He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What Are the Odds?

Dated 9th Oct 2010

                           Our dog Storm with a few days old kitten Onyx.

We’ve been here in Auckland 2 years now and there’s an
interesting story I have always wanted to write related to our move here, but
never got down to doing so. Probably today I might get it down on paper, at

In preparation for our move here, a former neighbour of ours
named Joyce (we moved away from that neighbourhood two years before we made the
move from K. Lumpur to Auckland), gave me a name and email to contact before
coming here. It was also this same Joyce who gave us their dog, which became
our first and last family dog - Storm. She said I should email J___ (and her
husband Cl____) who were once her church-mates and have moved here many years
ago. J___ and Cl____ also lived around the same neighbourhood in K. Lumpur before
they moved here. In the last two months prior to our move I was so busy packing
and giving away things, and caring for 4 children who had chicken pox one after
the other, that it was J___ who eventually emailed me and invited us to their
church here in Auckland – Life Church in Mt. Eden Rd.

So, the first week after we arrived here we attended their
church and also the Life Group they host in their house in North Shore. They
have a very warm and friendly fellowship and they themselves are a lovely couple who have two beautiful teenagers. As we talked we found out that J___ has a first cousin here and that first cousin and her husband came to know the Lord Jesus only when they moved here about 7 years ago, with their four kids. Their Life Group and J___'s family were very much instrumental to their conversion to Christianity. J___ and her husband were also once building contractors but in the latter years they have both settled down with administrative jobs in very stable establishments. But a token of their building business is the beautiful, spacious house they are living in now, for they had it built through their company before they decided to take up jobs.

The following Sunday we visited a Baptist church in St.
Lukes upon the invitation of family friends, friends of ours since our
Singapore days (early 90’s). As part of our church-hunting, the Sunday after
that I suggested we visit another church suggested by K___ who was also one
of our ex-neighbours in K. Lumpur, in the same neighbourhood as Jo___’s. The
church was Fusion Church in Pah Road, Royal Oak. So, all five of us bundled
into the car early that Sunday morning because their service starts early –
something like 10am. And as usual, we were late, probably 30 min. late. Anyway,
we managed to slip into one of the back rows with my younger daughter and me going
in first, followed by our two teens and my husband. It’s the kind of service
that’s similar to what I used to attend in the prayer house in Malaysia – a lot
of waiting on the presence of the Lord. I had expected my family wouldn’t like
it but I had to attend their service even just once, so I can tell my friend K___
that I had actually tried out the church she suggested. A few minutes into the
service my older daughter said she and her brother want to go to Life Church
instead, in Mt. Eden, where the service starts at 11am. It was a bit late but
if they really wanted to go, they wouldn’t really miss a big part of the
service. By that time my younger
daughter was already falling asleep in my lap and so I challenged her by
saying, “See if your dad will drive you there and then you come back for me and
____(my younger daughter) when the service is over there.” And so, she did, and my husband, with hesitancy and some annoyance, and a big questioning look, went with our
two teens to drive them to Life Church. My younger daughter slept through most of the service
and we talked a bit with one or two people in that church after the service,
and then my husband came to fetch us.

I was expecting he would be so annoyed
that he was kind of forced to drive the teens to Life Church and then come back
again for us. Instead, he was happy and very excited. He told me that he met
two people he knew in Life Church, and for us that time, being strangers in this
new place, that was a very welcome event! One was a former colleague of his
with whom he worked in a former company and he knew that person and his family
had moved here, but he didn’t have contact with him, so he didn’t know where in
NZ they are and it was a very pleasant surprise meeting him in Life Church that
morning. The other person he met was a town-mate of his whom he had never seen
since his boyhood days. His name was "A___." My husband’s parents had told him
about A___ and his family having moved here many years ago but they didn’t know
exactly where in NZ they are. A___’s parents also, had told A___ that my
husband and his family (that’s us) are coming here but they didn’t know exactly
in which city in NZ. And now here they are bumping into each other in Life
Church! A___, being so excited, wanted to have lunch with us but because it was
already lunch-time and my husband still had to fetch us from Fusion Church,
they decided that we should have dinner together instead. We went to Mt. Eden for lunch and we met them there too (!) but they were going to Subway and we were going to our favourite Chinese resto.  So, we agreed to meet in a restaurant half-way to both our houses for dinner that night.

In the course of the lovely dinner they bought for us they
told us that they moved here about 7 years ago, they became Christians here and
that C____, the wife of A___, has a cousin here and it was she and her family
who introduced them to Christianity. C____ also said that the same cousin lives
in North Shore and they built their own house. And then it dawned on me… what
are the odds, it can’t be a different person – North Shore, built their own house,
another Malaysian, so, in shock I said, “Huh? Is your cousin J ____????” And she was just as astonished,
“How do you know my cousin????” She said, in fact, it was J___’s birthday that
day and she hadn’t greeted her yet. And so, that night, on the way home I
texted J to greet her a happy birthday and she was like, “How did you know
my birthday????”

The reason I remembered this interesting story again today
is because a week ago we were in C___’s and A___’s house. Although we had
tried to continue attending the Life Group in J____and Cl____’s house in
North Shore, it had been tedious for me driving whenever my husband wasn’t
around, and we eventually just gave up going. We eventually moved to a
different church, much closer to where we live, but we have remained close to
C____ and A____ and their family. They too live in West Auckland where we are
and somehow, we never run out of things to talk about. :-) We have dinner in
their house every 2-3 months and they come to our house for New Year or
birthday parties. In fact, on our 22nd wedding anniversary last Friday
we were at their house for dinner, though we didn’t tell them the date was
significant for us. This family has become the closest friends we have here in
Auckland. They are blessings to us and it was all by a stroke of God’s hand. It
is what I would undoubtedly call a Divine Appointment.
We haven't bumbed into them in church again after that incident. It's a big church and they have three services and we eventually moved to evening service before we finally changed church. And to think my husband was not even
supposed to be in Life Church that morning!! Had our teens not insisted, we
probably would have taken a long, long time to know them because although they
and J___’s family attend the same church, they have their own Life Group here
in West Auckland and C___ and J____ hardly see each other anymore. In fact, we
got them and their children together in our house on our New Year’s party that year that we met.

So what are the odds indeed? Three days ago, on the 5th
Oct., the much-delayed needs assessment for my special needs daughter was
finally conducted, by a worker from Taikura Trust, and she said she lives in GB.
Of all places! I said I know only one family who lives in GB (and we still
don’t know many families here in the whole of Auckland). And she said, “On
which road?” When I mentioned the road, she asked, “What number?” And it turned
out that C___ and A___ live just 5 numbers away from her, which means they are
just 2-3 houses away from each other. What are the odds???? I know I may never
have to deal with her again after the assessment was done but I said, “If I
want to say ‘hi’ to you I can just ring your bell whenever we visit our friends
in GB!” What are the odds????

And just the thought of all these incidents reminds me of
the wonderful friends we had in K. Lumpur, and how God had made
sure we have them here as well. Although we stayed in that neighbourhood for
only 6 years, Jo___ and her family became close to us. We had other neighbours
too but we just warmed up to each other. They were the kind of neighbours we
could exchange dishes with. Her mom makes delicious Nyonya dishes which we
loved and they too loved my lasagne and brownies, choc cake, etc. They lived
just behind us and they could see our bedroom and kitchen lights and they could
tell whether my husband stayed up the whole night working or I cooked a party
dinner overnight. In fact, we passed dishes to each other just over the fence.
And now that reminds me, Jo___ was asking for my fried rice recipe which has
yam (taro) in it… I need to get back to her now!! (And gee, it’s late. My
daughter has to go to bed.):-) Good night!

Nyonya Culture, Food

(114 days ago):
Yes, what are the odds?? Three days ago we had our medical exam and the medical technologist who took our blood samples is a Filipino who lives just off the road where C___ also lives, in GB!! We exchanged addresses and phone nos., that's how we found out. In fact she claims she has seen C___ taking out their rubbish bags on rubbish collection days and their house is just next to the bus stop. And I said, "Yes, their house is right next to the bus stop!" "So, they're Malaysian," she said. Hmmm, now I have a friend in GB and have two acquaintances who live in her neighborhood. And we have so few friends here in Auckland. Really, what are the odds? :-D >.<

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D