Finally... found some time to blog tonite!
Had a two busy work days and still kinda recovering from the weekend! Well, it was a good though tiring weekend away - although it lasted less than 24 hours..!
I went for the Christian Journalists Network (CJN) retreat at PD on Sat -Sun. I must admit that although i was keen when I signed up.. in the few days before weekend, I was having some second thoughts. Mainly because I was tired from work and stress and just want to basically `lepak' (idle) my weekend away if i can.. but then I'm glad I went although it turned out quite different from what I expected!
The drive down South was pretty good - just me and my car and the music.. :) met a short stretch of jam but then soon was cruising along the new highway which hardly had any cars!! (yep, i took these pix :p)
The last similar kinda retreat I went to was in 2000 at Arwana, which i didn't know was the same organisers :p So i thought I could like have a nice, reflective, quiet, spiritual kinda weekend away. And it turned out to be quite a `blast'. Yes, we had good, challenging and thought-provoking talks on the topic of `Faith & Vocation' and workshops and discussions, but... no, I didn't manage to have any time by myself!
But I had fun! Caught up with colleagues and friends, some of whom I haven't really talked to or seen for some time (including those in the same company even!) It was quite a small group - just 20 odd or so mainly from the English papers and a few from Chinese press.
I shared an `apartment' with three other journos - two from the same (parent) company and one formerly from the same company. And also met some new friends. We spent quite some time chatting, exchanging notes on work and stuff and even went for supper..
And it culminated with 10 of us at our apartment playing Taboo! And now, it has been quite some years since I last played the game.. it was so funny that we laughed our heads off most of the time! Too busy to take any pix!!
So the fellowship was great. But on a more serious note, we also learned much from the speakers - a many number of them - either from the industry or related to it. Rev Hwa Yung delivered the keynote sermon on Sat. evening which was quite thought-provoking. We then had split into groups to talk about suggestions/ problems on integrating our faith in our work - in this case, journalism.
The more interesting discussions actually took place the following morning although many of us were suffering form lack of sleep! At the Q&A sessions, like true journalists, many were `fighting' to speak! There were many questions and observations raised, as well as constructive suggestions on how, as Christian journalists, we could make a difference in our society and our nation, bearing the love of Christ... Although there are no conclusive solutions, I'm encouraged by the enthusiasm. We also learned from our four panel speakers, who spoke on the main challenges facing Christian journalists in international media, local media (English and Chinese) and alternative media.
I had a refreshing and great time at the retreat (despite the lack of sleep which took quite a toll on me the following day!). My prayer is that there will be more such meetings to come and that the CJN will grow, not just in numbers but in strength. And most importantly, as Christian journalists, we will truly strive to be `the salt of the earth' and `light of the world' even in our vocation...
And somehow.. personally, I think it has helped me to lessen the stress and disgruntle I often feel at work.. in the one month or so before my last day, I will just do my best in my job, remembering that ultimately my loyalty lies with God...