New Year's Eve fell on a Friday this year, and I'm not sure why, but there was no watchnight service, which we all usually attend to have a time of sharing and thanksgiving before heralding the arrival of the new year. And for me, there's lots of things to be thankful to God for.
First off is the completion of both my OCS and JCC courses. The OCC was not impossible to clear, but there had been times when I hadn't quite made the cut last year, and the fear of failure and getting knocked out of course was always hanging over me, like Damocles' sword. JCC was tough too, what with unreasonable instructors and a permanent tendency for the weather to turn bad just as we leave the camp. Especially with the arrogance that all young cadets have, untempered by experience, that left us with no food on the last two days of our survival phase... But through God's grace, me and most of my platoon mates pulled through, albeit with several mishaps and injuries, but nothing major.
Second would be the friends that God has blessed me with. There are so many; Joshua, who's always been a guiding light; Farand, a stedfast supporter; Jess, a mutual shopping kaki; Aggie, who forced me to open up; Yongling, a small girl who's more naggy than my mum; Vera, always bringing a smile to me...etc... like I said, there really are too many to list out in a single entry.
Third would be the CG that has become mine. After Jiehuai decided that he wanted to leave Youth, I was pushed into the leadership position. And while I was apprehensive at first, I thank God for the oppurtunity to be able to lead ArkRoyal. We have even been able to send out Sulwyn and Jan to lead a new Sec 1 CG, and I have full confidence in their abilities and their walk with Christ. Also that they remembered my birthday. Honestly, this is only the second time that people in church remember my birthday. (Previous year also have, but that was sort of marred by the fact that I was leaving for ROC). Really grateful to and for you guys.
And finally, that God has given us protection here in Singapore. Almost everyone by now would have heard of the Earthquake/Tsunami that has torn through South Asia and reached East Africa. Seeing the images of the carnage, I felt that devestation would have been an understatement. Needless to say, the disaster cast a sombre mood over the Christmas/New year period. Death toll as of this morning stood at 150,000 people dead, and it's still rising. In Red Alert, Stalin said,"When one man dies, it's a tragedy. When a thousand die, it's a statistic." And in a perverse kind of way, it is true. However, when you see the picture of a man faced with the 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' choice of saving either his wife or child, the wailing mother discovering the body of her son, the blue fingernailed hand of a dead child sticking out from under a white covering, you can feel the massive sense of loss that these people feel. As Pastor Shern said last night, in Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. We will never understand why it happened. All we can do will be to pick up the pieces and continue moving forward, trusting in God.
In remembrance of the victims of the Tsunami disaster, as well as my Grand uncle, who died in his sleep on the last day of 2004.