First Couple of Days of School

b5cc9dd0-768a-4020-b7cb-b8df2fb3aa46.jpgWell friends the first couple of days of school have come and gone and … WOW!!!  Thankful for the journey that God has brought us through and He is continuing to grow us into His image more and more.  Let’s start from the first official day of school.

The day started with the ES (Elementary School) students in the upper gym.  Thank goodness there’s air conditioning.  Parents were every where … swarming the kids and it seemed like the paparazzi was there!!  Parents taking pictures after pictures, angle after angle.  It was crazy!!  I have never seen nor experienced anything like this in my life!

After the kids were settled, we had a time of worship … sang a couple of songs.  That was sweet!!  Once we were done, the parents were asked to make way so that kids / classes could leave the gym.  It was like the Red Sea was divided …. again … haha!!

School in Hong Kong is quite different.  There’s an expectation from parents and students to excel, be successful, to be the top, number one.  Because of this, there is a high level of stress, on our students.  If you know me, seen me teach, I’m completely the opposite!  One of my new colleagues and friend said, “he’s the most chill teacher on staff.” Haha!!

My class is great!  Love the kids already!!  Some are eager, others are focused, and the rest seem to be high energy, but lots of fun!!  I did do some teaching with them yesterday and today and find that they work at an incredible pace.  I asked them to read … they cheered and read 1/2 hour without any issues.  Instructed my class to write the definitions to a couple of words (one was schema) and they did so without hesitation.  Doing a writing piece about their summer vacation, one student asked “will I be graded on this?”  On the same piece of writing, one of my girls wrote so well, with much descriptive words, clarity and organization … I was like “and this is only the second day of school.”

As a teacher, I’m definitely on my “A Game.”  No choice and no complaints!  It’s super refreshing. Thankful for my experience at NGP which has prepared me for this.

The best part though … being able to teach Bible.  I start everyday with Morning Devotions.  Decided to start the year by going through Philippians and teaching my class how to do an Inductive Bible Study.  This morning, we went through Chapter 2:1-16, highlighting every time they saw Christ, God, Jesus, Savior, etc. in those verses.  What a sweet time to be able to open God’s word each day!!

Friends, Hong Kong is where we are meant to be.  We are thankful how God has continued to demonstrate His faithfulness.  His provision and love for us.  We are praying for big things … Why?  Because we serve a big God!!

If some of you who are reading this and pondering what the Lord is asking you to do: one word of advice, Obedience.  Obey Christ.  Follow Him wherever He may be leading you.  One thing we know for sure.  If we had stayed in Canada, we would have missed out on everything that God has done in our lives during the last 3 weeks here in Hong Kong.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  

Don’t miss out friends.

Keep in touch.  Would love to hear from you.

You are loved!

6 Days of Hong Kong

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Dear Family and Friends

Ok … let’s try this again.  My last blog was super short, didn’t make a whole of sense, so I’m hoping this one will.  Are we still tired?  Yup!  Our boys have been sleeping on average, 8 to 10 hours every night since we’ve been here.  Summer Camp, long nights have definitely been part of the slumber! Here we go … a short / brief recap of this past week.

Aside from landing in Hong Kong which was quite eventful we, as a family, have had an extremely busy time.  We still don’t have a cell phone number, working on banking, and basically using our school’s wifi.  Hoping to get on the rest of the stuff tomorrow – which is Saturday – or at least next week.

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We began the week with a super welcome from ICS with breakfast … which was basically everyday for our whole family and new faculty.  Monday we had to obtain our HKID cards.  This was quite the experience.  Surprisingly, not a lot of paper work, however, there were so many people at the “office” that both Gloria and I were a bit overwhelmed. Later that day the school treated us to Dim Sum and we ended the day with laptop distribution.  For all my NGP / Durham peeps … this is the way to do it.  Every teacher gets a laptop.  Thankful! That evening, again, ICS treated us to some KFC dinner!!  Not exactly Chinese but still hit the spot!

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Tuesday through Thursday was basically the same … breakfast, devotions and then some kind of in-service regarding school philosophy / motto, tech, school tour, lunch, Elementary School time, a tour of City One, Mah On San, Sai Kung, Tsim Sha Tsui, more eating and some shopping.  It was most definitely busy.  Our boys were troopers too!  They spent the entire day at Camp and then were still able to come out on our evening excursions!

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Today … is Friday in Hong Kong.  Today was a bit different.  We had our morning routine, however, we then took a bus ride to somewhere in Hong Kong, landed at a spot called Crossroads (check out their website: https://www.crossroads.org.hk).  I think some of you will find this interesting and perhaps something to get yourself involved with.  At Crossroads, we were educated about poverty, and other issues that exist in our world.  This is not new.  For those of you who know me, I have always had a heart for reaching the lost.  The director spoke to us about being the hands and feet, making a difference.  We were put through a simulation of people living in the slums.  Our task was to make paper bags.  There were of course restrictions, some structure, however, at the heart of it, was for us to have some empathy to those who live in these conditions.  It was difficult at times.  I would say that all of us were impacted.   I had to “sell” one of my kidneys for money, and Gloria was sold to the landlord to be his second wife.

7 billion people live on earth.  3 billion live on less than $4US a day.  Our challenge was simple: what are you going to do?

One of the reasons, Gloria and I decided to come to Hong Kong was this.  How can we be salt and light to the community here in Hong Kong?  What ministry can we plug ourselves into?  Remember, it’s only Day 6 of being in Hong Kong, however, God is slowly showing us the reality of Hong Kong.  There are slums, homeless villages in HK.  We need to move.  We need to be the hands and feet of Christ.  Friends, don’t get too comfortable.  We were both reassured of our calling to Hong Kong today.  Not only will I be teaching, discipling kids / families every day, there is also an opportunity to serve the people of Hong Kong.

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Our prayer is that we continue to focus on the Lord, be available to do whatever He’s asking of us.  We know that He has plans for us, for our boys … it’s only the beginning!

You are loved!

An Open Letter …

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Dear Calvary Family

Calvary is where it all started for me.

As I take some time to reflect and to think of my walk with the Lord, everything really comes back to the ministry and commitment of those at Calvary Baptist Church.  I was first introduced to Calvary way back when the church was at Centre and John.  Some of you will remember the church building, the side door, gravel parking lot, the creepy bathrooms on the bottom floor, Sunday School, and some of us were even part of the “Time Tunnel” … my first introduction to being in a musical.  Bring back some memories?

I was also one of the kids that was impacted by the Bus Ministry.  Every Sunday, I was picked up at 52 Park Road South.  Thank you to those who drove the bus, to those who picked me up.  Some of those individuals became friends over the years.  Because of this ministry, I was also introduced Day Camp.  Growing up, we did not experience the same lifestyle that we currently do.  I was fortunate enough to attend Day Camp every summer due the generous hearts of Sponsors.  I never did meet or find out who sponsored me to attend Day Camp, however, thank you.  You played an integral part of my upbringing.  Day Camp will be forever a memory … in fact that’s where people began to call me Chilly!!

Fast forward to Stockades / Battalion, Youth Group, FEB Central Winter / Summer Retreats at MBC / Muskoka Woods, SNACS, eating ice cream with two others in the gym storage, getting Baptized, Quebec Missions trip, Worship leading, B.A.S.I.C., His Kids, teaching Sunday School, Jr. High events, car / sound rally’s, progressive dinners, Missionary Conferences – my favourite was always the kids version, VBS, Urbana (this is definitely another Blog). These were and are some of my most memorable memories.  There are so many stories to share.

I am thankful for the life long friendships that were formed over those precious years.  It’s amazing that most of us still have some kind of contact with each other – either via Facebook or some kind of social media.  This past weekend, some of us were able to spend a couple of hours together.  It was such a meaningful time.  Let’s not wait another 20 years to get together again!! We should never take for granted the friendships that we have, nor the ministry at Calvary.

I am also grateful for the men who poured into my life.  Growing up without a father figure, many of you stepped up and walked with me, guided me and loved me as your own.  I have so many memories of Canoe trips, going to a Jays game, picking us up in Stony Creek because of a car problem.  There were men at the church who I looked up to and yet they didn’t even know.  Thank you.  In part, I have become who I am, because of your willingness to be used as an instrument of God.  .

Calvary,  thank you for your faithfulness in sharing the Gospel, your desire to serve the Lord and for your heart for Missions. “To know Him and to make Him known.”  And so, as our family begins a new chapter in our lives, this is our desire – to know Christ more and more and to Make Him known to those who live in Hong Kong.  I was asked by a colleague: “Are you going as Missionaries?” Not officially.  Will there be a missions minded intentionality?  Yes. Growing up, it was a desire to be in full time ministry.  It was a desire to be a Youth Pastor at one point.  I have always wanted to attend seminary.  It was always a “not right now.”  As I consider what we will be doing in Hong Kong, it’s amazing to see how God is moving and working.  “It’s time to go.” I will be in full time ministry.  Given the opportunity to disciple kids every day, being involved in other ministries … plus other opportunities that we are praying about.  It is always about God’s timing.  “His ways are not our ways.  His thoughts are not our thoughts.”

Our desire is to do the work of the ministry.  To see lost people saved, saved people matured, matured people multiplied.

Thank you Calvary Baptist Church. Thank you for instilling in me a heart for Missions.  Thank you for equipping so many people over the years.  Thank you for “being steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, … know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

Keep in touch and who knows, maybe my family will end up on your Missions board one day!!

You are loved!