This year Ash Wednesday and Chinese New Year Eve came on the same day. Chinese New Year celebrations are so important, even the Roman Catholic cardinal in Hong Kong gave his flock an official "dispensation" from Ash Wednesday fasting.
At the Lutheran Theological Seminary (Hong Kong) we had the imposition of ashes in the morning followed by Chinese New Year feasting in the evening.
On the first Day of the Chinese New Year (it's the Year of the Goat) we combined traditions by going on a 14 mile wilderness hike (walking with Jesus), scaling the steep climbs of the Hong Kong hills (almost like mountain goats). LTS students from Myanmar are much better climbers than their international professors from the flatlands of the Midwest (USA) and the Netherlands!
|Our hearty friends and colleagues from the Netherlands.|
|Happy we can still climb mountains together!|
|Definitely the last hike for this particular pair of shoes!!!|
|"These hills remind us of home" Seemed to me|
they weren't even breathing hard.
|We did it! Here's to a great start to the Chinese New Year of the Goat... |
and the Holy Season of Lent...
18The high mountains belong to the wild goats...
24How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures...
|30When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.|
- from Psalm 104