May 22, 2011

A Road Less Travelled

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow , old Christian Hymn

For many years, I self taught myself, many many skills. For many years, my dad reminded me that to take up the cross of God meant that He must call me to the field. Its not the same when you choose to leave your job or current status and go into the field to do missionary work.

All these years, I have been waiting and waiting and watching and waiting. For God to call me, to do His will. In the midst of it all, I did things I enjoy doing most. Loving the people around me. Learning to be like my mom. Who selflessly learn to cook and to bake and to feed others. She would give without expecting anything in return and often she would say "I want you to be happy." So to see a smile, means the world to her. For years I grew up in her household, and seeing the joy she had when she gives to others.

And I told myself that one day if I can be like someone important or special, I just want to be like my mom is to others.

In the process of learning to cook and to bake, I started to feed others. With the help of friends like Ray Khoo, he taught me many skills and reaching out to the less privileged. In the process I met many people..most of them in halfway houses, away from their homes with a past. It is thru this, I met Benny Seteo, now the boss of the chain of restaurants named 18 Chefs

This is Benny Se Teo, seen here at one of his restaurants.

I met Benny Se Teo (side note : he is not my Benny! LOL~) at Highpoint Halfway House at Lorong 1 Geylang. Ray brought me there to mingle with the ex-convicts. They had funding from the Government to run business. So they wanted to open a restaurant. In the initial days, we spent time talking about food, creating recipes, perfecting it. Benny Se Teo was to be the Head Chef and to create and design new dishes for the restaurant. My job was purely just to taste his food, be a critic and give him pointers on how to improve and with Ray, we taught them various skills for the restaurant.

The restaurant was named Goshen. The region of Goshen is located in northeastern Egypt, in the The Delta of the Nile River, where it empties into the Mediterranean Sea. The Sinai Peninsula is just to the east. To the south are the famous Pyramids, and the Valley of The Kings, where many Mummies have been discovered.

Why Goshen? I would questioned Ray. He says Goshen is a desert area, a place where no crops will grow. But God made good of it and all who dwell there bring forth goodness for generations to come. A restaurant named Goshen meant that our brothers in Christ(ex convicts) are left to fend and make good of the skills they learn and bring wealth to themselves and happiness for all.

When I first started working and helping out at Goshen Restaurant, my mom feared for my safety. Those who volunteered, are men. No woman dared to work there. Mainly because these folks are ex-convicts. Many had a past..some went in and out of prison several periods in their lives.

But Ray taught me to look beyond and past that. He taught me to love them. And when you love them, all the goodness and blessings you get from God comes out, in turn, you are able to accept them with all their problems and all their insecurities. And care for them as much as you would with others.

It is this road I walked on, and travelled on it for those years that made me realised that my calling from God was to do this. To help these folks get back on track. It is through the universal language of LOVE evolves into food that my calling from God meant for me to help others.

And at the same time fulfilled my dream of what my mom had always been doing. Loving and caring for others, strangers and all.

My post today talks about a Road Less Travelled. Or uncharted waters. Something not planned, some roads you take in life that seems weary and long winded. Surrounded by harsh forest or frightful weathers. But if you travel on this road, God walks with you daily. He holds your hand and silently paces with you, by your side. As you stumbled each day, He picks you up and He clears that rock or pebble in your path so your next step is smoother.

And as you walk each day, you learnt to look up ahead. And if you see that rock or pebble ahead of you, you know what to do. You either clear it and if its deeply lodged into the ground, you learnt to hop over it. So in life, it is the same. Some things just comes smack into you, others block your path. And each day you learn to cope and each day the road that was less travelled becomes worn and leaving foot prints..of all the days you walk on it. And all your footprints left on it reminding you of your first step, and of your second step. It shows how you hop over a stone, kick that pebble or move that rock.

And the next time you become more bold and walk another mile for that winding, dark road..pucked up with courage and with God still holding your hand, you walk that new road, more boldly, wearing a smile on your face.

This is not a post to be boastful of the many journeys I made in my life. But to share with you and to encourage you that in life, we all must walk on one road that is less travelled and as we walk, we learn. And as we learn, we are smarter and better each time. No one is born into this world knowing what is next. But if you have God by your side, you are rest assured who holds your Tomorrows..and the path that leads you each day.


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