Saturday, April 21, 2012

What do you guys do there in Hong Kong, anyway?

Lutheran Theological Seminary: Hong Kong, Chinese, and international students commit themselves to reach out with God's justice, hope and healing.

Just this week a US pastor from a sponsoring congregation (Yes, you too can sponsor us here in Hong Kong and I bet you don't even have to be Lutheran :) asked us the very good question:
What do you guys do there in Hong Kong, anyway?

Happy to oblige I sent him  a longish e-mail which I then realized I could re-post here and share with our thousands... hundreds... tens... well, at least with our one loyal follower (shout-out to my Mom in Wisconsin.... Hi Mutti!!)

Specifically, Wayne & I are a husband & wife Christian pastoral team.  Wayne is the guy with a Ph.D., so he teaches Pastoral Care and Counseling to seminary students from Hong Kong, Mainland China, and many other countries esp. those from the Mekong region (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam).  

Wayne is part of a Hong Kong and international faculty at LTS which has theology students in many levels, from barely post-high school (and struggling with English) to those working on advanced level, doctorate degrees.

Right now besides teaching classes, Wayne is working especially closely with three graduate students who are preparing to return to their home countries and minister with --- 

1) Conflict resolution  -- this student has experienced situations in which church conflicts have erupted in violence and even death
2) A Christian sex education program for adolescents -- this student will be ministering in an area with some of the world's worst sex trade trafficking, and where ignorance abounds and deaths through self- inflicted abortions are said to be disastrously high
Internally Displaced Persons who now have some hope of returning to their ancestral lands. After enduring years of being on the run, their children stolen to serve in the army, their fields sown with land mines, men killed, women raped -- this student will bring discerning questions, listening ears, and Christian hope to these civil war refugees.

LTS International Student Choir April 20, 2012 colors and sounds of the nations at the Lutheran Seminary of Hong Kong

 And meanwhile, yours truly is working as  "Coordinator of International Student Affairs" which means I get to do boatloads of paperwork such as dealing with  scholarship accounts (yes, you too can be an international scholarship donor!) and applying for student visas, but I also get to do some hands on pastoral stuff such as visit LTS alumni and their ministries in places like Cambodia and Myanmar, and I'm currently working with a dynamite Indonesian student to do a Bible study/English conversation class with Muslim and Christian Indonesian domestic workers here in Hong Kong. 
Christian and Muslim dialogue - What does it mean to be a woman of faith?

"This is what I think... how about you?"  LTS student and Hong Kong domestic worker - both from Indonesia.

We think Jesus laughed a lot while on this earth -- so we do too!

 24 "...but let the one who boasts boast about this:
   that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
   justice and righteousness on earth,
   for in these I delight,”
            declares the LORD."
    (Jeremiah 9:24)

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