Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Making Food

Greetings! Jen here. Here's a lovely photo of Roy and a dinner we ate one night: BBQ chicken, fried potatoes and corn on the cob. was good. I enjoyed eating the's the first time we've had it here. It's in the store in packages of 3 cobs. I paid $10.90HK for 3 cobs, which would be about $1.60US. There's my little food thought for the day.

I'm still quilting with Donna and now I am making a quilt! The going has been slow, but there is progress. Indecisiveness is not good in this arena, as there are so many decisions to be made! What pattern of quilt to make, what color fabrics, what fabric prints, which one to go where...My final decision: A quilt with stars on it, the stars will be black and white, with diagonal red "lines" (really red squares that make red lines) running between the stars. It should be interesting. My plan is to make a queen-sized quilt, but we'll see how it all goes. One day of quilting consisted completely of picking a pattern and looking through different fabrics. The next day consisted of ironing all the fabrics (they had been washed since last time) and deciding exactly which fabrics I would use and which not. On day three I cut, sewed and ironed many red pieces and some black and white pieces. I have yet to decide exactly how I'll put together the black and white fabrics to make the stars...soon.

More later.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Silly Israelites

Sunday, a day of rest. I like Sundays. We sleep in, spend time with Jesus, go to church and usually go out to eat with people. Fun.

IECC (the church we attend) is going through a 5-week series on the 5 Pillars of IECC. Let's see if I can name them all: worship, community, growth, service and outreach. Today's sermon was on outreach. Pastor Brett focused on us going "outside the camp", and one of the Bible passages we read caught my heart.

Numbers 13:31-14:4-"Then the [men who were sent to spy out the Promised Land and bring back info] said, 'We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.' So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, 'The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim...and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.'

"Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, 'Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?' And they said to one another, 'Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.' "

Wow. This is a classic Israel moment. I separated it into two physical paragraphs for a reason. Upon reading it, I was reminded of how amazing and powerful God is. He gives a child to a couple who is barren...He heals people...He delivered Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego from the midst of the burning fiery furnace. He is AWESOME. And even to the Israelites...He has been so good to them. He delivered them out of Egypt, gave them manna to eat every morning and quail to eat in the desert. He caused water to pour from a rock and made a bitter stream...not bitter. He protected them when Pharaoh changed his mind and tried to chase them down with his chariots. Come on! Why don't the Israelites remember the awesome things God has done? Why don't they realize how amazing God is?

Rather than freak out and grumble, why didn't they say something like this? "Wow, God will surely deliver this land to us in a mighty way. He promised it to us and He is faithful to his promises. I can't wait to see how he kills off the giants or runs them out...He'll do something because He said He'll give us this land. He can do anything! Just think of the mighty things He's done for us already! We are His chosen people, and He loves us. This will be fun to watch."

But, no, the old Israelites respond with no faith, no trust, no delight in God, no knowledge of who God is (faithful, loving true) or what He's done for them already (mighty, powerful), choosing death instead of life. Don't they get it yet? God is doing all the work! He made them prosper and multiply in Egypt, He raised up Moses, He turned Pharaoh's heart to let the people go, He rescued them from Pharaoh and parted the Red Sea so they could walk through on dry ground, He led them through the wilderness by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night, He protected them from wild animals, He walked them to the edge of the Promised Land and HE will be the One who delivers the land into their hands. Not them. They are but weak and frail humans. They can't do it! God is the One. Not me. Oh sure, I flew on the airplane to Hong Kong, I am living in an apartment, assisting Chess classes, meeting a few people, but God is accomplishing it all...and preparing for His purposes. Not me. Silly Jenny, learn from the Israelites:trust in God, for He is the Everlasting God, Creator of the ends of the earth. Amen.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sunday Dinners

Jen here. We've been in Hong Kong for seven weeks. Wow! Sundays name each week for me. Oh that's the week we went out to eat after church with the Alabama kids. Oh that was after we met the Lau family and had a large Chinese meal. Etc. I want to tell you about our Sunday meals with people. It's one of the few days where we have consistently met with people...but not the same people. I'll do my best to recall...

1st Sunday- We did nothing afterwards, but Kathy Hamilton (who I found out lived in Lake Stevens, Washington for 3 years!) introduced herself to me. She's the women's director at IECC, and I could tell. She was so sweet, kind, loving and welcoming toward me.

2nd Sunday- After church I randomly introduced myself to a woman named Renee, who then introduced me to her old friend Donna. Roy and I were then invited to eat with them. We carpooled to the restaurant (Yes, we rode in cars! Wow!) at the American Club. For the first time since we came to Hong Kong, we were served ice water (ahh...) and could choose from Chinese dishes or American dishes. Roy ordered a cheese burger and fries and I ordered a club sandwich. Ah, American food. Love it. Our group was 10 people, 6 women and 4 men, and I enjoyed meeting and chatting with the women. Praise Jesus!

3rd Sunday-After the 11:30am service, we met up with Donna and joined her for lunch, along with Merrien and Patrick. We ate dim sum (which are like little appetizers...little dumplings, filled with meat and veggies). I enjoy the traditional Chinese way of eating. The table orders a bunch of different dishes, then everyone can eat anything. It's how we eat at home. You take food from the serving dishes and put it on your plate, then eat it. I like this better than just ordering one dish and eating it. Roy and I got to share how we met...and Merrien and Patrick shared how they met. It was fun to just chat with people. Merrien is in charge of the Baking Ministry, which provides snacks after church and other events. Maybe I'll serve there!

4th Sunday-It's official. The 5pm service is our service of choice. The kids from Alabama (who are starting campus ministries on two university campuses here) sat near us in church, so we got to meet them again and chat with them. Some of them just radiate southern hospitality! :) They invited us to go out to eat with them at "The Flying Pan", a 24-hour diner that serves breakfast. Of course we said yes! Reminiscent of Flint's coney islands, we went and enjoyed ourselves, ordering omelets and getting to know the Alabama kids better (by kids, I mean people my age or slightly older...). I enjoyed chatting with a few of the women, and Roy got to chat with some of the guys. Yay. People.

Sundays 5-7 coming soon...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Meet the Mooncake

What is that? You eat it? Why? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you are supposed to eat that. And that is a moon cake. I am late in posting this photo, but here are the moon cakes we received as a gift. To my knowledge, moon cakes contain lotus seed paste and a salty egg yolk...and it is said the more egg yolk in the moon cake, the better!

I did not eat this moon cake...I just cut it open to see what it looked like on the inside. I am not sure if they are going bad or I didn't want to take a taste. A few weeks ago I had the experience of tasting a moon cake...I took one of the slices that had little egg yolk. It tasted like lotus seed paste...which almost tastes sweet and good, but then takes a turn for the worse and isn't so good. Donna said the moon cake is an acquired taste. Yep. Agreed.

Sorry it's been so long since I've written. Unsure of what to write, I just wrote nothing...

Thursday morning I attended another women's Bible study from our church (IECC). Kathy Hamilton's love and welcoming heart drew me to check this one out. They are studying Daniel with Beth Moore...I joined on week three of the study, which happens to be the week they study Daniel chapter 3. YES!

Daniel 3 is about Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, King Nebuchadnezzar, his huge gold statue and crazy decree to worship the gold statue or else be thrown into the burning fiery furnace. What an awesome example of faith and boldness and backbone we see in these three men! I look forward to pondering it this week. :) I plan to continue with this study...praise Jesus!

More later, I promise. Now to go up to the roof to throw the clothes in the dryer...or, I mean, to take the clothes from the washer and put them up on the clothes line. :) Ha, same thing.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mid-Autumn Festival

Jen here. The past few days have been unique. The kids were out of school Thursday and Friday, which meant Roy was on holiday as well! Our holiday was fun, but I was reminded that we don't have many friends or family in HK with whom to celebrate holidays. :(

Thursday was the People's Republic of China's 60th Anniversary. Really? China is only 60 years old? Wow. (Have a told you I don't know much of world affairs?) Roy and I walked amongst the masses of people, toured the Carnival in Victoria Park and later attempted to watch the fireworks. The carnival was different. Many decorations, including tons of lanterns, little game tents with mile-long lines of people, clowns, magicians, a clown and Mario (yes, a Chinese Nintendo Mario)making balloon was a fun event. I was so excited to see Chinese fireworks (would they be the same as US ones?)but tired of being around people, so we decided to watch them from our end of the island. They're can see them for miles, right? We waited, and waited, and waited... :( There are two options: 1. We did not see or hear the fireworks because we were too far away from where they launched them, or 2. They did not happen. I imagine if #2 was true there would be 7 million people bothered at the PRC for lying to probably #1 is correct. :(

Saturday was the Mid-Autumn Festival. The closest American holiday to this may be Halloween. People buy glow sticks and lanterns and go out at night to see the moon (the fullest moon of the year) and to do is still mysterious to me. We went to the park near our home and there were tons of people. Kids covered in glow sticks were running around everywhere. People were picnicking on the open grassy area. Some people were eating, many were burning candles in moon cake tins, some were putting up food offerings. Interesting. There was a talent show or dance recital going on, so we watched the remainder of it, seeing some talented dancers. On our way home we bought slurpees from the 7-eleven (me-coke, Roy-sour apple), saw one family of our neighbors picnicking outside the entrance of our building and we went up on our roof to finish our slurpees and enjoy the not-so-hot weather. We sang songs to God (sweet MHC songs...) and chatted. I am fascinated by Chinese holidays and Chinese people, so every once in a while I would peek over the edge of our roof and see how our neighbors were celebrating (I sound like a creeper, but...I'm not!). So, here's a photo I took. :) This aerial shot shows their little camp, the little guy in the center of the photo is their ADORABLE 2 year old boy. At the top of the photo you will see a horizontal line of lanterns, most of them are lit. There are also glow sticks on the ground. See the red bucket on the top right of the photo? Later on they opened it up, lit some incense stuff on fire and put it in there. Offerings to some god? No idea.

So there, Mid-Autumn Festival. Roy's boss bought us 6 moon cakes, but we haven't tried them yet. There's something about a pastry filled with lotus bean paste and a salty egg yolk that doesn't seem appetizing, you know?