Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kingdom Rock at Open Door Church

Open Door Church San Mateo organised a vacation bible school for school kids last week and the theme for 2013 was Kingdom Rock! After many hours of set up and preparation, the whole church was transformed into castle grounds where newly knighted sirs and ladies would teach kids how to stand strong for God.
Kids went through this castle gate after they have signed in

The main castle grounds where the kids met with their crew leaders

At the start of each day, they learnt how to Stand Strong! for God
I signed up as a bible story teller and was assigned to be the leader of Epic Bible Adventures - one of the four main stations. It was awesome as kids not only got to hear about the bible stories, but also experience and meet the bible characters!
On Day 1, to illustrate how God's Love helps us stand strong, we met King David and immersed ourselves in Psalm 23 where he wrote about God's love at different points in his life. We laid on the 'green meadows' and beside 'peaceful streams', and even went into hiding with him as we experienced the 'darkest valley' where he felt the comfort of God.
On Day 2, Queen Esther burst into our room as we were discussing how Friends and Family helps us stand strong. She told us about evil Haman's plans and how Mordecai encouraged her to go to the king to save her people. With the kids' help, Queen Esther gathered up her courage to meet the king and tell him her request.
On Day 3, Nehemiah, who prayed to God about everything and anything, showed the kids how Prayer helps us stand strong. The kids were enlisted as workers to rebuild the Wall of Jerusalem. They overcame mockers and other challenges as they cried 'God help us!' every time their work on the wall was interrupted.
On Day 4, we re-enacted scenes from Jesus' story - his entrance to Jerusalem, his arrest, his crucifixion and then his resurrection. Kids felt the crown of thorn, heard the sound of nails being hammered into wood, and also saw his empty tomb! They experienced how Jesus obeyed God even to death, and that Trusting God helps us stand strong.
On Day 5, King Josiah's officials found the scroll within the rubbles of the Temple of Jerusalem and he ordered everyone to obey the word of God from that day onwards. He also asked the kids to help smash all the idols that can be found in his kingdom, and throw them into the fire. The kids learnt that we have the bible as the word of God today, and that the Bible helps us stand strong.
We set up the room differently for all five days so that the we could really get the kids into the story. It was literally back and neck breaking work but it was worth every ounce of effort. From the questions they asked, their curiosity, their response and reaction, I could really tell that the kids loved the stories and remembered the bible points. It was lovely to talk to them and work with them.
Inside Epic Bible Adventures room among the ruins of the Temple of Jerusalem
I sincerely hope that the kids would remember everything they see, learn and feel. Most importantly, that we would continue to stand strong for God even long after the camp has ended!
Amazing snacks that were prepared in line with each day's theme

A fanfare finale reinforcing the bible points rounds off each day
Full attention given by kids and adults alike

Angela, the Children Ministry director, gave out books to 'lucky winners' on the last day

Freshly grilled hot dogs for everyone on the last day

A feast caps off a very enjoyable and meaningful week

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cupertino finds!

If you are craving for good old HK pastry, head right up to Kee Wah Bakery at Cupertino! It was a surprise find for us as we drove to the area to meet up with friends this evening. The feeling of home was apparent when I stepped inside. We bought the fluffy egg cake and 菠萝包, something I really missed, for tomorrow's breakfast! The lotus seed pastry looked yummy too! It's still some time away from mid autumn festival but I'll definitely be back.

Anyway, for dinner tonight we went to the popular Curry House, which is along the same stretch as Kee Wah. (Thanks to HY for the recommendation and for making the booking!) Panda loves the corn potage while I think the curry rice is quite awesome. The portion is quite big though so I'd share next time!

Yup, just a short update here. Ta!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My first baseball game: SF Giants vs Toronto Blue Jays

Panda's boss, Mick, took us to AT&T Park to watch SF Giants against Toronto Blue Jays yesterday. It was awesome! Not because I know anything about baseball - I don't, sadly. But the spirit of the spectators, the atmosphere of the ballpark and... OK, the beer and hotdogs, it was just too cool to participate in the sporting mood.
The only thing I wish I did was to wear an extra jacket. The wind was freezing. By the time we left the stadium, my nose was as red as Christmas Day.
Will let the photos do the talking.

AT&T Park from a distance

The buzzing entrance

Panda in front of the standing spots

Toronto Blue Jays

SF Giants

In position... waiting!
Panda and Mick (Thank you for taking us to the games!)

Posey is the Beckham of baseball, this I learnt!

Kayaks (and other cute motor "boats") wait outside the stadium to catch flying baseballs

I love my new orange SF visor. Giant colours!

Check out my mini baseball bat too!