ASEAN Grand Prize (Part 1)


Thus screamed, in all caps, the subject-line of one of my unread email messages. 

I receive emails of this nature often and they are, you guessed it, all scams.

It took two days before I opened the email. I intended to cursory read the content before dumping it. But to my complete surprise, it was real!

Indeed, Beth (the illustrator of all 15 books of the Oh, Mateo! series) and I won a grand prize for this No. 6 book, “Look for the Star,” published by OMF Lit under its Children's book imprint, Hiyas, and we were being invited to go to Singapore to receive the award.
My jaw dropped and stayed there for what seemed like hours. I visited the website of the organizer and yes, it is a legitimate award, a prestigious one, which sifts through  published children’s storybooks in all of Asia and declares the winners.

I bowed my head to thank the Lord for this fortuitous good news.

“Look for the Star” is a story of a wayward, stowaway boy, led back home by a larger-than-life star handmade by his parents, who never gave up on him through the years.

It was inspired by the unconditional love that God shines upon anyone who acknowledges and believes in Him. It shines even brighter when, taking the metaphor further, the road is pitch dark and we don’t know which way to go. 

For this unexpected grace, however, I (unfortunately, Beth couldn't make it) knew exactly which way to go, “Singapore, here I come!”

“. . . ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12 (ESV)

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