Monday, January 23, 2012

Getting Ready for Chinese New Year Part 2

The Year has just turned!  It's the Year of the Dragon in China now.

So our dear London-raised English teacher (aptly named "Rose", she's the one in red just right of center) invited the international students at LTS Hong Kong to a Chinese New Year's celebration.

See the dragon motif everywhere?  The year of the Dragon is supposed to be a good year! Dragons are strong, outgoing, and the local newspaper tells us the birthrates in Hong Kong and the mainland of China go up dramatically (more than 5%) as everyone wants their child to have a dragon year birthday.

We started the celebrations with... well, FOOD of course, including a large roasted pig, artfully carved by one of our mainland Chinese students (sorry to my tenderhearted vegetarian friends).

The international students then celebrated by singing a very robust version of "This is the day that the Lord has made," in 10+ different languages of the people who were present, including:

This is the year the Lord has made--
Mainland Chinese students sing in Mandarin

This is the year the Lord has made-- Laos

This is the year the Lord has made-- sung in Vietnamese,
with help from a Cambodian Uncle

This is the year the Lord has made-- one single American exchange student -
can you guess which one?!

This is the year the Lord has made-- sung in Thai

This is the year the Lord has made-- sung in the Karen language
by students from Myanmar (Burma)

This is the year the Lord has made--
sung in Danish by the Danish volunteers

This is the year the Lord has made--sung in Cantonese by our Hong Kong professor of Old Testament

This is the year the Lord has made-- Cambodian students sing in Khmer

This is the year the Lord has made- in the Chin language by more students from Myanmar (Burma)

This is the year the Lord has made --  sung  by some who actually  know how to sing -- Indonesian students
The evening ended with the distribution of red Lai-see packets to the youngest & cutest among us:

Scripture thoughts and a Christian Prayer for the Year of the Dragon:

"This is the [year] the Lord has made" -- Psalm 118:24

A characteristic of dragons: courage

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” -- Joshua 1:9

A characteristic of dragons: boldness

"Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold."  -- Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians 3:12

A characteristic of dragons: ambition

"Whether we are at home or away from home, we make it our ambition to please Him [the Lord]" -- Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians 5:9


Creator of all creatures great and small, including the mind of humans who have in turn created dragons,
This New Year of the Dragon, may your Holy Spirit
--fill us with courage to carry current projects through to completion, courage to tell the truth and stand up for what is right and fair.
--Give us boldness to begin new plans and projects for your purposes.
--Make your ambitions our ambitions, and let us move forward with the strength of a dragon to make those ambitions come true.

In Christ's strong name we pray,  AMEN. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Getting Ready for the New Year of the Dragon, Part I

Flower market in Mongkok

Bright blossoms of all kinds - New Year means springtime in China!

Youngest son adores getting schlepped to the Flower Market each year.
The busiest shopping night of the year.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cambodia -Views from a Tuk Tuk

Finally, a set of pictures from my first visit to Cambodia New Year 2012. In 2012 you will be hearing more about my new job as Mekong Mission Forum Assistant Coordinator. Our family trip to Cambodia was my first trip to Cambodia... and my first chance to actually see the Mekong River (from whence comes my fancy new job title).  Cambodia was beautiful. We landed in Phnom Penh, saw some LTS graduates... took a river boat down to Siem Reap, visited the amazing temples of Angkor Wat... Later in the year I will visit again (I think) and one of our LTS alumni has promised me a motorcycle ride to her home and a home cooked meal which will include home-grown snails from her family's pond... I love my life and can't wait to see what else the New Year 2012 will bring! I do know I have an upcoming trip to Myanmar a.k.a. Burma very soon... and what hopeful news we are hearing from that country lately....

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  -- God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah

Friday, January 6, 2012

Youtube Video of my workplace in Hong Kong

Dear Marathonangel readers... in case any of you are still out there... I thought I'd start out the New Year 2012 with a youtube video lifted from my good friend Dieter Mitternacht (is that not a great name?) about life at the Lutheran seminary in Hong Kong, China (where I now work as the Coordinator of International Student Affairs).
A film in English with Swedish sub-titles, made by a German, about life in Hong Kong. I don't think it gets a whole lot more international than this! 

(Coming up in my next blog post: A visit to the one of the top ten wonders of the world, Ankhor Wat in  Cambodia.  Stay tuned!)