Weekend with the Chans

If there's one place I'd like to go to to find peace, it would be Nilai town.

There the breeze blows constantly. The roads are empty. I couldn't feel mosquitoes buzzing through my leg-hair. And the food is good.

Over the weekend, I spent the night at the Chan's. The Chan's have been living in Nilai for the past 5 years. Their home defines what my concept of paradise. Their double-storey bungalow is nested in the midst of an open grassfield - lalangs, to be more precise (lalang= tall grass). Their nearest neigbour lives about a kilometre away. The interior of the house is a blend of Country and Modern Contemporary. It's something you see on TV.

Both husband and wife work in Kuala Lumpur while their three children study at a local college back back home. Nilai is an hour's drive from almost anywhere - if you get the directions right.

On Saturday evening we celebrated their daughter's 21st birthday. It was supposed to be a surprise. The charming about-to-be-adult hadn't a clue that guests were packed in the hall ready to usher her stunned expression. Unfortunately, I was told, someone had popped the surprise secret--dismantling all form of supense. Double unfortunately, we arrived an hour later, in time to miss the surprise. I got the directions wrong.

What I admired about the birthday girl was, her big heart for people. She had wanted to achieve something before turning 21 and decided to take her singing talent a step further. That night we watched her music video "Let's Talk About Love". The video which was shot and produced in Malaysia showcased scenes of various needy people. The poor, the disabled, children, tribal dwellers... so forth. The song reminds us of our common bond- love. Regardless of race, creed or religion, love is the common denominator.

The RM 20 video was a fund-raiser for the underpriviliged. Her party was turned into a soft launch for the video among close friends (some who were actors in the video).

We stayed over (we= me and another close friend) because we were leading the worship the next morning at the international students church in college.

The Chan's had adopted the International Students Ministry which was initially pioneered by another church. This simple congregation of 50 comprised students from various countries and continents. The Chan's played foster parents to students and have developed an inseparable bond with them (I observed how they interacted and enjoyed each other's company). I like how Uncle Chan danced with an African student who was proudly showing his traditional dance moves at the birthday party. *... let's talk about love... playing in the background..*

All three children, along with their parents have given their hearts and minds to this ministry. To impact young people for God. Nothing works better than having a similar passion and goal.

I caught a glimpse of how a good family would look like.

# 1. There's understanding. Everybody's interest and opinion is valued. Each member of the family completes the puzzle. No one is more important than the other. All are meaningful.

# 2. Spontaneous humor. Not one day is a drag. There'd always be a funny comment, a blooper, something to share a laugh about.

# 3. Selflessness and teamwork. When everybody works together, any burden will seem lighter. Teamwork can only happen when everyone decides to put their selfish needs aside and work for the common good.

There's more ... but these are just some highlights.

Cheers Nilai,



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