top of page
  • Writer's pictureSean Foley

Taylor comes to town.... and Singapore is Ready for It!

Yes, some of the big news around here has definitely been Taylor Swift and the six concerts she is doing from March 2 to 9. There was a scandal over Singapore paying to have her not go to other Southeast Asian countries. There were reports of gatecrashers tailgating into the VIP 1 sections at the arena. And we personally have seen multiple teenagers on the train in their "We are never getting back together" shirts.


But while there is definitely some buzz, it hasn't deeply pierced our missionary bubble. That may be partly because we had our third round of zone conferences this week. This was the first round where we haven't shown up completely jet-lagged from international flights, so that was a plus. Monday was the conference for West Malaysia/Singapore while Wednesday was East Malaysia. The Mission Leadership Council met in the middle on Tuesday, and while they were meeting I had a chance to run to Little India and the Arab Quarter with some other senior missionaries. See pictures below - Vivian was unfortunately tied up in counseling sessions.


Having all the young missionaries and many of the senior couples in town was really wonderful. We can feel a bit isolated sometimes in our quiet office, with Vivian spending 18 hours or so a week in sessions, plus additional time each month in mission health councils, mission leader and medical consultations, escalations, etc. Infusing our lives with the energy of 130 new people over a few days was exhausting but enjoyable.


Those who worked with me over the years know that I'm an analogy/metaphor guy! One of my go-to metaphors is that of a flooded basement representing busy lives. The most important predictor of getting things under control (in our lives or in our wet basement) is not the speed or volume of the outflow that we accomplish through bailing or pumping. It is rather controlling the speed, volume, and path of the inflow! So that is what Vivian and I are working on in our Area Mental Health roles. We want to work ourselves out of a calling by helping these missionaries be so self-reliant and strong they don't need counseling. (All the while acknowledging that we'll never be out of a job because of crises and physiology that no mere self-reliance can avoid).


Two things we are doing in this realm are:

  1. Starting a course for 15 missionaries on March 22nd that runs one hour a week for ten weeks. It is based on the curriculum in Finding Strength in the Lord: Emotional Resilience, one of the amazing Self Reliance courses our church has. We are excited to dive in with our great missionaries in a virtual group setting on topics like Healthy Thinking Patterns, Our Bodies and Emotions, Managing Stress and Anxiety, Understanding Sadness and Depression, Overcoming Anger, Managing Addictive Behaviors, Building Healthy Relationships, Providing Strength to Others.

  2. Holding mission devotionals. Last week we spent an hour with the New Delhi mission and next week will be with the Jakarta mission team-teaching from the great book Adjusting to Missionary Life.


We have a few other strategic things in the hopper as well to make things better. It's always hard to be designing more fire proof buildings in the midst of putting out fires (yeah, now I'm mixing metaphors) but we're doing our best.





Photos

1-2 Zone Conference. We bought breakfast for one day, and in homage to last week's post, transporting it via train, bus and cart. It went very well, though getting three big watermelons across town was a feat!

3-5 Senior missionaries touring Little India and the Arab quarter. One of our group who lives just over in Malaysia is incredibly well connected across Singapore. He arranged a tour guide for the group at the mosque and shared with us some amazing stories of improved cooperation between our faiths.

6 - Speaking of cooperation there were some amazing meetings recently between the Malaysian Ambassador to the US and top church leaders (see the embassy's Facebook page). Our hope is that this will greatly improve the difficult visa process our missionaries face!

7 - A beautiful morning for a swim

8 - Supporting a couple great missionaries that are working to help people learn English

9 - Our church is listed on the sign in the subway of "neighborhood attractions"

10 - Decorating the office with a 190 square foot object lesson. I really enjoy discussing with missionaries and members as they come through.

11 - Most Americans have never heard of durian, which Malaysians like to call the King of Fruits. And as you can see from this picture, it certainly has the "king of prices!"

12 - Just going to say that these should be outlawed for their addictive quality...at least that's what a friend says :)

89 views8 comments

Recent Posts

See All

8 Comments


kay
Mar 07

When I first read the heading of this post I wondered how Singapore knew that Taylor (Williams) would be coming. We’re not even sure of our travel details yet. Fortunate our Taylor won’t require a large security detail.:)

Like
Sean Foley
Sean Foley
Mar 08
Replying to

Now that’s the Taylor we really need here!!!

Like

valora.frey
Mar 07

Durien is known as the "heaven/hell" fruit. Some people find it so stinky it's not allowed in some stores. I didn't find it smelled that bad, but personally I didn't think it was that fantastic either.

Like
Sean Foley
Sean Foley
Mar 08
Replying to

It is just now coming into season and we haven’t tried it yet. We have heard the same - love it or hate it!!

Like

kathyduffin
Mar 07

I haven’t heard your basement analogy. I like it! That emotional resilience class sounds awesome!

Like
Sean Foley
Sean Foley
Mar 08
Replying to

Thank you and Happy Birthday! We are super excited about the class.

Like

krzybee
Mar 07

It is amazing to watch your transformation into the culture. They are so blessed to have you both! Miss you here but love witnessing your love and service! 💛

Like
Sean Foley
Sean Foley
Mar 08
Replying to

Thank you dear friend!

Like
bottom of page