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Strength in sojourn

If there was anything, I had to prove to myself upon my exudos from my Bangkok life, it is this. I had always known that I am and always will be at my best alone.

Don‘t take crap that wasn’t thrown at you.


18th February 2016

After prayer time, my class was at the door chanting ‘Chinese! Chinese! Chinese!’ loudly as a chinese mom pass by after picking up her son from Year 1.

Then I heard Mr. Andre of Year 4 yelling at my class. I went out to catch a few bits of what he said…

‘Stop!! Stop calling her that, its very inappropriate and rude! I wonder who is teaching you that.’

The last bit stung me a little bit being in the moment. I asked him what happened. He said they were chanting at the lady and it’s very inappropriate and racist.

By then my class was already quiet and 2 of my girls, Faten and Yara were on the verge of tears. I asked them all to settle down and asked the 2 girls why they were chanting.

Yara said it was because she didn’t know her name.

Faten in between tears told me that she was just very excited about learning chinese with the lady.

I remembered 2 days ago during gardening, the lady said hello to my class and told them she was going to teach chinese class at school for free. The whole class was very excited about learning a new language because the day before that we were having a discussion and found out how many languages we each can speak. That we are all multilingual. We were very proud of ourselves. I told them too, not to be mean to others who can’t speak English very well because it meant the person speaks another language.

Faten got upset because Mr. Andre was upset with her. I told the class that Mr. Andre did not undertand why they were chanting, that’s why he got upset. That he was wrong to scream at them like that.

At the end of the day, I told Faten and Yara to go up to Mr. Andre and explain why they were chanting at the lady just as they have told me so that he would understand. He should say sorry to them for yelling at them when they did nothing wrong.

Youth delinquency is primarily adult delinquency.


Monday, 10th January, 2016

At the Assembly after the songs, the principal called Alya of Year 4 up front to lead the Classroom pledge. Expectant Ruhi of Year 2 was devastated that she was not chosen to do it.

‘I will not have any more of this!’ And she tossed the badge in front of the principal.

‘Ruhi!’, said the principal scolding. He then proceeded to tell everyone that Alya is the senior class monitor, so she will be the monitor of the whole school.

‘But that is very unfair, she already did it yesterday. Why can’t I do it today.’ The rest was already inaudible and Ruhi was in the verge of tears.

I picked up the badge and told Ruhi I would keep it until she is ready for it. That we will have a talk when we get to the classroom.

The principal was adamant that I ‘talk’ to Ruhi with that scold-her-well look.

When we got back to the classroom, I told Ruhi it wasn’t the right attitude in dealing with rejection or losing against someone. That the principal has the last say in everything at school. That whatever he says, we should just learn how to deal with it.


I should have said…

Ruhi, sorry your principal failed you. Sorry the school failed you, the teachers failed you. I failed you.

It is not your responsibility to understand how confusing adults think sometimes, they decide without explaining things to little children.

The principal failed to explain the reason behind his choice and made you look like a brat. He brought out the worst in you at that moment.

You are one little girl who has been given a weight on your shoulders with that responsibility but we left you fending for yourself in dealing with extreme emotions that you come across during the whole process.

He should have apologized to you in front of everyone for failing to make you understand his decision.

The principal and us teachers are not just normal adults that surround you.

We are guidance. We are answers to questions even before they are asked.

If he had explained his decision well before you, before everyone including us teachers, you would still have objections, questions and resistance but you will understand why. And you wouldn’t have to toss the badge in front of him like you did.


Project 11

What is PROJECT 11?
Packing, sorting, helping, volunteering, recruiting, carrying, organizing, labelling, more sorting and more packing, then later moving everything up to the 11th floor. This just might be my last photograph of a partially dressed 5th floor foyer as ICA Bangkok finally bid goodbye to the 5th floor, the home of the offices, kitchen, Adventure World and many events of the Family Focus. This floor is also witness to the French Ministry’s vibrant worship time before they moved to Pattanakarn. Not to mention the many souls claimed to the Lord within the Itanian Fellowship. The bustling during Christmas Production rehearsals will keep ringing in this hallways long after we’ve moved up, I reckon. MaxLife’s laughter, youthfulness and moments with God will echo on on Friday nights. How many of our refugee and asylum-seeking families, through the generosity of Helping Hands Ministry, found refuge in this hallways? And the blessed time of Joy Fellowship where friendships and worship blended well together? The trainings and fellowships over food and good conversations will just have to find a new home at the 11th floor.

Have you taken part in the big move yet?
Well, if you are around Bangkok and is willing to flex, bend over, go through our stockroom and help organize stuff and get them ready for moving up, come on over!

Come on Saturdays between 10am until 5pm and Sundays after the 2nd service (1pm) onwards. We’re on weekdays, too.
Please contact Ptr. Jaimee Silva @ 0870756714 or the ICA Bangkok office @ 027180603

We do appreciate your prayers, too, for God’s continued guidance and provision regarding the renovation at the 11th floor, wisdom for our pastors and project planners, strength and good health for each of them. We keep trusting God that He IS bringing us to ‘greater heights’ in this move.

For some people, growing something is effortless. These are the people we call ‘Green Thumb’. Anything they put on a pot and get their hands on flourish, bloom and grow. But I personally think anyone CAN grow something.

URBAN FARMING has been my hobby for years now. It began when my life revolved around living in the cityscrapers. Condos and flats offer small to no spaces for plants to grow. Ventilation is always a challenge and if there ever was ample supply, the heat is unbearable.

Over the years, Ive move around different buildings and complexes and I have had to let go of some very beautiful plants for varied reasons but here I made a list of my favorites. They are because they grow easy, have very minimal maintenance and they are not hard to access.

OKRAS are my top favorites. I got some seeds from a friend and i just sprinkled them over a damp pot. After 2 days I got about 5 sprouts! I had to pluck the skinnier ones and left to grow the fattest, that way all the nutrients packed in that little pot can be all his, no competition. Then I stuck a skewer next to it so it doesn’t bend over when the pressure of water pouring down on it was too much. I saw it grow a couple of inches every day with just that! In a matter of 3 weeks, it surpassed my 5-meter height and gave me a few legit okras! I found out that the fruit it bears has a one week interval each that if you miss it, they are already too old to cook. I did three times and I found another magical thing happen- when I cut the old okra fruit and left it out to dry for a couple days, the seeds are perfect and ready for replanting! How awesome is that? Right now, Ive got a bagful of okra seeds, a couple of okras drying outside and a 7-foot okra tower threatening to bloom me three more flowers!

In Thailand, these citrus plant is considered a lucky charm that bring in the vibe of money so people rarely ever consider it as a spice. For Filipinos, however, this is a delectable cooking gem. They make a whole bunch of delicious food with it.

These are easy to find in Thailand and easy to nurture. It can take all the heat available as long as its watered regularly.

BASIL is a staple in Thailand. They garnish this on pretty much every dish imaginable so the accessibility is not an issue. Growing it is very simple. Just use the inedible stalk that’s leftover from the eatble ones and stick them in a pot. Very low maintenance and has a very pretty of reacting to the harsh heat- by blooming!

RADISH , carrots and pineapple crowns are amazing things! While you add their skins into your DIY compost pit, you can reuse the crowns by sticking them in a pot! Give it a week and you’ll see the leaves growing again. I have just put in one and look forward to seeing it grow every morning before going to work. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

THIS ONE represents pretty much everything I put in the compost pit- from seeds, skins, crowns and what have you. I have no idea which one this is but it sprout out from my compost pit. Will find out soon enough. One tough guy!