This is an example of an article that I wrote for OMF. It is based on an interview with a worker from Vietnam.
There are several international influences on the food culture here, Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, Indian, Arab, Western and European varieties. Singapore has its national dishes too.
I have been taken by my brother-in-law to be, to a couple of Hawker Centres over the last weeks. They are covered outdoor food stall centres, selling a wide variety of dishes. Full of interesting smells, steam and smoke drift from the various stalls as people busy themselves queuing and ordering their dishes. Many people come to sit out until late at night in the centres with friends – often the Hawkers are located in the centre of the various housing districts across the city.
Usually they stock a variety of national cuisines – each stall specializing in its own type of dish – offering varieties on that theme. There are desert and juice bars and drinks stalls for tea and coffee too. They are vibrant places to be and they are the cheapest way to eat, compared to food halls – slightly more up market, indoors and air-conditioned – and restaurants.
A Special Stall
The Hawker centre in China Town felt like a labyrinth walking through all the halls and passageways to get to Jacky’s favorite stall, “clay pot cooking”. There were literally hundreds of stalls.
Tucked away deep at the back of the centre, we sat on a ledge, one story high from the side street-shopping parade. There were other groups of mainly Chinese people enjoying there dinner. Residential and commercial premises rose adjacent. I could see the UV lights from the tanks of an old pet store across the way. It was about 9:30pm. We took a special clay pot mixed rice with chicken and a Chinese cucumber soup.
This was downtown with an authentic atmosphere. The huge hawker is dated, dimly lit, stained from the cooking fumes, the paint faded and the seats well used but the food tastes great and wholesome. Singaporean’s pride themselves on their knowledge of the best stalls.
The challenge was to align today’s OMF International Centre’s team with that of 1903’s in one photo. We directed 2015’s team into a suitable position considering how the old photo had been lined up and took some shots.
In post production, I had to consider the sizing of the photo’s to ensure they looked the same. Then using one photo as a background and creating a vector mask, I was able to brush away the layers to create a merging point for the pictures. Voila! This is a lower res version. A higher res will be used for a front cover to a published missionary journal.
Having been in Singapore with OMF International at the International Centre as part of my Media Internship for one week there have been many moments to reflect…
Being here is an eventuality that the Lord has brought. There is a significance to this place and generally it feels as though He is readying me for the future. This is a graceful move and one that offers me deep, clear reflection on life and its changing circumstance – my transformation in Christ.
The pre-destiny is plain to see and feel. I’m here and I’m in the home of missionaries and from another perspective in the home of my Singaporean family. Christ has bought me here I’m sure He has and it is through His mercy that I am driven, through His grace I am inspired.
One of the first things I could describe here was the distinctive sound of Canowes in the early morning with their distinctive call – they sound a lot like their name – that sound amongst many other bird varieties. The International Centre is set next to the City’s Botanical Gardens amidst lush plant life. Various trees, shrubs and plants have sprung up lining the streets and vicinities. They flourish amidst the tropical climate.
The climate too, is reason to comment, warm, humid, at times it is intensely hot when the sun manages to shine through but there is often a thick layer of cloud cover. We have been having storms nearly every afternoon, thunder clapping, sheets and lightning bolts but today was the most immense rain fall I have ever seen. It was so loud bouncing up off the floor it sounded like a stadium crowd and looked like never ending wall of water. It soon passes and then the heat comes back gradually.
There are many missionaries passing through, which makes the IC a vibrant place to be. They are not all passing by with OMF, some come from other agencies and use the accommodation at a small cost. It is insightful to speak to people and here about their lives, what they do and sometimes hear their testimonies, their calls to mission. Many of the staff here both at Singapore National Office and the IC have also been missionaries.
I think that in many ways we are all called to mission in some sense particularly as Christians but some of us may not realise. Vinoth Ramachandra said whilst speaking at OMF’s national in March, that sometimes the hardest thing about mission was staying put where we are and persevering in our current circumstances. That got me thinking. Yet here, the missionaries I meet have given up lives overseas, often years at a time, sometimes lifetimes to serve the Church in far parts of Asia, sometimes in hostile or underdeveloped countries. It is hard not to admire them.
In the developed world where the supermarkets are full of different foods, snacks and treats and the high streets are riddled with food chains, restaurants and fast food it is not difficult to see why most people deal with weight gain at some point or another.
Physical and Material
Often the advice people get on these issues are from a physical point of view over spiritual. Issues are addressed relating to physical health, image consciousness or further even materialism. There is no doubt there are benefits to a physical regime but is that all that is required?
1 Timothy 4:8 tells us, ‘For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.’
It would seem, as Timothy tells you can have all the physical training in the world but still lack vitality. Putting all one’s trust in the body rather than the soul is not the best way forwards. True fulfilment comes through godliness as it is of eternal value and not just passing, temporary like the body.
Physical training is still of “some value” – the body is better not to be mistreated for it is the vessel in which we live out our lives on Earth. Physical training alone will not deliver true fulfilment because our motivations should be more than physicality alone, it should be encapsulated in the strive for Godliness in simple terms, our devotion to Jesus and asking to be transformed in his likeness.
In Phillipians 3:19, Paul the Apostle warns against those who do not claim their citizenship in heaven, ‘Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.’
Often it is a trap that people can fall into to worship their own appetite. To be fixated on feeding their stomachs to satisfy and inevitably ending up unsatisfied and so craving more. Food is not the only example Paul infers, one’s appetite for earthly gain over God will simply lead to destruction.
Fasting is more than simply just dieting, like any other physical training it is done correctly when dedicated to the pursuit of godliness. The bible has many examples of fasting as a means of discipline and dedication to God. It is often accompanied by praying. Jesus’s fasting in the wilderness perhaps is the best example, where he resisted many temptations from Satan and took much time to pray and be close to the Father.
Jesus told us he was, ‘the bread of life’ the term has wider connotations than simply food but in using food as an example we can learn how to apply the principle. Jesus is Lord of all things, he is the food of eternal life and anything else should not replace him in our discipline and virtues. Is it another chocolate bar you need? is it a fat free body? or the bread of life?
Food should still be enjoyed, it is something to be grateful for and often received with thanks giving.
Paul wrote in Corinthians 15 32-34, ‘Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.’
There is a similar message in Ecclesiastes. Christians have long celebrated special occasions with feasts, at Easter and Christmas or the Feast of Agape by early Christians – Agape meaning love, which was a feast that followed fasting on the Sabbath.
Perhaps it would help for you to remember God in your eating and healthy living lifestyle? Maybe you have made much progress but still do not feel truly quenched or perhaps you are finding it difficult to begin? In dedicating ourselves to God, including times of fasting, eating and exercise we can share in a deeper joy and understanding with Him.
Taken from OMF site, ‘Refined for the Future’ explains the intentions behind the new design.
Our strapline shares our passion for the peoples of East Asia and our hope in the gospel.
The new logo in colour, shape and typography draws from our rich history, expresses core values and shares our hopes for the ways God might use us in the future.
The circle of brush strokes, drawn from the previous OMF logos, reflect:
- The global nature of our ministry to East Asians
- Movement and development
- Partnership and fellowship
- Our openness to change
- Our diversity in unity
Our colours share something of past, present and future.
- The Red shows our long connection with China and East Asia
- Gold symbolises God’s faithfulness to the China Inland Mission/OMF over 150 year and our desire to glorify God
- The Turquoise is a new colour addition and represents our willingness to take prayerful risks as we face the challenges and opportunities ahead
The typeface reflects our solid legacy, but through the cuts and curves in the lettering hinting at our willingness to adapt and be sensitivity to the cultures around us.
I recently have operated PA systems, social media accounts, photo, audio and video recording at OMF International’s UK conference. It was the 150th year of OMF and so it was a marked occasion. Audio taken from the sermons, talks and seminars can be found here. http://omf.org/uk/series/uk-national-conference-2015/
I designed and printed my own wedding invites. We did most of ours electronically but there were a few people who were not online. The design uses some free gifs from google and a family logo motif. The leading has been changed in the typeface to make it more legible and a new font was downloaded, “Chopinscript” for the headline.
There is often much scepticism by agnostics and atheists alike in terms of the authenticity of the New Testament. Largely because complete versions are not existent from before the 4th Century. There are fragments that exist from the 2nd century just decades after the originals were written.
One of the main reasons for this is that the Bible itself was not officially decided until the 4th century. Until then the early Church and its churches based their teachings on the teachings of the Apostles and their disciples. The letters of the Apostles, the witness accounts and the records of them were in circulation but they had not yet decided on a universal document. It became important to record these documents.
What is undeniable is that the Early Church stood for the central message to Christianity -Jesus Christ’s message to the world in his death and resurrection. Established by the Apostles who new Christ themselves – there are many which stand still today.
These institutions existed before the completed Gospel. They developed and discipled the Early Church fathers, many who directly succeeded the Apostles themselves. Characters such Polycarp, Ignatius and Clement of Rome or Iranaeus to name a few, many of whom real copies of their writings exist today.
In fact we should praise God for the overwhelming and awesome existence of such an evident and authentic Gospel. A historic New Testament is comparably strong to any other documents of the time. The fact of the evidence for the lives of God’s apostles, the churches they established, their recorded ordinances and martyrdoms stand to show why Christianity has stood and what for.
Questions over the ages of complete documents isn’t going to defeat the truth of the message that the Church has, in all essence stood for since the time of Christ. Indeed the culture of Judaism from before then also stands to reason.