3 Days in Vietnam

After mission trip, Natasha and I (and Phanet, my Cambodian friend) took a short trip to Siem Reap just to see Angkor Wat (niat banget ya, haha..) Actually it takes about 5-6 hours to get there from Phnom Penh.. But there was something error with the bus, the AC also turned off (sauna gratis.. huff..) so it took about 8 hours! But we were okay and still excited to see Angkor Wat and night market in Siem Reap :) Thanks Phanet for guiding us!

We spent one night there and the next day, in the morning, Natasha and I continued our journey to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam! Woohoo! We spent almost whole day in the bus, haha.. It took more than 12 hours! We arrived there at night and stayed in a nice hotel called "Blue Diamond".. (fyi, in Vietnam, you have to be really careful with the taxi driver.. because there are so many illegal taxi and they will charge you a very high price.. "Vinasun" taxi is the good one)

So, the 1st day in Ho Chi Minh, we did a city tour.. We walked to The Reunification Palace (President's Palace), Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office.. After that, we went to the mall to meet our new Vietnamese friends.. Their names are Tram and Treng.. 2 wonderful young ladies who also have a heart for mission.. So grateful to know them! And so glad that they can speak English well, because most of the Vietnamese don't speak English.. so hard to communicate with people in Vietnam, different than in Cambodia..

Anyway, these 2 girls really spent their time to be with us for the whole 3 days! They are awesome! They took us to some great places to eat, shopping, taking pictures, and we didn't need to pay for the taxi because both of them have motor bikes! (jadi kita naik motor terus selama di sana, hihi..) Really fun! :)

The 2nd day, it was Sunday and we went to Treng's church.. Vietnamese church service! Haha.. Very interesting and exciting! We didn't understand the language, but we really enjoyed the service.. What a great experience.. After that, we went to Opera House and City Hall just to take some pictures, had lunch (Pho and Broken Rice! Yumm..) and visited War Remnants Museum (to see history about Vietnam War) Then, we ate again! Haha.. (makan mulu kerjaannya :p) At night, we asked Tram and Treng to pray together in our hotel room.. 4 of us sat together, shared about our lives, encouraged and prayed for each other.. It was sooo beautiful! Now I realized why God took Natasha and I to Vietnam.. It's not just about holiday, but God wanted us to meet them, make connection with them and bless them!! Thanks God :)

The last day, we took a half-day tour to Guchi Tunnel.. That's also a historical place of Vietnam War.. We went down into the tunnel and could experience how it feels.. After that, we spent our last hours with the girls, last shopping (haha..), packed our stuff and ready to go home.. But you know what, we almost missed the flight!! Wew.. We didn't realize that it was almost boarding time and we still had dinner and talked with the girls outside.. So, we ran into the gate as fast as we could ;p Short story, we didn't miss the flight! Haha.. Praise God! Really unforgetable moment! LOL

We arrived safely in Jakarta at midnight with a tired body, but with a grateful heart :) Thanks God for this beautiful experience, for the new friendship and also for His protection upon us.. God is good all the time!

*This post is dedicated to Tram and Treng :)

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10 Days in Cambodia

Cumripsu! ("Hi" in Khmer.. Did I spell it right? ;p)

I don't know how to start.. It's not easy to put your 10 days experience into 1 page, haha.. But I'll try my best.. And sorry because I don't have many pictures, maybe you can see more pictures about this trip on my Facebook.. My friend, Natasha has tons of pictures in her camera! LOL And the image above is one of those.. Thanks Sha! ;)

Anyway, gak nyangka banget taon ini bisa ikutan mission trip ke Kamboja. Kalo bukan karena Tuhan, semua ini gak bakal mungkin terjadi. Gimana ceritanya? Panjang kalo diceritain, haha.. Intinya, kalo kata DM (ketua mission trip kita) semua berawal dari yang namanya "koneksi" ;p Awalnya masi ragu.. ikut gak yah?! Karena gak kenal siapa2.. Temen2 yang aku kenal pada batal ikut semua.. But akhirnya God sent Natasha to go with me (kaget pas dia bilang mo ikut, haha..) and this was the first mission trip for her ;) Thanks God karena kita akhirnya ambil keputusan buat ikut.. Bener2 gak nyesel.. Malah kepengen lagi, hihi.. And kata Natasha, this is one of the best moment in her life! Wow!

Natasha and I arrived in Phnom Penh one day earlier.. So, I had time to see and get together with my IVEP friends, so happy! :) And the next day baru ketemuan sama mission team dari Aussie: DM, Jiing, Lili and Tim.. Akhirnya bisa ngeliat mereka face to face, karena selama ini kita cuma komunikasi by internet, haha.. They are wonderful people and have servant hearts.. Selain itu, ada mission team dari Kamboja juga (Mas Markus dkk.) para misionaris yang luar biasa.. I learned a lot from them.. Jadi semangat liat pelayanan mereka di sana.. Kayak mimpi rasanya bisa ada di tengah2 mereka and bisa ada di pelayanan misi ini.. Karena dari dulu aku memang selalu punya impian untuk jadi misionaris and God opened this door for me.. Bukan cuma di Indo, but bisa misi di negara2 lain juga.. So grateful!

Beberapa hal yang berkesan pas mission trip:

First, waktu kita berdoa minta hujan buat satu daerah yang udah lama gak hujan katanya.. And gak lama kemudian, turun hujan deras bangett!! Wow.. *amazed* Sampe ada orang dari daerah lain dateng, minta kita ke sana buat doain daerah mereka juga, haha.. God is awesome!!

Second, of course the kids ministry :) Banyakk bangett anak2 di sanaa.. They are so precious!! And bersyukur banget bisa dapet kesempatan buat melayani mereka semua.. Bukan cuma segi rohani (share firman, doa dsb.) but juga dari segi jasmani (washed their hair, hands, feet..) and so happy to see their smile :D Waktu lagi cuciin tangan and kaki mereka, aku juga sambil doa.. "God, I believe one day You will use these hands and feet to do great things and to bring your glory to the world.." (amen)

Third, I learned how to be humble and how to be God's servant. Aku belajar hal ini dari rekan-rekan satu team. Pokoknya Tuhan suruh apa, jalanin aja, meskipun rasanya gak ada kemampuan.. God doesn't look for a person with a great skill, but He looks for the one who has a willing heart to serve :) because this ministry is not about us.. but it's all about God..

I love Cambodia! And I'll keep praying for this country and all the people there.. Kamboja mirip2 sama Indonesia.. Cuacanya, waktunya, orangnya, budayanya.. cuma beda bahasa aja (sok sebay! :D), trus makanan (apalagi yang serangga2 gitu.. wew..) and di sana banyak "tuk-tuk" (I miss that!) but so far, Cambodia and Indonesia itu bisa dibilang "same-same but different" haha..

Last but not least.. I just want to dedicate this post to all the mission team.. You guys are awesome and thanks for impacting my life these past 2 weeks.. So glad to know all of you, and hope one day we could see each other and serve together again :)

Blessings from Indonesia!

"The best place in the world is at where God called you to be."

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Quick Update - Cambodia & Vietnam

Wahh.. udah lama gak nge-post blog.. kangeenn.. hihi.. I'm in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam right now.. Udah 2 hari di sini and besok balik ke Jakarta.. It took about 12 hours by bus from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to here.. Wew.. But I'm doing great so far! Haha.. :D

Di Vietnam memang khusus buat holiday, but gak nyangka juga di sini bisa kenal 2 Vietnamese girls (koneksi dari temen di Cambodia) and spend time with them.. They also have a heart for mission and love God so much.. We're planning to attend their church this morning.. So excited :)

And.. about Cambodia.. It was super awesome!! Maybe I'll share more about this in the next post.. But intinya, 10 days in Cambodia really changed my life.. God did so many wonderful things and I also met so many wonderful people over there who have a great heart to serve God.. I can't share and publish the details and also the pictures (for some reason) but all that I can say is I love God and I love doing His mission! There's a BIG joy in serving others ;)

Thanks so much for all your support and prayers.. I posted some pictures of beautiful places that we went to: Angkor Wat (Siem Reap, Cambodia), Kampot (Cambodia), Notre Dame Cathedral (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam) and our lovely transportation.. Tuk-tuk!! haha.. :D

That's all that I can share for now.. Will continue later..

Blessings from Vietnam! ^^

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Happy Bday, ci Lia!!

Kayaknya untuk pribadi yang satu ini, gak cukup kalo cuma diucapin lewat FB or YM.. Harus tulis post khusus di blog buat dia, hahaha..

Yang ke-29 kan ci? (Oops.. gak bole sebut umur ya?! wkwkwk..)

Today is her bday, tepat sama hari independence Amrik juga.. Maybe that's why dia dapet suami orang Amrik ya.. haha.. *maksa* ;p And sekarang ini dia tinggal di Thailand.. I feel so blessed to know her and to have her in my life! :)

I met her for the first time itu waktu aku SMA. Dia dateng ke sekolah aku (sama ko Ocep) untuk kenalan sama kita and jadi pembina rohani/mentor buat kita. Kesan pertama ketemu ci Lia, orangnya intim but sangat dominan! (Memang kenyataan kan ci? Haha..) Tegas and berprinsip banget.. That's why aku bisa langsung cocok ama ci Lia (udah kayak cari jodoh aja, wkwk..) karena temperamen aku kebalikan sama dia ;p Waktu itu aku masih pendiem and pemalu banget, hihi.. Gak berani juga buat memimpin, buat ngomong dll.. But berkat seorang ci Lia (and berkat Tuhan juga tentunya) aku jadi mulai banyak berubah.. She always gives me encouragement, bahkan ampe hari ini.. Hidup dia juga bener2 jadi teladan, gak cuma ngomong doang.. Cinta dia sama Tuhan bisa "menular" ke orang lain.. Makanya kudu hati-hati deket sama orang yang satu ini, hihi.. Pokoknya selama SMA, Tuhan bener2 pake dia untuk membentuk hidup aku.. Aku jadi sadar kalo investasi terbesar di dunia ini itu bukan uang, tapi hidup kita.. Thanks ci for giving and sharing your life :)

Lulus SMA, aku mengikuti jejak dia masuk ke STT LETS, haha.. Memang panggilan Tuhan juga si, and pas banget kenal ci Lia and ko Ocep yang sekolah di situ :) Trus after kuliah, pernah kerja bareng ci Lia juga di TK Tunas Bangsa.. Meskipun aku gak lama ngajar di sana, but aku belajar banyak.. And seneng bisa bareng ci Lia lagi beberapa bulan itu.. Bisa liat hati dia yang luar biasa buat anak-anak.. Yang akhirnya "menular" ke aku juga sekarang, haha.. Lucu yah..

Singkat cerita, ini yang unik juga.. Tahun 2010, ci Lia menikah sama Mike.. And di tahun yang sama, aku diterima ikut program IVEP ke Amrik.. So.. Ketemulah kita di Amrik, 2 kali pula.. Pertama di Pennsylvania (aku diajak main ke rumah Mike and makan Chinese buffet di resto gitu, yummy..) trus kedua, ketemu di Ohio.. Mereka dateng ke rumah host aku and ajak aku jalan2 ke Kentucky (ini nama state, bukan KFC lho ya, haha..) Gak nyangka banget bisa ketemu mereka di sana.. And itu terakhir kalinya aku ngeliat mereka.. Sampe sekarang aku blom ketemu lagi, huhu.. But ceritanya blom selesai ;p

Selama 2 taon gak ketemu, kita masih tetep komunikasi by internet.. Bisa banyak denger tentang dia dari blog and sometimes dari email.. Blog dia bener2 luar biasa menginspirasi banyak orang (www.mikeloveslia.blogspot.com) jadi dia tetep bisa memberkati meskipun dia gak ada di Indo.. Sempet sih dia balik ke Indo pas taon 2011, tapi malah gak bisa ketemu ;( Di Amrik malah lebih gampang buat ketemu ya ci, haha.. Terakhir, dia juga bantu tulis introduction and review buat buku aku yang terbaru, S.H.E (Single. Happy. Excellent), seneng banget.. hihi..

But anyway, akhirnya.. setelah sekian lama gak ketemu.. this October.. I'll see them again!! Yay!! Bukan cuma liat Mike and Lia, tapi juga bisa liat their 2 little kids nanti: Timmy and Tiara ;) I'm going to Thailand to visit them and spend time with them for 2 weeks.. Sooo excited!! ^o^

Last but not least.. Ci Lia bukan cuma sekedar friend, sister or mentor for me.. But dia juga seorang spiritual mom :) She's not perfect, ada saat2 dia lemah juga and saat2 bergumul sama temperamen dominan-nya, hihi.. But I love her.. Justru dari kelemahannya juga, aku bisa belajar.. We grow together.. And sama-sama belajar untuk jadi wanita Amsal 31 ;)

I love you, ci Lia! Aku percaya hidup ci Lia yang sekarang masih belum seberapa, masih ada banyak hal banget yang God mau kerjakan in and through your life.. (masih mau punya 5 anak lagi kan ci? Hehe..) but I wanna give BIG THANK YOU for being a role model and inspiration! Aku juga berdoa supaya hati cici gak akan pernah berubah.. Tetep humble and full of love :)

Enjoy your special day, ci and hope you like the present.. Can't wait to see you soon! *BIG HUG* :D

Numbers 6:24-26 MSG
God bless you and keep you,
God smile on you and gift you,
God look you full in the face and make you prosper.

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"Surprise Me!"

Entah sejak kapan God mulai bawa aku masuk ke dunia anak-anak.. Padahal dulu aku termasuk orang yang gak terlalu suka and gak bisa berinteraksi sama anak-anak.. Mungkin karena gak punya adik and gak ada anak kecil juga di rumah kali ya..

But sekarang ini (kalian tau sendiri lha ya..) hampir setiap hari aku pasti ketemu anak-anak, and... I love them!! Dunia mereka itu unik, penuh kejutan, gak bisa ditebak and aku justru belajar banyak hal dari kehidupan mereka :) Setiap anak punya kisah and keunikan masing-masing..

Nah di post kali ini aku pengen share tentang seorang anak yang sempet aku kenal waktu di Amerika. Tiba-tiba kemaren ini keingetan satu kisah tentang dia, hihi.. Jadi dulu waktu di Amrik, setiap hari Selasa, aku suka ikut bantuin host mom aku di satu pelayanan yang namanya Mommy's Group (perkumpulan ibu2 dan anak2 gitu d..) Jadi pas para mommy lagi ngumpul, aku yang bantuin jaga anak-anak mereka (anak-anak bule semua ;p) and salah satu dari mereka, ada yang namanya Gabriella, or biasa kita panggil Gabby (kamu bisa liat fotonya di image, but sorry kalo agak blur..) She's a very cheerful girl, loves people, trus dewasa juga pemikiran and cara ngomongnya (mungkin karena keseringan nonton film, haha..)

Suatu hari di bulan Desember, pas lagi suasana Natal (oh.. how I miss those moments.. White Christmas, with a snow...), mamanya Gabby cerita satu kejadian lucu tentang Gabby.. Jadi waktu itu Gabby dibawa ke antrian anak-anak yang mau ketemu sama Santa Claus.. Seperti yang kita sering liat di film-film, setiap anak pasti udah siapin list permohonan untuk disampein ke si Santa.. Mungkin ada yang pengen mobil-mobilan, rumah-rumahan, boneka, robot, dsb. But Gabby ini unik.. Waktu dia sampe ke depan Santa and ditanya pertanyaan yang kira-kira seperti ini: "Hi Gabby, what do you want for Christmas?" Dengan nada malu-malu and suara girly-nya dia cuma menjawab 2 kata, "Surprise Me..!" :D

Kita pada ketawa waktu denger cerita itu.. Koq bisa ya seorang Gabby jawab kayak gitu? ;p But aku jadi mikir.. I should learn from her..

Setiap kita pasti seneng sama yang namanya surprise or kejutan. Misalnya kalo lagi Bday.. Pasti seneng banget kan kalo dikasi Bday Surprise? I do too! :) And you know what, Tuhan kita juga adalah Pribadi yang seneng sama kejutan.. Bukan cuma itu, Dia seneng untuk kasih kita surprise! Dia punya begitu banyak cara untuk mengejutkan kita.. Wow!

Tapi masalahnya, seringkali pikiran kita ini terbatas.. Otak kita udah dibatesin sama keinginan2 and cara2 kita sendiri.. Waktu Tuhan tanya: "What do you want from Me?" kita langsung sibuk keluarin list permohonan kita tanpa tahu bahwa sebenernya ada hal-hal lain (surprise) yang udah Tuhan siapin buat kita, sehingga akhirnya kita cuma menerima sesuatu yang kita minta aja, gak lebih dari itu.. Padahal Dia adalah Tuhan yang sanggup untuk memberikan sesuatu yang jauh lebih dari apa yang kita minta dan punya begitu banyak cara untuk menjawab doa-doa kita (Efesus 3:20).

That's why waktu aku keinget cerita ini and Tuhan tanya ke aku, "Hi Cella, what do you want from Me today?" Aku cuma bisa senyum2 sambil jawab ke Tuhan, "Surprise Me!" :)

Jeremiah 33:3 MSG
'Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.'

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