97 degrees in the shade today for our picnic.
Students are grouped into "families" each year and Wayne's "Family Group" includes new students who are away from their own families, some of them for the first time. They came over to our green backyard (a rarity in Hong Kong) for hot dogs, some of which got, er, a little more "well done" than we may have hoped.
For a handful of the students (from a variety of Asian countries), it was the first hotdogs of their lives! So after saying grace, Wayne held a little demonstration of the perfect way to eat one.
It was such a gift to spend some time getting to know one another. One of Wayne's doctoral students got tears in his eyes as he told how much he missed his two little girls back in his home country.
"We talked on the telephone last night," he said, "and my oldest daughter [two and a half years old] said, "Daddy when are you coming home?"
He tells us how he especially misses his family at night, misses his daughter's little voice, singing a song about Jesus' love during family devotions.
Other students can call home for pennies for a long phone call. But his home country has closed many channels of communication and he has to spend several (Hong Kong) dollars for each precious minute of connection. But his church has asked him to come to the seminary in Hong Kong to get the best possible education for ministering to people whose homes have been broken and livelihoods sabotaged by national conflicts.
He told me how Wayne had prayed with him in his office, and how much that had meant to him. He told how he was planning on saving every extra spare money he could, so as to go home to visit his young family once each year.
He knows he has been called here to Hong Kong, and he knows the Lord who called him will not abandon him, and will keep his family in the shelter of His wings.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.