What a year.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (cliché count: 1), everything seems like the end of the world when it’s happening. But then it’s over and I’m on to the next thing, and it’s only in retrospect that I can appreciate just how good God is.
So in chronological order, here are some of the highlights of my 2012.
vision conference in Canberra – this was a great opportunity to start off my year as SMA president by attending the Vision conference. It’s run by CMDFA the Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship of Australia, and it was a really great opportunity to connect with other student leaders and really focus on what the heartbeat for the year was. Brilliant and amazingly humbling. Also the first time I set foot in our nation’s capital city.
started 5th year at gen med joondalup – this was excellent. We had such a small tight knit group that we got along really well in tutorials, and just had a lot of fun learning together. Plus, for some reason things just made a little bit more sense this year.
chinese new year celebrations at Charles’ – our first day of Semester was on Chinese New Year, and Charles was kind enough to host a bit of a get together at his place, and this was the first time I saw food being thrown around… in some kind of (non-Vietnamese) tradition.
chris chan’s going away party – it was also a sad day as we said a farewell to Chris Chan, who’s been a mentor to me (and still is), as he moved to Adelaide for work.
sma leader’s retreat – Another humbling experience. we walked through Jonah and thought about what it means to run from God, and also reflected on what it is to choose good and not God (at least I think we did…) and it was great to have some input from the committee members.
started the webpage and videos – at Thyme Court we launched our website and also had a few testimony videos. It was a good strong start, and I’m glad that Boo and Donna have taken over and are doing such an excellent job with it.
thyme court impact conference in Harvey – we also had our Thyme Court IMPACT conference for young adults. It was really, different. I think we all had the chance to sit back and really focus on God that weekend, and encourage one another to keep walking the walk of faith. I just remembered that I was also able to share a little bit about where God has taken me in University, and really honour the people in my life who’ve brought me to where I am today. Ben Rae is one such man. He took time out of his week to help me read the Bible and pray with me when I was a first year Medical student, and really asked me questions that I’d never asked myself.
started playing weekly squash – this was something excellent from the brain of a good friend of mine. We knew that fifth year exams would stress us out, so weekly physical activity would keep us on board with study and give us a mental break.
sma sundowner – Because of the change in course structure, there weren’t any new medical and dental students this year, so we had a bit of a welcome for everyone in SMA and the feedback was that it really did achieve the goals of allowing for people to mingle effectively and just start the academic year off on the right foot.
yongyi visited – YongYi is a good friend of mine who lives in Brisbane, and I got the chance to catch up with him over a caffeinated beverage, and we shared a bit about our lives and what was going on, and the directions in which God was taking us.
spirituality, suffering and healing – This was an option unit that I was blessed to be a part of. Dr Doug Bridge allowed us to spend two weeks reflecting on the spiritual side of medicine, and we accompanied him on ward rounds to the palliative patients and learnt first hand what it was like to deal with end-of-life issues. He also retired this year, and is a great example in the faith.
obs and gynae – First time doing Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the Medicine course. Definitely a challenging area of medicine. Also got to deliver a baby, although I’m not even sure of the day anymore. Somehow I thought I’d make a huge effort to remember the occasion.
impact conference in merroo – I had the privilege of leading worship for the CMDFA IMPACT conference this year, and it was really a blessing. To have everyone come together having Christ and Healthcare in common was really an inspiration, and it gets better every year. 2013 will be in PERTH
delivery shifts – These were intense. 8am-8pm or 8pm-8am. First taste of the medical life.
sma conference – This year we experimented with a conference format, compared with previous years where we’ve traditionally had an SMA “camp”. It was really good to see that all of our speakers got on board with the Integrity theme and that everything flowed. All of our delegates definitely said they got a lot out of it.
boo and donna’s engagement – A fine occasion, and it was such an honour to be a pig-bearer for their engagement party. 2013 is a big year for them as they’re tying the knot!
melbourne – our holidays this year consisted of a two week break in July, so what better opportunity to visit my cousins in Melbourne and have a relaxing week?
paediatrics! – This was also our first exposure to working with children in clinical practice, and it was amazing. It was around this time in the year that we realised that our rotation group was excellent and we really grew close to each other. Weekly quizzes kept us on our toes, and the kids were just great.
leaders and coordinators retreat – A time for Thyme Court leaders to reflect on the year so far, and future directions, and really just pray for one another and resolve some differences.
SEED catchup – This, was such a blessing and I’m so humbled to be a part of SEED. I don’t know if I blogged much about it, but there are things in the works.
thyme court celebration – This year we really had full creative control of the service, and it was so fluid from start to finish. Excellent work from the production team, the actors, the worship team, and the videos from Clairebear. It was really a glimpse into how we want to do big events in the future. It was also one of the most challenging messages of this year.
med dinner video – It was around this time of the year that I put my hand up casually to organise and coordinate the med dinner video under the thumbs up of our year coordinators and working with the brilliant team of Qiao productions with excellent input from Le Fanciulle and DMisso.
father’s day outing – We had our first Father’s Day outing, or at least in my recent memory. It was a bowling night and there was actually an amazing turnout from all our Vietnamese father’s. My cousin Luan was in town and he came along as well with his dad. Excellent night.
GP and ophthal – Our final term for the year. Bad times in General Practice, but also really challenging. I had the opportunity to sit in with the StreetDoctor van, and really see what it was like for the disadvantaged in society. Definitely reminded me of the need. And Ophthal was amazing.
OSCE TIME – This was another blessing. A group of friends started running weekly study groups simulating our end of year exams. Tim hosted at his house, and it was definitely an encouragement, and a sorely needed reminder to study.
SMA AGM – And just like that, my term as SMA president was over. Passing on the reins to some up and coming young talent was a great opportunity to see what the future of SMA looked like, and to push them in the right direction, just slightly out of their comfort zone. It’s a great place to be, because you’ve really gotta trust God.
alex and amelia’s wedding – Alex Tan. Another ex-SMA president, and mentor and encourager over the years. He’s been a great friend and has always been a support when the going has been tough, and with his move to Melbourne this year, it was harder to catch up – but when we did, he was always a blessing. A big congratulations to this couple. Oh, and what an honour it was to play piano and organise music for their wedding.
moses and nat’s wedding – Moses Lee. Dentist. Great friend and encourager and most recent asian male ex-SMA president. He really took it upon himself to go out of his way to encourage me as president this year and keep me accountable to the direction and vision of SMA. And another one getting married. He’s truly a great man of God, and they are a fantastic couple.
exams happened. – yeah, those things. These were the worst of all the exams I’ve ever sat, and I’m glad they’re over. That being said, I’d do it all again.
2911 – You are a blessing. You feel like home. You speak to who I am in Christ, and encourage me to trust in Him. Thank you for being you.
nick and hsern’s 21st – these guys are hilarious, and also genuinely great guys. Hsern has taken on the challenge of Presidency next year, so I look forward to seeing just exactly what he comes up with, and what God challenges him with.
truc’s 21st – This amazing young lady is my niece, and it was a bit confronting realising that she was turning 21. It was really encouraging seeing her extended family at her 21st too.
nathan and kabwe’s wedding – Nathan is a great friend of mine, who is really a man of God. I don’t really think I can put it any other way. He is a seeker of Christ and everything that that entails, and although people can get frustrated with him, he’s always been a true friend and willing to point out when things aren’t right. Nath and Kabwe have an amazing story, which I won’t share, but trust me, it’s amazing.
And just like that, 2012 is over. I’ve been overwhelmed by just how far God has taken me this year. For our end of year service at Thyme Court we had to write a little bit about what God has done in our lives, and for me I think He was my sustainer.
I went through so much this year that pushed me out of my comfort zone, and pushed me way beyond my physical limits of tiredness. I had so much on my plate, but God saw me through. The last sermon of the year that I heard was actually from Psalm 121, about how God is our Keeper.
I don’t know what else to say, if God is our Keeper, then He’s looking out for us. If you are your own sentry, then you’re gonna fail. Or you’re never gonna sleep.
Wishing you all the best for 2013, I can honestly say that I hope you have a challenging year and you’re stretched as a person, because on the other side of it you’ll learn to trust in God more.
See you on the other side.