Friday, June 25, 2010

From China to Door County, Wisconsin

We signed up to serve as an "American Connection" to an international seasonal worker here in Door County, Wisconsin, and guess what, it turns out that "our" student is from China! 

When we went to find her at the hotel where she works, she had gone for a bike ride so we met four of her friends, instead.

They were delighted to come for a deluxe tour of our home, to practice their English, and meet my sister (Karin, far left). 

They admitted a profound dislike for Wisconsin cheese (disgusting!) and were intrigued by pretzel sticks and microwave popcorn.

They laughed at, and encouraged us in our VERY fledgling Chinese,  and we're all looking forward to sharing the delights of our upcoming Fourth of July celebration.

What fun!  They took lots of photos and we were able to share with my sister some of what we love best about Hong Kong... the Chinese people!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fast food Hong Kong style vs. fast food in Wisconsin

It's been a week already since our fifteen hour direct flight from Hong Kong to Detroit. It was an hour and a half ordeal making it through customs, and I must admit I missed the Asian efficiency in the airport... there were way too many people in uniform just standing around chatting with each other.  When we finally got as far as the gal at the customs counter she asked Wayne what he did and when she heard he was a marriage and family counselor, she sighed and said, "I would like to ask you a LOT of questions." But then she just waved us through without asking a single thing! So his profession does have its advantages.

Our next flight was about an hour from Detroit to Green Bay, and then into the waiting arms of my sister who had driven up with my niece from Rockford (my favorite and only sister, who has been diagnosed with advanced cancer since the last time I saw her).  Middle Son was there as well, and  Eldest Son showed up just a few minutes later, having helped with a big Special Olympics event earlier in the day.

First order of business, before driving on to our home in Sister Bay and getting to see my 86 year old mother, the really important thing we had been looking forward to was a stop at Culver's, home of the butterburger!  So here's the first of my mini-series on comparisons & contrasts between our life in Hong Kong and our life in Wisconsin:

Fast food Wisconsin style vs. fast food in Hong Kong:

It's good to be back in the USA for a couple of months :)

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
       with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
-- Psalm 63:5

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saying Good bye (with Sesame Ice-Cream)

I'll won't see the Ma On Shan Lutheran school kids until September, so we reviewed the long i sound, /i/ is for ice-cream! Sesame ice-cream!

We sang "Who made the Colors of the Rainbow" with the first and second graders, and I reminded them that the same One who created all of those colors is the One who made each one of them and loves them, each one uniquely, and all of them together.

The 6th graders practiced their English graduation speeches, which they've already memorized even though graduation day is a couple of weeks away for them (I was very impressed.) I'm hoping to persuade some of those 6th graders to come back next year to help with an after-school English and Bible story program back at the Primary School. I'll be looking for good VBS type program materials in the US this summer to bring back for them. (In case any readers of this blog have some good suggestions, please pass them on! :)

I look forward to seeing them again in September. And maybe getting more of that delicious sesame ice-cream!


Taste and see that the LORD is good;
 blessed are those who take refuge in him.

                             --Psalm 34:8

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Feasting and Saying Goodbye

Monday night -- Graduation Banquet for the Lutheran Theological Seminary class of 2010.

Here's Stanley, a true master at Master of Ceremonies.

Sarah and Sarin, a Hong Kong- Cambodian couple who will be returning to Cambodia to serve.

Doua and Jyo and Tai, who are heading back to Laos.

Barnabas & Grace -- Barnabas was Wayne's first doctoral student; he and Grace will return to their pre-marriage & couples counseling work in Vietnam. Last week they had treated us to a mouth watering Vietnamese meal in our home. They are definitely Grace (unearned favor) and Barnabas (which means "son of encouragement") for us.

This is a great end to our first term in Hong Kong. I said my good-byes to the "Hoppy Palace" kids last week and will say good-bye to the Lutheran Primary School students on Friday, so check back for pictures soon... on Saturday we are flying back to the good old USA for two months!!

Save us, LORD our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks
to your holy name and glory in your praise. -- Psalm 106:47

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wayne's trip to Myanmar

Wayne just got back from a faculty trip to Myanmar, the country which used to be known as "Burma".

Who speaks good news in this land where wild elephants and the occasional tiger still roam in old forests, where the average wage for an educated teacher is rumored to be in the $35 USD a month range, where tropical downpours conspire with a heavy handed police presence to keep people isolated and careful, very careful of what they say and do and teach.

In this beautiful country, Wayne and his colleagues were able to visit small pockets of Christians who are living out Jesus' teaching to be like yeast mixed with flour, which works invisibly to perfume the whole house with the promise of good bread for the children, the old grandparents, and the hungry guests to eat.

"What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough." -- Jesus speaking in Luke 13:20-21

A big thank you to Wayne's German colleague, Dr. Jan Depner, for most of these great photos.