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Visiting Ancestor Home

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A group of us decided to go on an adventure to explore our ancestral home, the village where our late great-grandfather, grandfather and father used to live.

We didn’t have any relative there but we knew only the name of the village; so we had to depend on kind-hearted souls to graciously and happily lead us to the right house.

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We were so thankful to be able to witness where our ancestor used to live.

The neighboring villagers were really excited to see us — the news about visitors from another country spread by word of mouth, and the friendly neighbors came by one by one to greet us and share fascinating life stories.

Now if you want to know about your ancestors, it is sometimes best to check with their neighbours, as they may know more than your own family.

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While there, we were told many stories about our ancestors. In one, we learned that my great-grand father was born in a hut behind the papaya tree more than 100 years ago, to be exact, he was born in 1879!

The reason this 82 year-old uncle knew about our family history was because he said his grandpa and my great-grand pa were best friends! He even point to the spot where the hut was located; I think the so said birth place is definitely picture-worthy.

Even the pig were nosey and curious to know who these foreigners are that caused such commotion!

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As the house that my great-grandfather lived in was vacant for a long time , one of the neighbours decided to let a family who raised pigs stay there and watch over the house.

Before we headed back to the city, the villagers insisted that we take some fresh produce such as papayas and lemons back with us as an organic gift from our ancestors’ land.

To celebrate the success of our adventure and remembering our ancestors, we had a sumptuous meal of delicious papaya soup with clams and lemons for sauce dipping. It was the best, most hearty meal we had in our ancestral land!

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The Great Wall of China

I studied about the history of the magnificent Great Wall of China during my elementary school year, but never dreamed that one day I would step onto this ancient path. What a surreal experience for me to finally walk on this wonder of the world!

The most visited Wall is the popular Badaling Great Wall. It is an hour away from the city, so it easily attracts lots of locals and tourists.

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Badaling Wall is divided into two sections from the entrance: the northern side and the eastern side. The northern side is always congested with people due to access of cable cars and trolleys from the bottom of the hill to the steepest top. We opted for the eastern side which is the road less traveled.

People told us that the gorgeous time to visit is around mid-Oct where the vast surrounding ridges is decorated in vibrant red.

The time we went, most of the leaves were withered and the landscape were left with naked and bare bushes; nonetheless, it has its own charm of beauty.

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The day was filled with delightfully warm sunlight with gentle crisp wind under a clear blue sky, which is rare in this cold autumn season.

The pavement is easy to walk on with gentle winding slopes here and there, and we hiked to the very end where the trail is blocked off even though the wall continues to stretch for miles and miles.

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As I strolled along the wall, I couldn’t help but appreciate the hard labor the workers of long ago put into building this architectural masterpiece originally designed for military defense.

Along the way, we encountered more than a hundred energetic and fun-loving elementary students chasing each other and having their first experience on the wall as well.

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They appeared to be on a field trip with an assignment to ask passers-by about their experience on the Great Wall. The sights and sounds of the giggling children made this leisure walk an enjoyable one.

After we arrived back at the entrance, we decided to explore the northern side; Indeed, there were a lot of people, young and old, buzzing with excitement.

After much searching, we finally spot the monument that everyone longs to take a picture with to prove that they indeed have reached the Great Wall!

The monument is a stone engraved with this famous Chinese writing: “If you have never been to the Great Wall, you are no hero”.

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The idiom basically means that courageous people can overcome adversity… the background of this saying is that a long time ago, it was impossible to access to the Great Wall, so whoever tackled this difficult task and arrived was a true hero/heroine.

After we had accomplished our mission to climb the Great Wall and proved to be “heroes”, we are ready for a feast!

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For our late afternoon snack, we enjoyed mouth-watering food on skewers.


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A Peking duck delicacy, which one should not miss when coming to Beijing, was our evening meal.

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For a midnight snack, we went to explore this famous street that never sleeps, called Gui Jie. There we tried spicy Szechuan seafood which included crayfish (aka mini-lobsters), escargot, crab and frog dishes to our heart’s content. The food was numblingly spicy and deliciously satisfactory.



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Matthew 11:28

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Today is 11.28 and suddenly the verse from Matthew 11:28 came to mind: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

This verse is very special to me because it is a tender verse that I first heard God speaking to me directly which caused tears to stream down my face.

Through this startled revelation, I was made aware that the big God of the Bible is a personal God who cares and who had been anxiously waiting for me to cry out to Him.

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Because I have encountered God in such a special way, I slowly placed my faith in Him and released my burdens to Him.

As the years go by, I have indeed experienced His gentleness and my soul finds refuge and rest in Him.

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Stream of Praise

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I  used to wonder why I enjoy singing praises to God so much; and recently I realized that worship songs not only show me the mightiness of God, but that they lift my spirit up and give me joy and gladness, which is an important aspect to my emotional growth.

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Recently, the Stream of Praise worship team was in town for a praise and worship celebration. It’s a real treat to attend their lively and worship-filled concert; I was lost in the wonderment of awe and divine joy.

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The singers as well as the instrumentalists were so passionate in worshiping and pointing us all to the graciousness and love of God which helped strengthen and increase our faith in God.

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Together with the children, we used our voices as a stream of praise to Jesus.

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At the concert, the children received a little gift to remind them that Jesus is our River of Life and the Anchor of our souls, and that is why we cheer, sing, shout and dance to Him!

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A big “thank you” goes to certain “moh” who is such a “life-saver” for coming up with brilliant idea in short time creating 500 little goodie bags until 2 o’clock in the morning;

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Her labor of love will surely not go down the drain but will reach to the River of Joy;p

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May those sugary treat and the spontaneous songs of praise to Jesus from the children’s hearts and lips be never ending, like a stream that flows effortlessly. Praise be to the Lord. Yay!

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O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [and crowned him with glory and honor.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8

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Happy Apple Day

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I was wondering why I was given mooncake as my birthday cake on several occasions; Then I realized it’s approaching mooncake festival.

Today is mooncake festival which is also known as the mid-Autumn Festival where family and friends usually get together for sumptuous meal, eating mooncakes, and thanking God for the fruitful harvest in the field and in their life journey.

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Autumn is a season loaded with a bountiful harvest.

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And apple picking at the orchard has always been on my birthday wish list.

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This year my apple wish was finally granted!

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What a joy it is to enjoy freshly picked apples!

Happy Apple Day; Happy Apple Strudels Birthday cake; Yummm!

The Wailing Wall

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Usually when I pray alone, I like to write my prayer thoughts on paper rather than praying out loud; I find that this method of praying is freeing and helps me express my inner emotions more easily.

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When I visited the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem years ago, I could hear the gigantic cream colored wall crying out loud: I noticed that many people were leaning against the wall praying in solitude, while others reciting scriptures and meditating on the Words of God.

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It was moving to see individuals creating a sacred space for themselves and pouring their hearts out to God in the midst of the huge crowd.

Paper and pens were available for people to write down their wishes to God and place them into the wall.

Since it is a popular practice to place prayer notes between the crevices of the wall, I joined the company and did just that.

As the years went by, I often wondered if the prayer that I put on the ancient wall was still there…

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This year I had the chance to revisit the religious site and I learned that the note I placed years ago was long gone. It had been collected and buried among the millions of prayer wishes at the nearby Mount of Olives.

Apparently the notes are being cleared at least twice a year: once in the Spring (before the Passover) and again in the Autumn (before the Jewish new year of Rosh Hassanah).

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One of the reasons for this is that thousands of pilgrims come during these Jewish High Holiday seasons to pray, so the Rabbi in charge of the site and his cleaning crews clear the wall to make space for new prayers and wishes, including mine!

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I know that whether or not I leave my prayer wishes in the cracks of the Wailing Wall, or wherever I may be, my prayers are heard by God from on high, and I await His comfort and guidance.

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You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
Psalm 30:11,12 (NIV)

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Eclipse Moment

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I was strolling along the beach on this warm summer day with friends and all of a sudden we felt our surrounding dimming and solemn for seconds. We stood still and looked around and noticed many people were staring at the sun; It then occurred to us that today is the day of the total solar eclipse, which the news had been buzzing about during the past few days.

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We were so glad that people shared their “eclipse viewing glasses” with us. Through this special protective lens, we watched the moon gradually embracing the sun, and the sun forming a thin illuminating crescent shape. As the moon slowly slipped away, the sun came back to its original round shape shining ever so brightly again. This rare solar eclipse moment was a beautiful sight to behold!

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