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Come and heal my right knee

Earlier this week, I felt a sore in my right knee. At first, I didn’t think much about it, but as the week went by, it became more and more painful. Then on Friday at 4am, I was awoken from my sleep by a sharp pain in my right knee. I sat up on my bed. I realised that it was hard to bend my right knee and I had trouble standing up.

I tried to recall how I might have injured my knee. The most recent memory of a similar excruciating pain in my right knee was from about a year ago. At that time, the pain finally went away after a friend gave me a 脱苦海 “tokuhon” (a Japanese medicated plaster for the relief of muscle aches and pain) to apply on the knee.

Well, maybe that could be the cure this time, too. That is, if I could find a “tokuhon” at 4am in this country.

Instead, I started praying. I prayed until I ran out of words and towards the end I just kept repeating the name of Jesus, and asked for Jesus to come and heal my knee. I prayed until I fell asleep.

An hour or so later, I woke up to get ready for work. I could still feel the pain in my right knee and I walked with some difficulty.

During my daily committed time of prayer, I continued to pray and believe in Jesus to heal me. At the end of an hour, I didn’t feel the pain anymore, just a stiffness that made my walk awkward. I felt that my right leg was a little longer than my left and I didn’t walk smoothly. However, there was no more pain in my right knee. Have I been healed?

I went through the rest of the day with a stiffness in the joint. Every flight of steps to climb was a challenge to my faith that I have been healed. Each time I had to bend my knees to sit down or to reach something low, I doubted if I have been healed.

As it was Friday, I contemplated buying a Tiger Balm plaster (probably the best tokuhon around here), just in case the pain in the knee returned to cripple me over the weekend. I also thought about going to the doctor to get a prescription.

The thoughts went through my mind. Then I told myself to stop thinking about how to heal myself. I am healed by the wounds Jesus bore for me on the cross, which was a promise written in the bible in Isaiah 53:5. I clung on to God’s word and believed that I have been healed.

During cell group time on Friday evening, I was paired to pray with a cell sister who shared that she had a pain in her shoulder joint for a while. I prayed and proclaimed that God would heal us. As I prayed, peace filled my heart and I knew that the healing was completed.

This morning, I woke up free from pain and stiffness in my right knee. I have been completely healed!

I didn’t have to use a tokuhon nor a Tiger Balm plaster.

I just had to call on the name of Jesus.

To add an icing to this miracle, the sermon this weekend was about Jesus touching us where it hurts. Whether the pain was in the mind, in the spirit or in the body, Jesus has the authority over it and He can remove it.

Jesus definitely touched my right knee when it hurted the most, and He took away the pain. He has authority over sicknesses.

Thank you, Jesus!

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—  who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases

~ Psalm 103:1-3 ~

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2013 in Scribbles

 

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2 years later…

Extracted from my reflection of April 2011 volunteer trip: Before the trip, we prepared two Chinese songs 云上太阳  “yun shang tai yang” and 我的帮助 “wo de bang zu” and one Japanese song  一番 “ichiban” (The best). Indeed, throughout the 5 days, God was truely our sun above the clouds and our BEST helper (Psalm 121).

The morning group devotion time filled and recharged our spirits daily. There was so much joy and laughter amidst the hard labour and seemingly mundane chores we did every day. Our light-hearted spirit brought much cheer to the Japanese people we helped too. As we had fellowship with them and met their physical needs, they opened themselves to us and shared some of their deeper needs. By God’s grace, we were able to pray for and minister to each of them personally.

We saw two rainbows during the trip, one on the first day and another on the last day. I felt that it was like God wrapping us up in the rainbow (His promises) throughout the trip. The one on the last day was a full arch over the church we stayed in.

A month after returning from the LJP trip, whilst walking towards a bus stop along busy Orchard Road, I heard the melody of 云上太阳 in my head(?) but the words were in Japanese. God gave me Japanese lyrics to the song!

I was so excited that the minute I boarded the bus and sat down, I hurriedly scribbled down the lyrics before they could escape me:

どこに住んでも doko ni sundemo
きれいな山 kirei na yama
暗い幽谷に横たわる kurai yuukokuni yokotawaru
空に向かって sora ni mukatte
きっと分かる kitto wakaru
主はすでに備えた shu ha sudeni sonaeta
雲の上に kumo no ue ni
主は変わらない shu ha kawaranai
時に雨が降るけど toki ni ame ga furu kedo
雲の上に kumo no ue ni
主は変わらない shu ha kawaranai
永遠に変わらない eien ni kawaranai

Since then, I’ve been greatly blessed by this worship. I brought it in my heart to another continent and it kept me focused on God’s promises and helped me to remember His faithfulness. I was also honoured to be able to share it with a special group of young people there and to share about the volunteer trip experience.

And another year passed before I could return to serve in Japan. Twice to be exact.

As J and I prepared for our trip at the end of 2012, we felt we should bring the same worship song, this time in Japanese, back to Japan. We were touched the first time we rehearsed in public and we could feel the strong presence of God with us. As we took the unexpected journey together to Tohoku again, we eagerly awaited the chance to bring the worship to the people.

As always, God surprised us and met us at such precious moments intimately. I believe the places we worshipped and the people who heard the worship were blessed by His presence and love.

More importantly, I have been truely humbled and blessed in these two years.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Scribbles

 

彩虹下的约定

The cars the team rented were Toyota’s Noahs. It was exciting news for the team, as God made a special covenant with Noah in the bible.

God confirmed that same promise with us through our first rainbow sighting on the first day during our drive from Tokyo to Kurihara.

Look carefully and you'll spot the rainbow!

Every day, we packed ourselves into our Noah’s arks to get to the towns of people who called us for assistance.

On the last morning in Kurihara, I woke up early to catch the sunrise again.

It was the same sun and at the same place, yet it was different from what I saw the other morning.

The church sign reads "Jesus Christ Kurihara Bible Baptist Church". It is definitely the church of Jesus Christ.

The other side reads, God is love.

And I saw God's heart peeping through a tree.

I received His love and thanked Him for raising the sun beautifully yet again. As the chilly cold wind was blowing hard that morning, I started to head back to the church.

Then I felt tiny raindrops falling on my face, and something made me look up at the sky behind the church building.

I squealed in excitement at what I saw.

God had planned more than a sunrise for me!

He gave me a delightful surprise – a full rainbow arching over Kurihara Baptist Church!

Despite the extremely strong and chilly cold wind that morning, I felt warm standing under the rainbow.

I enjoyed the Lord’s awesome presence immensely.

J-さん and H-さん, it was a spectacular sight, wasn’t it?

I counted my blessings throughout this trip and thanked Him for the work He has begun in Japan.

I claimed His promises for me, and for the people in Japan that He will rebuild the brokenness in their lives.

If this trip was a present from God to each of us on the team, it was one bundled from the beginning to the end with colourful strings from the rainbow. He filled the present with His love, hope, joy and peace.

I’m carrying this precious gift with me to the next destination.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2011 in Scribbles

 

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Go M.A.D

After closely following the tsunami news telecasts online in the comfort of my home for 2 weeks daily after the March 11 disaster, I felt very strongly that I had to do something.

Yes, I could pray.

Yes, I could donate money towards the cause of the Japan disaster.

Yes, I could practise self-restraint 自粛 ‘ji shuku’, which many Japanese I spoke to, were doing. For example, the Tokyo government raised a call for the people to avoid holding hanami parties and many Japanese didn’t indulge in themselves extravagantly. It was their way to remember and support their fellow countrymen who were affected by the tsunami in the Tohoku area.

But having done all the above, I felt compelled to do more. I had to go to Tohoku.

There were safety issues due to the radiation from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in the air, water and food, and the aftershocks that were continuing. Despite these fears, I wanted to go.

From the news, I saw the vastness of the damage and the staggering number of households and lives that were affected, and I couldn’t help but feel that I was too small and weak to make any difference. What could I possibly do to help? Nevertheless, I followed my heart and went.

The team was made up of mostly individuals who hardly knew one another before the trip. Yet, when we touched down in Japan, the bonding was amazing. We served with one heart in Christ, for the Japanese people who needed our help.

During one of the Sunday services, SP assured the Love Japan teams that every family and life we touched in Japan, mattered to God. Though we might have only helped one household on any one day of the trip, to that family, it meant everything. It made a difference.

 

 

Jesus said to His followers, “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world” ~ Matthew 5:13-14

He is saying, “You are my salt and light, so Go Make A Difference for me while you’re on this earth.”

Go M.A.D. for Jesus.

LJP teams ganbare!

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in Scribbles

 

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Of seagulls and flowers

Pastor K told the team a story about seagulls that lived on the islets off the coast of Kesennuma.

The seagulls loved to flock to the islets to lay their eggs and breed their youngs. The seagulls created such a din that the locals living along the coast found them a menace.

A photo retrieved from the debris of M-san’s house right by the coast. Seagulls were on the islets in the background.

 

Strangely, on 10 March 2011, a day before the tsunami, not a single seagull could be sighted and the coast was unusually quiet.

The next day, tsunami waves higher than the trees on the islets came crashing onto the shores of Kesennuma.

Did the seagulls sense something threatening was about to happen?

Since then, the seagulls had not returned to the coast.

The coast was gravely silent without the cries of the seagulls, as if in mourning.

It was not till late April, some 3-5 days before the team’s arrival, that the seagulls returned to breed and stay on some of the islets and the coast again.

M-san's house used to stand here. Foreground: One of the piles of debris sorted by the team. Background, far right: Seagulls had returned to the islets.

 

Now, the noisy seagulls brought peace of mind to the locals.

I understood from this story that God had endowed animals with special instincts to preserve their species.

Psalm 36:6  Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, LORD, preserve both people and animals.

Another sign of hope was that many wild spring flowers were blooming again in the tsunami swept land. Life had found a way of returning to the barren land! Spring may be late, but it came afterall!

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Scribbles

 

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Faithfulness of God

There was absolute silence in the car when we first entered the worst hit tsunami town of Kesennuma, Minami-sanriku.

We were driving through a familiar scene that had been on the TV news since the disaster happened in March.

However, just like watching the TV news on the evening of 11 March 2011, it still felt surreal, despite being there in person, in the middle of the tsunami wrecked town.

The place looked more like a movie set than reality. The coastal line was left bare except for a few buildings that had withstood the devastating waves. It seemed that nothing man-made nor natural had a chance to overcome the waters on that fateful afternoon.

I asked myself, is God here in this barren, lifeless and destroyed land?

YES! The Psalmist reassured us that there is no place in the world that we can run to where God’s love and faithfulness will not meet us (Psalm 36).

God is committed to love His people in Japan.

He sent us.

He sent many others who don’t speak the Japanese language, but who want to help Japan to stand up from where she had fallen.

During the trip, we proclaimed God’s faithfulness in our lives and the lives of those we met daily with the song  云上太阳  “The Sun above the Clouds” by 赞美之泉 

无论是住在美丽的高山  Whether you live in the beautiful mountains

或是躺卧在阴暗的幽谷  or lie in the dark and evil valleys

当你抬起头  when you lift up your head

你将会发现  you’ll realise

主已为你我而预备  the Lord has prepared for you and me

云上太阳    它总不改变  Like the sun above the clouds that never changes 

虽然小雨洒在脸上  Although the rain may fall on your face

云上太阳    它总不改变 Like the sun above the clouds that never changes

哈啊    祂不改变 God doesn’t change

When the problems in our lives seemed too heavy and pressed us down, if only we look up, we’ll see God looking down from the heavens and smiling, “My child, I am always here, everything will be alright.”

I pray that more Christians will volunteer in Japan, and show more of God’s unchanging and unconditional love to the Japanese.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Scribbles

 

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Strengthened to serve

It was the first sunrise for the crisis relief team in the land of the rising sun.

The morning sun rays beamed in through the glass door of the church and nudged me out of my sleeping bag to see its full glory.

I was reminded once again, that His love, like the rising sun, is new every morning, and that I can draw strength from Him to start each day afresh.

Indeed, it was His strength that saw me through the days at ground zero daily.

Before we departed for Japan, God had promised the team through Psalm 121 that He’d be our helper.

詩編 / 121

1節 わたしは山にむかって目をあげる。わが助けは、どこから来るであろうか。

2節 わが助けは、天と地を造られた主から来る。

3節 主はあなたの足の動かされるのをゆるされない。あなたを守る者はまどろむことがない。

4節 見よ、イスラエルを守る者は/まどろむこともなく、眠ることもない。

5節 主はあなたを守る者、主はあなたの右の手をおおう陰である。

6節 昼は太陽があなたを撃つことなく、夜は月があなたを撃つことはない。

7節 主はあなたを守って、すべての災を免れさせ、またあなたの命を守られる

8節 主は今からとこしえに至るまで、あなたの出ると入るとを守られるであろう。

    

This church was our base camp. It couldn’t be built on a better spot.

The rising sun shines directly at it every morning. I felt that it symbolises that the church (family of God) that receives His light will carry it out to the world.

And I heard that the ground on which this church was built on, is extremely hard and stable. It had withstood earthquakes up to magnitude 7 without any damage.

When I was there, there were at least 2 earthquake alerts sounded on the Japanese mobile phones. One was in the middle of the night, but I slept through it without a stir. Another was in the morning. I could hear the glass and things shaking outside the church building, but sitting inside the building, I didn’t feel any shaking at all.

When we’re wise and build our house on the Lord our rock, it will not be shaken!

With Him on our side, as we serve Him and the people in Japan, what and who can be against us?

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Scribbles

 

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