Tang Yuen 

I never really cared for tang yuen/Winter Solstice since it was not a tradition my family practiced back home. But in the first year of my life as a missionary, I came across tons of pics of it on Facebook. It made me miss home, and suddenly I just wanted that bowl of tang yuen that everyone seemed to have, except I.

We went visiting that evening to our mama angkat’s house and lo, to my surprise and joy, I found a pot of Tang yuen in her kitchen! She, though dayak, had learnt to prepare it from her Chinese mother-in-law. So, I got my tang yuen cravings fixed that night, and that’s how I eventually learnt how to make my own tang yuen too.

It’s winter solstice again today & we are once again far away from home. But we have had two dear people make this for us today; once again reminding us that God loves His people through His people.


His Word Comforts 

Psalm 27 has always been a familiar Psalm for both Nick and I. But it has not ministered to me in such a way as it did this morning.

It was kind of coincidental actually, to be reading this Psalm. But our loving God has His ways of reaching out to us in our despondency and sadness. 

It was actually my beloved son that inspired me to turn to this Psalm as we had our morning routine of Sunday school songs and Bible stories together, our special mother and son bonding time everyday. Since it was the 27th of the month, I decided to read to him the 27th Psalm. As I read, I felt tears falling freely from my eyes. Every verse just seemed to jump out from the Bible and I felt the loving and assuring hug of God through His promises.

When I first started this blog, it was mainly for me to chronicle my journey through heartbreak and illness, and to remind myself of God’s faithfulness and grace through the difficult seasons in my life. 

But over the years, even as my blog has gained steady followers and readers from near and far, I’ve found it harder to write from my heart as I was afraid to be ‘venting’ instead of expressing, and complaining instead of inspiring. 

But I am reminded today that this is no smooth and perfect journey, I am just a sojourner in this life. 
I pray that as you read this blog, you will not only catch or see the struggles and challenges I go through, but see the hand of God and His grace in my life. 

Thoughts on Injustice

It will always seem as though the good guy finishes last, and that there is no justice on earth. 

But I know the God who is the avenger of the weak, the meek, and the helpless who cannot speak for themselves… 

It is a far more terrifying thing to mistreat that sort of people, for behind them is the God of wrath and justice, the Father of the fatherless, the refuge to the lowly, the Word that promises this – 

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Romans 12:19 ESV

It may seem like a never ending battle on this side of eternity. Turning the other cheek, not returning evil for evil, and the need for unending patience, hope and perseverance. 

But He is faithful, He will help His remnant endure until the end. 

{especially remembering those who have to live under seeming injustice & unfairness in this lifetime} 

His Approval

Feelings of inadequacy & ‘unusefulness’ have been my common enemy here on the mission field. I am not physically strong, do not appreciate being under the hot sun & am simply not the go-girl kind who lives on adventure and change. I value family life and it’s strong traditions and thrive on constancy. With all those pulled away from under my feet, I often feel out of place, trying to find a constant and steadying place to find my balance. 

Recently, I was surprised with some very precious gifts from our dear Dayak friends and team members on my birthday. I did not expect anything, as usually, the person with the birthday is in fact, expected to throw the celebration if he so wished & come out with all the provisions needed for it.

So when Hengki and susi came bearing sweet home-made gifts and letters, I was touched deeply. The letters were simple and heartfelt and reflected humility and gratitude that blessed me . I am grateful for their love & acceptance of who I am, especially when I know that my flaws would be more evident to them as we work closely together as a team. I felt the love and respect they had for us expressed through  every word. God certainly used those letters to encourage and speak to my heart. 

Recently the Lord has been teaching me to yield my need for approval and recognition and to instead be seeking to please Him above all else. Why has it taken me so long to learn? It’s a wonderful thing to want to be the kind of wife and friend that seeks to make others happy and feel good about themselves but it also has the ugly and dangerous tendency of becoming an idol when I become more concerned about their opinions and feelings about me more than anything else. 

Teach me to be a woman of God who is strong and courageous . Let me be a woman who fears God and stands sure in confidence knowing that she has found favour in His sight. 

This is the woman I want to be. 

Climbing Higher

We don’t choose to go to the “end of the earth”. It is not a pleasant place. We don’t belong there. We miss our home. But we go. And yet, if we go, we want to see some fruit while we are there. We want it to be a garden place where many souls find salvation in our Lord. We want it to blossom. While we don’t want to be there, at least let it be changed into something more tolerable for us. Let it be more like home. Don’t let it continue to be the “end of the earth”. And yet, it is the “end of the earth”.

What can we do? Go home?

Was that the prayer of the psalmist? No! He did not ask to go home. He did not ask for a successful ministry. He did not even ask to be happy. What did he ask? The psalmist wrote, “lead thou me to the rock that is higher than I”. He discovered the secret of climbing higher.

Roger Dixon
Climbing Higher


Beautiful picture taken by my brother, Dave

Musings of an Inexperienced Missionary

I think a missionary could be one of the most misunderstood and lonely creatures on earth.

You are not understood in your new home, for obvious reasons – the vast differences in language and culture. But more than that, the very ones you serve are the least aware about your needs, struggles, and all the risks you have taken and are taking to do the things you do.

On the other hand, people back home would find it difficult to place themselves in your shoes. They usually see you as some super-sacrificial, brave superhero or, as a foolhardy risk taker who gives no thought to safety, precaution and forethought.

There is a very fine line between foolish risk taking and moving by faith, and sometimes all we do is move a step at a time, trusting God to lead us.

We are far from superheroes. I still cry a lot from homesickness and loneliness. I struggle with selfishness and apathy and impatience. I often have to ask the Lord for the love I do not have. I have never felt so wretched in the entire of my Christian life.

Paul Washer says this well,  “There is no such thing as a great man of God, only weak, pitiful, faithless men of a great and merciful God.”.

I guess I’m writing this, in hopes that I would be able to explain how I’m feeling and thinking right now to someone who would perhaps, be able to catch a glimpse and understand.

That I may know I am not alone…

Of No Value

The bravery of God in trusting us! You say — “But He has been unwise to choose me, because there is nothing in me; I am not of any value.” That is why He chose you. As long as you think there is something in you, He cannot choose you because you have ends of your own to serve; but if you have let Him bring you to the end of your self-sufficiency, then He can choose you to go with Him to Jerusalem, and that will mean the fulfilment of purposes which He does not discuss with you.

We are apt to say that because a man has natural ability, therefore he will make a good Christian. It is not a question of our equipment but of our poverty; not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a question of natural virtues of strength of character, knowledge, and experience — all that is of no avail in this matter. The only thing that avails is that we are taken up into the big compelling of God and made His comrades (cf. 1 Cor. 1:26-30). The comradeship of God is made up out of men who know their poverty. He can do nothing with the man who thinks that he is of use to God. As Christians we are not out for our own cause at all, we are out for the cause of God, which can never be our cause. We do not know what God is after, but we have to maintain our relationship with Him whatever happens. We must never allow anything to injure our relationship with God; if it does get injured we must take time and get it put right. The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually assailed.

-Oswald Chambers

(Taken from his bestseller book My Utmost for His Highest, reading for August the 4th)

I guess this is what I struggle most with as a new wife and missionary.

I am brought to the end of my sufficiencies as I grapple with learning a new language and culture.
Loneliness and awkwardness are now common foes I have to face on a daily basis. “Just be who you are” , you say. But how on earth? Being on a platform requires a certain bearing, decorum, an obligation to the ones who are watching you, learning from you, and sometimes looking to you for answers you do not have. I have never cried so much for a very long time, but despondency and tears are my constant companions after periods of ministering in public.

I want to live a transparent and open life before you, my family, friend, acquaintance. But it’s a different thing on the field altogether. Just as a mother is unable to divulge her worries, frustrations and problems fully to her child, so am I, on this field.

Perhaps even as I grapple through this feelings of withdrawal and seclusion, it is helping me grow in being the faithful and true companion that Nick so deeply needs, the wife to whom her husband’s heart safely trusts. (Prov 31:11)

Illness has been also a constant pain in the neck, literally and figuratively. The past month of traveling and ministering have taken its toll on our bodies, with nick and I recovering from a cold, and I, having recurring diarhhea. The pains in my back and neck have intensified, leaving me fatigued and tired even after a full night of rest.

These are some of the pressures I face as a new missionary. I wonder when I will be ‘normal’, feel normal again and function in an effective, progressive manner. Attempts thus far have felt like ‘one step forward, two steps backward’.

God, have mercy on me and make me useful obedient.

Love you guys. Thanks for reading. And now, for some pictures from the Kairos missions training we attended (Nick was one of the facilitators there)


We had the opportunity to share our life testimony as well as love story to the attendees.


God uses the broken pieces of our life to create a beautiful mosaic, if only we would give Him the pieces.



Got to meet up with the very special Tengkuyung team 🙂


Small group discussion

Following that, we hosted a team of university students from Kuching who came to West Kalimantan for training, followed by an exposure trip to the interiors. Grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside them, and watch them use their talents, youth and energy for the Lord.


Please continue to keep us in your prayers.
Without Him, we are nothing, and without Him, we truly can do nothing.

I believe it will only be known on the last day how much has been accomplished in missionary work by the prayers of earnest believers at home.
J.O Fraser

When the Punch Comes


“Even when life seems to punch holes in our hearts, God pieces us back together with some fine handiwork that beautifies the hole; making us whole again and somehow more beautiful.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Remember when the punch comes, it will only more beautify your life and glorify your Lord.”

Thank you, aunty carolyn for the beautifully crocheted journal and wise, loving words. 

He Satisfies Us with Good Things

After being here in Indonesia for nearly two months now, I am beginning to crave for odd things like jam & crackers, cake and French fries (not so odd – my all-time favourite snack!)

Guess where and when I got my cravings fixed! 

In two unassuming, remote, out-of-the-way villages called Abah and Beringin

Nick, Hengki (our missions team member and dear brother in Christ) and I were serving there last week, reconnecting with families, building bridges with new friends, giving basic medical care & treatment as well as ministering to the many village children who were so eager to learn, play and hang around us. 

I was never one who needed cake or looked for cake when I was back home in Penang. Rarely do we crave for food we have so easily accessible, don’t you think? Plus. I was a butter snob. Back home I would wrinkle my nose at the taste of a cake made with margarine (toxic! Poison! Trans fats! Hydrogenated oils!) and always swore by good quality butter in my cooking & baking. 

Well, our host happened to be baking on one of the days we were in Abah, and I had the most delicious margarine cake ever! And in my heart, thanking God for loving me so much to even humour such a small desire. 

When we visited Kampung Beringin for the first time, we eventually ended up in a home where the host had an abundance of tapiocas. Within an hour, there were 3 plates of piping hot tapioca fries laid in front of us. I knew it was not a coincidence. This was Papa, telling me, “I love you, my precious daughter.” 

He truly satisfies our mouths with good things, so that our youth is renewed like the eagles. (Psalm 103:5)

This verse became such a reality to me this trip. 

How many times have we been blessed over & beyond, more than our needs but the extras. The extras that say, “I love you. I delight in you. You are the apple of my eye.” 

May our eyes never grow dim to the many blessings He bestows on us each day. May we never receive our everyday providences with a sense of entitlement, God forbid that we become ungrateful or covetous. 

Yummy tapioca fries!

Mama Writes

God has used my mother to touch many hearts and lives through the gift of her insight, wisdom & even wit in her writings. 

This letter is the first mail I received in Indonesia, timed by God so precisely that it got into my hands exactly on my 4th week here. It was His gift to me, mama was His instrument & His messenger. 

“God has many He wants to embrace and love through us, so amidst our own pain and sadness we have to wipe away our tears and give out of our own broken-heartedness. I’ve realized that running on empty sometimes is the best way to go. Empty of ourselves and filled of Him, we may surprise ourselves at the outcome of our abundance from which we give out of.”