Sunday, January 27, 2008


Bumping into people you've not seen for a long time in an unscripted moment sorta reminds you that life is spontaneous and unpredictable.

And thats what happened when I sat down at a waiting lounge in a local hospital. Right in front of me was Rev Dr Choong Chee. He was seated and reading a newspaper. He looked very fit and trim. He put his paper down when he saw me in disbelief. We smiled and exchanged greetings. We had'nt seen each other for nearly 12 years!! I was with family and he was waiting for his appointment.

Nope Dr Choong is not a medical doctor but a dynamic New Testament theologian who writes and speaks extensively, especially in Chinese. He taught my class New Testament theology and introduced us to the works of Karl Barth at Trinity Theological College.

Our conversation was wide ranging, from local politics to his published works - most of them are in Chinese. Dr Choong participates at forums in the local media. He speaks his mind and knows how to put things boldly without sounding irrational. We had to wait for a long time before we were called and so there was loads of time to sit down and exchange notes. Michelle queried him on his favorite pastime: calligraphy. He was happy that someone remembered his favorite hobby.

Our time together came to an end when our number was called.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Back to the Good Ol Days of the Radio!

A few days ago my wife and I attended a talk by Andrew Walls, an expert on christian missions at Trinity Theological College. His works and books, based on solid research make him an authority on the history of missions in academic circles.

And so it was not a big surprise to encounter a packed auditorium! We managed to get in anway and stand at a corner of the auditorium. Unfortunately we were isolated behind a side wall which prevented us from seeing Walls as he spoke.

It was not the best of experiences - listening to a speaker without seeing his face.

But then something strange happened. His thought processes and the outline of his talk began to register profoundly. Not seeing him forced us to listen carefully to the content. And this somehow helped to internalise not only the words of the man but the force of his overall message.

Later, a huge chunk of the crowd left during the question and answer session. So we moved to the better seats from where we could actually see Walls as he spoke. We had to not only engage his words but to also see his face. Hmmnn... I found this a bit of a distraction.

Listening to him behind the wall was more enriching. It was like listening to a talk on the radio!!

Life offers us some strange experiences.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


The rains have been unceasing and the streets of Santa Cruz are flooded.

Its dangerous to drive because the potholes and drains are covered by rainwater. Cars bang into the potholes and sometimes run aground in uncovered drains.

I normally don't drive in torrential downpours. The rain lashes down with incredible ferocity; the windshield sometimes can't keep pace as it tries to wipe away the water. The mist blinds the windscreen and sometimes drivers have to look out of their side window to see if there are pedestrians or cars in front.