Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hoarders, throwing stuff out, and more goodbyes...

Eldest Son with his mom and his Omi, on the eve of his leaving for S. Korea.
This week it was time to say good-bye to Eldest Son who is off on a year's adventure in South Korea, teaching English to Korean primary school kids.  (Check out his blog: He and Youngest Son have had a tempestuous relationship over the years, so I am pleased to report we three got along pretty well in the two weeks we spent together.  While Y.S. was working at his summer job, E.S. and I did a lot of house cleaning in anticipation of having renters (I hope I hope)... throwing out LOTS of stuff and taking at least three big van loads to the local charity resale shop, intermittently watching HOURS of a tv show called "Hoarders" to motivate us to clear up even more stuff. 
This photo captures the brothers' relationship rather nicely.  Ah, siblings.
The interesting thing about the show "Hoarders" (besides making us feel, well at least we're not THAT bad!) is how people continually choose stuff over relationships.  In the tv show, hoarders fill every nook and cranny in their house with stuff, because "someday" they'll need it. 
Meanwhile, there's less and less space for actually living life.
I'm happy to say we had several nice meals together, enjoyed each other's company, helped each other out, and "the boys" got along with each other, not perfectly, but pretty well!!!!

" Finally, brothers, farewell! Put things in order, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.  "
-- St. Paul, 2nd letter to the Corinthians (13:11)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Leaving home for home...

Wayne should be landing in Hong Kong just about.... NOW.

So is he leaving home, or going home?

My friend talks with her 5 year old about transition from Hong Kong to their new Ohio home on a blogpost called Where We are Right Now

She talks about loving two places... and it's true.  I love Wisconsin, the cool night temperatures, Lake Michigan, cherry pie, trees, trees, trees.  Wisconsin is where my sons are attending university, where my 87 year old mom lives, where friends and relatives are (or come to visit), where people still go to church on Sundays and stay for coffee and conversation.

But I also love Hong Kong.  I love the dim sum and the hotpot, the hustle and bustle, the international friendships, hikes in the mountains, the cheap mass transportation (see my previous blogpost for more on that!) and my work at the Lutheran Seminary and the Primary School.

I love Wisconsin and I love Hong Kong, but right now Hong Kong is winning out, because that's where  my husband is and that's where my work is, so in three more weeks, after getting eldest son off to the airport for South Korea (yup, Korea!) and youngest son off to his first year at University of Wisconsin - Osh Kosh, I'll be coming home to Hong Kong.

As this great song by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's puts it: (click on the link)

or, as the Bible puts it:

"...whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God..."  -- Ruth's words to Naomi in the Book of Ruth

Saturday, August 6, 2011

8 churches and the CFH (Car From H...) - the life of a missionary on "home assignment"

It's enough to make you believe in demon possession. (Well, I did anyway, just didn't realize that demons could inhabit cars as well as people)

17 sermons, 9 children's messages, 8 churches, 7 slideshows, and 5 cars later, we have a couple of weeks of actual R & R before we return to our work in Hong Kong, China.  We loved visiting the different churches in Wisconsin and Iowa; we did not love our car experiences.

This car was loaned to us by someone who met us for the first time out in the church parking lot!

Our main car, the CFH, 1995 Plymouth Neon, was (graciously?) loaned to us by a well meaning neighbor of my mom's.  No air-conditioning, a failing electrical system, leaky radiator, broken tail light, a broken window (okay, that one was our fault... long story!) and at the bitter end, a dangling serpentine belt.

Family and friends were fantastically generous about loaning us cars between repairs of the CFH. My mother, sister, mother's pastor's wife, friends, and in one remarkable case, a complete stranger all loaned us their cars to get us to all our churches on time!

We've been having a wonderful summer. People are incredibly hospitable, generous, really interested by the life of the Church in Hong Kong, China, and the Mekong River nations.

We love the life, the people, and the churches in the USA.  But we are REALLY looking forward to getting back to public buses & dependable subway system of Hong Kong, and leaving this CFH far, far behind.

Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
   who conduct their affairs with justice. 
-- Psalm 112:5