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.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Moment for Those Missing in Christchurch

My life is tough but when I think of Christchurch, suddenly my "Vietnam" seems like "Heaven." Or even if I just think of the book I'm reading: "Holocaust Exposed" by Pastor Nigel Woodley, hey, my life is truly utopia!

We were thinking of visiting the South Island before leaving NZ last year. That would have been during the September break but the big earthquake occurred on Sept 4 that year, in Christchurch. By the time my husband came home for his Spring break they were still having aftershock tremors, even as late as December. So, we scrapped the idea. Besides, I don't think it would have been fun visiting a place that's still recovering from such calamity. But Christchurch is home to many Malaysians who have immigrated to NZ. Many Malaysians prefer Christchurch over the other cities in NZ because they feel it's slower-paced.  In fact, a family living in our neighborhood in K. Lumpur moved there just two years before we moved to Auckland ourselves. I got my computer-based homeschooling programs for my younger son from them. They sold them to us when they left K. Lumpur and they were avid home-schoolers. We even got to know our children's piano teacher through them because their children were serious piano players. But because we had been so busy, both they and us, we lost contact with them. The email they gave us wasn't working. As for us, we chose Auckland mainly because of the international airport being located there. We needed to be close to one so my husband could easily fly in and out for his business trips. So now, I only remember our friends in my prayers, that they are kept safe and well-cared for by the Lord, a family of five devout (and very conservative) believers.

Christchurch is known for its beauty and history. They have many historical sites and scenic spots. I have never been there and not really looked at pictures of those places but I know it is a "must-see" for tourists. My cousin in California went for a luxury cruise with her husband when we were in Auckland. That's how they got to visit us there. The itinerary of their cruise ship included Christchurch and they swore it was beautiful. A cousin in Melbourne also went there with her husband, on another cruise tour. But now it seems tourists will be wary of going to Christchurch, not with the most recent aftershock jolt that killed hundreds of people and sent many more displaced from their homes and jobs. 

What I feel sad about most of all are the young students who were trapped and went "missing" when the Canterbury TV (CTV) building collapsed in that 22nd Feb. quake. Many of those students are Asians and some are Filipinos. Some came only as "Monday starters," which means they arrived on the Sunday, started school on the Monday, and fell victim to the disaster on Tuesday. There was an English Language school located on the third floor of that building and the students caught in the building, mostly having lunch at that time of the tremor, got trapped in the collapse. These are young people who have probably gone there in the hope that they can find employment. Apparently, I learned from other Filipinos, there are "agents" in the Philippines who bring in Filipinos on "student visas", just so they could go to NZ for job opportunities. This is not only true in NZ but in other places as well, like London. Filipinos, unlike other most Asians, are educated in English, and they do not need to be in a language school in NZ. These are young people who probably spent all their life savings, or borrowed lots of money through loans, friends, or even loan sharks, just to go there, in the hope of finding jobs. Just imagine the sorrows of their families, losing a child in some far away land, a child upon whom so much of their hopes are loaded.

Probably we are too far from what's going on in Christchurch. I remember when the quake occurred last year I asked a friend in Auckland if she has any family or friends in Christchurch. She said, "None." And that was it, end of story. My older daughter once told me that she had observed that for people in Auckland, Christchurch seems to be "another country." I didn't quite get that until I had that little conversation with my friend about the quake in Christchurch. Probably that's the reason why the Prime Minister John Key had to publicly express his "connection" to Christchurch, having grown up there, etc., in this recent fatal disaster. Whatever it is, if even people in Auckland can think of Christchurch as just "another country," I guess we who are truly in other countries would feel that way, too. But if you feel inclined, do spare a thought and prayer for those men, women, children, and the young language students who fell victim to this calamity in Christchurch. You can actually see the list of the "missing" students here:

Romans 12: 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
   than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
   the living should take this to heart. 


God bless you especially today.

1 comment:

  1. http://www.kingseducation.co.nz/student_tributes_.php

    Student Tributes
    Below is a list of those students whose status is currently unknown, or is missing presumed in the building.
    Our heartfelt sympathies go out to those with missing family members or associates.
    Please leave any messages of sympathy below.
    China Cai Ying Ye
    China Cai Yu
    China Lai Chang
    China De Li
    China Didi Zhang
    China Hui Yun Tu
    China Hui Zhang
    China Jinyan Leng
    China Li Min Wang
    China Li Xia
    China Lin Lin Xu
    China Man Jin
    China Tao Wang
    China Wanju Li
    China Weiyu Zhang
    China Wen He
    China Xiujuan Xu
    China Yan Tao Zhong
    China Yang Chen
    Japan Asuka Tsuchihashi
    Japan Ayako Yamaguchi
    Japan Emi Murakami
    Japan Haruki Hyakuman
    Japan Hifumi Hoshiba
    Japan Hiroko Tamano
    Japan Kayo Kanamaru
    Japan Kyoko Kawahata
    Japan Marina Arai
    Japan Megumi Horita
    Japan Miki Hayasaka
    Japan Mina Yamatani
    Japan Noriko Otsubo
    Japan Rika Hyuga
    Japan Saki Yotota
    Japan Saori Kikuda
    Japan Saya Sakuda
    Japan Tomoki Ishikuru
    Japan Toshiko Imaoka
    Japan Yasuhiro Kitagawa
    Japan Yoko Suzuki
    Japan Yoko Sakurai
    Japan Yoshiko Hirauchi
    Japan Yuki Hamaski
    Japan Yuki Hasumoto
    Japan Yuko Hirabayashi
    Japan Yumiko HATA
    Japan Yurika Uchihira
    Korea Gil-Hwan Yu
    Korea Naon Yu
    Philippines Emmabelle Anoba
    Philippines Erica Avir Nora
    Philippines Ezra Mae Medalle
    Philippines Ivy Cabunilas
    Philippines Jessie Lloyd Redoble
    Philippines Jewel Francisco
    Philippines John Kristoffer Chua
    Phlippines Lalaine Agatep
    Philippines Louise Amantillo
    Philippines Rhea Mae Sumalpong
    Philippines Valquin Bensurto
    Serbian Tamara Cvetanova
    Taiwan Hsin-Hung Lee
    Thailand Haruthaya Luangsurapeesakul
    Thailand Siriphan Wongbunngam
    Thailand Thanydha Intarangkun
    Thailand Wanpen Preeklang
    Thailand Jittra Waithayatadapong
    Thailand Phimphorn Liangchuea


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About Me

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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