How the Chinese Version came about...
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
1 Kings 19:11-13
The thought of a Chinese version of the calendar was planted into my head when the first edition was out. A friend commented that she would love to give a Chinese version of it to her Chinese-speaking unbelieving parents. It was such a fantastic idea! But there was a host of other factors I had to wrap my mind around...
Would there be enough orders? (It's more economical to print in bulk)
My Chinese Calligraphy ain't up to scratch
My Chinese is SO BAD! (I failed my O Level Chinese!!!)
I kept that thought at the back of my mind... but didn't think much of it at that time.
Recently, on 13 September 2022, I went for my facial appointment. Before you think I'm the sort that spends much money on my physical maintenance, I go for facial because my mother makes me go for it.
As I lay on the bed, without the freedom to fiddle with my phone, during this rare opportunity where apart from talking to my facial lady (who still chats with me despite my poor Mandarin), it is mostly quiet, and the thought of the Chinese Calendar resurfaced in my mind. In times like these, sometimes I'm not sure if it's God speaking to me or if it's just thoughts in my head. I decided to just let the thoughts flow...
... sure, that's a great idea but HOW? My Calligraphy skills are not that great...
... why not ask your Uncle?
My Uncle, Dr Tan Chong Tien is my mother's brother, and anyone who knows him will attest to his passion for Chinese Calligraphy. He takes out his brush and writes at every opportunity - during his free time, at even at work during lunch breaks!
So right after the appointment, I sent my Uncle a message. He replied rather quickly. For a quiet and measured man, I could sense his excitement. By then I had a clearer idea on most of the Promises and verses, so we went through that with the Chinese Bible alongside him.
Things progressed from there, and he wrote out all the verses in less than a week!
The second question God had to answer... I'm SO BAD at Chinese!!
I have a cousin, Heather Teng, who is from China and resides in Singapore. When I approached her, she was more than willing to help, and she spent a few late nights helping me out!
God also provided two others, my church friend Daisy and Pastor (Rev) James Lee to help me proof read. Between my uncle, Heather, and the two of them, they have helped me to ensure that the message if clear and accurate.
Here are what some of them have to say:
We live in a fallen world which is full of challenges and difficulties. God’s promises given in the Scriptures help us to face all these challenges with godly perspective. Through His promises we learn of God’s character and find strength, purposes and joy in living. - Dr Tan Chong Tien
... so God answered my cry for help, bringing people who are fluent in the language to help me.
As I prepared this version, I couldn't help but find comfort from this verse:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
The work of this calendar is something that I pray displays His Power. And despite my weaknesses and lack, God shows that He provides and He is there to help me.
And now my third worry... Would there be enough orders?
At this point of time as I launch this, I seriously have no idea what the reception would be like. It's me taking a leap of faith, and accepting that the profit margin will likely be smaller than before. From conception to execution, God is really teaching me to trust Him, that He provides for my every need, He is my help at every step, and to go forward in this knowing His purpose and winning souls for Him is more important than how much money I think I will make.
My hope as I share this story is that you see God's faithfulness behind this project, and my prayer is that this blesses and encourages you, and to answer and obey those gentle whispers God has impressed upon your heart.
If you are interested in getting a copy of this calendar, Pre Orders are now open!
You may order them [HERE]