I finished up with Steer on 30 April. While I am glad to move on to something which is hopefully more engaging and fills up my time more as well as pays better, I left with regrets that I have not enjoyed or cherished my time at Steer as much as I hoped. While it wasn’t financially rewarding, theoretically I was doing work more for the Lord than for anyone else.

I guess that was where the challenge resided. I had to look beyond all of the circumstances presented by men, the office and the day-to-day happenings, to a state of mind where I could readily accept that notwithstanding everything my physical, emotional, intellectual and mental states presented, it was a ministry I was in. Or meant to be in. I just wasn’t ready for that. I had to get out before the visible, tangible setbacks I felt became long standing stumbling blocks of my relationship with God and the work that requires or calls for.

After finishing up on 30/4, I left for Malaysia on 1/5. Tress dropped me off at the Tullamarine airport early on 1/5 and I arrived at the low cost terminal at KL airport late on that same afternoon. I boarded a taxi and on the way to Klang, I texted and called a few people, including my in laws and my brother.

I arrived at my in-laws’ home, where I was to stay for the week I was to be there, around 5.30. I had dinner with Tress’ parents that night before getting ready for the next few days.

From Wednesday 2/5 on till Friday that same week, I traversed PJ, KL and Putrajaya. I hopped from the EPF office in PJ to the head office of the Public Bank as well as to the Registration and Justice departments of the administrative capital in Putrajaya.

I was focused and busy with my EPF matters and it all got done by Friday afternoon. The last of the administrative details were tidied up on Monday 7/5 and I left on the night of Tuesday 8/5 and headed home to Melbourne.

Other than the business stuff, I managed to catch up with a bunch of people. I met my grandmother several times, met my Dee Koh and Uncle Shu, Uncle Ah Keat, 4 Ee Tiu, Tua Ee, Sar Ee, Siow Peng as well as my brother and his wife Jean. I attended the Klang Chinese Methodist Church on that Sunday I was there and caught up with a bunch of members, I later had coffee with CP Tan and Eric Tong, and was told of their new found work amongst the aboriginal people in the Malaysian peninsular.

I have also learned of different things happening to a number of relatives, not all of them good. Life is often not anywhere near a box of chocolates. The most awful things happen to the best souls at the worst possible times. How that cause people to either be bitter and cynical or respond in humble submission and acknowledgment of a supreme being, is often a mystery until one finds the time to sit down and listen and empathise.

I have also become very aware of how grateful I really am, with the time I have with people like my grandma and Tress’ parents. I spent a fair bit of time with each of them this time, and just cherished the moments.

I got home on the morning of Wednesday 9 May, got home and after about a day and a half of resting and getting back to home routine, we took off again this time to Sydney via Canberra. We left early on Friday morning and dropped the little black jedi off at Heather’s and left just before 8am. After negotiating atrocious traffic through the middle ring road we got out of Melbourne and only stopped for lunch hear Yass close to 2pm. We got to Canberra just after 3, picked kiddo up and left Canberra again an hour later.

We got into Sydney around 7.30pm and after a hearty dinner, we went back to the hotel and I was extremely grateful for a comfortable bed. We got to the wedding at the Crossway Anglican church close to our hotel in Parramatta and enjoyed the company of yet more family. We got back to the hotel and although we have intended to go out for a little bit, I crashed out and snoozed for the whole arvo, getting up only just before 5. We left the hotel around 5.30 and go to the dinner venue in the city just before 7, after getting lost while trying to find the blooming Marriot near the harbour.

The dinner was again a wonderful time of catching up with family. We took loads of photos and I was seated next to my uncle Thomas, who told me wonderful stories about his work with Muslims in Auburn as well as their recent holiday in Turkey. We talked with many relatives and only got home close to 12am.

The next morning we left the hotel before 9am, drove to Goulburn for a short break of pies and coffees with kiddo before pushing to Canberra and saying goodbye to her again. She’d be home in the second week of June so it wasn’t too bad and the drive home to Melbourne was extremely trying. I stayed awake by loads of fluids and thankfully we got home just after 8pm.

I started my new role yesterday and thankfully it was a full day’s induction so there was no real work. Another chapter…