, hoping that I’d see them again soon in Level 2.
What couldn’t go wrong in song: good lyricism.
Don’t Let it Break Your Heart by Coldplay
Some of us give up on life with only a resigned sigh. Others fight a little, then lose hope. Still, others never give up. We fight and fight. We fight no matter the cost of the battle, the losses we take, the improbability of success. We fight to the very end. It’s not a question of courage. It’s something constitutional, an inability to let go. It may be nothing more than life-hungry stupidity.
Too Beautiful. Too Inspiring. So I’m sharing this to you. Found in the Internet.
Ang Lee: A Never-Ending Dream
“In 1978, as I applied to study film at the University of Illinois, my father vehemently objected. He quoted me a statistic: ‘Every year, 50,000 performers compete for 200 available roles on Broadway.’ Against his advice, I boarded a flight to the U.S. This strained our relationship. In the two decades following, we exchanged less than a hundred phrases in conversation.
Some years later, when I graduated film school, I came to comprehend my father’s concern. It was nearly unheard of for a Chinese newcomer to make it in the American film industry. Beginning in 1983, I struggled through six years of agonizing, hopeless uncertainty. Much of the time, I was helping film crews with their equipment or working as editor’s assistant, among other miscellaneous duties. My most painful experience involved shopping a screenplay at more than thirty different production companies, and being met with harsh rejection each time.
That year, I turned 30. There’s an old Chinese saying: ‘At 30, one stands firm.’ Yet, I couldn’t even support myself. What could I do? Keep waiting, or give up my movie-making dream? My wife gave me invaluable support.
My wife was my college classmate. She was a biology major, and after graduation, went to work for a small pharmaceutical research lab. Her income was terribly modest. At the time, we already had our elder son, Haan, to raise. To appease my own feelings of guilt, I took on all housework – cooking, cleaning, taking care of our son – in addition to reading, reviewing films and writing scripts. Every evening after preparing dinner, I would sit on the front steps with Haan, telling him stories as we waited for his mother – the heroic huntress – to come home with our sustenance (income).
This kind of life felt rather undignified for a man. At one point, my in-laws gave their daughter (my wife) a sum of money, intended as start-up capital for me to open a Chinese restaurant – hoping that a business would help support my family. But my wife refused the money. When I found out about this exchange, I stayed up several nights and finally decided: This dream of mine is not meant to be. I must face reality.
Afterward (and with a heavy heart), I enrolled in a computer course at a nearby community college. At a time when employment trumped all other considerations, it seemed that only a knowledge of computers could quickly make me employable. For the days that followed, I descended into malaise. My wife, noticing my unusual demeanor, discovered a schedule of classes tucked in my bag. She made no comment that night.
The next morning, right before she got in her car to head off to work, my wife turned back and – standing there on our front steps – said, ‘Ang, don’t forget your dream.’
And that dream of mine – drowned by demands of reality – came back to life. As my wife drove off, I took the class schedule out of my bag and slowly, deliberately tore it to pieces. And tossed it in the trash.
Sometime after, I obtained funding for my screenplay, and began to shoot my own films. And after that, a few of my films started to win international awards. Recalling earlier times, my wife confessed, ‘I’ve always believed that you only need one gift. Your gift is making films. There are so many people studying computers already, they don’t need an Ang Lee to do that. If you want that golden statue, you have to commit to the dream.’
And today, I’ve finally won that golden statue. I think my own perseverance and my wife’s immeasurable sacrifice have finally met their reward. And I am now more assured than ever before: I must continue making films.
You see, I have this never-ending dream.”
(Following Ang Lee’s second Best Directing win at the Academy Awards last night, this beautiful essay resurfaced. Here is my translation of Ang Lee’s words, written in 2006 (post-Oscar win). Please credit the translation to Irene Shih (and to this blog), thank you!)