Friday, August 30, 2013

19 out of 19 visas approved!

Flower arrangement courtesy of my friend Carol
who helped me clean, cook, and then
gathered this glorious bouquet
for the table in our
Wisconsin home.
Just received word this morning: the nineteenth international student visa has been approved! Joy!

Meanwhile, the international students have been arriving at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Hong Kong... they just experienced the annual Student-Faculty retreat, and for sure some of them are deeply homesick and wondering what they've gotten themselves into.

My husband-the-professor reports having a "welcome back to Hong Kong" stomach virus which thankfully didn't attack until after he'd nearly completed the retreat...

 and I'm packing to rejoin him in Hong Kong... where I'll at last get to MEET those 19 students whose names we've been keying in over and over again, whose lives will be changed by studies and the relationships they'll be building at LTS.

Still, it's hard to say good-bye... again... to our three sons -- one of whom just moved to New York City... one suitcase and one job offer in hand...

A last breakfast of Al Johnson's Swedish Pancakes
and it's always hard to say good-bye to my 89 year old mother... plans for a big celebration are underway for her 90th birthday party next summer.... something to look forward to!

Changes are in the air... maybe a good time to remember that none of us belongs wholly to any particular place - not Door County, Wisconsin, nor Hong Kong, China, nor New York City, nor Yangon, Myanmar, nor a village outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia (two of the places the new international students are from)... 

Maybe a good chance to think about these words (paraphrased) from St. Paul nearly 2,000 years ago:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. 

Romans 12:1-2

The Message (MSG)

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