Campus Alive

June 25, 2008

Our Country, Our Home

Filed under: Message,Sharing — campusalive @ 7:15 pm

March 8, 2008.An ordinary day the earth woke up to the first ray of sunshine. Showing neither ominous storm clouds gathering on the horizons, nor threatening omen of a torrential downpour, however, did not mean the entire course of the day would definitely run smooth. In fact, it was far from ordinary if put in Malaysia’s historical context. As if the change of four state governments and the loss of Barisan Nasional’s perpetual cocksure parliamentary two-thirds majority were not enough, the sea change brought about by the 12th general election of March 8 cannot even be brought to a halt. The beleaguered Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his fellow comrades suffer continuous blows and castigations from within the BN coalition, the substantial growth in popularity of the Opposition, and even his former big boss has now rejected him.

Mass protests and speculations never ceased. Sabah Progressive Party(SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee threatened to make history by supporting a motion for no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister during the Dewan Rakyat meeting, which eventually did not take place. The murder case of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a Mongolian woman. Does it really involve our deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah, as claimed by the blogger Raja Petra, who became famous overnight after being charged in court for “publishing on allegedly seditious article on his website”?

Changing the limelight onto the judiciary system in our country, thanks to the infamous Lingam video clip, judicial reform is irreversible and judges arise all of a sudden to stun the people with revelations swept under the carpet for the past umpteen years. This time involving our former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Who is next in line?

Amid thunderstorms in the political field, soaring costs of living, inflation and higher fuel prices cause economy and social crisis to the country and its people. People rise up from various fields, be it education or media wise, fighting for fairness and freedom. As our country celebrates its 51st Merdeka this year, is it en route towards democracy, adulthood and maturity? Or is it heading backwards instead?

This is a dark world to live in, indubitably. However as Christians, we have the assurance from our Lord Jesus Christ- “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows ME will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”(John 8:12) This is a troubled time to live in, undeniably. But as children of the one true God, we are given the promise that we “may have peace”. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33). So no matter what may occur tomorrow, be assured that the King of kings is the ultimate Ruler and Judge of this country!

As Malaysians, we are called to contribute to our country, making the effort, big or small, to make this land a better place to live in. As Christians, we are called to be the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world” (Matthew 5:13, 14). We may soar high and aim far, but deep down in our hearts, we know that whenever we grow tired of flying, there is a place we are always welcomed back to take a break. A place God put us in not without a reason. The place which greeted us our first “good morning” when we entered this world. The place we call our country, our home.

Let us be Malaysians, not just by name, but true Malaysian Christians by heart. No matter where you may be now, please remember your country in your daily quiet time. Its journey towards stability, transparency, fairness and freedom from all bondages. Nothing is impossible with God! Malaysia needs your prayers. Thank you!

* This article is written for the benefit of students who are now studying abroad, to have a glimpse into the current situation (esp. politically) of our country. And also serves as a reminder for all of us to pray ceaselessly for Malaysia. =)

In His service,
A full-time Malaysian Christian.

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June 23, 2008

Life in INTEC

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 1:36 pm

International … Education… Centre… INTEC… Hrm, I had never heard about this place. The only information I had was that it was located in Shah Alam and 3 of the seniors from my school were studying there. Even though I was thankful to be granted this scholarship, skeptically, I knew that INTEC was neither a place of comfort nor glamour.

With only this piece of information, I flew across the South China Sea. For my first lunch, I innocently ate the extremely hot chillipadi, which “camouflaged” in the fried mee hoon I ordered. I blissfully thought it was just a vegetable. >.< Dear junior, watch out for chillipadi ya! As time passed, I gradually met classmates, friends and seniors.

However, a remarkable event that brought intimate friends who were close to my heart was an internal debate tournament- Battle of Minds. Well, to be precise, it was the drenching training schedule led by a senior. Imagine we had 3 rounds of brain-cracking discussions and mock debates everyday. A few of us who joined this training struggled, wobbled and dragged through it for we had to handle our academic workload simultaneously. Though it’s demanding, every single seconds of effort was rewarding. Through it, we attained trust, we gained precious friendship, and more importantly, we were brought closer to our Almighty Heavenly Father.

My life just went on smoothly after this. Until around mid August, while I supposed to be enjoying my life joyously since I had everything that I could ask for- friends, study, family and scholarship- but, for no reason, I felt LOST and EMPTY.

“ Be thankful, dear. Don’t ask for problem.” I always reminded myself.

I could say that I was quite a tough and resilient person. I seldom cried. But at that moment, I shrieked and cried all my heart out in my room when I was alone.

The scene was still vividly carved in my memory. It was in Cemara “Starbuck”, an open place with chairs and tables provided for students to gather around or study. I sat at one corner, together with a senior. I told him that I felt better and I’m fully recovered. No, he said.

“Amanda, let me pray for you.” Ok, I closed my eyes and bowed my head down near to my knees.

“ Dear Father Lord, embrace this sister, you sees her struggle, and you knows her heart’s desire. Fill up her emptiness… Jesus loves you… Jesus loves you… Jesus loves you…” Out of a sudden, I broke into heavy tears again. “ Jesus loves you,” these 3 words echoed in my ears. When I opened my eyes, I saw this senior who was sitting right in front of me, was shining so comfortably like an angel. This might be a confusing illusion caused by my teary eyes. But at that moment, he really looked like an angel that was assigned by God to send peace in my heart. This was a pivotal breakdown that embarked my journey along with God. I used to be like a wild stallion that ran without a goal, without a direction. But finally, I found my one and only rider. I would never regret falling in love with Him.

I was so blessed in this place. In my church (New Life Restoration Centre), we have great and caring pastors. My gang and me were particularly close to Pastor David and his family. Almost every weekend, we went overnight at his house. They were an authentic and wonderful family. I was so privileged to learn the way of Christian’s living directly from them. They just gave benevolently without condition and their love towards Father God were so glazing and consuming. Sometimes, I could just gasp in awe, where and how does this love come from? The answer was just very simple, they loves God.

I was given the chance to serve as a pianist in church. Frankly, I was not proficient in piano. In my first worship practice, one of my feet was pressing the pedal and the other was trembling. And on the Sunday service itself, both of my feet were trembling! So you can envisage how nervous I was. Well, I ever dreamt of one day, my fingers could just dance around the keys gracefully and I could play melodious music in front of people. Though it was still a long way to go, thank God that I was given this chance and a very supportive church.

Another community that impacted vastly in my life at INTEC was Campus Alive! This was a Christian fellowship where Christians could gather every fortnightly at New Life to worship God, learn the word of God and fellowship together. This is an indescribable heaven and sanctuary of mine. I witnessed the implicit and complete love of the people towards Him and how God’s power rained upon them in various areas. In fact, this was a place where I found my brothers and sisters that are knitted closely in the family of Christ. Come and join us and you will understand the peace and joy that you could seek from it.

So dear juniors, it was an exclusive prerogative for you to be placed here. Though the living condition here was unfamiliar and not very comfortable, people here were treasures and God’s power was magnified here. Come and devour every day of yours. Learn to adapt and be independent. Remember, God is strong when we are weak and we seniors are here to help you. Cheers~

Senior,
Amanda

June 10, 2008

Australia, and I’m still growing.

Filed under: Sharing,Testimony — campusalive @ 10:22 pm
Hi everyone. Hi hi hi. Hello and g’day mates! That’s how the Aussies say over here.Ok, before you all scroll down to the bottom and try to see who wrote this post, let me save you some time. I’m Jim by the way. Ya, I’m an Ausmat senior. Very senior. Er..not that senior actually but I was in Ausmat 18, 2007. This year, the Olympic year (woohoo!), I’m doing first year in Engineering in UWA. Ok, let me see, where to start?
Firstly, I want to talk a little bit about UWA(Univetsity of Western Australia) over here and to make a little promo(haha). Then, I shall proceed (briefly) about my life here in the land down under and also how my spiritual life had been .
So, for those confused Ausmatians who will be going to Australia , and for those doing engineering, dentistry or medic, UWA is the place for you. Ya, if you ask me, UWA is the best uni in Western Australia. If you mention about UWA in Western Australia, people will go “wow……!”. Perth is a nice place to be. If you are those people who feels a little uncomfortable with the hustle and bustle of city life, like KL, well, Perth is perfect for you. It’s not that “kampung” like till you like have nothing to do and all. Perth is still a city and it’s just nice. It’s less hectic than in Sydney and Melbourne but much alive compared to Adelaide in South Australia. Yup, I guarantee that you will definitely like it here. For those who intends to do pharmacy, choose Curtin. Why? Coz UWA don’t have pharmacy..haha. For engineering, there’s a catch. UWA forcuses more on theories. It’s theories theories theories all the way. That’s why, there’s a lot of researches done in UWA itself. For Curtin, they focus more on the practical stuff. In other words, it’s more hands on. For now, you do not need to worry so much about which uni you want to go. Focus on your Ausmat test first. Then, like one month before your trials, I think that’s when you need to decide. Well, pray and ask God to where He wants you to go. Choose wisely I should say. Again, focus on your SSABSA. Don’t worry about when you should apply for this and that, haha, no need to kiasu. Intec will tell you when. If you desperately need to know all, go IDP and ask. Then, while applying for unis , you can also start applying for accommodations. It doesn’t matter if you are still not enrolled in a uni. Just apply, cause accommodation is a hot topic. Haha, I could actually go on till morning but anymore further questions, e-mail me, genre_log@yahoo.com.
Eversince stepping foot in Australia, I felt that I had been growing , spiritually! The first few days here was a little tough though. Ya, I faced a lot of things that troubled me and all. I was having anxiety and I worried like mad. The main one was money. Anyway, as time past, God spoke to me through His word, and through people and finally, I snapped out from that and I was myself again. From that day onwards, God had been teaching me new things. I feel like I’m growing bigger and maturing faster, spiritually. I was attending two churches. Subiaco Church of Christ and Zion Praise Harvest. After prayer, God spoke to me, and I decided to settle down in Zion Praise Harvest. Since then, I made many many new friends. Before that, I do not know anyone here in Perth as there’s only like 2 of us from Intec being sent to UWA. A little lonely I am ya…I made super many friends and I felt so at home for the first time in the first few weeks. Things are great! I say it again, things are great over here! Most of my friends are from Singapore. Then, I have Malaysian friends(from taylor’s college, Kuching High, UEC, KK..), a Burmise friend, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, China, haha, lots more. Most of them, 90% are those whom I know from church. I’m so happy that God had blessed me so much. You know, God had put me here in UWA for a reason and I know He put me here to prepare me for something big. Something super big that He had to bring me all the way here to Australia. Yes, and I’m sure that when the time comes, I shall be ready for that ‘something big’ that God had planned for me. To summarise all the time that I’d been here in Australia, I’m growing each and everyday in Christ. God is teaching me new things, bringing me to new places to let me gain experience, to gain new knowledge. I’m just growing haha, and nothing else. The best thing is, I’m peaceful and joyful in Him, knowing that He’ll take care of me no matter what. Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God….” . In other words, relax, chill, cause God is in control. Let God be God. Yup.
Haha, guess what, though I might had left Intec, left CA and all, I’m not taking a break unless God tells me too. It doesn’t mean that my duty had ended. Nope, it’s just the beginning. It’s just the beginning. Think that you are a super senior, haha, there’s always someone more senior than you. There…the one that you called God. Take CA or Intec as a place where God will train you and mould you , shape you to build up your foundation. When your foundation is strong, then only you can stand firm when the trials of life comes your way when you leave Shah Alam. I tell you, and I tell you boldly. Yes, I jump, I lift my hands up during worship. What will happen 30 years down the road? Will you still continue to do that when you are 50, 60 70? I tell you boldly, I will. Even when I’m 60 or 70, the way I worship my God will not diminish. Will God get bored of you ? Nope, so, I shouldn’t too. My passion will still continue to burn stronger eventhough physically and outwardly, I look hagged and old. Nothing will stop me from worshipping my God. What about you?
Yup, I think that’s all that I want to say. To all of you , all the best in your tests and exams and some “perjumpaan blok” haha. Oh ya, just want to let you all know. I’m too excited to keep in to myself but ya, I will be attending this year’s Hillsong conference 2008 in Sydney. Yes, I’m so excited. God is good right? hehe…take care. God bless.
jim
cheers, from the Land down under

June 9, 2008

Dear juniors…

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 8:05 pm

Phew! Does time fly indeed. Here I was, a freshman fumbling to find my way around in INTEC (and *ahem* gotten lost once), and, before I knew it, I’d to start bracing myself for the title “senior” already, having completed my first year and currently enjoying the semester break. The second semester here at INTEC had really been a fleeting affair for me, passing perhaps doubly as fast compared to the first, for reasons unknown to myself.

Nevertheless, the first week at INTEC had been the longest week of my life, amidst the frenzy of settling down, adapting and parting with family. There was of course the MMS (Minggu Mesra Siswa) Week, which was essentially a weeklong orientation programme for freshies, conducted by seniors. Rest assured that there will be no ragging though, as far as what the Professor had told us, that is. Juniors can expect a hectic week, what with all the activities carried out, which will be done in groups. Meals will be provided throughout the orientation week, ‘meager’ yet satisfactory. (We have to count our blessings, remember?)

Junior guys can look forward to a truly unique hostel experience at Kolej Cendana. The mere mention of the word Cendana, I believe, would spawn a deluge of complaints and negative comments from seniors who’d had the ‘privilege’ of staying there; of being stranded in the middle of nowhere, with irregular buses, limited variety of food and poor internet connectivity. (Gasp!) True as convicted, nonetheless, fret not, dear junior guys! For Cendana is actually not as bad as it seems. In fact, the internal living conditions are pretty much better off than those of Akasia or Cemara’s, owing to the fact that Cendana had just been renovated quite recently. To top it up, there had even been further repair and renovation works last month (during the period of our exams heat, literally), so there shouldn’t be much to complain of. There are two rooms in an apartment; one with 2 single beds and the other with 2 double Decker beds. That makes 6 guys to an apartment – quite a cramp, yes indeed, but we guys will just make do, won’t we? Expect the morning rush though, as you’d all be racing for the washrooms and toilets upon waking up, especially during the orientation week, making for an interesting start to hostel life … The good news is that the bathroom and toilet here are separated, unlike those in Cemara, so there can be two people doing business at any one time.

The apartment may seem a little too small for six people at first, what with the six desks arranged in the living room especially. There is hardly any space to move around! But then again, this calls for acclimatization; you’ll have to get used to it. The walls are painted with a yellowish hue and the floors, tiled. The bus stop is quite a walk away from the hostel though; there is also a Petronas station nearby with ATM machines, and of course, how could I forget, the infamous Dawood Restaurant, the only reasonable eatery within walking distance around. It is a mamak restaurant serving mostly Indian and Malay food, with rather poor service however, sadly. There is also a stall – Mat Endon further down the road, but it does not present too attractive a choice, as it is located just beside a drain. All hope for food is not lost however; venturing beyond Section 6, there are always greener pastures, most notably being perhaps Restaurant Kari Kepala Ikan serving Chinese food in Section 9 and McDonalds in Section 2. Yes, it is within walking distance for the adventurous. In fact, my friends and I had jogged there in the evenings on numeous occasions; dined and then taken the bus back (It was dark by then, anyway). Rapid KL T602. Get familiar with it, for it’ll bring you to several places such as Section 2, PKNS, SACC and so on.

Sadly, there is no wired or wireless internet connection at Cendana, being sparsely (and annoyingly) intermittent at best, if any. The alternative is to use the computer labs or walk a short distance to a cyber café nearby. There’s a laundry room with 2 washing machines — yes, guys, you’ll have to do your own laundry! No more relying on mummy. By the way, just to let you know, the management had actually placed a notice before, prohibiting the hanging of clothes and eye-catching apparels outside the windows, lest the landscape be changed. Fret not though, for there’ll be places to dry your clothes. There’s also a basketball court and gym for the physically active.

Hmm… What other ways to describe the typical Cendanian’s experience than of course the Restu Barakah bus service! UiTM buses will be plying Cemara and Akasia, leaving Restu Barakah for Cendana. Buses arrive as early as seven in the morning to pick students up to INTEC, at supposedly half hour intervals, which can hardly be depended on. During the morning rush hours, the buses will not usually leave until students are packed to a sardine can-like density in the bus. I’ve learnt much through trial and experience, having had the bus leave right in my face; buses, I learnt, have a tendency to leave 5 minutes before their scheduled time. So suppose you intend to take the 8.30 am bus, assume that it’ll leave at 8.25 am and be there by then. Then again, always make allowance in case the bus breaks down or does not arrive, by taking an earlier bus. I’d had to learn this lesson the hard way, unfortunately. It was the day of our end of semester Chemistry test scheduled at 2 in the afternoon, and my friends and I had just missed the 1 pm bus. So we banked all our hopes on the 1.30pm bus, which never arrived. Fret not, we assured ourselves, for we could call a cab. By 1.40, however, we were already a bundle of frazzled nerves, no taxi or bus in sight. It was not until shortly after 1.50 that a taxi coasted our way and picked us up. We made a dash for ALM square where our exams were held after arriving at the main gate, and were fortunate enough to make it just in time. Phew! T’was a terrifying experience I’d never forget.

So much for depressing Cendana issues. Moving onto INTEC, the most notable feature’d be none other than the newly-opened library. No WIFI access though, sadly. The collection of books is huge nonetheless, amidst conducive studying environs within the library. As it is fully air-conditioned, a sweater might be of great help. There is also a 24-hour studying room for students; restrictions apply however, for girls as they are not allowed after 11pm.

Remember to abide by the dress code of INTEC. Casual wear would do fine, jeans are allowed, but no collarless shirt though. Sandals are supposedly not allowed but students wear them anyway. And yes, dress formally on Mondays; and Fridays for girls only, i.e. long-sleeved shirt with tie for guys and Baju Kurung/ Batik for girls. Don’t forget to display your Student ID at all times; there’ll be guards hoarding at the front gates to check on your dress code. One offence and you’ll land yourself with a saman, which’ll be recorded in Student Online Services. Sigh.

Food at INTEC is satisfactory enough, the main cafeteria being AUSMAT café which serves a variety of food, as well as custom orders like Pattaya, fried rice and so on. It is air-conditioned, prices are reasonable, but food runs out fast during lunch hours, so it’ll be a good idea to pack food earlier beforehand. There’s even a wafer machine outside the café for those eager to grab a bite between classes, perhaps. There’s also the ALM and ADFP Café, but they’re less popular compared to AUSMAT.

As far as ALM is concerned, you’ll be placed in classes according to your future destination i.e., IMU, PMC or MMMC. Depending on your timetable, classes may start at 8am, which is most often the case in Semester I. Expect classes to end as late as 6 pm on at least two days a week, thanks to the CTU classes (Philosophy & Theology) and ko-PLN sessions. The schedule becomes less hectic into the second semester, though, thankfully. There’ll usually be two topic tests and quizzes now and then and, not to mention, of course, the end of semester exam. It’s not all work and no play nevertheless; there’s plenty of recreational facilities in and around the hostels, eg a park near Cendana. We even have DoTA and CS tournaments (informal ones, that is) now and then after a busy day at school, by linking laptops wirelessly together across rooms and blocks back at hostel. Yes, life over here is that fun!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to encourage fellow juniors to attend CA. In case you don’t already know, CA is a Christian fellowship gathering fortnightly on Thursdays in New Life Church, Kota Kemuning. CA has really been a blessing to me; I had immensely enjoyed the time of worship and fellowship there. Do join us!

After all that has been said and done, it has indeed been worth the experience. College and hostel life is not without its ups and downs; but then again, who says life is a bed of roses? It is important to face challenges with the right attitude, adapting and improvising along the way. For those feeling homesick, I can empathize most well; but worry not! The bus station’s located at Section 17, just a stone’s throw away from INTEC. The ultimate gateway to home. So to all dear juniors, enjoy your stay in Shah Alam! All the best.

Signing off,
Kenlee

June 8, 2008

I Want To…

Filed under: Sharing,Testimony — campusalive @ 8:46 pm

Dearest people of CA. How are you doing? In this time, even as I prepare for my exams, I just felt the Spirit prompting me to just pause and reflect on life. And you know what, the thoughts that came to me from God are just so beautiful. I want to crystalize those thoughts into words as much as I can but truly no words can describe them. So yea, I just want to share them with you guys, hope it gives all of you some inspirations. Here goes…

I want to…

I want to change the world

I want to see joyful souls all around me

I want to see disease, plague and pestilence be purged

I want to see war, strife and turmoil be stilled

I want to see people’s hunger for a meaning to life be filled with living bread from the broken body of the Perfect Lamb

I want to see people’s thirst for a greater love be quenched by the streams of living water that flow from the fountain of life

I want to see the whole earth join in one chorus with all the heavenly hosts to proclaim the glory of God


I want to be part of God’s plans for the world

I want to grasp the promises of God for this earth, to bring life onto this earth which He calls his temple palace

I want to live in adoration of His holiness, the Oneness of His purposes since the beginning of time – to raise up children of God from each generation to rule over creation in relationship with Him

I want to dwell in His presence, the greatest love that has been poured out to mankind, the hope for a better resurrection made possible by His grace, the faith He has empowered me with to stand up against the beasts of this world


I want to be changed by Him

I want to show love for the world and for the people around me, just as the Creator has loved His creation with unending love

I want to have faith to stand in this world, to stand firm in the midst of the storms and persecutions in life, just as the Son stood firm against all the evil that tried to uproot Him

I want to be filled with hope for this earth and for a better resurrection, trusting in the Spirit who resurrected the Son to breathe new life into this world and into all those who believe in Him


I want to be free

I want to be all that I am created to be

I want to stand firm against the systems of this world that want to enslave me and tear at me like wild beasts, I want to have faith to rise up above them all

I want to approach His throne boldly without guilt or shame, for Christ’s sacrifice has set me free from all my sins and iniquities

I want to daily lift up my hands in worship of the One who created me, to gaze into His beauty and to be awed by His majesty

I want to be led by the Spirit, by the one who can liberate me from the broad pathway to destruction on to the narrow road to peace, love and joy

I want to be renewed each day, not dwelling in the past sins and guilt that chain me down, but to be filled with His love and grace that shatter every bondage

I want to stand on the zenith of my tower of achievements, I want to climb up to the peak of my pride, I want to ascend to the pinnacle of my insecurities…I want to close my eyes…and throw myself down from there

And I want to trust that God will carry me in the palm of His hands, and I will soar in the greatness of God


I want to believe all things are possible

I want to believe that nothing is impossible with faith

I want to dare to dream of bigger possibilities for this world and for myself

I want to believe that my God is a BIG God, and I want to pray BIGGER prayers

I want to believe that changing this world is possible, I want to take that step of faith


I want to believe in a better resurrection

I want to believe that, when the time has come for me to rest, it’s not the end

I want to believe that one day God will call me up again and I will be with Him forevermore

I want to believe that one day God will grant me the crown of righteousness that He has promised me

I want to believe that even in the midst of all this chaos, the preparations for it have already begun

I want to be able to hear the trumpets sounding, to prepare myself for the Holy war ahead

I want to prepare oil for my lamp, that when the Lord returns, I shall be ready to greet Him

I want to fully utilize the talents He has given me, that when He returns, I shall be called the good and faithful servant

Most importantly, I truly want to believe that I am part of all this…that no matter what, He loves me deeply…and I love Him too

Blessings guys!

Brian Chee

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