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Event and Street Photographer who leads by the Spirit of God and loves to capture the moment in life either in door or on the street.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Going Home for Christmas 2010

Wow!!! Christmas time is coming!!!
It’s 12.30am Sunday morning December 19th and yet I am still playing with my friends on the Facebook game, Kingdom of Camelot. Agnes’s cousin, William Ngieng will send us to KLIA LCCT at around 4.00AM. Our flight to Sibu, Sarawak will be at 7.00AM which takes around 1hour 50minutes.

Back at the Kingdoms of Camelot in Caval250 Kingdom in our alliance Sarmatian Knights, my friends are actively chatting.
Lord Norse and Lady SnowAngel always ready with their attacking strategy and they are really having fun. On the other hand, I am just clicking the help and look for those in need of help.
Lord Norse types in, “JohnCross, when are you going back for Christmas?”
Lady RuththeGreat added, “JC  is going back to his village.”
Then I type in, “Tomorrow morning and have to wake up around 3.00 AM.”
Lord FranktheWise added, “You should be sleeping, sir.”

I bid good bye to everyone and head for late shower. The water is cold and I have to add hot water to make the shower bearable and refreshing.

 As I come out of the shower room, my wife said in a commanding voice, “Set your alarm at 3.00AM.”
“Tonight, don’t have!” I test the water. She just turned around and pulled her blanket and said, “Switch off the light, Sleep early.”
And I respond with a joyful heart, “I love you.”

I switch off the light and go to my side of the bed.
After a while my eyes become familiar with the dark except for the little light from the street light outside, I glance at the image of Devine Mercy next to my bed. An image of Lord Jesus with his hand stretches out in a blessing posture as if He is blessing our sleep.

“Lord, I am coming home for your Birthday. Grant us peace and joy during this celebration. Keep us safe during our journey.”

My heart is stirring and a sense of joy filled my soul. My mind flows back on this Devine Mercy image and our personal experience with this image over the years.
 I bought this image of Devine Mercy from Brother Paul of St. Ignatius Church, Taman Plaza, Kelana Jaya. The image was blessed by our Parish Priest Father Philip Tan on a Devine Mercy Sunday.
Once I wake up in the middle of the night, when I see our bedroom was filled with bright light which comes from the Devine Mercy image. My heart rejoices but I kept this experience to myself as I am scared my wife Agnes will say I am going crazy of Devine Mercy. This experience repeated many times and I am longing for this Bright Light to be there every night.
During this time, I am deeply devoted to the Devine Mercy prayer.
I used to do the Devine Mercy prayer, one in the morning, one during lunch (I used to skip lunch and walk at the back of the office just to do the Devine Mercy prayer), 3 o’clock prayer and one evening.
The prayer that I used to recite during my work time or walking around just to keep my mind on God and acknowledge my sinful self is this:
“Heavenly Father, we offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved son, our Lord Jesus in atonement of our sin and those of the whole world.”
And end with, “Jesus, I trust in you.”
God grants me graces upon graces and I live in His Holy Presence. I live in joy and peace in my inner-self and yet I live in real world of chaos and full of unpleasant noise.
Then a day of confirmation of these experience came when my wife Agnes share her abnormal experience.
That time, we were driving back from work one evening and my wife start,
 “Do you realize this or not, there is a bright light coming from the Devine Mercy picture which filled our bedroom. I scared to tell you. I have seen it many times already.”
And I respond, “Praise be to God. He also revealed the Bright Light to you.” And I added, “I have seen the bright light also and I always see it during the night but I also scared to tell you.”
Agnes ask, “Funny loh! Why like that? Why got light and I could not sleep because the light is too bright?”
I just smile at her and said nothing but my heart is stirring with joy and gladness giving thanks to God for His goodness and mercy.
As I recalled this experience, my eyes became heavy and off I doze.
At exactly 3.00 AM, our alarm goes off with the song, “Jesus, lover of my soul.”
We have a fast morning hot shower and do the last packing. I lighted up three tea candles, one in my prayer room, on at the Nativity with Mother Mary and one at the Statue of St. Anthony of Padua.

As I light these candles, I pray, “O God, Have mercy on us. Keep our home safe. Keep your cats safe. Keep our neighbor safe. Keep our family safe. Keep my wife safe. Keep my friends safe. As for me, grant me the grace to be always in your presence. In Jesus precious, I ask. Amen.”

Then I go to my private prayer room and do my daily personal prayer which is quite long but most of the time, I pray in tongues which help a lot in getting myself in the prayer mode. (I will write on my daily personal prayer at a later stage, if He will.) Normally it takes 5minutes to 20minutes. Today it’s only around 6minutes.

God is good and generous.
The result is the same. It’s not the quantity of the time but the quality of the time when you immerse yourself in God’s presence, complete surrender and full of gratitude like a little child in his father loving arms. There no places like His rest and if I can, I want to be in His loving arms forever.
I heard my wife steps coming downstairs and she said, “Today we only light up tea candle! No oiled lights.”
I respond, “I know.” 

I open the door and at the door, I am greeted by Ms Grace the cat. I tell her that I am going back to my hometown and ask her to look after our house. She just meow at me and I think she understand. Mr. Joy the cat and Ms Panda the cat are not around. They are my good friends who keep away the snakes, lizard and even other cats.
We locked our house. 

“O God, protect our house.”
And we carry out our three bags and wait for William Ngieng at our gate.

At 4.00 o’clock, William came in his Kia 4-wheel drive with his two young sons. We pack our bags in the boot of his car and drive off to KLIA LCCT. When we arrive at LCCT, we take down our bags and we thanks William for generosity to fetch us to the airport and we bid him and his kids goodbye and Christmas greeting as he and his family are not going home for Christmas. The two kids wave at us as we push our trolley to the check in area.
The departure areas are crowded with passengers and our counter for check-in headed for Sibu is R45. It’s a long queue but worth waiting. We check in and our two bags weight 38.6KG. Wow! That’s heavy. Actual our limit is 40KG as Agnes had bought another extra 10KG, in case our bags overweight. She made a right choice.
As I sit at the waiting area, Agnes is busy window shopping. Normal thing for the ladies everywhere is good for shopping. 
I take out my Asus EeePC Netbook and connect to LCCT wireless network. This is good. The connection is excellent.  I log on to Facebook and I am back in Kingdoms of Camelot. I see my friends are busy chatting with building all around. 

I am still on the Facebook when the call for boarding time announce. Real bad timing!! I log off the network and off my netbook but the queue is already very long. I lift up my two luggage and walk to the back of the queue and I am greet with a long face from my wife. I shrug my shoulder and smile saying, “I am sorry, sayang.”
We board the plane and what a luck we place a the back row of the plane seat no. 30B
I smile to myself as I help a young female passenger to life up her heavy luggage into the compartment above her seat with this in mind, ‘Is this what Jesus said, “Those who are first will be last and those who are last will be first.” This is good’

The plane takes off a few minutes later and the weather is a bit bumpy as we hit the top speed.
This weather condition does not deter me to take my Asus EeePC Netbook and start to write a blog entitled Going Home for Christmas 2010

We touch down at Sibu Airport at 9.50AM. At the airport there is another long queue and I heard a few passenger speaking in Melanau language. I tell myself, “That’s sound familiar, my own mother tongue.”
We collect our bags and greet by Agnes sister, her husband and their two young smart boys. We pack our bags in his Toyata Prado and headed for his home. 

On the way, I send three SMS saying, ‘Eagle has landed at Sibu Airport. John Ragai.’
When we arrive at Agnes sister house, we repack again and headed for a plate of Kampua Mee at Chinese Coffee Shop. I really missed this Sarawak Noodle. Then we start our journey down to Sarikei which takes around 30 to 45 minutes. I take pictures along the way.

When we arrive in Sarikei, Agnes father greet us and he looks healthier than the last time. As we bring up our bags I can smell nice food and there on the table are ready foods for lunch. As I look closer, I see one big plate of fried prawn, one big plate of crabs, taufo soup in mussel meat and friend long green bean. I am full after a big bowl of kampua mee in Sibu but the food looks delicious and smells good. Further my father-in law looks at me as if he wants to eat together with us.

Now I am in Sarikei and on Tuesday they are having a special prayer for the dead. I will be going home to my own parent house on Wednesday and celebrate the Christmas there with a Sunday Mass in St. Bernard Church, Dalat. 

May God bless us and keep us safe all the time.

Wish you and your family a Blessed Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2010.

1 comment:

coolguy said...

Wonderful articles! John, I wish you and Agnes a Very Happy 11th Anniversary. Keep sharing your jporney with the Lord with us.