Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Students and gifts, and more than a wee little bit of jet-lag...

Myanmar coffee, Myanmar mug, Myanmar t-shirt
gifts of the heart help me to overcome my jet-lag!

I have TOO MUCH work and I'm still jet-lagging, which means I've been waking up at 3:30 a.m. and can't get back to sleep. But today been I made it until 4:30 a.m. so that's progress. It always takes me two weeks. I've tried all the remedies, thank you very much for your concern, it still takes me two full weeks!
But the students, new and old, are intriguing, beautiful, incredibly devoted. Just yesterday I spent time with these graduate students from Myanmar and Indonesia:
  • --Two new  students who need to go to the hospital for medical attention - one with a huge boil on his face  who joked it's the devil attacking him trying to dissuade him from seminary studies -- neither of us is convinced that's only a joke!  Thankfully, two local Hong Kong students will help them to negotiate the intimidating queues and triage systems at the public hospital.
  • -- A woman who told me about the last month of her mother's life this summer, and how hard it was for her, the student, to return to Hong Kong and give full concentration to her studies. How does one do that? 
  • -- Another student whose 30 year old brother was in a terrible motorcycle accident this summer, which left him half paralyzed and unable to walk, talk, or feed himself. There's almost no therapy available for him in that part of Myanmar. So the hospital just sent him home for the family, mostly his ageing mom, to take care of him. 
  • -- Another new student came to my office deeply worried about his scholarship fund, which is suddenly way reduced because it comes from Great Britain and the British pound has undergone a big devaluation since Brexit.
And all of that was in addition to the small mountain of financial documents I'm trying to cough up in time for my October meetings for the Mekong Mission Forum in Myanmar. sigh.
But as an unexpected grace to my work,  I've received a dizzying array of "welcome back!" gifts from students including: one bead necklace, one woven purse, two packets of coffee, an angel candle, two "longi" or pieces of cloth to use as a skirt, one bag of peanuts, and a bunch of amazingly delicious red bananas. 

So life is pretty okay back at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Hong Kong - 

Except for the getting up at 4:30 a.m. part. One more week to go.
New seminary graduate students from Myanmar exploring Hong Kong with one of our LTS faculty colleagues

Abundant Life Christian Church has recently become
one of our local sponsors and prayer partners with S/E Asian students