Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We Miss You Mikayla


Mommy and daddy miss you very much. Your mommy is really feeling it, I guess it's a maternal thing. Daddy misses you too, but being the dude around the house requires some cool, so...

Mommy and daddy have been looking at all your pix and vids. Mommy mostly viewing, whereas daddy was mostly aranging and sorting all the pix out. Mommy and daddy are different in that way. I always like doing stuff, rather than sitting down. Our library is now really neat and chronologically in order. That awesome camera your gong gong and popo gave to us for Christmas takes fantastic pictures.

We will be coming over to Baguio tomorrow to attend your gong gong's installation/inauguration as the president of APTS. Also to bring you back to Malaysia. Compounded with our recent change of church, many people back here are missing you, asking us "Mikayla leh?". So for their sakes here are some pix of you.

At 1U. You love bikes. Whenever you see one you'll sign and make the sound *boo boo boo boo".

At ah kong's house. During Chinese New Year as you can see... You call the orange "ball ball".

At home. Soon you'll be back here...

... and I'll be back to babysitting duties.

It was nice to have a break and spend some quality time with your mommy.

I think now I understand what they mean by "quality time".

At the Curve. Your first time on a slide.

We were waiting to have dinner with your "kai ma" Ke Xin (and Keith).

...so cute >.<

At home. That would be my "other" baby, don't worry, you're still my favourite baby. But it seems like you like the guitar as well, which is good news for me.

Dinner time! You found out you could put the pasta on your finger, mommy, as usual, very fast to take pictures.

I bought this arm chair for you after one of the cell groups, now you can sit and watch your cartoons!

At Ministers' Retreat in JB. That's the toy gong gong bought for you, but you lost interest almost as soon as gong gong paid for it.

Playing "ball ball" with popo and mommy.

On the way back from Ministers' Retreat. You slept most of the time during the journey. We hope you'll have a good trip when we bring you back from Baguio.

This is a recent video of you talking on the remote control. I can understand why you would mistake the remote control for a phone, both have number pads, and they are even arranged in similar fashion. See you soon baby!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Final Ministers' Retreat?

Ministers' (and Pastor's Kids') Retreat
Date: 16th - 19th March 09 (Monday - Thursday)
Venue: Pulai Springs Resort, Johor
Theme: LeadChangeGrow
Website: http://www.ministersretreat09.blogspot.com/

Time has come again for Ministers' Retreat, yes, this time it would be way down at the southern most state of Malaysia. My parents flew back from the Philippines to attend this retreat. Although I have already begun my ministry in FGC, USJ, I had earlier registered and paid in full, so I guess I will take this as a good chance to just relax. Just make the most out of what would likely be my final Ministers' Retreat. After this I will be part of a different family, although the AG will always be a part of me. Who knows maybe one day, if God calls, I might be back in the AG. But till then...

It was roughly a 4 hour drive from our home to the venue. We decided that we would stop over at Melaka for our lunch. I was always going to have a shot at the durian cendol if we were to stop in Melaka. Durian cendol totally rocks! I'll have it anytime!

We arrived at Melaka at about 2:30pm, we decided to call Ian out for lunch. Ian who is working with The Star newspapers was there helping out with The Star's Brats English camp. He was available so we picked him up from the Straits Hotel. From there we headed straight for Jonker Street.

After lunch we had some time to do some shoppping, which is always good as well. Mikayla got a new toy from her grandfather, but almost as soon as it was paid for, she lost interest in it.

Here Mikayla is signing "scared", she's afraid of the statue. We dropped Ian back at the camp and headed off once again southward.

We arrived at Pulai Springs late, about 6pm, which was dinner time. We got lost trying to find Pulai Springs. The GPS made that same mistake again, you know, the one where the GPS tells us to "turn right here" when we were under a bridge, there was no junctions. We were supposed to get on that bridge over our heads. The auto reroute informed us that the next U-turn was about 5KMs away. When we got to the alleged U-turn, we found out that the road was renovated and there was no U-turn. We passed it and again the auto reroute brought us another 5KMs before we finally could U-turn. That was quite a detour.

We quickly checked in, freshen up, and headed out for dinner which started at 6PM. We wolfed down dinner and quickly headed to the first session. This year the food was not as good as previous years' food. Previously the food has been nothing short of fantastic, Pulai Springs' food is really quite mediocre. During the first session Rev. Ong Sek Leang, our General Superintendant of the Assemblies of God Malaysia, gave the keynote address to the whole fellowship. One of the things he mentioned was served to affirm my decision to move to FGC, USJ. He said "the age of denominationalism has passed". He did not say denominations are history, denominations still exists, I think there will always be different denominations to serve different needs, but the gap between the denominations is no longer as they were previously. Denominations are now coming together and working together to be more effective in reaching the world.

Ministers' Retreat (MR) was often the time to meet up and reconnect with colleagues. This time it was special for me as I have just completed my studies in BCM, and I have been missing some of my classmates. I realized that, like the last edition, BCM students were invited to be the worship band. So I got to catch up with them over mamak during the final night.

The Pastors' Kids' Retreat (PKR) also runs consecutively with the MR. I was looking forward to catching up with some pastor's kids (PKs) however many who were from my batch did not make it this time. I guess I'm growing too old for this now. YAM did a great thing by subsidizing all the PKs that attended the PK sessions. At the end of the camp, when they have attended all the sessions they would be given a RM100 refund. I did not qualify for this as I was married. I understand that they are trying to help make it more accessible to the PKs, but I insist that no matter what, I am still a "K" of a "P"... I'm still a PK, I maintain my identity! Thank you YAM for subsidizing for my fellow PKs.

Lunches were not provided and they were a good time to go out and catch up. My parents who severely missed Mikayla were glad to be able to bring their precious granddaughter out for some of the lunches. Melanie and I tagged along a few times. We had some catching up of our own to do.

The resort boasts two seperate swimming areas (just like my condominium), if you didn't know, we enjoy quite a lifestyle... two swimming areas (not two swimming pools, swimming area, each area consisting of a few pools). Grandfather and granddaughter enjoyed the sun and swim. Mikayla is always trying to have a taste of everything, always sticking her tongue out to taste anything and everything in her world.

There was the usual football sessions in the afternoon, however since dinner was at 6PM, we didn't have much time to really do anything meaningful. It was way too hot to really go at it and so I continue to find it hard to motivate myself to exercise and keep in shape. Perhaps I really need to seriously take up paintball as my exercise. Last MR Reuben was recovering from a ligament surgery, but this year he was playing and boy he's good. He had the physique, great balance, skill, composure. I guess that's what training does to someone. It was fun playing with, as well as against him.

We sat at the back as we did not want Mikayla to be too much of a distraction to the other people, she doesn't understand why we need to be quiet in a service yet. While at the back, Mikayla had the opportunity to make new friends. She had so much space to run around with her new friends. It is the first time that she was allowed to run about in such a big open space. She could only walk about, but she was trying to run to keep up with the other kids. Very soon she will be running about, then we'll have to keep up.

On the final day my father told me to be ready to take some pictures for him, he did not mention why and I did not ask. He had also earlier asked me to help him buy a nice shirt as he was going on the stage. Later I realized that the fellowship was going to pray for him, for the position that he is about to take out. Come April 2nd he will be steppign in as the president of Asia Pacific Theological Seminary's very first Asian president. Everyone was proud of him. So are his children and grandchild. They made the announcement and invited him to the stage. I sprang into action with the very good camera that I got from them for Christmas and got some good shots. I'm sure you'll be seeing them in his site as well. The executive bethren were also invited to the stage to pray and charge my parents.

It was a great retreat. Of course the preaching and sessions was good, but the best part for me has to be when I was able to meet old friends and catch up. The physical side of being being waited upon at the hotel was great as well.

After the MR, my parents returned to the Philippines on Saturday. Mikayla went with them. Melanie and I are now enjoying and suffering the first time away from Mikayla since she was born, which was 15 months ago. We (Melanie, Elroi, Anne, Ian, Jackie, and me) will be flying over to celebrate my father's installation on April 1st. We will be coming back that same week on April 5th. We will bring Mikayla back then.

I have so much on my plate at the moment. I just got back from Thailand, but that's a whole other post. I have barely been at my home these last few weeks. But I thank God that I am once again on the move and liking it very much.

Will try to post pictures and thoughts from my Thai trip soon. But for now I need to wrap things up and get ready for my Phil trip.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Next Step: Foursquare Gospel Church

Yes, I'm moving on. As the last post have informed you of my exodus, this would be my genesis.
Again, some of you would have already heard from someone else. It is not a secret but I just wanted to personally inform some people before making it official here on Lemuel Yee's official site. I will be joining a new church.

There, it's official.

I will be joining Foursquare Gospel Church, USJ. This church is part of a bigger group of churches headed by Pas. Henry Liew under the Shekinah Community Center group of churches. There are about 10 churches across Malaysia, but I will be based in the USJ branch. Foursquare is another denomination, but is pretty much the AG's twin. It is a classical Pentecostal church. So far from my observations it looks and feels like AG about 10 years ago.

Many people have asked me if I had some problems with the Assemblies of God (AG), and why I was joining a church from another denomination. Let me make it clear for everyone here. I don't have any problems with the AG, it's just a really big opportunity for me here and I am moving on because the door has opened up for me, and I believe God wants me to walk through this door.

I received the offer and have been considering this option since Chinese New Year. Two weeks ago (1st March), after Sunday service with Pas. Tony Chua (the missionary to Japan), Pas. Henry called me to ask me for a meeting later that night. At the meeting he asked me if I have made my decision about his offer. I figured that since everything was seemed to be falling in place so nicely and the timing seemed to almost be perfect, I decided to give him a positive answer. No point delaying it anymore as I had previously planned.

Pas. Henry proceeded to inform me that I “started this morning” (1st March), even though I was at Canaan that morning for service.

I have already been joining their cell groups for almost a month now, and the church is a small church, so I already know a majority of the church members now. However I continue to suffer from namenesia (suckiness in remembering names). But so far I must say that everyone has been overwhelmingly accepting and welcoming of us.

Melanie is very supportive of my move, and Mikayla seems to be happy with it as well. She tried out the baby room and was very comfortable with it, as if her own house. They are both such a great support and asset to my ministry. You won't believe the spell a cute baby can cast on people. People are just totally open to you when they see you have a cute baby! My parents have told me to just go for it and follow where God leads me. Their advice to me is just to take it one step at a time, which is what many are saying to me. This represents a new phase and a chance to do things differently and grow, so I guess I can try letting some things run their course instead of forcing everything along.

This week there will be a Foursquare Conference in Hotel Malaya, but I will miss out on it since I will be at the AG's Ministers' Retreat which I have signed up and already paid in full. However I will be going with a few of them to Thailand the very next week for a Foursquare South East Asian Leaders' Conference there. I will also be in Philippines on the first week of April. So it’s a busy, blurry few weeks. I will be missing much of the action in FGC but soon enough I’ll be back in the thick of it.

We would appreciate your prayers and support as we embark on this new phase in our lives and ministry. Again, feel free to call me, or email me if you have any questions. I would appreciate the opportunity to personally share with you about our new phase in our lives and ministry, and even how we could possibly partner together in the future.

Just for fun, I am posting scenes from FGC without any people. These pictures were taken just this morning before anyone arrived at church. But watch this space, soon the church members will start to appear.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Date: 9th March 09
Time: 12:00pm to about 3:00pm (Meet at Sri Gombak McDonalds at 10:30am)
Venue: Rimba Harmonis
Cost: RM74.00 per pax
Dresscode: clothes you don't mind getting dirty or maybe even ripping! Long sleeve and long pants preferred. Don't forget your shoes.

  1. Lemuel
  2. Elroi
  3. Bobby
  4. Terry
  5. William
  6. Jason
  7. Kok Leong
  8. Joseph
  9. Benjamin
  10. Caleb
  11. Joash
  12. May
  13. Rabeeka
  14. Michel
  15. Keith
  16. Dennis
Yes, the day came and we finally were able to get together for another round of paintball!!!

A few of us recently tried out this extreme sport and really got hooked on it. Many have labelled paintball as the most addictive sport in the world.

We woke up and realized that the skies were really threatening to pour, by the time we arrived at our rendezvous point in the Sri Gombak McDonalds it started to pour and I mean cats and dogs. For once the weather forecast were dead on, why today?!

10:30am was the meet up time, by about 11:20am all arrived. We called the paintball grounds and we were advised to just chill out and have a drink first, just wait out the rain a bit. So we were all at McDonalds for about 2 hours. By 12:30pm it was still raining but not as heavy anymore, so we decided to head to the paintball field to get our pre-game briefing done first.

By the time we arrived at the Rimba Harmonis Paintball grounds, the rain completely stopped.

During the briefing Joseph could still squat, but later he totally ripped his pants in the groin region. He ripped it big time! You do NOT want him squatting like this then. Simple instructions on safety and how to handle the marker (a.k.a. gun) was given to everyone to ensure that, although it would be painful, nobody would lose an eye or something important. The girls were real jumpy every time the marker was shot during the briefing, but later when they had a go, they liked it... I guess the gun in hand makes them feel empowered.

Everyone had a go at the marker after the briefing session, don't worry we were not given a loaded marker. But even unloaded, we were all protected from the high pressure gas as the barrel was always covered with barrel socks. Even then the marker is scary, especially when Bobby is handling it, you'll never know what he's going to do.

Soon we split ourselves into two groups and it was go go go! There was two scenarios in the Rimba Harmonis ground. One was more of a woodsball scenario, the other was more of a speedball set up. I think we all preferred the woodsball field (above). This was my favourite bunker, between these two boxes is a gap and I was able get quite a number of "kills" from here.

It dried up pretty quick after the rain, but it was still muddy. I didn't mind getting dirty so got into some mud, Jason on the other hand, got dirty from getting shot too much. I think he's the most shot player of the day. He had this really pro-looking chest protection, but he got shot so much in the arms. Looking at the picture though I wonder why we didn't get shot more in the butt...

Kok Leong was also on my team, at the end of the day, I think he was the cleanest guy. He just got a tad bit of mud around the knee area. Sharing a bunker is never a good idea, makes it too easy for our opponents to keep track of us. Since I was on the ground and I was there first, I provided cover while Kok Leong made a run for it.

Again my teammates ran up to my bunker. This time it was Ben, and he even bunkered down, I didn't even know he was there! I guess he moved on real quick. I had a bead on Terry and Wiliam, just waiting for them to pop their heads out and it would be a head shot! Also got forced to my left hand again. On the left everything is more tricky, have to use my other hand to steady the gun, other hand to pull the trigger, other eye to aim. Otherwise you would be exposed and too big a target. However it did make one awesome paintball shot (both from the marker as well as from the camera)!

Other teammates were Bobby (in brown), Michel (hand signalling Bobby), and Rabeeka (squatting, checking out the other team's movements). Later, during breaks, we realized that our team was more organized. The chicks (Rabeeca and Michel) gave us good cover, meanwhile the the guys (Bobby, Jason, Kok Leong, Ben, Elroi, and me) were able to make up ground and flank the other team. We totally owned them... IMBA teams!

This was the opponent's sniper tower/base. Depending on the game, we can go back to the base to "recharge our live", then it's action again. That right there is Terry, with his hands raised, walking the walk of shame to recharge. The snipers on the tower can really get a good view of the entire field of play. Below there would be pods with some extra ammo for the team. Once Elroi spilled half of our stash! Cost us both money as well as a game we should have won!

No matter, we still managed to win the games that we did not draw. Victory! I was almost too tired to pose... ALMOST, but I still did. What's the point in winning if you didn't pose for the cameras?

The winning team at our base (L-R standing): Rabeeka, Bobby, Lemuel, Elroi, Kok Leong, and Michel. Squatting: Jason, and Ben.
Good team work guys!

Flag captured, victory! Raise our flag.

You can't see it here, but we were all really happy, thoroughly enjoyed it, even the losing team had some victories. We were all smiling behind our masks.

You can see that when we all removed our masks. Clockwise from left: Ben, Jo, Bobby, Sham (the owner of the paintball facility), William (Terry's friend), Kok Leong, Michel, Rabeeka, Elroi, and camwhoring smack in the middle is me.

Rambo of the day award: Jason "Tanker" Ong. There, now you have your paintball nick. He got shot up so much! When you get a chance take a look at his arm. The paint is orange, but that red patch on Jason's right leg... IS HIS BLOOD (not Jesus'), haven't asked him about how he got that yet. There were some minor injuries but all were superficial, and none were actually from getting shot. It was things like landing a knee on a stone, cut by a branch, etc.

At the shooting range, trying to use up the little ammo we have left. That's when the marshall on site realized we still had enough ammo for one last round!

Seven of us went gung ho on the last round. Teams were not even nor was it balanced. My team lost out from running out of ammo, but we did gun them down quite a bit. As this round had less players we were able to try some really cool stunts like shooting while running, diving and rolling from bunker to bunker, standing ON bunker like Rambo then getting shot, using the cameraman (Terry) as a giant moving bunker, even had chance to charge and get charged. Nice!

Get all tucked in or risk becoming a sitting duck. I think my elbows and knees are a bit more exposed than they need to be though. Note to self: keep elbows and knees in!

Bobby "snapshooting", which is so pro paintball language for coming out for a quick shot then ducking back into cover.

WOAH! My barrel is smoking. And there I am in another puddle of mud...

All in all it was a great holiday spent hurting good friends. Now to save up cash for the next game. Let me know if any of you would like to join us when we go again next time. Guys and girls can play this game. Till the next time, we'll now bear the pain of the muscle aches, and proudly wear the battle scars. What you see above is the most painful paintball hit to date, a neck shot! Even a forehead shot is not as bad. But missing all the long sleeves, long pants, face mask, and all the protection, it hits my bare naked neck! That, my friends, is a paintball hickey!

Check out all the day's pix on Jason Ong's Facebook album.