When FOMO gets real

While there are a lot of people who loves pioneering and jumpstarting new things-I happen to be not one of those gifted to just embrace life’s spontaneous gifts. But as you know in life curb balls are thrown and it sometimes brings you to seemingly undiscovered territories and adventures. So here you are in the unknown weather it’s a new season, a new location, an untimely crisis, a transition from the joy of everything familiar to jumping to a totally brand new phase. All you can do now is embrace it, love it or hate it there’s no turning back. Welcome to your new life of unlimited uncertainties as well as possibilities.

You try to move forward and navigate slowly, you find out its not as scary as you initially thought and it gives you hope to walk further. But then you realize you have people around you who are living the exact same life they have always have along with other friends and families sharing the same environment you used to be in- this is the moment you sometimes wish there’s not much of this social media going on to remind you that you are in fact MISSING OUT on what everybody seems to be sharing together and that’s where it hits you – FOMO might be real!                                                                        

FO·MO (ˈfōmō/noun/informal)                                                                                    anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.

My sentiment exactly haha

Its happening to you everytime you open your viber messages and facebook thread. There are days that its get to be easy and sometimes its just overwhelming and you wish you can just teleport yourself.          “Beam me up Scottie!”

What to do when FOMO hits you?

Acknowledge its real,

Its happening and its not you getting weirdly depressed or annoyingly lonely- you are missing out on a lot of things you familiarly love and enjoy and its normal, its part of the transition process and you are not alone in all of this.

Be on the hunt of finding out

So you are missing out, acknowledge it yes but don’t let it swallow you! Step out and explore your beautiful new season and territory. Every  season has its gem and its up to you to find out what exactly it is. There might not be a lot of people who can understand what exactly you are going through but its time to find out a new bigger community you can reach out to and a whole lot of new people you can build connections with.                       Every season has its special reason for being real in you life- explore and enjoy!

Celebrate milestones

Celebrate the milestones of your friends and family though you cant or are not physically there. Its not about what’s happening or not happening to you. Find ways to be there in different ways- don’t you just love all the emoticons viber and facebook has created, I love how what we physically cannot convey can somehow be captured in those crazy emoticons. Be there for others, give what you can to your outmost ability.

When you feel like you are missing out, pour out!

Develop the gratefulness habit

I have this new memory verse that I have place on my wall:13661878_10208443192830861_5190439006914417890_o

And it may seem to be such a super simple task but I found God’s truth is the ultimate cure to a crying soul.

Thank God for a brand new beautiful day daily. One pastor’s wife told me she always start her day and ends it finding at least 3 things she can be thankful, I think its such a beautiful habit to develop.

Declare His steadfast love that is real no matter what my circumstances may look or feel like.  Found out re-aligning our thinking re-calibrates our hearts and renews our spirits.

Celebrate His great faithfulness at night. You can never go wrong intentionally thanking God every waking hours and celebrating everything at the end of the day.

When FOMO gets real, enjoy FOFO- the Faith Of Finding Out (no matter how corny or cliché it sounds) all the glorious things this season has for you, go into countless adventures you never have the chance to do in your past and be brave to build bridges for new relationships.


Cooking and Cross-cultural Campus Ministry

If there are two things I’m currently learning and re-learning right now- its cooking and campus ministry. I’ve always thought that because my mom has taught me to cook at the early age of 5 that I would never miss Filipino food because I know how to cook them, but going to another continent left me clueless as all the familiar things and ingredients I was used to being available is not easily found.

The same thing is to be said about doing cross-cultural campus ministry, you think you’ve trained and harnessed yourself in ministering to the youth of your nation and then all of a sudden God calls you to another continent, another culture, a totally different environment and now its step 1 all over again.Here’s some lesson’s I’ve learned 6 weeks in the beautiful nation of Kenya. May it be an encouragement to all cross-cultural campus missionary newbies:

Observe and enjoy the local food.                                                                Before I left the Philippines, I was talking with 2 veteran cross-cultural missionaries from Tibet and Nepal and I was asking them how do you learn the do’s and don’ts of nation as of course I don’t want to do anything offensive to the nation. They only have one answer: OBSERVE!!I found it so simplistic and yet one of the best advise I got.                                   So 6 weeks in here right now I’ve learned that as much as we love a daily dose of rice, Kenyans also has a regular pattern of eating and its generally meat and a variety of carbohydrates to go with it-ugali, chapatti, noodles, mash potato/unripe banana and yes occasionally rice.

On the other end, Kenya as I’ve observed is quite a religious nation (much like the Philippines), families value attending church together on a Sunday, most of the students I’ve met recalls being in kid’s church wether its Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian or Moslem. A lot of the students are often part of the church where their parents are in and they are not ashamed to say it. Taking note of this value and culture really helped us to focus the discipleship on asking questions on the depth of their relationship with God (vs teaching per se) and probing on their perspective on church and discipleship.

Stick to the basic food you’ve cooked hundred of times.                                So I found out I can only eat Kenyan food so many times, but my Asian palette would still come out. So I’ve tried cooking adobo- it was fine but the soy sauce here was different. The sopas really went well -its perfect for the weather here! Bistek also was well loved as beef here is super cheap and their staple meat. The not so successful ones are chopsuey-I guess its too oriental for their palate and beef caldereta- I couldn’t find the right tomato sauce here as I found out their catchup=tomato sauce.

Likewise going to the campus consistently, prayer walks, doing 121 and small groups is smoothly effective. There are a little bit of difference in how you approach it but applying the principles of discipleship truly works- no need to invent a new one just customize a bit so that it will be received better by the culture you are in. An example of this is how we package our small groups, in the Philippines we call it Victory groups, for here we are calling it “Discovery groups”, I thinks its quite a novel idea coming into a culture that is very much saturated with great bible scholars and teachers, it encourages our students to really encounter God personally thru His word, it gives them an avenue to speak up and say their thoughts about the passage and not just listen to an expert teacher.

Share recipes and learn the local cuisine.                                                        So far I really loved their nama-choma which is basically grilling of meats, (south Africans calls it braai)I enjoy it with kachumbari (salsa). I also enjoy chapatti (much like a burrito wrapper) with beef stew, as well as samosa (like empanada) with milk tea.

I have yet to attend a local church here but I would seriously love to, I hear some of the church around the neighborhood and them praying and worshipping for hours is really something I would love to be imparted on. One of the student is inviting me to attend a keziah- an overnight worship and prayer meeting-Im super curious, I’ll share with you once I got a chance to do it.

Some of the challenges they faced here as shared (which is much the same globally as well) to me by the locals are “missional” thinking- the urgency of evangelism and even the vision to disciple other nations; the heart of discipleship and Lordship- the knowledge of do’s and don’ts is very strong and evident, but the challenge of finding someone to walk you through the journey is much more real; a church that focuses on young people is also not common. I think any disciple of an Every Nation church would seriously see all these challenges as perfect opportunities and reason to plant churches here.

Barely short of 2 months and this nation has been such a great teacher to me, but the grace to learn and unlearn, the joy to persevere and trust, the commitment to grow and mature that I can only attribute to the best Teacher of all- Jesus!