On this thanksgiving day, I will like to thank God for a dear friend and brother – Guoqiang, who is coming to visit me in Ecuador this Sunday. It is amazing how our friendship is formed. I still remember during one leadership meeting about 2 and a half years ago, we were cracking our head thinking who is a suitable shepherd for Guoqiang and after some time, I volunteered to shepherd him. 🙂
Our shepherding started on a good note. I remember our first shepherding was at Punggol Marina where we went to explore a lighthouse. It was fun exploring a new place and we sat down to share at a cafe after that. He shared to me about his family and some struggles in the family. It was a good time of sharing and I got to know him more through that. After the shepherding, he smsed me that he really enjoyed the time and appreciated the friendship. I was touched by his sincerity and thoughtfulness.
After that first shepherding, our friendship kept growing deeper through sharing over meals and exploring different places. Our typical shepherding was something like I go and fetch him at his house and when he hopped into my car, I will ask him where he would like to go, and usually he will tell me a new place and we will go there. Some of the places we visited together are Jalan Kayu, fisherman village at pasir ris, Changi airport terminal 3, Bottletree park, Jewel restaurant at Mount Faber, Equinox, Changi village and many more. We had many sharings and discussed things like what we really want to do with our lives, our core values and beliefs about God, topics on forgiveness etc. and many life issues.
I remember the caregroup used to call him ice mountain because he was a man of few words and he looked very serious when he does not smile. But we witnessed the ice mountain melting and he opened up more in the caregroup. He started smiling more and serving more in the caregroup. We started to change his nickname to generous Guoqiang because he always treats us and buys gifts for the caregroup. Indeed, it is very difficult to outgive him. I still remember that he bought me a one year membership to Raffles club during one of our shepherding sessions. God really changed him a lot! No one would have thought he will become a careleader now. It is simply amazing! The work of God! 8)
While he was preparing to visit me in Ecuador, I emailed and asked him what his objectives for the trip are, and he emailed back saying that that main objective was to bless us. I was again touched by his sincerity and desire to be a blessing to us. I remember that he told me that when his colleagues or friends ask him who his best friend is, he will always say that it is me. I really thank God how He orchestrated our friendship and how our friendship grew from our first shepherding. Pray that he will have a safe and smooth trip to Ecuador. Looking forward to see him on Sunday! 🙂