Reflecting on a small fire at work

I have been working at the IT department of an investment bank for about three years.? At approximately 3pm on 25th February 2008, the an evacuation warning is sounded at the office’s tannoy system, asking us to await further instructions.? Within two minutes, an announcement is heard on the tannoy instructing that my floor will undergo evacuation.

As the bank’s evacuation marshal volunteer, I put on my fluorescent vest on hearing the message and proceed to evacuate staff on my floor together with other marshals.? Actually, I knew it must be some sort of real fire (as evacuation marshals are usually told of evacuation drills in advance).? Within a few minutes, I heard about a fire escape being blocked.? This had happened before when certain fire escapes become bottle-necked, and I simply followed established procedures to direct staff to other fire escapes.? However, within a few minutes, although my nose is blocked, I could smell a strange smell and immediately I could hear a hastily spoken voice “This is a full building evacuation”.? My immediate response is “O dear!”, as I remember how the fire protection system has been boasted during our evacuation training and that evacuating the whole building is very rare indeed.? Perhaps we all knew it was a real fire, all of us evacuation marshals took extra precaution to ensure all staff on our floor are safely evacuated.

During the evacuation, I see different group of staff wandering out into one escape and back from another ones (some of the escapes were in fact filled with heavy smoke).? On the other hand, I also saw a trader support staff who refused to finish his phone call and leave despite being warned that it was a real fire.

In about two hours’ time, we were allowed back in the office, though local management allowed us home early as the floor is still filled with fume.

  • From this small fire, I have the following reflections:
    I remembered a few weeks ago, my church fellowship watched the movie Flood, which had been show on the BBC before.? At that time, I thought that when it come to the end of the ages, I would proclaim the good news of salvation through Jesus.? Though this is merely a small fire that was put out in 40 inutes with no casualties, but when I saw that a fellow Christian is also an evacuation marshal, I merely concentrated on the evacuation at hand, and sadly, neither thought about God nor prayed.
  • I remembered a few weeks back, I heard a lunch time talk from a CEO of our bank, preaching on And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel?s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:34-36)

Related Links:
The movie Flood (2007)- mentioned above
The talk by one of my company’s CEO mentioned above
A related talk: How good is good enough for God? buy adipex
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COCM’s South England Easter Conference (SEEC)

2007 is the second I went to SEEC. It was different and yet similar to 2006’s. So, why did I go in 2006? Well, this is mainly due to testimonies of sisters who went in previous years.  To be honest, the experience in my first year did fall short of my expectation.  This was in part due to the stress from taking up a group leading position, which in hindsight had in parts sinfully to do with my personal pride.  However, the Lord was gracious and guided me throughout SEEC2006, allowing me pick up and learn from things I never have done before, like leading a discussion group straight after each talk, with no guidance, for instance.  I remembered the sleepless nights and the tight schedules as well as the group leaders’ meetings that at times went through midnights. But I learnt:

1) I should be a humble servant

2) I grew in faith

3) SEEC is packed with strong teachings

4) A lot of people experienced God and converted to Christ there

5) SEEC is “exhausting”- full of Christians from all over the UK.

 So when the time came for 2007, you wonder what my responses were? 

1) I want to encourage (younger) fellowship members to go, so they can learn

2) I don’t want to go, because it is too exhausting and I am too old.  In the end, I did sign up to SEEC and also volunteered as a group leader, musician as well as first-aider, although they didn’t need my help with music. I only had one regret of not responding to the call to full time ministry! 

It really has been a truly enjoyable SEEC and it was such a privilege to lead such a wonderful group of 5 brothers and 5 sisters, where we had wonderful sharing.  My group is blessed to have a pastor from HK’s who is currently studying towards a PhD spending so much time with our group. I asked my group on the first day what they want out of SEEC, and frankly for me, there was not a lot other than wanting a good meditation on Good Friday, but God has graciously granted me more than that!. So this is what I got out besides reminders to STAND FIRM as Paul urged in his letter to the Ephesians:

1)     Reinforcing earlier learning about science and Christianity the Lord has planted in my life earlier this year.

2)     Learning from the boy/girl relationship workshop that we should always rejoice in the Lord whether single, dating or broken up.

3)     Open, deep and frank discussions on the subject of Holy Spirit and Evil Spirit with my group and also Pastor Li.

4)     I wanted a good meditation on Good Friday! I have never been ‘sentimental€, but the Lord has touched me at the Good Friday meditation:

l           The hymn The Servant King€ touched me and I want from then on to follow Him to be a humble, servant King.

l           Although I have heard This is the blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins€ many times, but I have not been truly touched by this until Good Friday, 2007.

l           I have grasped the theological meaning behind Jesus saying My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?€ on the cross is because he bore our sins, but again I have never felt so much that he bore my sins.    We were asked to write down the sins that are standing in between us and God and nail them onto the cross.  I knew that with the help of God, these sins would be killed off and I now pray for me to put on the full armour of God 24×7 and Stand Firm.

5)     Another group member and I at one of the group discussion shared that we often come out of these camps with ‘Spiritual high€ which subside, but Dr. William Ho pointed out that we don get the strength from the Lord like getting him to fill a fuel tank only to find it being used up, but we get it In Christ.  I pray that all of our spiritual lives will only grow but not die!

6)     4 of my group members responded to the calling to full time ministry

7)     A sister from St. Martins committed to Christ, and another truly touched by the Lord’s salvation.

8)     Totally exhausted- no doubt- in fact I had 2 nights sharing/praying till beyond 4am with less than 4 hours’ sleep, but with no regret! So, what happened with the calling?  Well, I do have an interest in missionary work and got a good insight from the Missionary workshop.  But my heart struggled when the time came for calling.  I was of the view that if I hear God’s calling, I will respond, but I wasn’t in a state to ‘volunteer€ as Isaiah responded ‘Here am I, send me€(Isaiah 6:8).  Satan was attacking me, saying ‘surely my biblical foundation is not strong€ and ‘you had hardly evangelised€.  So, my heart sank and I had no peace at all.  I was ‘shocked€ to see my 2 group-mates seating besides me stood up immediately upon the calling, but I didn’t have the urge/courage to stand up.  My peace were further disturbed when I saw another sister in my group stood up 5 minutes after the rest have done so, but still I had no courage to stand up.  At the end, I knew I need to speak to someone.  Thanks be to God that OMF’s Rev. Dick Dowsett kindly agreed to speak to me and pray with me.  I have regained my peace and now pray for the Lord’s guidance to stand firm to serve Him.

Photos taken at SEEC can be found at my photo gallery.

IDMF conference 26-28 January 2007

Four of us from St. Martin’s Chinese Congregation went to the Intentional Discipleship Making Fellowship conference at the COCM Mission Centre at Milton Keynes.

These 3 days are one of the most memorable days in my journey with the Almighty Lord.  I went with igorance of not knowing what IDMF is, with doubt on the credibility of the speaker, but these 3 days are just amazing “holiday” with God.  I call it a holiday because it is a truly enjoyable experience, but not to say it is anyway “relaxing”.   Rev. Edmund Chun enlightened me with his compassion for the Word of God and his ministry journey as well as his sound teachings, which not only drew us back to the living the bible out provoke thoughts.

My dear brothers and sisters, the talks, etc. will be uploaded shortly, but these memorable experience is not something that can be reproduced with these words or the MP3, the teaching and sharings from Rev. Edmund and others in the conference has truly revitalised me!  Thanks be to God!

CRISIS @ 2006’s Christmas!

Spent 3 shifts with the West Day Centre of CRISIS‘ Open Christmas for the homeless this Christmas- 13:45-20:30 on 23-Dec-06 and 07:30-14:30 on 26-Dec-06 and 30-Dec-06.

It is truly a remarkable eye opening 3 shifts and it changed my attitude towards the homeless.  Some of guests I met were rough-sleepers, though a lot a “hidden” homeless people, which is within CRISIS‘ charter.  They live in temporary accommodation such as hostels.

Without God’s love and guidance, I think I probably would not have the courage to shake hand with guests who had dirty hands or hug them.  OK, some guests obviously have a problem with alcohol, and a small minority of the guests are drug users, but I see true companionship amongst the guests, which is arguably deeper and more genuine than that amongst our society.  The image of a very well spoken and courteous elderly guest who just left hospital with a size 10 feet from water retention and couldn’t find in a flip-flop and could not find any shoes big enough for him at all charity shops he tried shocked me most, and I so wanted to help him on that very first shift ever with CRISIS.  Regrettably, the most I could do for him is to take down his needs and passing it to the people responsible for the clothing store, which was not ready on the first day.  Thank God that on my return to the centre on Boxing Day, I saw him in a reasonable pair of shoes!

SEEC 2006

During Easter of 2006, a group of us from the Chinese Congregation of St. Martin-in-the-Fields went to the South England Easter Conference which is an annual Christian conference for Chinese youths co-ordinated by the Chinese Overseas Christian Mission.

It is an intensive 5 days conference with young Christians from all over the South of England.  This year’s topic is “No Other” and I truly learnt that even Christians could have many idols, not necessarily something physical one “worship”, but anything that stand in between us and the one and only one true God.  There were also numerous workshops and discussions sessions where I learnt from brothers and sisters from other churches.

I would post some photos up in the near future.  I will also go again to next year’s SEEC and recommend anyone, Christian or non-Christian to go.  It’s a truly rewarding experience!