Money Matters

We frequently get asked about how we have been able to walk in faith in our service to God as missionaries, and I often get asked how I have managed to adapt from a comfortable lifestyle & upbringing to a much simpler one.

And since money is such a big issue in many marriages and families, I thought it would be interesting to pen a few thoughts here, as well as the lessons I have learnt being a missionary and Nick’s wife. 🙂

I remember the first few months being married to Nick. It was tough on the both of us! I was blessed to be raised in a well-to-do family, and my parents provided the best for us in every way. I never had to worry about paying any bills, and when I worked as a piano teacher for 10 years, the money I earned was the money I got to spend and save. While I believe I was not materialistic and extravagant in my spending, I still enjoyed eating out and buying meals for others, as well as shopping for nice clothes and items. I also loved buying and giving gifts. These were pleasurable ways for me to spend my money. Nick, on the other hand, is my five ringgit guy. Five ringgit on his haircut, five ringgit on his slippers. 😍😂 He does not buy new clothes unless they are really torn and beyond redemption, and ate very simply as a bachelor. He he. He’s been trained in the school of hard knocks, and his nett value really, is in his heart of gold. I love him so much for that.

But all these romantic thoughts aside, practically, it was a challenge for us at first as a married couple. I remember vividly the time we went shopping at a sleepy, old supermarket for some kitchenware. Nick forbade me from buying two bowls. He said one was enough 😂 the bowls cost less than five ringgit each! He reasoned that he was used to having his noodle soups from plates and we just needed one bowl. But in Chinese cooking, we often prepare stews and dishes with gravy. I found this man so absurd and unreasonable! We ended up leaving the store without purchasing anything and having a tiff at home thereafter. 😅

But by God’s grace, we slowly learnt to accommodate one another. As Nick slowly became a little more domesticated because of the presence of a woman in the home, he began to recall again the comfort of having home-cooked meals and then slowly understood the need for different kitchen utensils. 🤭

Living by faith and being married to Nick has taught me to be more frugal and prudent. These words that he said to me at the early stages of our marriage will always stick with me – “Sometimes the people who give to our ministry are really regular people making a living; school teachers, university students and even widows. They are not necessarily rich people. This is their hard earned money and we must be accountable for every cent.”. That was quite a humbling thing for me to hear but truly that’s the honest reality. The people who have supported us thus far are ones who have given out of love and obedience to God. We believe that they have not been compelled or pressured in any way. It takes humility to learn to accept such gifts with a grateful heart, knowing that you will never be able to repay their kindness, but trusting the Lord that He blesses those who give out of obedience unto Him.

As a couple, we have also agreed to have only joint bank accounts and ‘one wallet’. There is no ‘my money’ , or ‘your money’. Each large purchase (above a certain amount, say above rm 100) is made together. I believe this contributes greatly to the oneness and unity we have as a couple. It takes trust and courage, at first. But I believe it is the biblical way of approaching finances in marriage. Two becoming one.

I have learned to live simpler and it is actually so enjoyable and rewarding to save every cent we can. Previously, I would not have cared if items were priced a few ringgit differently, but now every cent counts. We compare prices at every supermarket and know which is cheap where. 🙂 I have also been trained to remember and note how much I’ve spent on groceries, parking, snacks and the like. This helps us keep our spending in check.

Lastly, I must say that Nick has been very kind to me all these years. He makes a lot of personal sacrifices and does not spend much on himself, but encourages me to get pretty clothes and offers to take me out for a treat every so often. I’m really blessed with a husband who really tries to give his best. Love you darling!

Hope this short sharing can be somewhat an encouragement for couples who are about to get married or whom are newly married. 😊

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Comrades, for Life

Every day feels like a battle, a struggle to keep afloat and survive.

I’m so grateful it’s you by my side, and that we are in the trenches together.

Certainly not the ‘in-the-trenches look’! Short outing with grandma for some fresh air for all of us!

Little Moments 

The character and quality of our life is forged in “little moments”. {Paul David Tripp} 
It is a profound thought because it is in the little moments that our marriage is strengthened or weakened, either by our concern and care for one another or our indifference to the things that are important to our spouse but seemingly insignificant and unimportant to us. 
I’m thankful for a man who shows his love in a thousand ways to me in small but faithful acts each day. 
Love and appreciate you, darling.

Blessed Birthday, Darling

I thank the Lord for you each day.

I thank Him for His grace upon you that has seen you through each year of your life, all these years.

He has held you, loved you, watched over you with His loving eye, and disciplined you as how a true loving Father does for the child He loves.

I am so thankful to be a witness of God’s work in your life and how He is using you to be a blessing to the nations. May many come to experience Christ through you.

As your blessed and beloved wife, I have come to know and learn about unconditional love in a far deeper way. Thank you for loving me when the days are long and tough, for being there even when you do not have all the answers, and for being a constant to me amidst the ups and downs we go through together.

Thank you for your steadying hand that finds me each time we pray, walk or wait.

Thank you for your eyes that speak so much compassion for others. Thank you for teaching me to see things that others usually don’t.

Thank you for being strong, and yet vulnerable enough to reveal your weakness. Thank you for trusting me as your companion and allowing this strange creature called ‘woman’ to turn your life upside down and inside out. 🙂

Thank you for being willing to go through this beautiful messy thing called love, so that through you, I would be able to understand more about God’s love.

I’m so honored to be your wifey.

I hope you have a blessed day, and even more blessed year, because you truly deserve the best.

Love you always,
Wifey

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What is True Feminism?

Women get all indignant and upset when men make comments such as “she kicks the ball like a girl”, but don’t we realise we do the same when we say “You have nice handwriting for a guy!” and express surprise, as though all boys are expected to have incorrigible handwriting just as all women are expected to be poor drivers.

We truly champion for womanhood when we come alongside the men in our lives and support them. That’s what we were created to do since the beginning. I see it as no inferior position. God gave us the privilege of bearing children. He made us delicate, more refined in features and figure (aren’t you glad you aren’t born with hairy chests and toes?!) Haha! God gave us a sensitive heart and mind that would be able to discern needs that men are sometimes oblivious to.

God made men less emotional and gave them stronger minds so that they would be able to lead and provide stability to the people they lead.

Why do we want to compete with one another when we can see how both strengths and weaknesses are designed to complement, complete and fulfill our respective roles?

We are most woman when we fulfill the roles we were created for.

The world says fight for your rights, the Bible teaches us to lay down our lives.

Why is it that we go “awwwwww, so touching” and get teary eyed when we witness a man, on his knees, proposing marriage to his girl? Have we ever complained about gender equality then?

We don’t, because we see the preciousness of a man laying down his life for the woman he loves.

Look around you, and you will see the most beautiful among us are those who have sacrificed and given their all. They are the ones who have taught us what it means to have truly lived.

Blessed Birthday, My Love 

How blessed I am to be celebrating this birthday with you together, for the first time, and as your wife. 

I thank God every day for you. 

B, remember how I used to fear marriage because of the common perceptions about marriage. Many would speak about its challenges but rarely its blessings, and often time making marriage sound like a burden, a chore, a noose around the neck, maybe. (Haha) It was not because I didn’t appreciate the hard facts about marriage (or life) but the way some would speak of it in such a bitter and cynical manner made me fear if those things would happen to me.

You said this to me –

“I’m glad I have you. You bring out the best in me. And you make me want to be a biblical husband to you. I never imagined I could be so ‘good’ and that it would be so easy and natural. 

That’s why I know when we finally get together it will just be so beautiful. It will give me all the chances to show you that I’m your man. Then I can finally prove to you that it’s not just words. That I truly love you. And that you are truly beautiful in my eyes. And that I truly think the world of you. 

… And I would lay down my life for you. It will be much deeper and meaningful. I promise. The world says it will deteriorate. Don’t believe them. Believe His word. It will be all the more beautiful and alive and real. I will love you with all my heart. As myself, and more than myself. Rachel, be my wife. I love you. <3″ 

-March 25th 2014, 8:03am



When you asked for my hand in marriage, you told me that this would be the start of many new beginnings, but there would also be many deaths. 



When we wrote our vows, we had that at the back of our minds. 

You promised that as a couple and family that we would love others as we would ourselves, and more than that, as God has loved us. We would lay down our lives for others, that they may come to be called God’s friends. (Mark 12:30-31; John 13:34-35; John 15:9-17) 



You promised that we would seek God’s Kingdom first and His righteousness, holding nothing back for ourselves and of ourselves for His name’s sake and for the gospel’s, resting in His salvation, His love and His promised provision. (Matt 6:33, Luke 14:26-33, Mark 10:29-30; Rom 8:31-39)

You vowed that we would live as strangers and pilgrims on this earth, setting our minds and our hearts on the heavenly Homeland. Wherever He sets us to dwell, we will dwell. His people will be our people, and He shall be our God. We will die in the place and manner in which He appoints us to die. (Heb 11:13-16, Matt 6:21, Ruth 1:16-17)  



You vowed that we would be obedient to Christ’s conmand to go and make disciples of all the nations, inviting others to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, that the Lord’s name be great among the nations. (Matt 28:18-20; Matt 22:1-14, Rev 19:6-9; Mal 1:11)

I promised that I would help and support you, and make your work and vision my own. I vowed to follow you to the ends of the earth, wherever our Beloved King would send us. I promised to not shirk from discomfort, uncertainty, opposition or hardship but welcome them, looking to Christ, longing to share in His sufferings and lose my life for His sake. (Matt 28:18-20, 1 Peter 4:13, Matthew 10:39) I promised that I would no longer live for myself, my own dreams, plans or desires but I would learn, by His grace, to lay down my life for you and the people He has called us to serve. 

We did not enter marriage with rose-tinted glasses. We were prepared to lose our possessions, any form of security, our health, our comfort, our lives and even each other. 

But He has been good to us. 

We see His faithfulness in the daily provisions we receive and the roof we have over our heads. 

We find joy, so much joy in doing life together – in the mundane and routine, and serving together as a couple on the fields. 

God has been so good to us and He has been so good to me, my love. 

Thank you for the man that you are to me. A man that loves God above all else is worth more than all the gems of the world. You have taught me so much. I have learned so much just by being your blessed wife. Your humility and patience is a gentle rebuke to me when I need it, and far more effective a response than harshness or impatience. 

Your love for the people here is not a full and perfect representation of Christ’s love for us, but your sacrifices, your willingness to be unknown and unappreciated speaks a lot about who you are in christ. 



Thank you for being my role model, my inspiration. 

I do not look to you as the perfect man who will never fail nor disappoint because that would be an impossible demand. 

But I know I could not have asked for more.

Thank you for being my husband.

Blessed 31st birthday, 

With all my love, 

Your most blessed and happy wife. 



Photo by Mun Keat Photography.



Most Blessed 

I count myself a most blessed wife indeed. 



Hubs made mystery dinner for our 2nd wedding “month-sary”. After allowing me to prepare the salad & mocktail in the kitchen, he shooed me off to the room, forbade me from coming into the kitchen and got to work with his imagination, a few ingredients & lots of love. 

Imagine stepping out of the room to a candle-lit table, with pizza fresh from the oven! (poor husband had to deal with working in a dark house as we had to keep all other electrical appliances off to keep our mini oven going without the electricity tripping!) 

On sliced bread he used our leftover frozen bolognese sauce and topped it with sliced cheese (from Malaysia), and another variety included garlic butter with shredded smoked pork (a gift from the village he ministered to over Easter weekend). 

It was delicious; my stomach was filled and my heart full. 

Babe, you are the man beyond what I could have ever dreamed of. I thank God everyday for you. 

I love you!