Saturday, August 29, 2009

#2

Ok so here is blog post number two from me (scott).

One thing that has hit me more than anything else in being here is just the sheer amount of people that we are surrounded by day in and day out.  In our apartment complex alone there are easily over 7,500 people (which is a bit different than the maybe 20 that lived in our last complex), and our complex is one of the smaller ones around where we live. 

You see apartment buildings everywhere you look when you walk out of our main entrance.  I wanted to try and give you a small glimpse into what it is like to walk through the crowds and experience something I experienced for the first time the other day.  So let me set the scene to this little video real quick.  Jason, Micah and I were with two of our new friends, Sam and Jo, on Hong Kong Island (which is the business district, so downtown basically). We were trying to get back towards home. This is what we came across in the MTR.  Please excuse the terrible quality of the video.  I am not good at video and we were in a hurry so hopefully you will get the picture.

video
(I thought the music suited well and I just was playing with imovie and thought it would be fun to try.)

It was crazy to be there and this does not even start to capture exactly how many people were on the MTR.  At times, it can be very overwhelming both in the lack of personal space but also in thinking about trying to make an impact into lives here.  This has been a thought of mine throughout our first four weeks here (oh and it's hard to believe we have been here that long).  

Throughout this time of processing how to handle all of this, the Lord brought me to the passage in Matthew 18 where Jesus is talking about the the lost sheep. I was reminded of why we are here in the first place.  For the one.  That is how Jesus operated his ministry.  He lived life intentionally beside a few individuals whose lives were then changed and in turn they did the same thing.  I pray that I would be about that.  


creative kids

we got on a bus the other day, and i saw this little chinese girl with an art painting in her see through bag. clearly her dad had just picked her up from an art class because she had a colorful crown on her head and her little masterpiece in her hand. on the bag it had a website. 

so here i am now. just remembering about that day on the bus. of course, i hurried to that long box on the top of the computer screen and typed in the web address. what did i find? seriously, i could have just cried i was so excited.

click here.

you think they're accepting volunteers? 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

an outlet

everybody's got one. you know the kind. it's when you've just got to get away to vent, to do something that's refreshing. that feeling of escaping from everything that's going on.

everybody's looks different. a few examples? sure.

this might be mom's
[just kidding, but really.]


for some it could be


for others
[games: definitely not mine.]

i know we often view outlets in a way that something just cluttered our lives and we need to let it all out. but what if we shifted that perspective a little? lately scott and i have been poured into so much by the other people on our team. i feel like we have been helped tremendously during our transition in moving to hong kong. so much so that i feel like a blowfish.

so full of encouragement that i could just burst.

great news. my special outlets arrived a few days ago. scott and i are excited about "venting" it all out to these two little m&ms.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

each morning

i love waking up and knowing our
to our family and friends back home: thinking of you in your nights and our mornings.

Monday, August 24, 2009

weird how i can predict

what i'll look like in twenty and forty years from now.


                  
[that's me and my mom and my mimi all around the same age]

i couldn't resist putting these up after mom had scanned in those pictures from papa's birthday. our family [basically mom and i] are obsessed with old pictures and home videos, so she sent about 13 emails of pictures + some more just because she couldn't help herself. here's to you mom and your ridiculously enormous bouquet. 

Saturday, August 22, 2009

tires on the boat


dad::
maybe they'll inspire you to invest in some for the boat. that way you will be super ready for the boats that fly by the dock at the lake house. 
.................................................................................................

the past couple of days have been so fun for a couple of reasons.

1. we rented a movie on itunes. who even knew you could do that?


and no we don't have a tv. not sure if we're going to get one. scott said we can just wait and see if we can live without it. and if we find that we can't then we realize that we should. meet the most practical guy ever: my husband. [mrs. barbara, does that not sound exactly like something your son would say??]

2. ktb's birthday
we went on a little adventure to the beach.

kind of like the beach at home, kind of not.



we found a few things along the way. 
a seafood restaurant with their food displayed outside the entrance. i just pretended in my head that we were looking at a nice little aquarium where people bought these funky creatures to put in their fish tanks at home.


                                                                                                                                                                                                   





and if we turned around from that "aquarium" to look behind us, we found some boats in this fishing village, Sai Kung.











and by far, my favorite little finding.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

to my papa

i wish a happy birthday.

let's start from the beginning... with this man [my great grandfather]. isn't he so cute?

[and we wonder why people assume that our family is slightly Chinese.]

which led to this little guy: earlon.

this class president
grew up to be such a stud.












which worked in his favor...


he entered the working world

and soon started a family
[check out mimi's hair!]

a wonderful father

















and grandfather                                                                    

he has taught us...


patience
yeah right. 







and how to say war eagle from the time we could talk.




he's one of those all around kind of people. one that you don't have to wonder how his family fits into his day. we [speaking for the grandkids] know we are treasured by our papa by the way he lives his life. 

papa, if i were in auburn i'd hand you this.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

being exposed

it happens. the good parts of what's in you and the bad parts. it seems to be the reality of being on a team, in close quarters. walking into a different country and culture is exciting and something new. it is overwhelming at times [and that feeling forces you to remember why it is that you came here].

 you have to make lots of choices. 

that when your box of junk is dumped out in front of everyone to see that you choose to deal with the mess that is inside of it. my first reaction is to scramble around to pick everything up and shove it back into the box, like the picture above.

i am learning more about myself, things that i would not know if i had not moved. 

i realize what i cling to when i am in stressful situations. i learn from them. but it's a choice. and not one that i often make. being exposed is teaching me. teaching me that there is an opportunity to change what's in my box. i must loosen my grip on the things i hold tightly, asking God to put to death what is earthly in me and to set my mind on the things above. 

so go figure, part of me wants to tape my box shut so that no one can see what is in there. BUT the other part of me wants to dump my box out and sort through the things in it. and i believe that is what's happening. by being surrounded by a team of believers, we are sorting through the things in our boxes together, believing that God is the one who is making all things new. His Word tells us this in Revelation 21:5. He says write it down, for those words are trustworthy and true. He is continually making me new. 

i'm writing it down.

right hand corner

yep right up there we have pictures. now, we haven't been consistent with our picture taking, but we want that to change. so little by little we will be adding some to the "see what we see" link. if you'd like to look at updated pictures of our apartment, we added some today. enjoy.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

rain and numbers

a couple of random observations for you today:

1. what's it like when it rains in the city?
wish we could see up through the sea of umbrellas to tell you. you fight for it to bring your own umbrella back down. the downside: it's like you might want to get somewhere fast, but your umbrella made you ten minutes late. the upside: you may just stay dry from everyone else's and won't have to tote your own around.


2. bet you can't guess the unlucky number around here.
[picture taken in our elevator].
pretty confusing. we thought we were in an eight building complex, but nope. just seven. they love to skip a number.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Well the day is finally here...

I know, I know, most of you have been hoping everyday to click on our blog and find a post that was done by me (scott) and today is finally the day.  Before you all stop reading, I just wanted to take the time to talk about what an amazing, creative person Cat is.  For some of you, the things you see on our blog come as no surprise because you know how talented she is, but for a lot of you, you have never seen any of these things so I hope you have enjoyed a small glimpse into the enormous talent that the Lord has given Cat.  
Ok, so those same ones of you who know about Cat's talents probably know that my talents are extremely different, none of which are in the creativity column.  So, as hard as I racked my brain to try and think of something creative to put up here I couldn't come up with anything (I may have a video or two to put up here soon but that is as creative as I get).  All that to say, I think the best thing I can put on here is just what the Lord has been teaching me to and what I have been thinking about this past week of being here.  I have been reading through and studying Romans but something I read took me to 2 Corinthians 3 and the following passage:

"12Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14But their minds were hardened. [...] 16But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."
(if you want to read the whole passage click here)

So the thing that hit me really hard is verse 18 and the gravity of thinking about walking through this city with an unveiled face.  There is no getting around the fact that we are noticed, especially where we live.  Today for example, we stopped to talk to the guard at the front entrance to our complex (very little communicating actually happened but that is another post) but we did hear him say block 7, 23 A (our apartment)  In a complex of well over 5,000 people, this guard, who isn't even the guard to our particular building knew exactly what apartment we live in.  And that isn't the only time one of the guards has told us where we live.  We can't hide here, we don't want to hide here.  But it is a weird feeling to know that you are being watched wherever you go, it is a convicting feeling.  I pray that we would reflect the glory of our God with unveiled faces as we walk through this city, I pray that you would reflect that same glory where you are, and above all I pray, I beg that the Lord would remove the veils of the faces in our complex, on the campuses, and throughout this city.  
p.s. thank you for reading, those of you who stuck with it even though there were no sketches.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

progress


it's happening. and i love when it does. today's progress was a comforter. this was such an improvement from the sleeping bag that totally didn't stretch out across our whole bed. it was a single man sleeping bag that we unzipped all the way. let's talk about that little noise maker.

it has a few too many of these

everyone knows scott's ability to have such an endless supply of wiggles [and of course my abundance of patience]. so you could only imagine the tapping of those stupid zippers on the side of the bed [or the end or the top. they're everywhere].

i felt like a grumpy old hag.


good thing we're back to smiles now.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the piano man

every morning we hear it through our ceiling. i wonder who is sitting in that seat, practicing day in and day out. it gives us a little bit of joel in our day.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

directionally challenged





anyone else feel this way? when i am trying to decide which way to go, i listen to my head say right and then i know i should go left. it's as if i should do the opposite of whatever would be my initial thought.
so far, that whole process isn't working that well for me. maps just look like a bunch of colorful lines someone scribbled down. therefore i'm a follower in these situations.

i know i'm not alone in this. i get it honestly. meet the bunch that make me feel normal about it.







Friday, August 7, 2009

orderly

things are like that here, random things. like waiting in line.



when waiting for our little bus to leave the New Town Plaza [a mall close to where we live],  people stand in these zigzag lines...

bars don't separate the people, just lines drawn on the ground. who really follows that rule? people here.


i pray for the day they will be lined up for this, thirsting for true Life.

last summer, before scott and i ever knew that hong kong was even an option, the lord showed me a picture. it was during worship. matt, scott, and jason were at the front serving communion. that was when i saw a picture of many chinese people rushing down the isles. lines and lines of them. 

oh how i pray for this to come to life.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

welcome to our new home


goodbye 3rd floor

hello 23rd floor


we have officially moved in. here are a few pictures of what life in our apartment has looked like these past couple of days. needless to say, we are ready for some furniture. yay for ikea.

right when you walk in our door you see this:


here is the view from our living room:



our bedroom:


our view from our bedroom:

the first day, our first purchase was a shower curtain. we went to this japanese home store to find cleaning supplies and came upon this beauty...

oh yes. only in hong kong you won't be able to find a plain shower curtain. every cartoon you can think of, but not plain. so here we are, swimming with the dolphins.