Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Unsurpassing Peace

I am so thankful for moving to Costa Rica.

It's the first time in my life that I have experienced so much peace in my heart.

So, so much peace.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Pure Magic

Celebrating the first day of 2017 in Niagara Falls with the mother.

What a wonderful day.






Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 review

This year has finally come to an end. Overall, it was a tough year but a good year because I learned a lot of things. My perspective in life has changed and I have learned to be more positive and resilient.

Here are some of the few things I have learned:

Do not let negative people/energy into your life: Your time on earth is short and sacred; too short to let negative people suck the energy out of you life. This year I had to let go of certain "friendships" because they were toxic and harmful. Pain is pain. And pain acts as a sensor that something is wrong. If someone is constantly causing you pain or draining your energy, it's time to reconsider and drop them like it's hot. Protect yourself from these people. Listen to your intuition.

Your actions define you: I've been reading Marcus Aurelius' meditations lately and one of his quotes struck me -"A man's life is defined by their actions." Talk is cheap. If you want to achieve something, set your thoughts and plans into motion.

See the positive in everything: Always see the silver lining in tough situations. Positivity changes everything.

Treasure your true friends and family members: Because life is hard and they are probably the few people who will support you and have your back when things get rough. My best moments in life come from when I am surrounded with my loved ones.

You came to earth for a purpose: I recently went to visit a friend in Guatemala. She is a fashion blogger and has recently started designing handbags. She shared with me how much fulfillment she found by expressing her art and passion through her designs. On our way to a restaurant, we stumbled across an artist that painted birds for a living. We were admiring his art and he muttered the words: "you came to this earth with a certain set of strengths, and once you find your strengths and use them for a greater good, you have found your purpose and work will not seem like work at all." He shared about how he started selling his art out of necessity, but also because it was his passion to share his art with others. "Now my birds are all over the world," he said with a deep sense of satisfaction. He has been painting birds for 37 years. My friend bought one of his birds for me. She was touched and inspired by his words that she insisted him to keep the change. It's amazing how something so simple like painting birds and his words had an impact on our journey.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Fruition

The semester has come to an end, the grades are in and I'm finally back home visiting family for a few weeks.

As an educator, the most rewarding aspect of my job is to see the meaningful connections and learning made by my students. My focus is to apply language skills in real life situation and develop their critical thinking. For example, we worked in preparing a UN debate where they compiled data and facts and used them to build an arguement. We also watched and analyzed the US presidential debates. The students enjoyed it very much and it's wonderful to witness their growth and motivation.

Birthday card that my students made for me. One of the messages read:
"Thank you for teaching me something useful for life."

























Next year, I am planning to go to London for a three-week course in Literature. I was also invited to a conference in Bógota, Colombia (COMIBAM) to join 2500 missionaries on a series of workshops, panels and meets-and-greets. I'm also planning to attend IB workshops and continue to equip myself as an educator.

This year's biggest lesson was to never give up hope. Even though God may shut a door, He will surely open one that it's a better fit. Moving to Costa Rica was the best decision I made, and I'm so thankful for the sunny and beautiful weather and places I get to visit.

Next year will be an exciting one. Let's all hope for the best. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sketches

"Thinking back, it was all about them and not Christ; their plight, their persecution, their suffering, their tears, their Malaria, their near-death experience, their cause, their charity, their songs, their published books. Rarely did they mention about God's kindness or forgiveness, but rather they judged and shunned those who did not agree with them. It was as if those childhood wounds and lack were screaming behind their faces, whining and begging the admiration, pity and submission from others. It was awful."

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Life lately

Life has been good in Costa Rica. I am liking my job at the International School so far. Last week, we had a Model United Nations with my Grade 8. They did a splendid job debating and presenting their speeches.

I have been meditating about the changes in my life lately. There has been a lot of crazy changes, but I am glad that God has encouraged me to take risks and try out new things and meet new people. Moving to a new country is not easy but I rely on His grace and abundance. I know that He has the best in store for me.

All I need is to trust Him. Oh He loves me so...

Pictures of life in Costa Rica:




Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Spiritual Abuse

I am officially coming out as a survivor of spiritual abuse. For many years, I was in a spiritual abusive Church. It was a toxic environment -always expecting, demanding and demeaning others.

Spiritual abuse is quite common nowadays and it's unfortunate that many leaders choose to abuse other members using God as their justification. They think that they will never face the consequences but God is a God of justice. I am sure they will pay back for their actions one day.

Anyways, I am glad that I am out of that environment and will never EVER go back.

This is a letter I recently wrote to the elders denouncing this leader's actions:



Dear elders in Hong Kong,


I am writing to express my deep disappointment towards VC. For many years, I dedicated a lot of time and effort towards building the Church by going to missionary trips (Fiji, South Africa, Madagascar), supporting the work in different University campuses in Vancouver and helping out in the music ministry. However, as time went on I found that VC abused her power as a leader and has built an environment of fear and intimidation in the Vancouver Church. 

· I personally shared about experiences to her. But then, she publically shamed me in front of brothers and sisters during meeting time by forcing me to share about my experiences. It was very humiliating.

· After my trip to Madagascar, I got sick from a stomach bacteria. I had to go back home to Central America. During that time, VC emailed me asking me if she could rent out my apartment and use that money. I told my parents and they were disgusted by her level of abuse. Why would the Church encourage this kind of behavior of taking advantage of the sick? She then asked me to delete that email and to never mention it again. 

·I took the decision to leave and cut all contact with the Church in Vancouver, but she continued emailing me. It’s called harassment. 

I would like to denounce her actions as detrimental and hurtful to others. I left Church because of the unhealthy environment and abusive leadership. I hope this will bring some corrective measures and a formal apology.

Sincerely,



Karen

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sunflower

I wrote this poem for my highschool bestfriend a while ago. 

Sunflower
(To the girl with wings)

Child of light. Your laughter infects
My heart, my mouth is turned upside down.
Naïve like a child. Purity untouched.
Yet not innocent. Tempest is aroused when
Your deepest feelings are hurt.
Sunflower, Heart of Gold,
How bold!
But weak, defenseless, vulnerable without the Sun.
Without God.
Sunflower, my dear. Cast your eyes to Christ,
Our Lord.

May 22nd 2006

Monday, August 22, 2016

Matthew 7:15-20

Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Adventure

People wonder why I am not pursuing after money or settling down with marriage and kids. Truth is, beneath my quiet exterior I have a crazy adventurous soul who has preached the Gospel in gas stations in Fiji, helped out in a AIDS stricken slum in South Africa, taught and loved street children in Madagascar, organized a camp in Costa Rica, lead a missionary team to an orphanage in Honduras, played the violin at a Christian Symphony, hiked the mountains in Totonicapan, Guatemala to an indigenous village and now I am teaching at an International School in hopes of empowering young people, educating about social justice and having more crazy adventures with God. Someone today asked me if I wanted to volunteer today at a soup kitchen that helps prostitutes to dignity. My heart leapt. But then I remembered that I had a ton of planning to do...

I am not perfect. Far from it. I have a bad temper along with many shortcomings. Yet from my youth I learned the true value of compassion and service for the broken and those who Jesus love. I try my best to love.

The past few years I have experienced grave disappointments with religious leaders. I have been squandered for money while being sick after a missionary trip to Madagascar (which of course I refused and then she asked me to delete the email and not share it with others!), witnessed unjust acts of excommunicating members and abuses of power. Yet they won't stop me. Jesus warned us about the Pharisees and corrupt religious leaders during the latter days. I am thankful that I am out of that place and free to be myself.

The Gospel of Matthew and books by Brennan Manning have inspired me to this day. I hope that God may continue to use me wherever I go and that one day I may write spiritual books to heal and inspire others.