About Me

My photo
Eugene, Oregon, United States
I am just a simple girl who has the most amazing adventures because God has made me strong and courageous. Right now I am living in the state of Oregon where I am spending a year as an ARISE Intern.I hope you enjoy reading what God is doing in my life and the simple and great things He does every day...

Friday, May 6, 2011

"They sing beautiful!! Have you trained this children?"
Standing in front of the choir, timidly I said "yes".
"Congratulations!! You have done an excellent job with these children".

This was five months ago. Today that moment came to my mind again with the same feeling of that day... that amazing and fulfilling feeling of being the one who makes the "song" happen. Of being the one who taught them and encourage them to do their best. There's no feeling like that in the world. After hard practice, disappointment and frustration, there's no feeling as the enjoyment of the outcome of "the song".

There are some things that happens when you make music; whether you are performing, or conducting. Your thoughts are focus on the music, nothing exists outside the music; but at the same time, along with  that absorption, comes the enjoyment, a feeling of satisfaction and plenitude only my colleagues would understand.

But that is just the outcome. The most important things to make the "song" beautiful, is what people don't see. Behind that there are days and nights of endless work, dullness and no satisfaction; of frustration and wondering if finally the time spent in it will be worthy.

The true is that the words of that old man (the same mentioned at the beginning), started a flow of thinking of God and His guidance in my life.

I thought about how in the eyes of the audience, the choir performance and the outcome of the presentation were so related to the job that I have done. The choir was singing beautiful and that man attributed their excellent performance to my "good job" though I just thought to myself: "It is them singing, not me.." But in reality, it was the outcome of "teamwork". I gave my best. I tried to direct them as best as I can. I thought them how to follow my directions; when to sing louder, softer; when to stop singing; when to start, etc.  But what if they sing bad? What if after all the practice and all the directions that I gave them they just want to do their "own thing? What if they don't look at me and loose the beat or come in when they're not supposed to?

And I thought about Him... the great "conductor" of my life. I thought how does He leads me and how much He has taught me to follow his directions; how to adapt to His conducting style; how sometimes even when He leads so perfectly I took my gaze away from Him and I mess up the beautiful song He's leading in my life. How sometimes he tells me to stop and I don't...and how sometime He want's me to begin or continue, and I miss the "cue". I thought about how the way I sing "my life" unto others, influences the way people think about my "Conductor".

And as I'm reaching to the end of my service in CAS, I think about how much He still believes that I can sing the song the way He wants, even when is so difficult.

Like in every turning point in my life, I face myself, and ussually, my failures and mistakes, surround me and made me argue with my conductor and tell Him:
Are you sure I'm able?"

Are you sure you want me to be part of your choir?

Are you taking this risk?

And then I think about tonight; I think of my 12th graders. They were not as great as the "Special Choir", the choir I led last semester for Christmas performances, and for which that old guy congratulated me. They are not as musical as them; and mucho menos. as motivated as the kids. But I had to do it. We should sing at graduation... and I struggled with myself and God as well: Am I being the teacher I should be? Are you sure you chose me to do this?

But I did it. And I'm glad I did. Cause tonight, I just had my first presentation with my 12th graders, and besides that they sang as beautiful as they could, that feeling came again...and that thought of how even when I doubted a little bit of my 12th graders, (and they gave their best, cause I pushed myself and made them give their best), God had never doubted of me. He still pushing me to "sing a more beautiful song everyday"...and He wants me to, and He rejoices through me; he dances through me....

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I can't wait!!

I know this is not the experience I would want to write about to come back to my blog. But sadly, is the last experience that have touched my life in these late days at Cambodia....The day when the world went wrong...

Since I went out from my hometown, to Andrews and eventually to Cambodia, God have blessed me in many ways. I've been far from my family, but somehow God manages to bring people that becomes your family while your away. At Andrews He sent amazing people; a place I can call "home". Cambodia was not the exception. God again, not only sent one family but He has given us 3: The Rogers, The Scott's and the Khan's.

All of them are really special to my heart, but the Khan's grew a little closer to me for different reasons: They live downstairs, and they had two kids: Avak,7 and Neha, 4. Sumara, their (kids) aunt, was a plus, I love her as a sister (She went back home, to Pakistan in December). Back home, I have nephews and nieces; being far from them in Avak and Neha I found two little persons to share my love with.

 The Khan's are the sweetest people you can ever meet. They are kind and loving . They always share food with us (really yummy Pakistani food) and they always welcomed us for a chat and tea. If in the busyness of life we would forget the blessing of fellowship, and friendship, they would remind us with an invitation to drink tea or a yummy Pakistani rice and dahl!
The Khan's and us sharing tea

And there comes Neha...she was "our girl" or as I used to call her "Mi Nehita". A beautiful, talkative, loving, smart,  joyful and honest 4 year old girl. She lightened our days, she made us smile, she was the girl I hugged and kissed and play with "in :the name" of my nephews and niece back home. She was "mi Nehita" and I was her 'Baji Olga" (which means, "older sister" in Urdu).

 Every morning, as I went down the stairs on my way to school, she was standing at the door:
"Hello Baji Olga, I like your shirt"
"Thanks, Neha" I will reply knowing that there was more to come:
"But I don't like your shoes" I would smile, "It's ok Neha, I like them"
"You look beautiful, I like your dress" and with her sweet voice she would reply: "Thank You, my mommy bought it for me".
Annie and I made jokes sometimes saying that if a robber wanted to come to our house, it would be impossible cause Neha would definitely see him and ask "What are you doing"??. She was our faithful guard.

On December the Khan's went on vacation to their home at Pakistan, and it was so lonely here. We really missed them, specially we missed Neha standing at the door, or crying every night at sleep time. The day they got home, we knew right away. I heard a girl crying downstairs. Quickly I tell Annie: "Is that Neha?!...Neha!! their home!!!" We ran downstairs to met them. The kids were so big..Neha was so big..Our neighbors were back We were so happy!

As Neha was growing, she got into the stage of: "What are you doing?" Why?. why? She would come home almost every evening. We knew she took a shower and as she came with her wet hair she used to say: Baji Olga, smell my hair, smell my hair!!! It smells nice, right?" "Yes, Neha, it smells very nice" as every night we had to pretend that we never smelled it before :). There are countless memories with her: Helping her with her math, teaching her how to jump the rope, watching her ride the bicycles in circles with Avak getting home from school, trying to workout with us, helping her with puzzles, going for an ice-cream and realizing that we hadto carry her because she didn't bring her shoes, and many more...

We always had something to share about her...one night Annie comes from downstairs and she tell us: "Neha was praying and she mentioned every single person that she knows..."Be with dad, and mom and Avek,and masso (auntie)" and so on. Another day Phil came up and told us: "So, Neha was singing: "Yes Jesus Loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me , yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me"...... and eventually she concluded: "The Bible tells me so..". One of my last memorable experiences with her was the last Saturday "Game Night" at the Scott's. She asked me to helped her to make wooden blocks animal-pictures puzzle. I spent a long time with her as God tested my patience "Neha, here focus, you're doing very good, but focus" Annie, Phil and Fay laughed at us as we were trying to accomplish or goal. And we made it. We made two. She was so happy and proud, and I would tell her: "Go, show Auntie Fay" (As you can notice we're all family here). She wanted to make more, but I was tired, and we decided to play "Jenga" and make big buildings. She would share her blocks with me and in exchange she will ask me if she could tumble down my tower. That was the las Saturday night Neha was with us.

Next Saturday night was supposed to be another normal and happy Saturday night together. Instead, Neha was taken away from us in an ambulance...until Jesus comes again, we won't see her again, we won't smell her hair again, we won't see her beautiful and smiling face.  It's hard to write about all the things that came to my mind the moment I knew. We were shocked. I had to ask like 5 times before I could understand. I thought about her mother:we knew how much Alia loved her girl: I have sister's that are mothers and I have heard them said they could not imagine if something bad happens to their children. I felt her pain, though I know I will never completely understand... I thought about Avek; how they were always together and how much did he took care of her. And I imagined my Kelly and Emanuel (my older sister's couple) and how much did they love each other. And I thought about her dad, and the look in his eyes for his beautiful princess.. and I thought about my dad and how did he cried for me when I left to Andrews (that was shocking for me, since I never before saw my dad cry, besides my aunt in-law's funeral). The rest, is too painful to write about.

Monday afternoon, was the funeral service in Cambodia, before they leave to Pakistan for the burial. As I was going up the stairs of the church, I thought about how wrong this world was. In my mind I was waiting to see Neha, riding her bike or playing around with his brother, instead, I was walking to her funeral service. I was walking to her funeral and in my mind I was still waiting to see her around ready to put her shoes outside to go inside the church.

The days after that have not been easier. As we go up or down the stairs we always wait for her standing at the door. There's no one to tell us if we look beautiful or if or shoes are not nice. No one to ask us where are we going, what are we doing..."  And as I think how much I miss her, in my heart there's a family for which I pray everyday. As I know there are no words to soothe their pain, my prayers are lifted up to heaven now in a different way...for Jesus to return sooner than I ever wished for and for Him to comfort this family until that day comes. That they can rest in His promises and that God renewed mercies strengthen them each day.

We don't understand pain, suffering..death...Though it surround us everyday in accidents, tragedies, earthquakes and wars we can never get used to it. Inside of us, we know we were not created to die, to suffer the absence of a person for the rest of our lives here. But there's hope. There are thousand of promises that I know are going to be done. Thanks to the great sacrifice of our Savior Jesus, we can have a hope to see our loved ones again. One day "Spring will Come" and He will give us "Beauty from the ashes". In the funeral service, Pr. Dean read a beautiful prophecy from Isa.11:6 that I will like to share:

"The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a child will lead them."

He said that he's sure that Neha's going to be one of those child. As I read the meaning of the verse 
the words "peace" and "security." "harmony" stand out. In heaven what was wrong, what was twisted by sin, will be in perfect harmony again, such as this,  that a child will live in complete security and peace. I just can't wait for that day....but like SCC song I guess "I just have to wait"....

Almost at the end...I'm back!

There is no reason for having abandoned the blog for such a long time... ESL lazzines, or just "plain" laziness...ha-ha I don't know. I'm always "blogging" in my mind, but nothing like words to share and to remember. That's why I decided I'll try my best to update all the amazing, hard, and "normal" experiences that I've had these last months in Cambodia...I apologize and also thank you in advance for taking your time in sharing my experiences...