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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Lifeline KK Launch Report. Uncut. And long overdue.

It was a dark and stormy 19/11/04 night…

Well, not really.

For one, it wasn’t night.

And two, it wasn’t stormy.

It was dark though…

I have absolutely no idea what was going through Anne’s mind when she booked our AirAsia tickets to Kota Kinabalu.

You should be grateful, man! she’d say…

Grateful as I should have been, having to wake up at 4.00 am is one thing I’d rather not be grateful about, me needing my beauty sleep and all…

*Though here’s a belated toast of gratitude to Anne…*

clink

Anyway, Janice and I somehow got to KK alive, and were fetched from the airport by Martin and whisked away home and then to lunch with a few other KK Lifeliners and Life Teeners – Alister, Frederick, Dorothy, and Gloria, all of whom I have never met in my entire life (well, in my past life maybe, but definitely not my current one).

We, being Lifeline members ourselves, were in KK to support the launch of the Catholic youth ministry in one of the churches there.

Fast forward all the details and KK-esque food, we were then brought that night to Scar…err, Sacred Heart Cathedral to witness the one…

and only

*tang tang tang*

…rehearsal for the big launch the following day.

It being a full scale rehearsal, we were given a glimpse – a tease, if you like – of what they had in store at the launch.

And my, was it grand…

Flag-bearers of sorts were spread out along the aisle in front of the sanctuary waving flags twice their size to the opening song; dancers…well, dancing, with tambourines in one hand, slapping them with the other; and the music…phenomenal.

I left the cathedral (after the rehearsal was over, of course) in great anticipation of what the launch would be like…
…tons of people in church, with hardly any place to move about…all praising God, jumping, waving hands and hankies in the air ala Planetshakers…choirs of angels looking down from above, joining them in song with harp and lyre…Jesus Himself walking among the people, smiling as He watches His children give glory to Him and Dad and Spirit…pretty girls popping grapes into my mouth by the wayside…
*cough cough*

ahem.

******************

*Ding dong ding dong* (in a more majestic, churchy manner)

6.13pm. The next day. Venue: Sacred Heart Cathedral. Event: Launch of the 3 L’s – Life Mass, Life Teen, and Lifeline.

And my, was it grand…

Flag-bearers of sorts were spread out along the aisle in front of the sanctuary waving flags twice their size to the opening song; dancers…well, dancing, with tambourines in one hand, slapping them with the other; and the music…phenomenal.


Mass in the Roman Catholic church? Believe it!

This time though, we were sitting in the area cordoned off for the Music Ministry, and there the music seemed even more phenomenal...very...coordinated...though credit to the people at SFX as well, hehe...



Mass was pretty much the same as Saturday Night Live back here in SFX, with the usual long, bori…I mean, compelling sermon being dished out by the bishop at half-time. For the offering, the mission statements of Lifeline (I think) were as best put into symbols as possible and offered up each in turn…and this I feel was a very meaningful gesture, as the people of Lifeline/Life Teen KK were offering – in a sense – all of themselves, through the missions and service of Lifeline.

At the ending of the mass – during the time normally set apart for announcements – the priests were ushered to - literally - cut the red tape and officially launch Life Mass, Life Teen and Lifeline, and ta da! the launch banner was let loose. A mechanical fault, however, prevented the banner from actually being “let loose”, and the banner came out in a relaxed saunter (think Star Wars, but much slower) while the priests all stood around it trying to coerce it (unsuccessfully, naturally) to spew forth.

*kudos to Johnny, despite the minor glitch, for doing an excellent job with the banner*

…clink…

Following the full raise of the banner, a video regarding what Lifeline was (is) about was shown. In it, the seven mission statements were read out (they have an extra one over there – Sacramental People) and so was a contact number for those interested to know more. After the video, members of the Lifeline and Life Teen KK core team were called forward to the front of the sanctuary to kneel and be commissioned by the priest to go forth and multiply (only in a certain sense of the word, of course) and serve the Lord with all their heart.

**Note: As much an anti-climax as it is, I’m not one to describe things very well and I can’t remember what was said exactly, so “serve the Lord with all their heart” is the best I could come up with.**

Subsequently, they had two people; one from Lifeline and one from Life Teen come out to give a short briefing on what they’d be doing later that night – just like in SFX.

After mass, those who had bought the RM 5.00 3 L’s Launch Souvenir Booklet cum Dinner Ticket were directed to the church canteen for makan, before the Lifeline and Life Teen sessions. A Security Check Point, so to speak was set up at the entrance to the eating area, and the teens who wanted to go in and have a fill had to register for Life Teen first and only then have their dinner tickets accepted.

**This was where Janice and I took advantage of our seniority and guest status-es to calmly walk past all those starving teens – frantically filling in the form only to pause for awhile to gaze hungrily at the awaiting food – and head straight for the food queue. Yes, I know we were guests, but we were made to line up too…I suppose I could have shoved everyone aside to grab the best parts of the curry chicken, but I didn’t want to be swimming home to KL.**

Dinner done and safely in our stomachs, we made our way up to the room where Lifeline was (is) held and were given cute little bookmarks as was the ritual for first-timers, while the registration of other first-timers was carried out at the entrance.

**We Lifeline people are a little older and wiser; have it after food, so that people are content and more willing to sign up**

The thing(s) that first caught my eye(s) as I entered the room was a full set of instruments – keyboard, bass, guitars, mikes + stands, even a drum set for praise and worship, and all this for a Life Nite! All we have back in CKK and presumably SFX for Life Nites is just a guitar, sometimes two, and (not yet in CKK) sometimes a keyboard. They even had backup singers, for crying out loud! And in the other room for the Life Teen session was another full set of instruments!

**Dear CKK/SFX church-goers: please do donate generously during mass, and we might see a few more instruments/players coming our way**

I’m not too sure of the order, but I think Lifeline started with an ice-breaker, in which we were made to go round the room looking for people who had:

1) keys in their pockets

2) blue/purple as their favourite colour

3) a black Lifeline shirt on

4) spectacles on

I, wearing the good ol’ CKK Lifeline T-shirt, got my name on the lists of quite a few people (yup, a few girls’ too) and managed to find a few people who had keys in their pockets and were wearing spectacles at the same time...

Imagine that.

After the ice-breaker, those who were at Lifeline for the first time were called out and given a warm welcome. Unfortunately for us, we weren’t able to escape their attention (although we nearly did) and were given…

- yup, you guessed it -

…a warm welcome.

Felix then led us into a short (yet excellent) praise and worship session, which was followed by the session proper. Three sharings were given, and they were given in one of the most creative ways possible – skits…a skit each of how the people giving the sharings were living their lives before they came into Lifeline. Things got a little emotional, and I turned my face to the side to give the ladies some room…heh. But really, the sharings were touching, and it got me thinking: What made me go for Lifeline in the first place? Was there some sort of deep, subconscious compulsion I felt? Could it be that God had called me to do greater things for His glory?

Then I remembered Geoffrey Lip, the Lifeline SFX Recruitment Drive, and I turned my face to the side and wept.

**Don’t be silly…of course I didn't weep.**

After the sharings, Felix led us again into a short reflection which was followed by a sing-as-loud-as-possible rocking finale of songs. Those who had been previously subdued by the reflection were now singing and praising Him with all of their hearts!

The session ended with all of us giving one another signs of peace; hugs, handshakes, maybe even more were seen all around the room as smiles broke out and people said their goodbyes.

We stayed for a few more days after the launch and went back on the 24th.

All in all, I think the Lifeline/Life Teen KK people did a great job of organising the launch, and I’m sure they (and probably God Himself as well) were pretty pleased with the flow of events throughout that day. I found the people at Lifeline/Life Teen KK to be extremely warm and friendly, and I didn’t feel too uncomfortable going round and mixing with them (although I, being the relatively reserved guy that I am, am bound to feel uncomfortable mixing with almost anyone, it wasn’t so evident over in KK). They were very open, and were willing to share about almost anything I asked.

My stay in KK has really opened my eyes to the existence of bliss in the simple life, without the hustle and bustle of KL, and in the absence of clubs, pubs, and karaoke lounges.

God bless Lifeline KK! (also Lifeline SFX and CKK lah) =)

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous condemned as such...

Wah... such a long winded entry. LOL, joking lah! First i thought, who's this chow kuey teow-probably someone whose thinking that i'm just crapping around...haha, then saw your name! :) Yes, we did enjoy the trip yeah? I probably wanna go again if i had the chance. Anyway,thanks for your comment. Yes, I praise God for this seminar.Oh well, I'm sure you have the desire for the Holy Spirit to be upon you. Sometimes in our hearts, we doubt God and his workings through the Holy Spirit. That's why sometimes we just dont feel anything when we're being prayed over. We have to be open to the Spirit and not doubt as well as we have to have that desire in our hearts to yearn for IT. Just wanna thank you for your prayers and I hope and pray that one day,you will too have a great experience with the Holy Spirit (in God's own time) just like I did. God bless!

December 15, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous condemned as such...

Hi Aaron!

Havent heard from you a long time. Go and update your blog lar, not say I never read. :) How are you? Hope you're coping well with studies and all. How is CKK Lifeline or Lifeline SFX? Just miss hanging around with you guys. ANyway, gtg now and hope to see you soon in Feb! Chiou and God bless!

January 10, 2005  
Blogger mctm condemned as such...

heya aaron... not sure if u remember me..
u need an update..

January 14, 2005  

JOIN THE CONDEMNATION.

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