This Easter week Wayne and I were working on perfecting our pizza recipe, and invited several Asian students over, who, like us, are far from home and surely missing their families more than ever over the Easter vacation week. While Wayne & I really miss our college-age sons, some of these students are mothers and fathers of school age children, 7, 8, 9 years old. They are here studying in Hong Kong, far from their families, for the same reasons you and I do things that may seem crazy in the short -term... 'cuz followers of Christ have the ultimate long-term in mind.
We are very fortunate to have an oven, most people in Hong Kong do not. This week was our third attempt at a pizza, and Wayne outdid himself on the crust... he came up with the brilliant idea of asking one of the local bakeries for the raw dough and they were so interested in his project, that they gave us a big lump of dough for free! (He promised to report back to them on his success).
The dinner conversation was especially gripping that night, as a couple of students mentioned that their government (of a country which we won't even name) closed down over 100 churches because these Christian churches were too effective in mobilizing help, rebuilding homes, and giving extraordinary compassionate care after a recent natural disaster hit their land.
And yet, how eager these students are to get back home, so they can better serve people in & through Jesus' church, openly when possible, quietly when necessary.
Wayne & I are so grateful that we get to be part of these students lives.
As the new ELCA "slogan" puts it:
God's Work. Our Hands.
In this case, our hands were just rolling out pizza dough. But who knows what God is cooking up, through these new relationships with students, and the courses in Pastoral Care, Marriage and Family Counseling which Wayne is teaching? .