Christmas Giveaway

Year 2016 is almost over. Looking back at how year 2016 went for me makes me stand in awe of God’s goodness. I saw His daily grace and provision for my family, His deliverance in times of our adversities and forgiveness in our failures to please Him at times. The thought of God’s undeniable myriads of boons upon my family is entirely humbling.

The question I have been asking myself is, “What can I do to thank God in return?” The answer is nothing. And yet, I believe that the least I can do is use whatever time and talent He entrusted me to bless others (I hope…).

So to celebrate God’s kindness upon my family and me, I would like to share a Christmas giveaway to you who are interested. I am sharing these free-printable-spiritual-journal-pages. My desire is that these journal pages would motivate you to journal your lessons from your walk with God and develop your “gratitude-attitude” further in year 2017.

SUGGESTIONS: 

  1. Buy a 5×7 three-ring binder.
  2. Print one page of the first five pages.
  3. Print the page that looks like this 365 times. 😉

journal-entry-page

4. The “Random Thoughts” page is optional but it’s great for writers. 🙂
5. Another great idea would be to go to a printing shop and have them assemble your bound journal. 🙂

I wish I could do more but these will be all for now. Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Review: Ahsan Manzil Museum

museums

While browsing my photo album on my computer, I stumbled upon a folder of my visit in Ahsan Manzil Museum from last year. This museum is one of the oldest historical buildings in Bangladesh and it happened to be beside our cousin’s house in Old Dhaka. He initiated to bring us (Joanna, my father-in-law and me) there. That was last year. It was risky to go but thank God for His protection. Anyway, Wikipedia describes this place as:

…the official residential palace and seat of the Dhaka Nawab Family. The magnificent building is situated at Kumartoli along the banks of the Buriganga River in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The construction of this palace was started in 1859 and was completed in 1872. It was constructed in the Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture. It has been designated as a national museum.

Our visit there was surreal and an indelible one! I’m not exaggerating. I have to apologize ahead of time though, since I will not be able to show you what I saw inside this building. Before our entrance, the guard told us that we cannot take any photos inside the building. 😦

These are all I can share with you. Hurray!

Ahsan Manzil Museum (1).jpg

ahsanmanzilmuseum

Well, despite that, let me share with you my honest review about this particular museum.

GOOD POINTS: 

  • The entrance fee is very cheap.
    • The fee for kids is almost free (i.e. about $0.13) while local adults should pay about $0.30. Foreigners are expected to pay about $1.20. Isn’t that cheap?
  • The place gives you a surrealistic feeling.
    • Most of the antique furniture and memorabilia were indeed worth-viewing! One of my favorite parts of the museum was the enchanting dining area where there was an extremely long dining table. In my assumption, it can seat more than 30 people. The setting of the dining area hinted that it was indeed owned by a royal family. If you were inside, you would feel like you are inside an ancient palace. My other favored compartment was the drawing room. The kitchen wares looked really expensive and primordial while the furniture in the said drawing room looked really elegant and grand!
  • The memorabilia are well-labeled. It’s a thumbs-up for foreigners who cannot read the local language-Bengali.
  • The place in itself is certainly attractive to foreigners who are curious about Bangladeshi history.
  • Photos of the ancient residents were posted around the house. I felt like these photos were there to entertain us and I imagined that they were showing us their phenomenal home.
  • It’s safe to tour around the premises. The security guards are very responsible and friendly.
  • It’s not overcrowded.
    • This is a big deal for photography enthusiasts. You won’t have so many photobombers. (lol!) 😀

POINTS FOR IMPROVEMENT:

  • The displays were obviously dusty. 
  • The lightning in the museum  needs a little more improvement.
  • They don’t sell any souvenir. 😦
    • I am not sure about you but one of my passions is collecting magnets from the places I visit. So if in case you are like me, please prepare your heart to be a “little disappointed” that you cannot bring home any magnet to display on your fridge later. 🙂 Thank me because I warned you ahead of time. (lol!)

In a nutshell, I believe that this place is worth-visiting and if you happen to be in Bangladesh, don’t miss going to this bygone yet fascinating tourist spot!

Alright! I hope you can come and visit this place. If you are a friend of mine and you have plans to visit my family here, I will surely give you a chance to visit this place (Lord willing). 🙂

And here’s a verse I would like to share with you today:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

God bless you! 🙂

Leaning on Jesus,

 

 

Day 3: Bible Lands Exploration 2016 Part 1

Hi dear readers and friends! My sincere apologies again for keeping you waiting. Thank you so much though for bearing with my slow updates on our visit to the places mentioned in the Bible. 🙂

Here was our itinerary at a glance for Day 3 of our Bible Lands Exploration 2016.

Day 3- Bible Lands Exploration 2016.jpg

On Day 3, we had breakfast at Leonardo Hotel and we got ready to board our bus. The strong winds outside the hotel made it challenging and yet memorably fun to get on our bus. (lol!)

On that beautiful windy morning, we had our first stop at the aqueduct created by King Herod.

Herod the Great's Aqueduct.jpg

This aqueduct is said to have been built by King Herod in 1 BC to provide water supply to the city of Caesarea. I apologize for the date stamp on this photo. It should have been March 2 but I had no more time to edit this. 😉

The body of water you can see behind this aqueduct is called Mediterranean Sea or the Great Sea. Below are some of my photos with my fellow Bible Lands Explorers. 🙂

Mediterranean Sea (1).jpgHere’s a few more photos of that place.

Great Sea.jpg

Our next stop was at Caesarea Maritima National Park, another stellar handiwork of King Herod. This was where the Roman government seated in Judea.

caesarea-maritima-1

Nymphaeum.jpg

Behind me is the Roman Fountain or Nymphaeum which was also created by King Herod. After getting into this park, I tried to take my selfie and a kind brother in Christ, Bro. Kenneth Cheong, graciously offered to take my portrait with his more advanced camera.

Caesarea National Park Group Photo.jpg

It is believed that somewhere near this spot, the Apostle Paul powerfully preached the gospel to Festus, King Agrippa, Bernice, Felix and some prison custodians. (Acts 24-26).  On a side note, I so admire Paul’s passion in preaching  of the gospel so that, not only the Jews but also the Gentiles, like you and me would get to know the saving knowledge of the gospel through Jesus Christ alone.

Here are some more of the views we saw inside Caesarea Maritima National Park.

around-caesarea-maritima-4

Inside Caesarea Maritima.jpg

The park was a vast area. There was a section for entertainment where people watched gladiatorial games. There was also an an area for horse race. We also saw many pillars made of marbles that portrayed much Roman influence. My favorite part of this site was the first photo on this grid. The port behind me was used by the Apostle Paul to arrive at this area and be tried before the governor and other Gentiles. Feel free to zoom in this photo as some of the remains are labeled and I intentionally placed them side by side for your reference. 🙂

So those are some of the photos of our first stop on Day 3. Feel free to review my album of Day 1 and Day 2. On my next post, I am hoping to share some more pictures that are full of memories taken at the next place on our Day 3 itinerary.

How about you friends? What place have you visited lately? What lessons did you learn from the places you went to see? What is something you realized from that visit? Please don’t hesitate to share them with me in the comment box. Until next time! ❤

Leaning on Jesus,

4 Quick and Easy Ways to Ace the BCC Premium Demo Lesson

Hi fellow-RJ tutors! I am writing this in my attempt to find potential tutors to join the BCC (Business Conversation Curriculum) Premium Tutor Pool of RareJob. I also would like to help the aspiring Premium Tutors to set their apprehensions aside and pass the demo lesson successfully.

EXPECTATIONS FROM BCC PREMIUM TUTORS:

You must have seen the ad about the program of RareJob about Premium Lessons.

You must have internalized by now that, as a BCC Premium Tutor, you are expected to:

  1. Use the appropriate material and adhere to student’s request
  2. Use video camera in all premium lessons
  3. Ensure good sound quality all throughout the premium lesson
  4. Wear smart casual clothes in all premium lessons
  5. Conduct lessons in an appropriate teaching environment (i.e. no unnecessary sounds, items or people on the background)

That’s according to RareJob.

Now, you might be interested to join the said program but haply, dreading the demo lesson.

As I have mentioned, I am writing this to help you calm your ponies. I myself had millions of butterflies in my tummy (lol!) during the mock lesson and the coaching session but the key to acing both is preparation.

Here are the four (4) quick and easy ways to ace your upcoming BCC Premium demo class:

4 Quick and Easy Ways to Ace the Premium Demo Lesson.jpg

1. FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE LESSON FLOW. 
As you may have observed, Jissen materials are different from RJ4B materials so read the material sent by the business team thoroughly. Needless to say, make sure that you also follow the guidelines.

2. PREPARE THIS TEMPLATE ON YOUR NOTEPAD.

“OVERALL SCORE
*Vocabulary/Phrases*

*Grammar*

*Pronunciation*”

Make sure that you copy-paste all your corrections to your notepad every time you give your corrections. Doing this will ensure that you are ready to send an accomplished feedback note to the student towards the end of your lesson.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Send the accomplished notes before starting to tell your feedback about your student’s performance during the lesson.

FAQ:
How do we know the scoring system? They are written at the end of the material. Go, figure it out. 🙂

3. BE PROFESSIONAL.

While you can be very friendly in your regular lessons, you are expected to be professional when teaching business conversation students. Smiling with your eyes during your classes with business students should be enough according to our very helpful Tutor Nikki.B to make your students feel that you are listening to them. By the way, she has also answered a few FAQs of some aspiring premium tutors. Please pay her blog a visit here.

4. GIVE YOUR BEST AND TRUST IN THE LORD.

Be prepared before the lesson. Be attentive during the lesson. Be responsible after the lesson (i.e. accomplish your notes). Most of all, remember this verse:

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. Proverbs 16:3

That’s all! Ganbatte! 😀

After reading these tips, I hope you will sincerely consider joining the program. Please send me the following if you want me to refer you. Please trust that I will keep your information private. Of course, I need to send your info to the business team so they can contact you. 🙂

Thanks a lot! May God bless you! You can do it! (Philippians 4:13)

MORE PROMOTION…

If in case, you haven’t joined RareJob, please do so now.

PS. I posted a YouTube video teaching you a more updated steps to becoming a Premium Tutor since RareJob haa made a few changes in the application process of a Premium Tutorial Program in 2020.

Leaning on Jesus,

A Glorious Day!

Praising God for His blessing upon our recent women’s retreat at held at our home today. We feasted on the Word God, remembering and reading verses about the attributes of God (omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, immutability) and the reasons why we should read God’s word everyday. I felt so much encouraged by the privilege to share memories with the Bangladeshi women that came today.
I am also rejoicing with my husband who taught the men separately today with His word.
After my seemingly tiring yet happy day, I decided to open my email and found this:
Good Tutor Awards

I’m speechless. Then I wonder what it would be like when we receive awards someday in heaven and offer them at the feet of God’s throne. It will be a glorious day!

The thought made me more motivated to continue being faithful to Him. God is the One who sees our hearts and our service–be it huge or small. Indeed, someday will be will be a glorious day in Heaven! ❤

Good night dear readers! ❤ Stay blessed!

PS. If you are interested to join our company, please feel free to register using the link below:

 

 

Please feel free to read the reasons you should join RareJob as well. Ganbatte!

5 Reasons You Should Join RareJob

HOW I FOUND RAREJOB

Finding RareJob Company was a blessing in disguise.

I found RareJob’s advertisement when I was originally searching for a job for my sister online. It was just in time when I also started considering helping my husband in our financial needs in the ministry and helping my mother in the Philippines as well! That was in August 2013.

Reading through the qualifications on the advertisement, I thought to myself. “Maybe I should give it a try.” After much prayers, God helped me to pass the screening, demo lesson and the interview!

So I started working at home ever since then and I thought this job is, indeed, a rare find!

5-Reasons-You-Should-Join-RareJob

So why should you consider joining <a href=”http://Earn up to P35,000 a month. Be an online English tutor.“>RareJob Philippines? Here you go! You will:

1. HAVE FULL CONTROL OF YOUR TIME.

You can teach anytime during the day from 5AM to 12MN. You can choose to teach for 19 hours or just 30 minutes each day. You can also decide to teach every single day of the month, once a week, once every two weeks, once a month or not at all. 🙂 The bottom line is you are your own boss. 🙂

Have a look on how flexible your schedule can be.

RAREJOB SCHEDULE MANAGER

Here, you can see that I decided to teach for four hours on one day, one hour on another day and I did not teach on the 13th of July. It’s extremely flexible, isn’t it?

2. BE ABLE TO HELP YOUR FAMILY FINANCIALLY WITHOUT WORKING LIKE A HORSE.

The company offers substantial incentives for:

  • perfect attendance in a month (i.e. having less than 2.5% class cancellation rate due to blackout, connection problem and so on.)
  • video lessons for at least 100 classes each month (i.e. 50 hours/month)
  • excellent teaching which is based on the students’ evaluation. The awardees receive incentives in the quarter they qualified as “Good Tutors”.
  • converting applicants like your friends and others to become tutors.
  • being a recommended TOEFL coach/tutor.
  • passing general tutoring skills evaluations.
  • being a Premium Lesson Tutor.
  • teaching on peak hours or holidays.

Therefore, you can imagine that you can earn EXTRA without sacrificing your time for your family and your other priorities.

So if you’re a mother like me, you’ll get a happier baby! 🙂

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Sweet, isn’t she?

3. LEARN FROM YOUR POLITE AND PROFESSIONAL STUDENTS.

Most of the students are Japanese. There are also instances when Brazilians, Russians, Koreans, Chinese, Taiwanese, and other nationalities residing in Japan, take online lessons from RareJob.

Needless to say, students are from different walks of life. I have experienced teaching children to read simple children’s stories in English, having free conversation with stay-at-home moms like me, teaching grammar to elementary and high school students, helping university students pass TOEFL/IELTS exams or job interviews, teaching Business English to career people in and out of Japan. It is noteworthy that 99.9% of the students are very polite and receptive during their booked lessons.

4. HAVE A CHANCE TO LEARN JAPANESE CULTURE AND HAVE VIRTUAL TOURS AT THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME.

I have personally grown a lot in my knowledge of Japanese culture. Before teaching Japanese, I only knew very general information about Japan. Gradually, talking with my students helped me grow not only in my skills in teaching, but also in understanding festivals, food, and faith of Japanese people.

Some of my business students even take me to virtual tours to Japanese prefectures or cities abroad while taking online classes.

with-business-students

Look forward to having a virtual tour if you join RareJob! 🙂

5. HAVE ANOTHER SOURCE OF INCOME, IN CASE YOU HAVE A FULL-TIME JOB.

I have heard that there are RareJob tutors who are lawyers, doctors, teachers, office staff, university students and so on. If you happen to be doing the ministry or pursuing another career, you can still consider joining. Use your free time to earn extra for your emergency needs! 🙂

convinced-to-join-RareJob

Why don’t you give it a try? 🙂

This is it! The job you have been waiting for–it’s up to you if you wanna do it full-time or part-time! 🙂
APPLICATION PROCESS

So….after sharing with you the five (5) reasons why you should join RareJob, I am hoping and praying that you have decided to be in at this point.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how you can get started:

What are you waiting for?

Please… Please… feel free to ask me anytime you need help during the application process.

Go ahead and use the contact form below to let me know of your concerns and I’ll keep in touch with you. 🙂

I know that you can do it! God bless you on this journey!!! 🙂

Day 2: Bible Lands Exploration 2016

Hi again! I apologize for the long hiatus I took from blogging. I hope that you are still looking forward to hearing about our recent tour to the places mentioned in the Bible.

Are you ready for another virtual Bible Lands Exploration?

“Yalla!” (i.e. “Let’s go!” in Hebrew)

I’m done telling you about how Day 1 went so please allow me to narrate how we fared on Day 2. 🙂

Day 2 BLE Itinerary

Our Day 2 Itinerary at a glance. Can you see the map? 🙂

We had our breakfast at the Dead Sea Spa Hotel. I was amazed that some of the staff at the hotel’s restaurant were Filipinos!

Dead-Spa-Hotel.jpg

Just a view of how the lobby of Dead Sea Spa Hotel looks like.

After breakfast, we surrendered our keys and checked out all of our luggage. We then hit the road and crossed over Jordan River via King Hussein/Allenby Bridge to get to Israel. Oh no! We did not cross Jordan River on dry ground by the way! We did take our tour bus. 🙂

Below are some of my snapshots while crossing Jordan border to Israel.

Leaving Jordan (1).jpg

The following are: 1) Upper Left: Bedouin tents  2) Upper Right: River 3) Lower Left: flock of sheep and other livestock 4) Lower Right: young olive trees orchard

Before facing Israeli customs officers, we said goodbye to Mr. Basam, our Jordanian driver and Ms. Jihan, our tour guide. We were not allowed to take photos in the security check area. We queued up to have our passports stamped with VISA. The custom officers were very strict. I personally felt nervous because one lady questioned why my old passport is stapled to my new passport. I said that it works that way in other countries. I was relieved that she let me get in after her inquiry to the other lady custom officer. The custom officer in the next window was so lenient that she did not ask me any question after showing her my documents. Thank God!

For some people in our group though, the custom check took rather too long.

After the long wait, we praise God that everyone in our group was allowed to get in!

Coming out of the customs, Mr. Yoni Simmons welcomed us warmly and introduced us to “the best driver in the world”, Mr. Firaz.

These two people made sure we are safe and are enjoying our tour with them.

Here was our first stop.

Ruins of Jericho

This is known as Tell (i.e. man-made hill) es-Sultan located in Jericho, which is considered the oldest and the lowest city on earth. I got extremely fascinated to see this site because this is a testimony of God’s faithfulness to His promise to Joshua and his army. We saw some remains of food storage and evidences of conflagration on some parts of the walls which must have been caused by the fire from Joshua’s troop’s torches. This site is an evidence of Joshua and his army’s victory after following God’s instruction on how to defeat the Canaanites (Joshua 6).

Mount of Temptation (1).jpg

Next, we had our quick lunch just across this location at a restaurant called Mount of Temptation Restaurant.

After our meal, we boarded our bus and went straight to our next destination–Antipatris. According to our tour leader, this was the half point way between Paul’s journey from Jericho to Jerusalem (Acts 23:31). This was also the place where Paul was brought on the way to Caesarea to be tried before the Roman procurator. We also learned that this place is also known as Aphek in the OT. This is the “Philistine base against the Israelites at Ebenezer” (1 Samuel 4:1; 29:1).

While listening intently to Dr. Berrey

This is how we normally look like while absorbing all the information being shared by our leaders. 🙂

Antipatris.jpg

You know what? At this point of our travel, my camera’s battery died so I had no chance to take as many photos as I wanted. Thank God for Bro. Kenneth Cheong, who is willing to share some of his snaps to make this post possible. The following are some of his still shots with lower resolution in Antipatris.

Antipatris-KC.jpg

Antipatris-Side-Rampart
Another good photo was taken by another brother in Christ, who also diligently took videos of snippets of our daily tour. Here’s another side of the site.

Antipatris-Bro-Jerry-Teng.jpg

Before heading to our hotel, we were supposed to get off our bus to observe the sunset from Mount Carmel but we ran out of time. Consequently, our tour leader showed us the said mountain from the bus. This site was a mountain range unlike my   misnomer about it (i.e. a cone-shaped mountain). This lime-stoned mountain is known for its beauty and this is the place where Elijah challenged the worshipers of Baal to call upon him (1 Kings 18).

Caiobadner_-_mount_carmel

So yeah, that’s how we fared on Day 2! We are humbled to have stepped on the places tread by heroes of faith such as Joshua, Elijah and Apostle Paul. I can’t thank God enough for such privilege. Glory to His name!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the photos and I hope to see photos of your recent travel too. God bless you as you continue to seek God daily!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My First-Ever Mother’s Day Card

I am so enthralled today. It’s Sunday but students in Dhaka go to school on Sundays.

For this reason, Joanna, my daughter, went to her class.

What she brought home surprised me a lot.

I am not talking about all the perfect scores on her exams from last week. Although, I praise God for helping her pass her exams. 🙂

I am talking about something more special than that. It’s none other than her first-ever DIY mother’s day card for me. 

She said, “Mom, ami tumar jonno card ansi.” (i.e. Mom, I brought a card for you.)

She took out that special card from her bag and what I saw really touched my heart.

First-Ever Mother's Day Card from Joanna 001.jpg

“I love you, Mom.” she said sweetly.

I couldn’t but hug her tight!

I just realized that mothers around the world are more than blessed to have children who love them back unconditionally. I’m one of them so I praise the Lord for this gift of motherhood.

To all the mothers around the world, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!! 🙂 May you continue to enjoy this rewarding journey of being called a mother. You are a blessing to your family. Stay blessed. 🙂

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Leaning on Jesus,

 

Prayer for Philippine Election

I have a confession to make.

I am a registered voter in the  Philippines but since I am here in Bangladesh, I cannot cast my vote on May-9-election. I wanted to, but as I called an officer of Philippine Embassy over here today, she said that the registration for Filipino voters in Bangladesh was done in November. I failed to get informed.

My heart is broken.

What can I do to contribute to the progress of my beloved nation instead?

God led me to write a prayer–a prayer that I think everyone should also pray about.

Our votes count and so do our prayers! Let’s remember that

“When a man works, he works, but when a man prays, God works.”

Kindly pray this prayer:

Prayer for Election.jpg

May God bless our nation with peace and order through faith in Jesus, most of all. 

A Bundle of Joy

Children (1).jpg

To some extent, I do agree.

Last week, I was browsing my Facebook account and saw a very touching video about parents’ sacrifices for their children.

After watching the said video, I wept discreetly.

I suddenly missed my mom. As you all know, I am here in Bangladesh to support my husband in doing what God has called him to do. It is inevitable that I get homesick at times and it hits me out of the blue.

My daughter came to the room where I was, minutes later. She noticed that my eyes were wet with tears.

Joanna (my daughter): “Why are you crying Mom?” 
Me: I just miss your Lola (grandma). She’s so far. 
Joanna: (hugged and kissed me).

My daughter ran to the open window and started shouting.

“Lola, Mom kande for you.” (i.e. Grandma, Mom is crying for you.) She thought that her grandma can hear her.

She came back to me and sat on my lap. She said with all her innocence and sincerity.

“Mom, don’t be sad. I’m here. Don’t be problem.* Don’t be silly.”

I got so moved by my daughter’s effort to comfort me. I know that her grammar is not perfect since her first language is Bangla. What she said, though, made me realize is that she’s, indeed, a bundle of joy.

I guffawed at the end because it’s true that I shouldn’t “be silly” anyway. Someday, in God’s time, I will see my mother again. I just need to trust God as He shows my family the perfect timing to visit her again.

If you, like me, have a daughter who is there for you when you are despondent, rejoice! Remember that God has blessed you with a very loving child!

It’s undeniable that children are reminders of God’s love and comfort. They are indeed, a reward from God (Psalm 127:3).

What are the funny and yet moving conversations you had with your child? How many times has God comforted your soul through him or her?

I hope that you can appreciate God’s reward (i.e. your children) to you daily. You are blessed. 🙂

Leaning on Jesus,

P.S: I think she meant, “Don’t think about your problem.” (lol!) Isn’t my daughter funny? 🙂

 

 

Happy Easter!

What a glorious day it was when Jesus rose from the dead! Today, as we commemorate His resurrection, may God fill us with a renewed vision to win the lost and continue being His witnesses that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, the Anointed Heaven-Sent One to save the world from sin!

Happy Easter.jpg

The Empty Tomb at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem.

Have a blissful celebration of Jesus’ resurrection! Indeed our faith in Christ is not in vain because we serve a living God!

Review: Bible Lands Exploration 2016

Ben Gurion.jpg

This sounds like what one preacher said, “Any believer [of Jesus] is a spiritual Jew.” based on Romans 2:28-29. FYI: David Ben-Gurion was the very first prime minister of Israel.

It is all by God’s generous provision that I was able to join a group of believers from the USA, Singapore and the Philippines to explore the places mentioned in the Bible last February 29 to March 11, 2016.

I cannot but praise Him for this humbling experience to walk where Jesus walked, grew up, and had His ministry. Seeing the probable place where He was crucified, died and was buried reminded me of our Heavenly Father’s sacrificial love and mercy in order to give us our undeserved salvation.

where Jesus was.jpg

It’s a huge bonus to witness ruins of the many places mentioned in the Biblical narratives.

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Jerusalem at a glance

I have this ineffable joy to see places I only read about in God’s Holy Word.

Definitely, one of the questions I am often asked after my return from the trip is, “How was your trip?!?”

Let me break my answers down. 🙂

Airline: Any international tour is impossible without a plane or a ship cruise. I took Emirates from Bangladesh to Dubai and my flight was apparently on time and smooth. The flight attendants were very much approachable. The crew from the same airline for the next leg of our trip (Dubai to Jordan) was also warm-hearted.

Regarding the food I had from Bangladesh to Dubai, I have to say that it was enormous in amount but the taste of prawn biryani is not as good as the one served on Biman Bangladesh. I have to be bias because I live in Bangladesh and I’m proud of the tasty food they serve on their national aircraft. 🙂 Please forgive me for that.

I thank God for the safe flight He gave me back to Bangladesh, likewise.

I would like to recommend Emirates for their passenger-friendly facilities and staff on the plane.

Emirates

Agency: As far as I can understand, Highlight Tours organized all our itineraries in coordination with our team leader Dr. Berrey, one faithful couple from Gospel Light Baptist Church and another godly brother from Singapore. I would say that the agency is very responsive in dealing with the participants. They sent us necessary documents in time and they even gave us freebies (e.g. name tags, ribbons, a booklet of our itineraries, and a small pouch for our passports and VISAs.) That was totally unexpected!

The other two agencies we had were Vision Tours and Sar-El Tours. Vision Tours handed out some maps for us and provided our group with a very professional driver named Basam and a kind and graceful tour guide named Jihan.

Vision Tours

Shots of Ms. Jihan, our beautiful Jordanian tour guide and Mr. Basam, our driver during our tour in Jordan.

It made me so happy that Sar-El Tours gave us some freebies as well (e.g. a cap and a small backpack.) They also made sure that we had a very protective tour guide, Bro. Yoni, who sincerely took care of us as we traveled and he never felt tired to remind us with his resonant voice of how grateful he is that we visited Israel. The said agency also provided “Firaz, the best driver in the middle east.” according to Bro. Yoni. We, as a group, eventually agreed with him!

with Firaz and Yoni

Sar-El Tours representatives: Bro. Firaz, “the best driver in the middle east” and our ever-grateful and protective tour guide, Bro. Yoni. Photo Credit: Mrs. (Kam Moon) Tang

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Bro. Yoni, while giving some background about Caesarea Maritima

If you know any group who would like to go and see the terrains of Israel and Jordan, I highly recommend the quality service of the aforementioned tour agencies.

Hotels: There were a total of seven hotels we stayed in: Dead Sea Spa Hotel, Leonardo Hotel in Haifa, Leonardo Club Hotel in Tiberias, David Hotel (Kibbutz Ein Gedi) beside the Dead Sea in Israel side, Leonardo Hotel in Jerusalem, Radisson Blu in Aqaba and Olive Tree Hotel (Geneva) in Amman.

Leonardo Hotel

This is the most memorable among all the hotels we stayed in because this is where I left my charger. (lol!)

All the hotels provided wonderful service, served good food and had helpful crews. I noticed that all these hotels welcomed us with drinks and cookies or dried fruits.

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just a sample of the food you can get from the hotel’s buffet

Regarding rooms, I would say that my favorite was that of Olive Tree Hotel since they provided a spacious room.

Olive Tree Hotel

Here’s a sneak peek of a standard room with twin beds. (Photo Credit: http://www.yamsafer.com

 

Team Leader: Our main team leader is Dr. Timothy Berrey. His wife, a wonderful example of godly womanhood, was the one who announced the coming trip to Israel and Jordan on her blog. I thank both of them for sharing with me a special way to join the tour.

Everyone in the group respects Dr. Berrey for his discipline and timeliness all throughout our journey. He also displayed a generous example of servant-leadership.

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A humble servant-leader worth-following. Photo Credit: Bro. Jerry Teng

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The trip made me realize personally that our leader’s stupendous skill in time management made us get to the places we planned to visit and eventually, have some time to visit extra ones.

Needless to say, it is remarkable that Dr. Timothy always tried to point us to Scripture references associated with the places we visited.

Places: I will try to publish a separate post on the places we have seen as time permits. Please hang in there. 🙂 If you are interested to know our specific whereabouts, you may check this out. This update was diligently and thoroughly recorded by one brother who is currently studying theology in preparation for the ministry God is calling him to do.

Impression: This review will not be complete without letting my family and friends know the five significant lessons I learned from this trip. I cannot stand without sharing with you what musings I had from this memorable tour.

1. I have to be intentional whenever and wherever I visit. Before this trip, my prayer was that God would reveal His purpose for allowing me to join this indelible journey. Sure enough, God answered my prayers. It was in God’s plan that He allowed me to read a few books of the major and minor prophets before and during the trip.

Contemplating upon my reading and the trip, He revealed to me how much I need to sincerely pray for the people of Israel–to pray for the Messianic Jews to be bold as they continue to preach the gospel to those who have rejected Jesus to be the Messiah.

May God remind me of this precious lesson (i.e. to be intentional in traveling) the next time I visit any place.

2. My ability to travel is a mere testimony of God’s gracious provision. As I mentioned to the members of the this tour group on our last meeting in Jordan, I praise the Lord for giving me a gracious husband who did not withhold this rare opportunity for me to explore Bible Lands. My in-laws, together with him, encouraged me to grab this chance. Since they cannot obtain a VISA to Israel, I brought home a bunch of photos from this tour. I have to give God the glory for this blessing!

3.  Traveling is an opportunity to serve and love others. I am very much delighted to have traveled with a group that loves Him and His word. I appreciate each of the group members who sought opportunities to extend help to all other members of the group in cash or in kind. We will treasure the lesson our tour leaders taught us that we should be responsible one for another.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy Fellow Bible Land Explorers (posing on Mt. Nebo, the mountain from which Moses viewed the promised land.)

4. God is the Sole source of our protection. No matter how careful we are, our safety all depends on God’s protection. As His child, I witnessed how He answered our prayers for His divine protection. Praise His name because no one from our group got into any serious accident despite the rumor that other groups lose about 10% of their members! 🙂

5. Traveling is an opportunity to praise and adore Him for His creation. It was in the High Place of Sacrifice in Petra where the Holy Spirit convicted me of how small my faith is.

There have been things in my life which I fear to entrust to God but after seeing all the humongous rocks in Petra which are dependent on our Omnipotent God, I am challenged to put my trust in Him continuously wherever life may take me.

It is noteworthy that a few from the group who reached the peak of the High Place of Sacrifice with me took the time to read from Psalm 19 and sang a few hymns about God’s greatness. It was a divine fellowship–a memorable one!

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All praise to Him who reigns above in majesty supreme! Photo Credit: Bro. Jerry Teng

Indeed, seeing the beauty of Israel and Jordan is something I will cherish in my heart and mind.

Reading God’s Word will never be the same since I now have a mental picture of the places mentioned in the book I dearly love.

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on top of the High Place of Sacrifice (Petra, Amman, Jordan)

My dear friend, if you will be offered to go and visit Israel and Jordan, please do so! I assure you that you will feel more connected to God and His Holy Word.

What are the lessons you have learned from your recent travel? Please feel free to share them with me and other visitors of this blog. I am sure that your travel experience was likewise spiritually, mentally and physically refreshing as ours. To God be all the glory!

Leaning on Jesus,

 

 

Bangladesh National Zoo (Photos)

I’m enthralled. Joanna, my daughter, just started going to school. Just imagine how teary-eyed I was when I first dropped her off at school. Can anyone relate to this?

Recently, she experienced her first-ever visit to the zoo with her teachers and class friends. This is her fourth time to visit a zoo but this one is special because she went with her new friends.

I’m sharing some snap shots of her memorable event. Please enjoy. 🙂

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Smile! 🙂

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The Zoo’s Map

 

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Everyone started walking to the animal’s cages.

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Monkeys everywhere!

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People enjoy watching the monkeys play inside their cage.

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Can you find some more monkeys?

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There were a few flower gardens!

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Crocodiles are called “Kumir” in Bengali.

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Take a look at them!

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Peafowls. I’m very sorry to have missed seeing these peacocks opening their feathers. Our camera’s battery died even before Joanna’s excursion finished. I should have brought a charger but I would not have found any place to charge our camera.

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Joanna enjoyed running around the zoo with her school friends. She was also happy to see this colorful bevy (i.e. a family of peafowls).

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My first time to see a rhino and a sheep. 🙂

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This one is chained and amazingly, elephants in this zoo don’t smell since they are given a bath from time to time in a day.

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Oryx–one type of a deer. I haven’t seen this in the Philippines before. Thank God for this privilege!

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Another type of deer. Can you realize how creative our Creator is. He makes every animal unique!

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Signboards are all around. Go figure. 🙂

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These donkeys reminded me of Jesus’ triumphal entry.

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Giraffes. Trivia: Giraffes spend their life standing up. In fact, they doze and give birth standing up.

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Peafowl.

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I am just amazed at how clean Bangladeshi zoo is! The animals we saw were well-fed.

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Joanna is concentrating on how hippos eat and is carefully listening to what one of her teachers is telling her. 🙂

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More hippos at a different angle.

I’m grateful to God for giving my daughter this privilege to see His wonderful creation. As I have mentioned, my camera ran out out of battery so I missed taking photos of other animals such as lions, tigers, different types of birds and so on.

I’m also glad that God enabled me to meet other mothers from Joanna’s school too! It is my prayer that God will use me to share with them the gospel in God’s time. For now, I can only pray for their salvation.

Anyway, just a few comments about Bangladesh National Zoo.

Pros: 

  • The entrance fee is very cheap. It’s only 30 taka or about $0.375
  • There’s a variety of animals available for viewing.
  • The place is very clean.
  • Signboards are quite informative.
  • If you are going to have a picnic there, there are water tanks available for washing your hands, plates and glasses.
  • There are wide and breezy spaces where you can lay your picnic mats down.
  • Food is available for purchase inside the zoo.
  • Visitors are allowed to bring their own food.

Cons: 

  • Vendors keep handing balloons and other toys for sale to the kids. Kids end up persuading their parents to buy what are not so necessary.
  • Foreigners might find it hard to understand what are written on the name boards of animals if they are not familiar with Bangla.

OVERALL: The place is a wonderful place for picnic and enjoyment. It’s also an excellent place to see God’s handwork. Isn’t it amazing how animals declare the glory of God?

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!Praise the Lord!

 

 

 

 

 

The KEY SECRET to Awesome Spaghetti

My husband loves eating but he didn’t really care for spaghetti at all. That was true until I did something different!

Having grown up in the Philippines, I cannot give up my delight to eat spaghetti just like that. The painful thing is I cannot find here in Bangladesh the exact Filipino style spaghetti sauce I grew up eating.

Thankfully, some of my friends from the Philippines thoughtfully send me Del Monte Spaghetti Sauce from time to time. My husband also lets me buy a lot of that whenever we go to my home country. May God continue to bless them for their generosity! 🙂

Today, I am sharing with you the secret to making your husband LOVE spaghetti even more.

Here you go:

Ingredients:
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 tbsp onion paste
3 tbsp ground beef
2 tsp green chilies (optional but strongly recommendable for spicy food lovers) 🙂
1 tsp. black pepper powder
1 tsp coriander leaves/parsley (optional)
6-7 tbsp Del Monte Spaghetti Sauce
Parmesan cheese or any grated cheese available
1/4 kg pasta

Instructions (for the pasta):
KEY SECRET: Boil your pasta SEPARATELY until it’s al dente (i.e. slightly undercooked) then set it aside.

Instructions (for the sauce):
1. Heat the wok. Add the olive oil.
2. Sauté garlic paste until golden brown. Add in the onion paste, green chilies and ground beef. Season with salt and black pepper.
3. Add in Del Monte Spaghetti Sauce and thin it out a little bit with water. Add in your pasta. Adding your al dente pasta into your sauce while it is being cooked in the wok enables the pasta to absorb all the bursting flavors of your mouth-watering sauce. Cook the pasta in the sauce until it’s succulent enough to eat.
4. Serve while it’s warm.
5. Remember to drizzle your delectable spaghetti with grated cheese!

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The last thing you have to do is brace yourself as you hear your husband’s compliment about your Spaghetti. Enjoy! 🙂

“She (a woman who fears the Lord) rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.” Proverbs 31:15 [emphasis mine]

I hope you are continually enjoying your duty as a mom and wife! Be blessed! 🙂

Leaning on Jesus,

 

 

Book Review: “Fan the Flame” by Joseph Stowell

Click the image for more info.

How are you doing as you walk the journey God has called you to pursue? Have you been weary? cold? just going through the ebbs and flows of life?

I found a very special book which is about as old as me. It was published in the year I was born.

I found this book quite engaging and indeed, soul-inspiring!
I got a copy of this book all because I tried to dig up some books to read from my father-in-law’s library.

One of the most interesting books I discovered was this one by Pastor Joseph Stowell called “Fan the Flame.”

I decided to write a review because it’s too stellar not to be shared about. I believe that this book will definitely ignite the fire in your heart toward God, which might have become cold because of too much familiarity with the Christian routine you have been doing.

I hope the following details will persuade you to get your personal copy or borrow the one I read.

1. Price on Amazon: It’s only $0.01. Isn’t that a great deal? It’s almost free! Click here to get your own.
2. Length: It’s only 138-page long. It should be a great read during your breaks in a day. 🙂 I read it during the holiday break. The point is whether you are busy or not-so-busy, you can afford to read a chapter or two in your spare time. It’s definite that you will find the words in this book truly encouraging!
3. Quality: It’s full of stupendous illustrations from the life of Pastor Joseph Stowell. It’s filled with encouragement from the Scriptures on how to keep your love for Christ alive. I assure you that you will have so much indelible takeaways from this book!
Here’s a sample for you:

What’s the latest book you have been reading aside from the Bible to help you to continue your spiritual journey? Let me know what that is in the comment box and I will try my best to get my own copy or borrow from one of my friends’ library when I can.

May God inspire you to remember your first love for Christ as you read this book. Keep moving as the Holy Spirit leads you. Have a wonderful journey! God loves you unconditionally.

Leaning on Jesus,

5 Life Lessons from Pain

The fact that I am able to write at the moment is a tremendous blessing! I had thought that I would never be able to pen my musings again.

In fact, holding a pen has never been this uncomfortable but I see this as a great privilege to trust God’s sufficient grace as I continue to be His mouthpiece in the form of writing.

As a writer, I couldn’t but reflect upon what I am going through (i.e. healing my injured thumb.) Different thoughts, both positive and negative, run through my mind at times.

I am definitely sure though that it is God’s will for me to saturate my mind with thoughts that are virtuous and praise-worthy (Phil. 4:8) and to remember that this trial of mine is meant to bring forth patience (James 1: 1-4).

Now, what are the other lessons that God is teaching me from this point of my journey?

5 life lessons from pain

 

  1. God has a purpose for this. (Romans 8:28)
    What is God’s purpose for allowing me to go through this pain? To be very honest, that’s beyond my understanding and I have to take this as from Him. I have to trust that He wants His glory out of this experience of mine.
  2. He uses pain to make me appreciate health.
  3. He is the source of health and recovery!

    “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” Psalm 103:1-3

    If you are like me, going through a healing process, please remember that your other body parts are working normally. Praise God for that! 🙂 Also, remember that our full recuperation may take time but one thing is definite–it will happen in God’s time.

  4. He wants me to move on from this point of my journey continually relying on His might and keep on encouraging others to do the same. Just like a portion in a traditional marriage vow, I must continue to put my faith on my loving God “In sickness and in health.” 
  5. He uses this opportunity to open my eyes and let me see how many people from around the world sincerely care about and pray for me.

For that reason, let me take this opportunity to let you, my dear friends, know that your prayers are greatly appreciated. I have been able to work around my home and write again. My desire is that God will continue to bless you for your prayers for me. Thank you so much. In Bangla, we say, onek dhonno bad. 🙂Thank You!

What are the things that you have been going through at the moment? What are the life lessons you are learning from your spiritual quest? I hope and pray that the five life lessons I am learning from my journey at the moment will be a blessing to you as well.

Leaning on Jesus,