Month: November 2014

The Children of the Park family

Most of our friends know that Kitler was our 1st “kid” or member that was added to the Park family. She came without an invitation 1 month after we were married. Clearly wasn’t planned as we were in agreement to wait a year before having kids. God had other plans for our marriage as we passed our 3rd anniversary this past May. Though we do not have children of our own, we were able to sponsor two children through Compassion International

We’d love to introduce our children to you like any other parents would. We’d love to share how much joy their letters and pictures have brought us.

Our 1st child: Avala Nikhil Kumar aka Nikhil

Age: 10  Location: India

We’ve had him 2009 and when we initially were looking for a child to sponsor, JP specifically wanted me to search for the “runt of the litter”. The least likely to be sponsored. Kinda like how you go to a shelter and most folks look at the outer appearance- how cute is the puppy or kitten. Based on that they will choose to take them home. It’s easy to get caught up in that. So it was hard for me to turn that filter off.

One of my sweetest moments with Nikhil was when we received a letter and a portion of the area was left where he could write on. He shared with me in his own handwriting “Three Blind Mice” Because of the language barriers, the children have translators to write and read letters. Seeing his own handwriting on this letter moved me. Even if it was “Three Blind Mice” I love all of his drawings that he sends us. He shared how he won 1st place in a “Egg on spoon” competition race. Love it.

Our 2nd child: Debora  Guetawende Elodie Ouedraogo aka Debora

Age: 9   Location: Burkina Faso (Say what? Yeah, we had to research and read up on this unknown place)

Our little Bee

Our little Bee

What makes it so special to receive these photos is that when we first saw them on Compassion’s website, it was hard to get a picture with their smile on it. But as years passed, to see them grow, transform and even smile. It’s a wonderful visual blessing for our hearts.  So..the big questions for us we’d like to answer is, “Why do we love Compassion International?” “Why Compassion and not World Vision?”

1. Compassion works through the local church ( Just like Samaritan’s Purse- another organization I will be an advocate for  )

The local church is the body of believers. Once a child is sponsored, the local church in that area team up to ensure that health care, proper nutrition, and education is provided as well as an opportunity to respond to the Gospel. Every employee of Compassion International is a believer which means any country that they’re working creates opportunities for them to share their faith. (World Vision does not require their short term employees to be believers)

2. Compassion International is committed to developing 1 child at a time through sponsorship

80% of the sponsorship amount goes directly towards meeting their spiritual and physical needs.  Other organizations will use their sponsorship to benefit the child but also the community such as build roads, dig wells, provide food, fund schools, carry out disaster relief. WV works towards building a positive community to develop the child rather than directly working with/through the child. Fighting poverty is very important but we also believe that each child deserves the proper care. Compassion International is committed to developing a child that can transform their community.

Compassion International is Christ-centered. Child-focused and Church-based.

Recently Compassion International invited their sponsors to participate in a program called “Speak Up For One Child”. It’s a chance to become an advocate for one child through C.I. Each child has been waiting for a long time and immediate sponsor is needed. I signed up and I got this kit in the mail.

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Look at this beautiful girl from Ghana. I love her name..Ophelia. It means “Help” in Greek. She lives in an AIDS affected area and has been waiting 9 months to be sponsored.

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My goal is to find a “family’ for Ophelia. Somebody or a family to not only sponsor her but write her letters, send photos, and pray for her development.  It takes $$38.00 a month to provide so much for a child. I can’t live off of $38 a month to cover education, medical treatment, meals and care but a sponsored child can. Here is what happens when a child is sponsored.

I’m looking for a someone.. or a family to sponsor Ophelia. She may be a nobody to the world but through sponsorship she can become somebody to someone. If you’re interested in sponsorship or participating in “Speak Up For One Child” please comment below. I’d love to share more in detail. =)

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This H&M shirt

I just got back from a reconciliation dinner and movie with the husband. I wore this new H&M shirt that I got over the weekend.

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As I was changing out of this shirt, I flipped it inside out and saw the red threading on the back. It looked very familiar.

I had a flashback to my mom. Odd I know. But got 30 seconds I stared at the inside of this shirt. Felt nauseous.
I have a phobia: Trypophobia.

I would feel sick in the stomach and sometimes break a little sweat if a pattern repeated itself over and over. I hate ivy leaves/vines that completely cover the highway sound walls. Mosaic art can get to me and beehives too.

I never understood why or where it came from but this H&M shirt connected my phobia to my mom’s last days.
Long story short, my mom had a stroke at her alterations shop and she somehow brought me home that same day. My memory might not be accurate in the sequence but..she was bed ridden for a few days but functioned for a few as well. I remember I came to check up on her and I saw that her palms were covered with veins. Skin tones veins. Like worms were crawling under her skin. I’ve never seen anything like that for all the 8 years I had been alive.

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Its like these bodybuilders’ arms but every vein was squiggly. She wore white gloves to hide the grotesque pattern. She passed away not too long after that. I have these underlying scars in me like if I had known to dial 911 maybe she would be still alive today. To recall how she collapsed at the store the day she had her stroke, drove us home from Castro Valley to Oakland and stayed in bed but also got up to function for a few days…blows my mind but leaves some remnants of guilt.

When I saw the inside of this shirt it looked exactly like the pattern of my mom’s palm. Except it wasn’t red thread.

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This pattern makes me sick. Makes me freeze up a bit and I feel queasy. I haven’t seen a pattern as similar to my mom’s palm until tonight. It struck me.. I associate my trypophobia from  the patterns I saw on my mom’s palms. Makes sense now. Tonight. Every time I see those repeating patterns, I’ve wanted to take a stick or a thin piece of wood to scrape the pattern to a smooth surface. If I could for that to my mom’s palms..I would.

Sure.. I find myself tearing up thinking about the last days I had with my mom. Every moment I had with her as a single mom or with my family growing up has slowly showed up in tears about 34 years later.

I blog this because this is a big deal for me to understand why I have Trypophobia. It also helps me understand how I felt at the time when I first saw it..scared… disgusted..freaked out..

This is JP.

Who would have guessed that a piece of clothing could have connected this together..

WEEKEND REVIEW: Team Fishcake & Team DdukBokki (Spicy Rice Cake)- 11/8-11/9 (BELATED)

It’s Thursday night that I post this ridiculously belated “Weekend Review”. Honestly, I still feel like I’m recovering from the weekend. I’ve never felt this slammed physically but full spiritually. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this weekend. It was a very memorable one indeed.

SATURDAY

OCC Planning meeting at the Lui residence. Since nobody knows whether JP and I will be at Pathway for OCC2015, it would be wise and beneficial for the church that we write some things down and plan out next year’s OCC. Isaac, my little chef buddy offered to make breakfast for me since I was their only guest that day. Granted he’s a young boy, I felt extremely flattered and touched by his offer.

Bacon, homemade blueberry pancakes, hashbrowns and french pressed coffee from Brasil.

Bacon, homemade blueberry pancakes, hashbrowns and french pressed coffee from Brasil.

It’s weird to actually go through these meetings (OCC, Retreat etc) and know in my head that this could be it. The last one. Even if we didn’t leave for MN during the summer, it would selfish and “going backwards” to coordinate these events again in 2015. Definitely a time of persevering hard to prepare and do the best that I can do and balancing that with, letting go-entrusting this to whoever may be the next person(s) coordinating these events. You serve as a special events coordinator and you become so attached to these big events. They become your baby. OCC first began in 2007 and it’s been an amazing 7 years of trying out new things, new fundraisers, new methods of promoting and collecting shoeboxes.  Can’t wait to finish strong for 2014.

Right after the meeting I was scheduled to meet Annie at Galleria market to go shopping for the CIC fundraiser ingredients. The menu: Fishcake soup & Ddukbbokki (Spicy rice cake).

Somehow something went wrong. The stove wouldn’t heat up all 4 tops so we had to resort to removing the industrial pot and “reboiling” or continue boiling the broth into smaller pots using 2 tops out of 4. It definitely slowed us down TREMENDOUSLY. What started at 1:30pm and should have ended around 5 or 6pm..went into past midnight. I think I got home around 12:47am.

SUNDAY

I remember waking up thinking, MAN..today is gonna be tough but we gotta persevere. JP was absolutely slammed from yesterday’s events. When I came home he was still working on the DdukBokki sauce but I had no gas left to run on. I don’t even know what time he came to bed… =T

We started at 8:30am and planned to meet up to set up all the tables and portable stoves for our food. Although it’s November, the weather took a turn back into Summer. Low 70s doesn’t really help promote our fishcake soup but JP’s spicy rice cake went out fast! Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much experience cooking for large portions. 200 to be exact. He ran out of sauce in the beginning of the 2nd wave. I was really proud of him. The test sauce him and DMin made was pretty hard to take so I worried a bit but he did a great job balancing sweet and spicy. To be exact, it was sweet at first and within seconds the spiciness kicked in the end. Even the young adults in the KM were coming back for more.

It was a really busy day selling the food and lots of encouragement came through the crowds which I was so thankful for. It wasn’t easy that’s for sure. Right after 2nd service was our church independence information meeting, then CIC meeting, then clean up the fundraiser and then at 7pm we had an appointment to come and casually talk about worship to a youth group where Lynn & her husband, Aaron serve as pastors.

IMG_20141109_194921Even though JP was exhausted, I thought he did a great job just answering the questions that were provided. We had a chance to challenge their vocal abilities as well as teach them how to use a pedal. Fun times. I hope we can see them soon again. Watching him from afar I had this thought, “Wow God, so this is a small glimpse of what JP would be doing as a worship pastor..” Although not all is clear and confirmed, its really encouraging to see him invest in people where his heart is passionate.

Lately, I sense that God is wanting to teach and develop in me more perseverance. To not give up in the middle or drop the ball just because it gets hard. So that’s a goal of mine for the rest of the year. To persevere and cross the “finish line” whatever that entails.

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing somebody to Jesus..

For the very first time in America…was surreal.

Months of sowing with slow and small signs of life. I didn’t and couldn’t prepare much for this month due to all the busyness. It left me to one method: prayer. I quickly jotted down a few bible verses to reference the need for Jesus, salvation and God’s love. I took down about 10-12 and only read 3 -4.

All I could do was point them to Scripture and put all my eggs in the basket of God’s Word. No fancy testimony or story to share. Nothing spiritual to say. I probably was jumping all over the place with these verses and barely connecting them together. In other words…a hot mess.

But God.. What is impossible with man is possible with God. He wants all to come to know Him…His heart’s desire for salvation to come to ladies was farrrrr bigger and much more passionate than mine.

All those farmer parables. How he has been speaking to me in the past LJs..just so detailed and intimate. Everyday was a ” Yes, Lord.. I hear You. Please help me obey.” moment in the Word. How sweet it is to commune with God through His Word.

To introduce Jesus to somebody in the US for the first time was surreal…
The battle isn’t over yet though. Its been an experience that didn’t come easy. It requires obedience faith and trust.. And the conviction to throw away reputation, popularity and the potential of being accepted.

I still can’t believe what happened today at FFD. I do long for these ladies to take the next step of baptism. Must pray. Must sow in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

The others..their hearts are still open. The door was not completely shut. One co-worker looked very troubled weary and tired. I thought it was maybe stress from work so I messaged her and she replied that our talk is what is weighing her heart down. She was still organizing her thoughts and would like to talk to me when she is ready…?????

I have no idea what is going on in her heart. But Lord, I know You’re stirring something in all their hearts. God do not cease. Please continue and Holy Spirit give me words to say. Increase in me and decrease me I pray. Let nothing of me get in the way of You.

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November 2014 FFD

WEEKEND REVIEW: Garage Sale/Musubis/Bake Sale

The final round of Operation Christmas Child Fundraisers went down this weekend. One thing I am reminded of  and praising God for…

5 Loaves and 2 Fish

5 Loaves and 2 Fish

Honestly, our CGs didn’t have much time but we brought to Jesus what we could: Our time, our energy, our “junk” for garage sales, our baking abilities, spam, rice, some regular folks who enjoy basketball but aren’t professionals..

We brought all of it to Jesus and said, “Take this. We want to raise money for Operation Christmas Child to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the children.” And I truly believe, He took it and multiplied it.

Through 2 Garage Sales, 1 “Shots for Shoeboxes” with 5 participants, 1 Bake Sale and 1 Musubi Sale…the body has raised over $5,000.00. MINDBLOWN.

One of my favorite veres come to mind:

 

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works with us. To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Here’s a photo recap of this weekend.

 SATURDAY: South Bay Garage Sale & Musubi Prep

 

SUNDAY: Bake Sale & Musubis!

 

I’m amazed at this whole entire process. It’s like the NT times but instead of fish and loaves…we bring a container of spam or a bag of flour or a basketball and Jesus just multiplies it with His power. Praise the Lord. All the more praises to Him alone! So proud of these servants.

If JPs aren’t here..I know they can run this again and even better in 2015.