Changsha 2015

This year our Changsha trip is just before summer holidays rather than the usual before school reopens in Spring. Three of us, Nic, Wilson and myself set off on 2 July (Thu) while Ps Ronald & Howard (translator) set off on 7 July. It was very heart warming to see familiar faces of brothers and sisters in Christ who have the same love for our Lord Jesus!

The key and primary focus was the 4.5 days Praise and Worship Summer camp in Hunan Bible Institute on Sat, Mon-Thu. This was the first trip that we ministered in a church, Cheng Bei Tang as we arrived slightly earlier due to flight schedule of the airlines. Cheng Bei Tang is is more than a century old church, with more than 1000 members. Their worship ministers, inclusive of worship leaders, musicians, vocalists and choir members are almost 100, but those who were able to attend amounted to around 60.

It has been less than a year since I have been back and there are so many significant changes. The church that worships in Hunan Bible School building now has youths involved in their praise and worship. The youngest participant in our camp is 9 years old! Besides training the students in the Bible School who will be pastors and leaders of churches, it warms my heart that even the teens in church is rising up too!

Another unexpected event was the salvation of six people at a praise and worship service on Sunday night. The praise and worship service was not evangelistic in nature. Little did we know that our Sunday afternoon worship and fun time at the river will reap the soul of one into the Kingdom and also others.

Teaching basic keyboard within 3 afternoons to a class of students who has never played before is a crazy challenge! On Sat afternoon, there were quite a number of senior ladies who had zero concept of music what more than play. I took a long while to help them find the note C on the keyboard. I went on to teach basic chords in C major even though some of them were not able to play. I focused on getting them to understand so that they can practise. To my amazement, on Monday afternoon, the ladies came back and were able to play the C progressions and even do simple accompaniment! They practised hard on Sunday, this I am sure! By the end of the third day, they were able to play a full song in C major in very simple accompaniment!

I am also very glad to be present for the year 3 students’ graduation. I got to see most of them before they leave the Bible school back to their respective home towns or placement. Only a small percentage remains in Changsha city. This graduating batch has a good number of talents in praise and worship. I pray that God will use them mightily in the places that He has placed them.

It was also unknown to us that the Sunday we were in Changsha is the first service of Xing Sha Tang. a church plant in the Xing Sha area of Changsha. The church’s building is right across this temporary meeting space and its hall can sit up to 2500 people, not including the overflow room capacity! The Hunan Bible School will also be moving to the same compound when it is ready. We led worship for the first service and witness the goodness of God in bringing double the expected number of 20 people!

All I can say is that God is soooo good and I believe He has more things under His sleeves to bless Changsha city, Hunan Province and the whole of China!

Christmas in Changsha and New Year in Guang Zhou

Christmas is not a public holiday in China as it is in Singapore and many parts of the world. Although New Year is a public holiday, it is not as important as Lunar New Year. So both days are subculture holidays.

There were 3 adults (Nic & wife, Hillary and myself) and an almost 2-year-old baby (Maranatha) on this trip. Our luggage weighed 75kg because we hand carried a brand new set of electronic drums for HBI (Hunan Bible Institute) for use of their weekends outreach trips to the various churches outside of the city. We nearly missed our high-speed train from Guangzhou to Changsha. In our mad rush, one of our luggages (thank God it is not the one with the drums) tumbled down the long escalator. The long escalator was completely empty as ALL passengers were already on board the train! We made it in the nick of time. Once we stepped into the train, the doors were locked and it started moving. Phew! Thank God for his protection as Hillary is 5months pregnant carrying the 2 year old Maranatha in the rush, and Nic was carrying the electronic drums (weighing almost 40kg).


Christmas in Changsha was a very different experience. First thing was the weather! Temperature was around 0 degrees. Although there was no snow, but the wind was bone-piercing cold and extremely dry. I completely lost my voice on 27 Dec!

The students of HBI put up an amazing evangelistic Christmas Concert on Christmas Eve. With little resources of time, manpower and finances, the concert was extremely good and makes me wonder if we in Singapore are able to match up to them if given the same amount of limitations. The hall was packed to the brim with many squished at the doorway throughout the evening. I didn’t keep my seat and was standing all the way taking photos and videos using my iPhone (eventually ran out of memory)! I was actually too excited to sit and just so very very proud of each of them! I am so blown away by the demonstration of their love for God through the hard work they put in to perfect their presentations that evening. I was told they only had about a month or so to prepare for this concert. About 30 people accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour that evening. Praise the Lord!! You can see snippets of their performances in the video.

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A group photo with HBI students after the Christmas Eve Concert. The atmosphere was super joyous!!

Part of the plan of our trip is to track down Hudson Taylor’s mission work in China. Quite a large portion of his work was in Changsha, the inland, which is why his ministry was first names, Inland China Mission. To our surprise, on 23 Dec we were told that Nantang Church (南堂), which was the church planted by Hudson Taylor and is the appointed custodian of Hudson Taylor’s archives in Changsha, invited us to lead worship on 25 Dec evening during their Christmas concert. The church leaders never met us before. Blown away by the grace of God we gladly rushed through the preparation. We are so thankful for the full support by HBI. With the limited resources, and students all spread out to various churches/events doing various work, HBI staff and students brought sound board, cables, instruments, and the basic necessary equipment to support the 30min worship. The team went to the church at 12pm to assess what was needed and brought in the equipment past busy and jammed traffic on taxis. Contemporary praise and worship is very new to this church. I salute the whole team in tearing down all the equipment within 10min immediately after the worship to clear the stage area for the Christmas program after, also HBI needed the equipment for other events that same night! We praise God that the church’s ministry worker Mr Jiang was so appreciative of the session. Last minute I was roped in to play the piano for a solo item by their choir master who is about 70 years old who initially was going to sing acapella. A little fearful but am glad I can serve the Lord in this small way. 

Playing the Piano at Nantang Church for the Choir Master’s Solo
Photo taken after the Christmas concert at Nantang. On the extreme right is Nantang staff worker Mr Jiang. In the middle is Esther who runs a travel agency that focuses on trips to Israel. Extreme left is a 2nd-year student at HBI and Nic, second from the left.

We also visited another key city church Changsha, Beitang (北堂) Church. The Taoist architect of the church building is a very good example of missions that is sensitive to the local culture and arts. Possibly a heritage left by Hudson Taylor, a missionary who ate local, dressed local, spoke local and even behaved local.  Praise God for a good relationship built after a nice long chat with their senior pastor (although I didn’t have any voice to speak!).

This is the side of the church building. I would not be able to tell that it is a church if I was not informed.
This is the side of Beitang church building. I would not be able to tell that it is a church if I was not informed.

We did a very short teaching on 27 Dec morning in HBI. The students were all tired from the Christmas events and also needing to prepare for their exams in January 2014. We spent more time fellowshipping over meals with a few of the teachers, students and friends, which we did not manage to do this September due to the packed teaching schedule. I am filled by the time in Changsha, overflowing with God’s love and grace! What an awesome way to spend my Christmas.


We took the high-speed train to Guangzhou with a lot less luggage and without rush on 29 Dec. Guangzhou was intended to be a vacation stop and to meet with a few friends there. One of them was a graduate from HBI, Pastor Ou. We also met a lovely musician couple, Gong Zheng and wife. Gong Zheng is a flutist who plays not only the mainstream Chinese wind instruments but also some of the almost lost indigenous instruments from Yunan. You can enjoy a musical piece by Gong Zheng at the end of the video.

New Year Eve was spent having hotpot at a friend’s place, Canto-style. It was a good time of making new friends too! I will say that it was a quiet crossing into the New Year from a position of rest. I was still fighting an inflamed throat at that point so we basically rested, walked around the city and ate. Such a blessing! What more can I ask! =)

The Hub Bangkok

View from carpark of the entrance/exit to The Hub

I spent a night at The Hub arranged by my Thai friend. I bunked in with another three Thai friends who came from another city seven hours drive away. Tucked in a little street off the main road, the car pulled up at a new 38-units building that provides short-term and long-term residences. Even in the night light, the Hub extended an invitation of rest and refreshment with the scripture on the wall, “I will enter His gates with thanksgiving”.

View of The Hub Building

The Hub is a residence with conference facilities for small groups of 10-100. It is for the Christian community. The first thought that came to my mind when I stepped into the building was “a dream come true”. After chatting with one of the founders Deborah, truly this is a project of faith. It defies logic to have a residence in Thailand for Christians when the percentage of Christians is so low. As its name suggests, the Hub is more about community than a business venture. An oasis, a watering hole and a resting nest for believers. Every corner of the common areas reflects God’s beauty and love. The attention to details and aesthetics conveys love and warmth to the guests. The Hub has a boutique hotel feel with the cosiness of a home.

I was in a 2-bedroom unit. A queen-size bed in one and a single in another. Another single bed is placed is an enclave in the common area that is almost like another room without a door. The rooms are basic yet done up tastefully with simple lines and colors. One thing I must mention, the mattresses are of the right firmness (at least to me) for a good night’s rest. There are no cooking facilities but the pantry and dining area are great space to chill and enjoy the company of friends & family.

The pantry area of the 2-Bedroom Unit
A simple yet inviting dining area in the 2-Bedroom unit. The single bed in the “enclave” is on the right.
The bedroom with single bed in the 2-bedroom unit. The mattress is very comfortable!

The cafe for breakfast has to be mentioned! The deco with inspirational art works and creative details, coupled with a well balanced mix of natural and perky colors is a good place to start the day. Although breakfast is not included in the room rates, it is worth enjoying the first meal of the day looking out at their little garden.

Entrance to The Hub Cafe, Garvet
The yummy treats of Garvet, and more in the menu from the kitchen
My breakfast table for that morning! Love the yellow wall and deco.
A bookshelf area in Garvet for those who want to wander off into the world of a good book
Like this poster on the wall in Garvet
Another pretty cosy corner of Garvet
Cute plant on a dining table at Garvet
A glass bowl home to two little fishes on the dining table of Garvet.

The Hub has a little garden in its backyard with thoughtful and pretty spaces. I would love to read the Bible and pray in the morning here. Well, I didn’t get a chance to as I had to rush off after breakfast.

Directional signs so I won’t get lost!
Breakfast in the garden to enjoy the warmth of the sun?
Simple stools and table in the garden to chill at sunset!
Wooden swing chair in the garden makes it so idyllic… Nice!
Walkway dividing the garden and the hotel building

Here’s a peep into their conference facilities. The big room holds about 100 people theatre style sitting, with a stage area equipped with sound and lights! The smaller rooms are great for small group meetings.

The function room that holds about 100-120 theatre-style with a stage area equipped with sound and lights!
Smaller conference rooms that is great for smaller groups, equipped with projector screen and projector.
A wall in the small conference room…
Table just outside the conference rooms… for tea break!?

One KEY thing I love about The Hub is their music rooms with a piano each! It is almost impossible for a pianist or keyboardist to have our instrument with us when we travel. These two rooms are a gem! Maybe if there are some guitar and bass amps, and possibly a drum set will be a dream hotel for worship bands.

Signs on the walls near the reception area of The Hub. Yes, you can do your own laundry using one of a few washing machines available.
Mural just outside of the Music Rooms!
Piano in Music Room 1
Here’s music room 2!

You must be wondering what are the rates of The Hub. The room rates start from 800baht for single/twin room to 1800baht for two bedroom suite. They have monthly and yearly rates for these rooms too. Although it is not located within the city centre of Bangkok, it is 7-12min taxi ride from Ramkamhaeong Station of the airport rail. If you do not have much luggage, it is only about 15-20min walk from the station. It takes about 30 min by taxi to the city, depending on traffic.

Here’s a little upcoming news, they are planning to build a small swimming pool next to the garden! Apologies for the simple photos on my iPhone that do not do full justice to the love and thoughts put into the design of The Hub during my speedy-Gonzales stay at The Hub.

Mural on the 1st level of the hotel building

Below are the details of The Hub:

Address: 11 Ramkamhaeng Soi 4, Ramkamhaeng Road, Suan Luang, Bangkok, Thailand 10250

Office: +66 (0) 2717 4773/4



Changsha 长沙 2013 Part 2/2

Three of us, Nic, Manson & Pauline, set off the Changsha on 31 August 2013 to conduct a summer worship camp for the students of Hunan Bible Institute (HBI). An invitation to lead worship and share a message at Bei Zhen Jie Church in Changsha came on Wed (4 Sept) for Fri (6 Sept). We agreed to do it with very little preparation. Praise the Lord for the hour worship and a message that God used. Although our schedule is very packed, we did have our share of fun and sights in the city too! God is good!

Changsha 长沙 2013 – Part 1/2

Three of us, Nic, Manson & Pauline, set off the Changsha on 31 August 2013 to conduct a summer worship camp for the students of Hunan Bible Institute (HBI). It was such a blessed time to see how the students have grown over the last 3 years. I didn’t plan to do any videos but thank God for the few who diligently videoed and passed us the videos. Such fond memories. Praise the Lord!

Soaking Tour from Herrnhut to Jerusalem

I was in Herrnhut, Germany and then to Jerusalem in July 2013. The focus was to “dig” into the presence of God in these places. Herrnhut is where the Moravians kept prayer watch for 100 years after a revival under the leadership of Count Zinzendorf and Christian David. Jerusalem is a city that is most mentioned in the Biblical that pertains to the historical, present and prophetic understanding and destiny of believers of Jesus Christ.

Hope you enjoy the video!

Weekend in Herrnhut

I arrived at Frankfurt airport on 5 July after 18 hours of flight travel (including transit) to meet up with a friend who is traveling with me. I am so thankful to be able to have a shower at a Frankfurt hotel and had lunch before boarding my train at 1pm from Frankfurt to Lobau with a transit at Dresden. By the time we arrived at Lobau, it was 7.30pm. The ride to YWAM Herrnhut castle, where we are staying, was about 15min but we stopped by the supermarket to get some bottled water and small bites. It took me 28 hours from the time I boarded my first flight to arrived at Herrnhut! As you might have guessed, I completely crashed out that night!

YWAM Herrnhut Castle with a dry moat surrounding it.

I have longed to be in Herrnhut for many years, drawn by the Moravian history of a century long continuous prayer virgil and from which birthed the first Protestant mission sending force. I have heard friends who have been to Herrnhut describing the place as thin, referring to the distance between heaven and earth. Besides having open heavens it is also a very deep well where the Moravian church had dug the wells of living waters continously for a century.


The first place we went on 6 July Saturday morning is the woods right next to the YWAM castle. Once I stepped into the woods, my spirit felt an immediate refreshment by the tangible divine presence of the Holy Spirit. In the woods, there are many hidden spots of spiritual significance. We first headed to the monument commenerating the first tree chopped by Christian David to clear the land for the building of Herrnhut village. The name of the village Herrnhut literally means “The House of the Lord”. As true as what its name implies, God has made his abode in Herrnhut exemplified by its history through the devotion of the Moravians.

The woods behind YWAM Herrnhut Castle. The monument where the first tree was chopped by Christian David to clear the land for the building of Herrnhut village.


One of the signicant places in Herrnhut is the Watch Tower. The Moravians spent a big portion of their time keeping watch in prayer over Herrnhut and Berthelsdorf (the village where Zinzendorf lived), both spiritually and physically. The Watch Tower is strategically positioned at place whereby it can see both villages. Before reaching the Watch Tower, there is a cemetery dedicated to the Moravians. This cemetery does not have the usual creepy-eerie feel. There is a deep sense of peace that all these saints are resting in the arms of our Lord Jesus. The tombstone of Zinzendorf and his wife, Christian David and also the famous missionaries Leonhard Dober and David Nitschmann, who sold themselves as slaves to St Thomas island to preach the Gospel to the slaves who had never heard of the Gospel, together with many nameless, faceless Moravian heroes of faith are found in this Moravian cemetery. Here’s a link with tells of Christian David and Daivd Nitschmann story, including worship song video, if you want to know more The Watch Tower gives a 360 view of Herrnhut. Rolling meadows, pretty houses and the woods give a breathtaking view of this small, quaint village that God chose to pour out Himself so mightily.

The tombstones of David Christian, Zinzendorf and Leonhard Dober at the Moravians Cemetery.
View from the Watch Tower


The Sunday afternoon was such a beautiful weather that we took a walk to Berthelsdorf. It is about 4-5km walk from Herrnhut town. The castle of Count Zinzendorf was not opened so we basically looked at it from the outside. Following which, we went to the original church building of the Moravians when the Moravian church started. By the time we got there, the church santuary was locked. It was a Sunday mid-afternoon when everyone was back home. We believed it was God’s purpose so that we did not get distracted by the interior of the church santuary. The gate into the church compound was not locked. Instead we wandered into the garden of the church (many tombstones as well) and was drawn to a fountain. Before arriving at the church, we ran out of water and was extremely thirsty and there was no shops or stops whereby we can buy water. The fountain looked so inviting and we felt that we needed to drink it even though we are not totally sure if the water was potable. We said our prayers and drank from it. The water was so fresh and sweet! In the natural we were quenching our physical thirst, but in the spiritual God is quenching our spiritual thirst at this place of deep well where the Moravians had dug deep. We sat at the bench next to the fountain and worshiped, soaking in His presence!

Berthelsdorf Moravian Church and its garden with a fountain of refreshing spring water.

Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. Revelation 21:6 (NASB)

Perth: Kings Park & Botanical Garden during Fall

Kings Park and Botanical Garden is listed as the most popular destination in Perth. This attraction boosts of a land area of 400.6 hectres of only about 1.5 km from Perth’s Central Business District. There is also a look out point of the meeting point of the Swan and Canning River. I spent a quiet afternoon in this beautiful park taking pictures of the flora and fauna, and quietly chasing after the various birds to get a snapshot of them. I will share some of the photos I took on my iPhone and they do not do the actual beauty justice but nonetheless… Drink in the beauty!

Love the 'leaves'!
Love the ‘leaves’!
The two rivers...
The two rivers…
The Swan and Canning Rivers meet
The Swan and Canning Rivers meet
The Acacia Stairs with designs of various acacia on each step.
The Acacia Stairs with designs of various acacia on each step.
Tree top walk with river view!
Tree top walk with river view!
One of my duck 'pursuit' and managed to capture it in a photo!
One of my duck ‘pursuit’ and managed to capture it in a photo!
These ducks move around in pairs!
These ducks move around in pairs!
Thought this bridge is so cool to have a message engraved at one of its ends...
Thought this bridge is so cool to have a message engraved at one of its ends…
Tall gum trees line both sides of the road giving it such beauty and splendor.
Tall gum trees line both sides of the road giving it such beauty and splendor.

I highly recommend you to spend some time sitting on a grass plain to drink in the beauty. I ended up lying flat on the mat, looking up at the sky and surroundings, and even closing my eyes to tune-in to the sounds of nature!

Take a mat and sit on the lovely grass to fully submerge yourself in the beauty!
Take a mat and sit on the lovely grass to fully submerge yourself in the beauty!

It is time to stop and smell the flowers… For more information about the Kings Park and Botanical Gardens, you can check out