Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We celebrated Thanksgiving with a gathering of 40 American friends. The food was amazing and we ate way too much. I cooked my first turkey ( we affectionately named the 20 pounder 'Turk'). It was a great time and completed by a prank by our Canadian friends. We have so much to be thankful for . . .family we truly love. . . friends that flavor our lives. . . . health. . . .wealth. . . and God's grace. And if you are reading this we are thankful for YOU!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Best Buds!

Click to play My Boy
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Six months ago I was fairly nervous about becoming a father. I hadn't spent that much time around infants and didn't really know what to expect. Although the early days with Josiah were extremely enjoyable, they were not exceptionally fun. I think I have entered the stage in fatherhood where I can interact with my son. Now it is just plain fun. I can throw him in the air, tickle him, hold him upside down and watch him giggle. He's better than any form of entertainment I've ever experienced, and better yet, he's free! Pretty much I just love him to pieces.

Friday, November 21, 2008

How Much is That Baby in the Window?

Tonight we went to Starbucks down by the harbor. Jason was sitting on "display" in the front window with Josiah in his lap. Soon they were stopping traffic as passer byers smiled, taped on the window, took picture of him, with him, and carried on with other antics to make him smile. It was pretty funny, if only we'd gotten a free latte out of it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Luke 9:24

Hopefully the pictures from the streets of Manila were able to tell a lot of the story. There is certainly more to be told, but I have had a hard time sitting down to write this blog. Maybe because there seems to be so much to do after a week away(5 loads of laundry, emails galore, empty fridge, sick family) or maybe because now that I'm back in the comforts of Hong Kong there is a part of me that doesn't want to revisit the hardships that define the lives of the 5,000 squatters at our doorstep. This was my 3rd time to the Philippines and Jason's 5th. Having visited this ministry before we knew what to expect, but the suffering that accompanies poverty struck me in a new way this time. It has something to do with being a mother.
For one, I had to calculate the risk of taking Josiah at 6 months old into this setting. I knew all to well that the streets where the children played barefoot in the rivers of raw sewage were a breeding ground for cholera. We knew as well of the case of cases of dungae fever that had taken children's lives in past years. We weren't too concerned with the fact that all the orphans have TB because Josiah has been vaccinated for that (but that was a risk too). The children and adults in the neighborhood loved Josiah and kept saying "he looks like a doll!" They wanted to hold and touch his hands that go to his mouth with magnetic force. It was hard as a mother to engage the local culture, validate their value as people, and protect my son from their germs. In the end I let some women in the town hold him, smiled at everyone, and held Josiah out of little finger's reach. Josiah did catch a cold, but I knew at any moment I could be back in Hong Kong in 4 hours flat. Not so for the mother's around me.
There is one woman (beautiful woman) who I pass several times a day who lives in a house the size of a bathroom with her family of five. She paces the streets all day nursing her baby with an expression of resigned acceptance. The Bible calls us to enter into the sufferings of others. As I pass her I imagined nursing Josiah in the street because I have no rocker or crib to lay him. I try to fathom the panic of not having food or medicine to give to my sickly baby. Down the street a bit I pass another house with twin 8 months old. When I pick them up they feel like a piece of popcorn compared to Josiah. With swollen bellies and weak limbs, there mother often leaves them on the dirt floor of their house alone during the day. Sometimes the nurse from the children's home chases away the rats, scoops them up and feeds them for a while. The nurse reports that they are slowly dieing.
God calls us to be a voice for the poor, so here is my small voice telling the stories of real people that symbolize the struggles of lots of other people. It overwhelms me to think that 80% of the world lives in poverty. We want to raise our son to not think the world is about an affluent 20%, but to have a heart of compassion for social justice. For us that tipped the scales with the other risk factors in our decision to bring him. "Whoever wants to save his life will loose it. But whoever looses his life for my sake will save it."
*There is a LOT more about the trip. Maybe my amazing husband who led all the middle school kids will write his perspective later. Stay tunned.*

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Off to the Philippines

Our bags are backed (work gloves, children's toys, every medicine I could possibly have for Josiah) for our trip to the Philippines tomorrow. Jason is leading a group of 25 Middle School students on the annual trip to serve in the slums of Manila and Josiah and I are tagging along. Jason and I spent last Christmas at the orphanage and LOVED the kids there. They were very into my pregnant belly and so we promised to come back once the baby was born. I can't wait to hug, play, listen and share the love of Jesus with these precious kids. Please pray for health, safety, and patience, did I mention 25 middle school students?! (: We will post photos in a week when we are back. Here is the ministry's website if you want to check it out

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Click to play Sqeaky
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Election in HK

Just now I was walking down the street and passed a Pizza Hut delivery man. I greeted him in Cantonese and smiled. He smiled back playfully and replied "Obama."
You may think we would have dodged all the election hype being on the other side of the world, but I have been amazed at what a big deal it is to everyone, American or not. Yesterday morning 10:30 our time, I was reading an article online about the terrible violence in Congo and the plight of the quarter million refugees. My heart was heavy over the situation and I was crying out to the Lord for relief. At that time I got a call from Johnny, our friend from the Congo. He was ecstatic yelling in the phone "Thank you God . . . Obamba first black president . . . no more white house, black house!" He then passed the phone to another African friend who was celebrating with him, but I couldn't even make out what his friend was saying because he was over taken by tears (literally sobbing) at the excitement of Obama's presidency. I thought it was ironic that we were both so moved by the news of each other's countries. However you sway politically, history was certainly made and I can't help but feel caught up in the excitement.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Guam Cross Country 2008

Oct 22nd-28th I helped lead a group from our XC team to participate in the Asia Pacific Invitational. It consisted of a 5k race early friday morning and an 8k relay Sat morning. Most of the athletes ran their fastest times of the season. We got to enjoy the sand, surf, and overdosed on american fast food:(.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Half a Year

Josiah celebrated his six month birthday at the party of his girlfriend, Zara, twice his age. It was his first party and he even got his own party hat and goodie bag!

Every night as we put Josiah to bed Jason and I pray over him for protection, that he would know the love of Jesus, and for him to sleep (it works- last night he slept 11 hours straight!) Most importantly we end the day with a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift Josiah is to us.

Here are six things we love about our son:
1. the gusto with which he splashes in the tub
2. his resilience, he takes a tumble and keeps on going
3. his wide, two toothed smile- it is so contagious people across the train catch it
4. the bewildered face he makes the first bite he takes of every meal
5. his chubby, sturdy legs that love to stand
6. his interest in everything going on around him, he doesn't miss a beat