Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary

Tech Fetish

Filed under: Married Life — Annie at 2:38 pm on Friday, September 29, 2006

I’m in the process of packing up our house to move.
Finally, I get to get rid of junk without guilt!
I’m only on one room so far.
I’ve made a pile of books and cd’s for a library donation,
Christian books to donate to church,
CD’s to give/return to my mom,
A thrift store pile,
Plus there are numerous packed and empty boxes in our living room.
I got a bunch of boxes fresh off a Pier 1 Imports shipment.
An employee asked me to come back 1.5 hours later and had them set aside.
What a blessing!

This morning I reached Shin’s “tech” drawer.
If you own one of those plastic rolling carts, imagine 4 of them full of nerdy nick knacks!

Wires for every electrical thing he’s ever owned; computer power cables, phone wires, printer cables, camera cords, ac dc adapters, and more wires for I don’t know, plus non-working cameras, web cams, a broken mouse, hard drives, ram, antennas, guitar distortion things, little memory cards for cameras and phones, oh yea- all his former cell phones.

He has…. 9 computer power cables
He has 14 ac dc adapters
I was starting to hum the 12 days of Christmas

Crayon Animals

Filed under: Arts & Crafts — Annie at 12:51 am on Friday, September 29, 2006

I was drawing with some kids today using crayons and construction paper.
Didn’t know what to draw so I started making random circles and connecting them..

A3M at LAUMC Ascension Ministry

Filed under: Just Writing — Annie at 12:44 pm on Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Myself, Shin, and 3 WLAKC students volunteered at a bone marrow drive this Sunday at Los Angeles United Methodist Church’s Ascension Ministry. God blessed it immensely and I want to share how I saw Him working.

1) The coordinator, Esther, asked if I could speak to the congregation for 2-3 minutes. I agreed. Of course it became nervewrecking after the commitment was made. But the first blessing was the inspiration behind the speech.

2) That Sunday, during our church’s announcements, I let the students know there were 3 volunteer opportunities to help at the drive that day. Immediately, three volunteered. They were the most unlikely three I would ever have thought. Two were siblings who are not very active in church and also pretty shy. The third boy, whose Irish, is still fairly new ever since a few months ago when his friend invited him. His friend suddenly moved back to Korea but he has continued to come out.

We had 30 minutes to prep the packets and relax. I confessed that my speech was closer to 4.5 minutes than 2-3. Esther asked me to condense it because the speech would be given during announcements, probably after a long sermon. So I started rereading, scribbling, and drawing arrows hastily.

The last minute changes made me feel nervous about the speech delivery and impact. It contained facts but no heart and I believed that I was supposed to read it all because God helped me with it.

I started praying and asking God for a green light to share the original, full length testimony. And he gave me increasing confirmations.

3. Before the sermon the pastor asked a member to share her testimony. That was a clue for me that testimonies were valued at this church.

4. I couldn’t believe how perfectly the sermon addressed what God did in my life. It was about Zacheus who climbed a tree to see Jesus. Then, Jesus walked by and called him by name and it changed Zacheus life. God called me by name too when He chose me to be a donor out of 10 million registrants.

3. I was starting to sense that God was reminding me of His love and preparing me to share my testimony through the praise. There was a song called, Shout to the Lord. Beautiful lyrics of thankfulness that brought tears to my eyes.

4. He spoke directly to me again through the next song. I had only heard it once or twice before and it never had such an impact on me. My heart felt such a strong agreeance with the words and the gratitude of the songwriter:

“When I think about the Lord
How He saved me, How he raised me
How He filled me with the Holy Ghost
How He healed me to the utter-most

When I think about the Lord
How He picked me up and turned me around
How He set my feet, on solid ground

It makes me wanna shout;
“Hallelujah, thank you Jesus,
Lord you’re worthy of all the glory
and all the honor, and all the praise!”
It makes me wanna shout;
“Hallelujah, thank you Jesus,
Lord you’re worthy of all the glory
and all the honor, and all the praise!”

Then it was time. Esther was called up first. Then she introduced me to the stage.

5) I asked the pastor’s permission to share 4 minutes instead of 2 and he nodded yes.

6) The results showed that God’s hand was on the drive. He moved 18 people to register!!! To me its almost an equivalent of saying, “18 people got saved!” Out of a congregation of about 50-60 it was a great turnout.

And the students did an AWESOME job. After filling out the form, the students would open a packet, ask the person to sign three more documents, put the documents in the correct place, open the test kit and give the registrant instructions on how to collect cheek sell samples, barcode the 4 cotton swab sticks and secure it into a special foam block, place the items back in the envelope, seal it, and give the person his/her documents. It was actually quite a lot of administrative work and it was conducted by Shin, plus two 8th graders with the help of a 5th grader. I’m so proud of them. They all had fun too and said they would participate again.

I have no idea why God is opening doors for Shin and I, and now our church, to be involved with A3M in this manner. But I know it has to be in His plans and aligned with His kingdom. I’m very, very excited to be part of it.

A3M at Dockweiler Beach

Filed under: Just Writing — Annie at 12:03 am on Sunday, September 17, 2006

We went to Dockweiler Beach at 9AM to volunteer at a bone marrow drive. I was wondering how the drive would be successful at a beach but little did I know that PAVA, Pacific American Volunteer Association(?) was coordinating a beach cleanup with other participating groups such as Heal the Bay, A3M, Don’t Trash California, even companies like Paychex. The majority of volunteers were korean churches and their youth.

Once we arrived at the little blue tent I began helping the taskforce coordinator assemble packets of information and to barcode a set of documents with the same numbered labels. Then, taking the korean and english fliers in hand, I walked out towards the crowds. As soon as I was in range of speaking and making eye contact with someone I would often start out awkwardly, and then get into sharing all the facts I knew in whatever logical order it came to me.

Some people responded, “I can’t because I have poor health.” I heard people say, “I need to receive bone marrow!” Others just shook their heads and feigned not to speak english or korean- that was a bizarre tactic. Some women grimaced as though it were fearful or detestable to even discuss it. But there were many others who gave me encouragement.

A few said they would stop by the booth afterwards. One of the men who listened intently turned out to be past the eligible age of 60 but still, he showed more interest than the eligible ones. Another man said he would discuss it with his family and get their permission. I approached a group of women once. A few of them had already received information and were closed off so I could see their disapproval at my approaching them. But among them was a woman who, I sensed automatically, had a kind eagerness to do something good. She asked me to point out where our tent was and I later saw her registering. And finally there were countless majority that seemed neither to reject the information nor approve it. Many of these listened very politely, a few asking questions.

There was one man who persisted in asking me questions about how I arrived at becoming a donor. I ended up sharing the most information with him, like where and when I was when I registered, why I decided to go through with the operation, what I was feeling the night before the surgery, my thoughts on God in all of it, and the healing process afterwards. Then, just as I was beginning to feel uncomfortable with the level of disclosure, he took out a business card for the Korea Daily and said if he wrote an article about it he would contact me for information. I hope so! I’d actually like to refer my mom to him! She’d be a great article contributer!

But the amazing and rewarding part was seeing more than a few of those people at the table registering or taking cheek swab samples! Especially those who gave a neutral response! It made my task so exciting and the fruits were so tangible! The fruit of explaining and being courageous!

Shin and I had talked before about how this cause was parallel to saving souls for Jesus. Both give life. Yet I had never in all my life felt the confidence to share the Gospel as I did in raising awareness for bone marrow today. That strength came from the personal experience I had. I believe in the cause. I had also gone through the surgery which gave me leverage to address fears. (There were quite a few people who were incredulous that I had undergone surgery.) I had to ask, why am I so chicken about sharing my faith? Is it because I have had nothing of substance to share?

Shin made these sand sculptures

As we drove home I felt such a superb happiness. I told Shin afterwards how part of the satisfaction of what I did came from being accepted. It was like, I was part of the “Bone Marrow Donor Club.” But it was also from doing this sort of work. I enjoy being a helper. This is a new discovery that I’m embracing at this time in my life.

A Free Day

Filed under: Paraguay — Annie at 8:04 pm on Thursday, September 14, 2006

Today was ultra relaxing. I went to the local library and picked up a vegetable ‘minute meal’ cook book and some great cd’s, Chopin, Domingo, and Kelly Clarkson. Then I hit the Pavilions parking lot and chose a recipe for dinner. Hopped inside and got $10 of groceries which I think will make 4 meals! Then came home and had a really good time making an egg salad sandwich for the first time!

There was a point today when I thought:
“Hey, this is just like single life!” followed by a self-rebuke:
“That sounded highly dangerous for a married woman!”
“Yea. That’s true… Hey! This is just like married life- without children!”

The weather today is a strange overcast. I think some of my happy memories come from days like this. Like being home with my mom on a saturday and she’s playing a symphony in stereosound and I sit around sheepishly in an oversized brown turtleneck or some other granny fashion. So I sort of enjoy the gray days. But gees, nostalgic anything makes me sad even though I’ve been laying OFF the depressing movies, music, etc.

Could you imagine a childhood memory in California without the neighborhood kids shouting in the distance and chimes, and dogs barking?

Ok. I’m in a slightly mushy mood. Gosh.. I wonder what Paraguay would be like. We’d probably be indoors like this during a siesta. Oh yea. I also picked up an audio cd to review my Spanish. We have around 2 weeks to decide whether or not to teach in Paraguay for a year.

Shin’s aunt told us about it. A few missionary families set it up over the past 20 years and now there’s 3 private charter schools that are staffed by native Paraguayans. There is also a main church, and daughter churches springing up. It’s a country without any religious restriction and the knowledge of God’s love is spreading. They are looking for native English speakers and computer teachers, so as far as their prerequisites, we fit the bill. The question is, does God want us to be there?

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