edlina & the lynns
Many people told me Tasmania is a must-see if I am in Australia. I've wanted so much to visit this island for at least 6 years already. God makes everything beautiful in his time. He delights in the desires of his children and his time is always right. I am so blessed being here in Tassie for the last one week. Exploring the natural beauty and the rich historic heritage is enriching for us as a family. However, I am constantly being challenged to keep my cool and composure as a mum to three very active girls especially Chrisa whose always needing attention.
Bob drove us to a couple of interesting places. One of them was Dip Falls, in the forest reserve. I was trying my best to be in control struggling with Chrisa's nagging whines throughout the journey. Finally, we reached. Phew...

The walk down the steps leading to it wasn't so long but very steep. When we reached the point, it was truly breathtaking. The white torrents of waters rushing down was simply a cool and captivating sight. Before I could take a second look, Chrisa tugged on me to answer her nature call again. I say, "again" because she has been busy with her intake and output throughout our trip. AND we just got to the falls. I tried to distract her hoping she could bear a little longer before we work our way UP but she was pesistent. I told her I didn't know where was the toilet. Oh, could I fool a 3 1/2 year-old?! Immediately, she responded that she saw a toilet sign on the forest map. Hmm...

So reluctantly, I tugged her on my waist and with my own bag which also contributed to the weight, I really had to fight gravity to get up to the top. Upon reaching the top, she had a quick glance on the map and exclaimed, "There it is...(referring to the toilet sign). I told you I saw it." She turned around to look for it and it was just a few meters away. Indeed I was impressed with her keen eyes in locating the sign in the map and successfully applying her knowledge. That was not all, she tilted my head upwards and said firmly, "Look up and say thank you." I did. We whispered a thank you prayer.

I walked away that moment thanking God for the experience. He taught me two lessons through my little one. Firstly, sometimes I long to know the entire revelation of God so that I can be more effective, yet I was reminded that God gives sufficient revelation for me to take the next step. Secondly, the very person who seemed annoying at one moment brought joy and encouragement the next. Everyone is indispensable.
edlina & the lynns
One day at dinner time, after everyone finished their food I was still eating. All of a sudden the lights went out, without noticing something was going on I said 'turn on the lights'. Round the corner out came a doughnut cake. Some of my friends piled up 8 doughnuts on top of each one, then put candles on everyone. I was so surprised! They put their presents for me in a pinata. I had lots of fun. At the end I was so full I could not eat cake. Ha ha. Isn't that funny? It seems to me.
- Ashlynn
edlina & the lynns
Here are some of the people we have met so far on our journey and the stories behind them:

We have to start with the people that we spent most of our time with in Melbourne. Selina has already written some about them so here are their pics again. Carrying Chrisa in the back row is Hui Li from Klang. Hau Wei from PJ is next to her. In the front row on the left is E-Lyn, Hau Wei’s younger sister, and next to her is Rachel from Sabah. Then there is the “mother” of the group, Peggen! They are a group of young people who are very warm and possess a very generous spirit.

Chrisalynn’s encounter with a student from Singapore at the PlanetKids Children Ministry when we attended Planetshakers City Church. She was a great help we were able to leave her to enjoy herself while we were at the service. Not something that we get to do very often as Chrisa has been rather “sticky”, esp to mom.

This is Michael and Vivien’s home cell (though there were 2 others who were not there on that day). Well, there is Albert and his wife (both originally from Sri Langka and in red). Then there is Angel from Hong Kong and her husband Brandon from KL (in the front right of the pic), and right in the middle is Heather, from Australia. Of course you can see Mike and Viv there as well. This cell is unique in the sense that they are from different churches. They started from doing the “40 days of Purpose” together and have continued to meet since then. It was encouraging to see people from different churches learning from one another and sharing their lives together.

And while the adults were having home cell, the kids were having their own thing. Seen here next to Nathalynn is Elisa who is now 12 yrs old and Esther on the right of the pic who is now 9 yrs of age. It has been almost 2 years that they last played together.

Pr Kelvin Sim from Johor Baru who is now pastoring Australia for Christ Fellowship. This is the church that Michael and Vivien have been attending in Melbourne. He has been doing that for the last one and a half years. When we arrived at Michael’s home, the whole family were saying that he looks like me, - thus the photo together. Well, we don’t think so, but you can judge for yourself.

Mr John who was one of the workers at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat. He played a significant role for Ashlynn as she had left her bag in his “hut” and forgotten about it. When she realized that it was gone and began searching for it, tracing back her steps and hitting blanks, she realized that only God could bring it back. Just as she finished praying this man walks up to her with her bag. He had picked it up, and knowing who it belonged to, went round searching for her. I guess you can say that both their quests ended when they met each other again. It sort of reminds me of how God works similar things in different people’s lives at the same time, and when they meet and share, then only do we see a bigger picture of what God is doing even in individual lives.

This is a friendly boy by the name of David from China whom we met in the public library. He came and read together with us. The kids say that the people here and very friendly and that causes them to be conscious of what they do and to smile at people - Something that we all can learn.

The Crimson Rosella - the ones that were reported to have fed from my hand 7 times. Although Nathalynn claims that it is because of the colour of my t-shirt, I have my reservations about that theory as not many people were in red that day, but the birds were resting on some of them quite frequently as well.
As I realized, many people were “too eager” to have birds feed from their hands and this prompted them to keep looking up in anticipation. As the birds drew closer, they would stare even harder to the realization that these creatures opted for some other hand to feed from. The key then is to be patient, don’t move, and look away until the bird has rested on your hand. As I reflected on this, it reminded me of how sometimes we are so desperate for something to happen that it eats into our system and we get more frustrated within when we can't excercise patience. The joy and experience that was supposed to be is then no where to be found.

I have to add this in - "The Excel Loo”, a fully automatic toilet from the opening of the doors to the flushing system, soap and water to was your hands. All that except the part where you have to wipe yourself. ;) It caused a lot a “Ooo’s” and “Aahh’s” among the girls when we are at the park. I hear that they have also installed two of these in KL. The difference is that we went in this one for free but I if you were in KL, it will set you back RM2.00 if you want to ease yourself in a techno loo such as this one!
edlina & the lynns
Parenting a child is the work of the community. Every parent desires to be the best dad or mum to their own offspring. They strive to be give the best to their young. The evidences are obvious as one watch the world - any child related business is appealing; from education to clothings.....you name any area which involves kids, it will appeal to parents. However, the community surrounding the child is above the commodity available.
Tonight Ash received a wonderful surprise - an advanced birthday celebration. The friends of the house in Oakleigh East threw a sweet surprise party for her. She was been lavished with fabulous gifts and we could see the overwhelming joy in her expression. She sat speechless. As a mum, I thank God for friends.....for family in Christ. Indeed they showed the young child love. A child growing up surrounded by a loving community will understand love. This is beyond just the parents' roles. It reminded me to love unconditionally. To parent the young irrespective of race, size and shape. Every child deserves to be loved. The community makes a great difference.
edlina & the lynns
We went for our third outing in the park. So much to praise God for.

Where we are right now is an envy of many people. How fortunate life is to others. YES. Indeed it is. A really long holiday of 2 1/2 months. Who has such a privilege? How we came to this point inevitably cause one to marvel at God's deed. Do we deserve it? Are we worthy? This displays the great and deep love of God. Dare I dream of such a blessing? But say all I want, God is waiting to bless if only we dare to dream.

Perhaps I have stop dreaming.....maybe life has caught on so much with "to do list" and the modern culture of "doing more" in all aspects. There is never short of things to do.

Right now, nestled in Dandenong Creek Valley, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.....sitting on a raised wooden house in Yabby Hill playground, my heart beat in excitement hearing and seeing the display of God's artwork. All my senses are open to the vast green field surrounded by the unadultered woods. The ongoing chirps of the variety of birds - lorikeets, white faced herons and etc are so captivating. It soothes the soul. Connects me to the greatest Artist. By looking at all this beautiful creature and enjoying the nature gives an invitation to the presence of the Creator.

I want to quit striving in my spirit and enjoy the little moments that refresh, rejuvenate and helps me to recreate. I desire to be like the tree in Psalm 1.....rooted, fresh and fruitful.

Although it requires a lot of courage to obey God and strength to act to come to this point, certainly the Father has taught us a precious lesson - FAITH.

- selina -
edlina & the lynns
Today we went to Grants Picnic Grounds, Sheerbrooke Forest in Dandenong Ranges. On the way there Uncle Michael stopped at Safeway to buy a big packet of sunflower seeds. I was very excited because this is the first time I will get to feed the birds. The journey did not seem very long and when we arrived, there were crowds of people.

Immediately after getting down from the car, we started feeding the cockatoos. We fed the birds sunflower seeds. There were lots of cockatoos. The cockatoos are white with a yellow crown on top of their heads. The cockatoos were a little violent so we went to feed the crimson rosella. It was red in colour with a bit of green and yellow. They loved Daddy because he was wearing red. They came to him and sat on his hand 7 times. They came and fed from my hand 3 times. I felt happy that they came to me. It was a bit ticklish when they were eating from my hand.
When mummy and the others went to wash their hands, Daddy, Uncle Michael and I went back to feed the cockatoos. When I fed the cockatoos, 4 cockatoos came. I was a little frightened when 4 of them came at once. They started fighting and one of them kicked the other. The two on the sides could not reach the seeds from my hand, so they flew away.

After some time, we went in to have a cup of hot chocolate and fries with the rest of them. We had a good dinner after we left Dandenong Ranges. We had lasagna, pasta, and pizza!!!

- Nathalynn

edlina & the lynns
Today was scheduled to explore Dandenong. Since the night before was so eventful with my birthday celebration, we decided to tone down by going for our favourite hang-out - bookshop. This time Koorong bookshop. Our kids are always excited at the mention of bookshop. That's enough to entertain them for a long time.

There is a wide selection of materials in Koorong bookshop which got us all very excited and explored from shelf to shelf. Ooh, how I love the books available - so many to browse through and hopefully to pick some up to add to the kids' collection. I managed to find a small size kids' bible for Chrisa for a reasonable price. Without hesitation, I dropped them into the basket as I didn't bring one to Australia. A children's bible is never compact. So this one is a treasure.

As we moved along the shop, we decided the easiest way to browse was just head for the bargain corners. That also took us 3 hours in total. In the midst of reading the Veggie Tales' series to Chrisa, Nat tugged on me and asked a theological question, "Why did God make the tree of the forbidden fruit if He didn't want Adam and Eve to eat it?" The 7 year old must had expected an immediate wise answer from mummy. My tired brain at the end of the 3 hours' hang-out wasn't quick enough to shoot a brilliant response spontaneously. I looked at her and thought a moment. I said, "Ya, that's really a good question.....can we talk in the car later?"

So here we are begin a search into this question, gathering some thoughts from different people of all ages in the house.....before Nat make her own conclusion.

- Selina -
edlina & the lynns
Birthdays are great reminders of God's gift of life. I woke up this morning knowing that I am so blessed that I can celebrate another year of my life. Ed has told me not to plan anything for the day as he would date me while Peggen babysits the lynns. Sounded good. I had my usual cup of hot drink in the morning and a piece of shortbread with an apple as we had forgotten to buy bread. Hao Wei came by shortly with a bouquet of fresh pink and purple carnations. That definitely spreaded some cheer in the morning.

Something was definitely "cooking" in the midst as my daughters had their secret talk. Oh well, I shall not spoil their secret plan. No, I would not probe further nor make it hard for these little ones who were trying to please their mummy.

I digged into my luggage for a card handed to me by my siblings at the airport a week ago. Eagerly I opened to find a personalized card created by my artistic brother which was entirely packed with long writing of wishes from both my beloved siblings - my only brother and only sister. Hmm.....maybe they are just bias but the words of affirmation and encouragement certainly lifted me up. As I was reading the card, Ed handed me another envelope with familiar writing. Oh, another surprise! A plain white envelope but seasoned with a meaningful touch by a precious friend. Some Aussie dollars to pamper myself! Highlighted by her to spend it on myself for she knows I have a problem with that. I've been learning through these years as God's child to use money wisely but working against the poverty mentality - hmm, I wonder like what some people say of Penang people in Hokkien, is it "khiam or kiam" ("thrifty or stingy")? It's been murmuring over my thoughts for a long time and I haven't gotten an answer. Ed and I were discussing on this matter on money in the train as we headed for the city. We never found our answers. To strike a good balance by being frugal in this modern life can be tough. I must say it is a great challenge in any urban Malaysian pastor's life. However, our mutual encouragement is to remember that God never leave their servants hungry.

How did I get into money matters?! If only we don't have to worry about money...

A day out without kids was a real treat. We got off Flinders Street to check out the visitors' centre but to find it too overwhelming. Victoria has too many choices. Ed pestered me to check with the personnel but I didn't know where to begin or what to ask for that matter! Choices. We picked up some brochures and walked around the centre. Seeing so many tourist waiting to be entertained, we decided we'll check out with some friends and stay with our uncomplicated plan; which is don't attempt to DO too much in just two months.

It was supposed to be our day out to have a nice date and have a romantic meal. There must be something we can afford. I flipped to the little brochure from the visitors' centre - Top Pocket Guide from Lonely Planets for romantic meals and getaways. My instinct was right.....forget it.....there won't be any "affordables". Though I believe our God can afford anything (afterall, Psalm 24 says He owns everything), I still thought a decent meal to fill our hungry stomachs would do. Afterall, romantic is relative. Ed spotted Hungry Jacks, which I could understand why - similar to his all time favourite - Burger King. So we settled for that. Our romantic lunch. No regrets. We enjoyed the loving presence of two people in love and the food - they were meant to fill our hunger.

The city is just like any big city. Bustling with throngs of people hurrying to and fro. Buildings of different kinds - ancient elaborate architecture mixed with modern scientific blocks. A city always offers one MANY choices. It was easy to make my choice. Mine is "the quest towards simplicity". So we headed straight to the bargain store and picked up some craft supplies for our kids. That was a delight to me as I found some materials our kids wanted for just a dollar fifty a pack.

We returned back just in time for dinner and I smelled the surprise "cooking" in the house. The kids thrusted forth immediately the moment the door opened. "Surprise!!!", they all exclaimed. Chrisa proudly handed me her newly written book on penguins - her gift to me. Ash and Nat pulled me in right away to present the beautifully decorated dining room. I was ushered in to sit on my "throne". The reigning queen for the day....while Bah Kut Teh was been served. Hui Li ran down with another bouquet of fresh flowers, from her and Rachel. How blessed I am for family and friends - old and new friends. We enjoyed our delicious steaming hot dinner before Peggen and company dashed off for a discipleship class.

While cleaning up the table, Ash brought out the cake which was supposed to be another surprise. Nat yelled, "No, not yet!" But it was too late. Her sister was too excited to present the cake proudly. This was a cake that the kids baked while Ed and I was out. Chocolate Fudge with berries and coloured rice toppings! Quickly Ash retreated the cake into the fridge and we will have to wait for all our friends to be home to enjoy it. The time has come.....for my final "surprise" - the cake!

- Selina -
edlina & the lynns
We found our two and a half month base in a nice cozy unit of a town house in Oakleigh East, Melbourne. We believe God had prepared this simple resting place for us. When we prayed for accomodation here, Peggen extended her invitation to us to crash in with her two other housemates for a month. Later she further opened her place to us for another month. We traced this provision to God's grace.

Our first encounter with Peggen was seven years ago in International College, Penang. She was a student in IC and we knew her through the Christian Fellowship where we worked closely with. It has been a blessing to see her grow in the Lord and staying strong even after her stepping into a foreign land. Her involvement in OCF Monash University and now Planet Uni (Planet Shakers' ministry) is commendable. Peggen is a tangible fruit of campus ministry. We thank God for this kind and lovely young lady.

There wasn't a problem at all to blend into this small community. We eased into this family of God quickly especially our children. There is no reservation at all. Nat being the most shy amongst our three kids was already enjoying her new friends the very first moment. Needless to mention Chrisa, our youngest and most boisterous was so "kam cheng" with them. Ash, whose always sharp quickly picked up that Rachel must love ballet as she spotted a pair of toe shoes tucked somewhere and a calender featuring a ballerina in her room. After just two days, they connected so well that Rachel decided to treat them to an Australian ballet show, much to the delight of Ash. God knows the desires of our hearts and He doesn't have favourites - He cares even for the "not so important" detail.
Chrisa seemed to connect immediately with Hui Li, a sweet young lady who also likes "Little Ponies". How the kids just love hanging around in her room chatting with her! Apart from these occupants, Hao Wei and E-lyn come daily for dinner and hang out. They stay 15min drive away. By the way, Hao Wei is a young man. I thought the name is very tricky. It can be feminine too.
These are the people who have welcome us warmly and displayed such great hospitality. These young people are committed leaders in the Urban Life Ministry of Planet Shakers City Church.
- Selina -
edlina & the lynns
"A Walk in Autumn" - that is the title of three and a half year-old Chrisa's freshly authored book today after our stroll in our "new" neighbourhood - Clayton Road. Strolling down the road with no time-table scheduled and seeing the kids exclaiming, "Look, mummy..." and "Wow, dad..." at every simple aesthetic sight was enough to know God is good. The leaves of the trees are changing colours. The kids were thrilled to pick up their first fallen red maple leaves. The long 2 hours' walk was refreshing as a family. A simplicity turned luxury in our fast-paced world.

This is the result of earnest prayers for years, more intensified in the last few months as we planned our sabbatical. Our previous trip to Melbourne, Australia was six years ago. Our budget did not allow us to bring Ashlynn and Nathalynn along then, much to their disappointment. Daddy and Mummy promised the next trip they will come along. We knew that day will come. Time waits for no man. So quickly six years had passed but we never forgot our promise. Since then we had another daughter, Chrisalynn. If as earthly parents we know how to keep our promise, it reminded us how much more God the Father will hold on to His words. We had to believe God, the Jehovah Jireh to provide for five for this trip.

We stopped by the park for the kids to play while we watched some senior men playing lawn bowls. We exchanged smiles for we couldn't converse with them. They were speaking in a language we couldn't understand. It was such a pleasant sight to see people enjoying their lives in their golden age. We were caught in between two extreme generations in the park playing their hearts out - our kids on the left and these senior folks on the right. Have we forgotten how to play? Have we forgotten to take a walk.....?
edlina & the lynns
On the 2nd of May, 2007 we went to the airport at 11.00am. I felt excited but sad to leave my family members. We were hugging and kissing one another goodbye when my ee ee (Aunty Penny) asked for a hug, I ran right up to her and gave her a big huggie. As I did that, I just couldn't bear but to just cry. After we boarded the plane, I was still crying untill the plane actually took off and untill I saw the amazing sight of the cloulds. When I was in the plane, interesting stuff happened. I had food in the plane. I had rice with some sourish vegetables and chicken. I slept for a while as well. I flew from Malaysia to Singapore then from Singapore to Australia. On the plane to Australia I got a kiddie pack, and for meals, I had pasta and salami for dinner and biscuits with hot tea for a super early breakfast. I reached Melbourne, Australia at 4.45am 3rd of May 2007. My friend, Peggen cher cher came to get me. She took me to her house in Oakleigh East. We reached her house at 6.30am. Iwent to take a nap. I slept untill 9.00am.

- Ashlynn -