Wednesday, February 15, 2012


It came as somewhat of a shock when I heard that she passed away. I had known that she had been in and out of the hospital before I ever got to know her, and that she had been hospitalized again several months ago, but I still never quite realized how serious it was. I guess it was because the few times I had met her, she always seemed so full of energy.

I hardly knew her too. I go to know her husband because he came for the Coco's English Corner that Steve set up a couple years back, and which has now been taken over by Auntie Chris (I'm sorry Auntie Chris, I just can't not call you auntie). He was a history buff, which meant that we would talk about some historical stuff, and just as often butt heads over interpretation of said historical events. And though he said things about his wife like, "She's not Japanese. She's too noisy", it was also obvious he loved her and cared for her. And I guess it was because I had heard about her, that I knew her a little better than I would have.

She came to the Tokorozawa Housechurch when I was serving at CRASH's Tono Base in August last year. The ladies of the church, who also attended the Coco's English group, had finally gotten to meet her, and it seemed they had hit it off pretty well. She had also been rather interested in Christianity when she was younger, and though she didn't follow-up on it then, her interest had not dimmed in the years since, and she happily came to join the housechurch, which was where I got to meet her.

And like her husband had said, she certainly did not fit the common stereotype of the Japanese woman; quiet and demure. She seemed to be everywhere at once, talking to the ladies in Japanese, chattering away to Louis in Cantonese, testing me on my Mandarin... and even when she was sick with the flu one Sunday, she still came down to witness Yoshiko's baptism, and while definitely muted, you could still see the spark in her as she joked about and congratulated Yoshiko.

I heard she got hospitalized again a few weeks after I got back from Japan, but since this was not new, I didn't think much about it. A little later, Auntie Chris dropped me a message, to say that Mina had prayed to receive Christ while in the hospital, mainly due to the love that she felt from the housechurch members who regularly dropped by to visit her, and I rejoiced in knowing that she had finally taken the important step that had been prepared for her all those years ago when she first heard about Christ.

I found out that she passed away last Friday. And I do feel sad, sad that I won't be able to visit her in Japan again, sad for Hideki, her husband, who is undoubtedly distraught.. but I can also give thanks that she chose to give her life to Jesus, and that she is now with Him, probably chattering away in Japanese, Cantonese, and Mandarin, and being the spark of energy in heaven that she was here on earth.

So let us pray for her husband, that the grief will not be too much for him, and that he may also come to know God, but let us also give thanks to God, for another soul that is reunited with Him.

Monday, February 06, 2012


Ever since I got back to Singapore, I've been sort of bumming around. The first month, it was to kind of take a holiday after another year in Japan (this time, with the added workload of doing full-time stuff with CRASH).

Part of the second month was a continuation of said relaxation, but partially also to play tourguide to an important person who came down to Singapore (and she's coming again soon!!)

The third month, it was starting to get a bit sian. And I felt like I had gotten enough rest (too much actually), and was looking to find a job. Part of it was that I still owe a bond to the Singapore government for my university tuition grant, but another part was also so that I could get some money, which is always useful (and being a missions worker isn't exactly the most lucrative of jobs).

So I went to look for some jobs. And I tried applying to some, but no answers. And I found out that one of my friends works for a recruitment agency, and she took my CV and I went down to talk with them.

And yet, I still heard nothing much for them. So I prayed, and asked God to show me something about my work. And that day, I got an email from one of the recruitment agency ladies (it's called JAC) letting me know about a possible job opening.

When I first heard about it over the phone, I was thinking, "Er, that doesn't sound like something I would do." Actually, I was more like, "What exactly does she mean?" because she was talking in Japanese, and it was not that great to begin with. But that was the gist of it.

But as I took a look at the company website and slowly worked my way through the mission statement and stuff (it's in Japanese too see), I started to think, "hey.. this sounds pretty interesting". So I wrote back and said, "Sure, I'll be interested in hearing more".

Then there was silence for a few more days. And I felt, "oh, I guess that's it". So once again, I prayed that God will show me something again, and I got another call from JAC about that job offer, asking for more information.

And now I'm beginning to go a bit like, "Huh?!" because it's not like I've been praying non-stop for a job. I don't even pray non-stop (which is not something I'm proud of, to be honest), but I thought, "Okaay..."

And then there was silence. And today, my brother starts work at his new job, and I'm still very unemployed, so I prayed again. And you can see where this is heading right? I got an email saying that the company may be interested in arranging an interview.

And I may not get this job. I mean, I've never been good at interviews, and maybe I'm not cut out for this job, and maybe I was never meant to take a job in Singapore now.

But everytime God answers my prayers this way, when I wonder why something's happening, or nothing's happening, and He prompts me, "Did you pray?" And I guess I'm a bit of a cynical Christian, because I do believe in prayer, but to pray to get something for myself? That's not quite gonna happen right? And I think like that, but then I'll think, "What's the harm in praying?" and I pray like a short 5-second prayer along the lines of:

"God, I'm not sure about my job, and I'm not sure what you want me to do, but I commit it to Your hands."

And I'm done and I continue along like nothing much happened, and then God answers the prayer.

And each time, I feel touched and amazed and happy and I think of how God has this sly smile on His face when He looks at me and tells me, "I told you so, you should have prayed" even if the prayer seems so small and flippant. And it makes me want to laugh and cry and shout and give thanks at the same time.

And this is what is important, to know that whatever happens, God does answer my prayers, and He sometimes takes pleasure in poking a bit of fun at me, and it makes Him so much more real.