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Because Faith has saved me so many times, and I am very tired right now.

Romans Chapter 12:

1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
3. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
6. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them...
8. He who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
9. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
10. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
11. Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
12. Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
13. Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
16. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peacably with all men.
19. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengence is mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
21. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
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Working Saturday.

This was taken earlier today in my apartment in Hanoi. :)




Life here has been busy, fattening, hot (literally, sweltering hot) and good so far. :)
For some reason, I'm less lonely right now than I was while I was in Lao. I think I will be able to handle this trip better. I hope to meet another good friend like Galit.

I have a paper to finish. Be back later (or tomorrow).

<3

(Go Do!!!!)

--

Edit:

Here's a picture of my Baby Bear that my mom took in Manila last weekend. Isn't he such an adorable little baby?

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Life Lesson:

  1. People can't be helped if they don't want to be helped.

  2. Give yourself time to be sad.

  3. Sadness is contagious.

  4. There is always a solution.

  5. Know what you want and make it happen.

  6. Things can seem like crap sometimes. But unless you live in Congo, Sudan, Kashmir or Afghanistan then there are people SO much worse off.

Life Skill:

  1. Knowing how to cope and deal.

  2. Knowing how to get up after allowing yourself the luxury of wallowing for a while.

  3. The ability to identify people who are good for you.

  4. The ability to find the solution to your problem. If it isn't pre-existing then make that solution. Build it from scratch, mould it with your fingers. Love it because it's yours.

  5. Knowing how to extract and retain lessons from every experience, good or bad.

  6. Knowing how to count your blessings. Be grateful. And get off your ass.

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I have this warm glow in my chest.
I realized that some aspects of my life were signs of how close I am to giving up on something. But life surprises us sometimes.

--

A large part of my morning was spent with Jac, Reza, and Javi at  an institution for underprivileged children run by nuns. It was more of an exploratory visit towards setting up the community service aspect of our book club. :)  Based on our experience today, I think we will probably have to change our outreach plans a little... Most of the kids at the orphanage are special children; either born differently-abled or haven't reached their full potential because of neglect. Most of them can't form words and there aren't enough nuns or visitors for them to really get the attention I think they need. The kids need mental stimulation, but a reading program might not be the most appropriate way to help them at this point. I think jac is right - picture books should be fine, and I think coloring books and perhaps other like activity books may be something they'd be interested in and learn from.

We arrived too late for their play time and just caught the tail-end of lunch time. We'll go back earlier next time. I might go back next week. I want to see the kids again, and also prove to the nuns that we were serious in our desire to help. 

The book I'm currently reading is 'The Furies' by Janet Hobhouse. It's told in the first person, from the point of view of a woman who grew up surrounded by the strange, dysfunctional women of her family and who developed strange, dysfunctional relationships with all of them. This girl was poor growing up. Not dirt poor, not like the children we spent time with today, but poor enough to suffer.

Here's an excerpt where she describes an afternoon in which a well-off classmate visited her at home:

'I'm just going to get something from my room,' I said, opening the closet, squeezing narrowly past the door, and pulling it tightly behind me. I simply willed her to believe that the door behind which I was standing and holding very still was the door of a corridor, off which were who knows how many rooms, perhaps not only a child's room, but a mother's room, perhaps a guest room and a maid's room, and in these rooms which I wished her to imagine there were all the things she took for granted: a television, phonograph, books, pictures, rugs, mirrors, possessions strewn and possessions straightened, a whole second apartment here behind my mother's raincoat and shoeboxes and slender, dangling wardrobe."

I looked around my room after reading that paragraph, and I saw everything she described, everything I myself often take for granted. And I thought I would be blessed if I only remember not to take anything I have for granted. Everything is a blessing, everything is a gift.

I am grateful, but sometimes I forget. Today was a good reminder. We all need little reminders once in a while.

--

I should be working on my final thesis presentation but I'm SLEEPY. :/

--

I had a nice surprise today. :)

Oh, and Ms. Tin (my trainer) and I were able to convince my parents to sign up at the gym. I hope they establish a regular exercise routine. :)

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