It was the final year of high school for me at Vancouver Technical Secondary, a year to fully enjoy high school before it ended. As senior class, we enjoyed perks such as grad hall, free block and events such as Prom.  However, amidst the busyness of studying, hanging out with friends and applying for universities, a tragedy occurred in the East Van community. According to the Vancouver Sun:

“SURREY – Police are investigating a shooting in Fleetwood Park in Surrey late Friday that left an 18-year-old man dead and two others injured. According to a news release, Surrey RCMP responded to a call of shots fired near Fleetwood Park around 8:40 p.m. Friday.

Three people were taken to hospital for treatment — one with critical injuries and two in serious condition. On Sunday, one of the injured — Yulian Limantoro — died.

Police say they have received reports that a fourth man was also injured in the shooting but have not yet been able to confirm that.

Surrey RCMP says it believes the shooting occurred after a dispute broke out between a group of people in their late teens and early 20s. Police said it is not clear at this point if the incident was drug- or gang-related.

The investigation of the shooting has been taken over by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.”

Yulian Limantoro was an acquaintance of mine.  I hung out with him casually at friends’ houses. Although I did not know him well, his death impacted me deeply. In rememberence of him, there was a memorial service at Willingdon Church on Saturday March 11, 2006. I knew his past girlfriend, and had a biology class with her. I remember the grief and trauma it had caused her. It impacted her ability to focus and study, and it was devastating to witness. At the threshold of graduation, she suffered an incredible loss. I did not know the details of what happened, but there’s nothing that saddens me more than a young death. I attended the funeral, and found myself in a church. It was one of the most memorable experiences of me inside a church as I was old enough to understand what was going on. I saw how faithful the family was to God. However, I was still in shock over what had happened… Read more below.



Whats your story?

Everyone has one. Where do you come from? What struggles have you endured? What have you been through and risen out of?

I come from one of the sketchier neighbourhoods of the city. Although my parents did everything possible to provide for us physically in terms of food shelter and clothing, I was always scared of marriage as my parents had a rocky marriage. Nonetheless,  I started dating at 14 years old, to a sweet boy who lit up the nearby park with candles in the shape of “1 ❤ U” and stood in the middle of the heart with a plastic bouquet of flowers. I couldn’t say no to that. But he was also a rebel, a bad boy. After dating for a couple months I found out from an friend that he had robbed a house. I was shocked and thought it was surreal. I didn’t know such things could be done. I questioned who he was and wondered what else he had done that he hadn’t told me. We broke up shortly after that. He tried to convince me to get back together by saying he was trying to mimick robin hood, and that he was a good christian and taught sunday school. I didn’t deal with it well. Shortly after, he got involved in a fight and was hospitalized. He was also kicked out of my high school. I locked up my feelings and poured my heart into my work. I got straight As and made it into a competitive program within the city – UBC Sauder School of Business. I started dating again, but never as serious. I had commitment issues. The next boy was similar to the last one – a bit of a bad boy. But this one was smart in school. I thought it could work, he was kind & supportive, and most of all, we were in love. It was on and off. It was a relationship but we never talked about marriage. His parents were separated so he didn’t believe in marriage either. On and off. On and off. It was not a healthy relationship. We finally had a clean break and I ran away to a different country to Hong Kong when I went on exchange because I couldn’t deal with our issues and the fact that he had started seeing someone else. He often got into fights.  After we broke up, I saw him get involved in a fight outside a club. His eyes were red and he was screaming. I had never seen him like that before. I approached him to get him to calm down, but I was scared. I mustered up all the patience and softness I could gather and warned him to be careful. His enemies were screaming back at him. I think I suffered a bit of PTSD after that, but I didnt know it. I woke up and couldnt stop crying one day. One day, I broke down and the tears wouldn’t stop coming down. I deferred some of my courses and took a mental break. I know that God has a plan for me, and I am on this journey with Freedom Sessions to heal and recover. The pain I’ve been through will also allow me to have empathy and compassion for others.  Read more on my journey @

My Journey to Faith – Notes on Santa Ono’s (President of UBC’s)  Sermon at Tenth Church

He was at a stage in his life where he felt inadequate. He was surrounded by success and intimidated by expectations. He experienced depression – feelings of inadequacy. Tried to take his life. People had no idea he had a problem. Important to talk to people about the crisis of mental health. 1 in 5 UBC students struggle with mental illness. Break stigma of talking about how you feel so others can be there for you. Build web of support to stop people from taking their lives.

Then he got treatment – and diagnosed with mental illness. Not Zoloft or therapy that healed him, but Jesus that has made him well for 2 decades.

People took him to church. He felt like a lost sheep with no spiritual rudder as he came from a family with no faith background. He heard a song about the sound of heaven touching earth – & that’s how he felt when he went to church. Then he went to Sunday school with the kids as a grown adult – went from feeling heaven touching earth to actually believing. Started to read the bible.

What can you do? Be a Shepherd and show your love.



The little engine that could – “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” A line that gives motivation and support. Changes perspective and attitude.

My heart and other black holes (book) by: Jasmine Warga – She encouraged him to share his struggles and his story.


We want to blame God because we don’t want to take responsibility for our mess. We stop believing in God because he won’t change it. Is it possible that God does, in fact, exist, and we are still fully responsible for the human condition?

Is it possible that God created us with the power to create the world of our choosing?

If God refuses to take from us our free will and he refuses to leave the world in its present condition, what can he do?

Here’s an interesting possibility: He could change our hearts. He could take us through a process that would move us from greed to altruism, that would move us from indifference to compassion, that would move us from hate to love, that would move us from apathy to activism. If he could change us, he could change the world.

-Soul Cravings, Erwin Raphael McManus