Change

The weather outside is gloomy. It’s dark. Wet. Another T8 (typhoon signal 8) is upon us. Unfortunately, this typhoon came a bit early for some of us teachers. We probably would have preferred the typhoon to arrive during school and not on staycations or cruises. However, I won’t complain because I am thankful for the time to relax, stop from our usual school routine, work, lessons, and more school, work, lessons. At times, change is good for us. Change is much needed when we are still trying to figure out what the heck is going on in our lives. Change can be positive. Some of our good friends have seen changes in their lives. Some of our friends have recently become parents. Some have lost loved ones. Others find themselves in a season of uncertainty. As I look out the window, the weather pattern has changed even as I write.

We have been living in a time of change over the past 20 months. I won’t even go into it anymore because I think most of us are tired of it. So what’s on my mind lately? Quite a bit. I have been praying, and the word “change” has come up more than a few times. I do have to wonder what the Lord is saying to me. Do I need a change of heart? Do I need to change my perspective on life? Do I need a career change? Is it time to move on? Where? Back home?

Recently with my Grade 4 class, we went through the book of James – this is something that I have done for the past few years. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Do you notice anything from this passage? It says every good and perfect gift comes from God, who does not change like shifting shadows. God’s character is constant. He is the same today, yesterday and forever. I said to my class, what would it be like if God’s character changed all the time? It would be brutal. One day He forgives; the next, He punishes. We would constantly be living in flux, living in fear. The other aspect is that God provides good and perfect gifts. God has provided us with much over the past five years. Don’t get me wrong, and I am most thankful that He is faithful. Grateful that He sent His son to die for my salvation. Grateful that He has chosen me to be His own. Thankful forgiveness. Thankful for the material possessions that we have. For my family, for friends. 

As we enjoy the remaining few days of Fall Break 2021, I will remain hopeful. I will continue to hold on to the Lord, trust in His sovereignty, trust in His plans for my family and I. If I can trust God for salvation, I can certainly trust Him during this season of my life. And most of all, trust in a God who does not change like shifting shadows.

You are loved.

Living Life in Hong Kong

4 years ago, Team Wong left home, Canada, as we knew it. It was a tearful departure. We left our family, friends, and community. Little did we know that we would still be living in Hong Kong. Since that initial day, our family has grown in so many ways. 

Malachi has become quite an accomplished drummer. Recently, he received his G6 Trinity Music Exam results with flying colors. He is a member of the Youth and Adult Worship band at church, plays in the Youth Worship Team at school. He has picked up piano and working on his G4 ABRSM.  His love for the Lord and willingness to grow are evident. Malachi is becoming a fine young man.

Timothy is entering G6, Middle School, can you believe it? For the past couple of years, Timothy has been enrolled in Hip Hop Dance and completed his G6 Dance Requirements. Recently, he began Alto Saxophone lessons. We’ll see how far he goes with this. 

And to top it off, doing our best to fit into the community and culture, both of our boys have been attending a math tutor center once a week for the past year.  Socially, they are doing well, making friends, engaged with different people all the time. 

As for Gloria, she is involved with Young Lives Hong Kong, a ministry with a focus on young single mothers. Her schedule is quite routine, and yet rewarding, where she spends time mentoring and shepherding young mothers. All those years of small group have paid off.  On top of all this, Gloria continues to look after our family, ensuring that we eat well, taking care of our home, and meeting with other ladies for tea, lunch, and mahjong. 

I’m still teaching G4, and loving every minute of it, especially now, since we’re on Summer Break. The past couple of years have been difficult, but if you know me, bring it. Love the challenge, look forward to the changes, trusting God through it all. Health-wise, doing my best to hit the gym regularly, run at least 5 km, 3 times a week. 

Much has changed for Team Wong over the past 4 years. The apostle Paul writes in Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus.” He’s still working on us and we continue to lean into Christ, continue to listen to His voice, continue to trust in His sovereignty over our lives. 

So 4 years ago, we left home for Home Kong, however, another milestone in our lives … on July 23, 2005, Gloria and I were married. 16 years seems like a short time relatively speaking. Throughout those years, much has happened. Have we experienced 16 years of amazing marriage and constant daily happy moments? Of course not. We have struggled, argued, drove each other away, ignored each other; however, we have seen God’s faithfulness in our lives, we have experienced God’s love and have seen a transformation of our relationship with one another. Coming to HK was a much-needed jolt for our relationship. I had mentioned before that we had several counseling sessions, and for that, I am grateful. God continues to mold us, continues to teach me how to love Gloria, how to shepherd my family better, with much grace and love. For goodness sake, my Chinese name is 加恩, which means, “more grace”. I need to definitely work on that. 

And so, 4 years of living in Hong Kong, 16 years married to a loving and forgiving wife, 2 active and growing boys … what’s next? God only knows. Friends, I’ll update you later with any new or exciting news as we continue to do and live life here in Hong Kong. 

Thank you to those who have continued to keep in touch with us. It truly means a lot to us. Don’t forget to follow us on IG too.  Till next time.

You are loved.

Three Going on Four

3 years ago our family embarked on a journey and adventure of a lifetime. Little did we know at the time that we would be in for a treat. July 22, 2017 we left our home in Ontario with the help of dear friends of ours who picked us up around 1 am in the morning and drove us to Toronto International Airport. I can still remember my friend having to pull over on a side street before we even reached the 401. I was a wreck and it was causing too much stress for my friend who was driving.

I questioned whether we were doing the right thing.

I questioned whether God was actually leading us to Hong Kong.

Three years later going on four … we are still living in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has become our home and this particular year has challenging. 2020 will definitely go down in the books.

Dumplings from a restaurant in Wan Chai

We have endured Hong Kong protests, a pandemic – and it’s not over, changes to the place where we call home, online school, online church, the list goes on and on; and yet, we can see the hand of God weaving and moving, in our family.

I no longer question whether we did the right thing.

I no longer question whether God was actually leading us to Hong Kong.

Our conversations with our boys no longer mention, “When are we moving home?” “I hate Hong Kong.” “Hong Kong is the worst place ever.” Our conversations now sound like this: “Can we go to Thailand for my birthday?” “Dad, can we go to 7-11 on our own?” and this summer, “Please go on a bike ride and please don’t come back for at least an hour.”

Went to Blendit to buy some amazing bagels.

Over the past 3 years, I have learned to adjust my expectations, personal goals and ambitions. As a family we have found a good rhythm … I believe. We truly enjoy exploring Hong Kong, looking for good eats, that unique coffee shop, visiting different locations – we now have our favorite spots, experiencing the diversity that Hong Kong has to offer and even learning some of the local history. We have developed good relationships with people in our village, we know the names of dogs better than their owners, we have good friends – not only with faculty but families in our area and school too. Living in 700 sq feet is also not that bad – at least we don’t have to worry about what our next home reno is going to be.

Gloria is involved in Hong Kong Young Lives ministry and really enjoying her role. She meets or had met (prior to the pandemic) with single moms once to twice a week, mentoring young moms. Gloria was also part of Hope of the City, a ministry at our church that ministered to local families needing support. Malachi continues to be involved at church at Island ECC and being part of the youth worship team. Timothy is still young … his time will come. As for me, still struggling as to where I fit in at church, however, I do see my ministry at school. Thankful for the many different opportunities to share the Gospel – not only with my students, but with parents and the community as well.

God is at work. God is doing something in my life – in the life of my family. God is healing wounds and hurts, God is bringing our family closer than ever before, God is transforming us into His image day by day. He is teaching us to trust Him more. He is teaching us again and again that He is faithful. As a dear friend always said, “God is the ultimate promise keeper.”

I have been reminded that God has chosen us. We belong to Him. I am constantly reminded of who I am and whose I am. I belong to Christ. He indeed has a plan for my life, my family.

Sai Wan Beach

Thank you friends for praying for and with us. Thank you to those who go on Google Hangouts, Whats App or Zoom with us. Those moments are precious. As we consider what our potential next steps are, we continue to hold fast to Him. There’s really no need to stress or be anxious about it … God already knows, He has prepared something for us … like I’ve said 3 years ago, our responsibility is simple – be obedient to what He’s asking of us.

Till next time family and friends. We miss you all. Friendship is not bound by boundaries or how far we are from each other. See you soon.

Please know that You are Loved.

Two years …

It’s been a while since I’ve written and much has happened. If I can even recall, starting back in January, our family made a trip to Penang, Malaysia. We were fortunate that my mom was able to join us in Penang, and we shared some memorable family moments. It was a sweet time of roaming around, having Baskin Robins ice cream, did some sight seeing, had an insightful history lesson – Timothy was so engaged and to this day, recalls random facts that were shared. Definitely ate a lot, however, more importantly being able to get away from the busyness of life. Gloria and I were also privileged to have a photo shoot by a wonderful photographer in Penang. It was quite the experience!!

Thank you Steven Yam Photography. Check his work out!

Fast forward to May and we find ourselves counting down to Summer Break. In less than 30 days, we will find ourselves back home! We can’t wait. Summer can’t come soon enough … is an understatement. The crazy thing is, this means that we have now been living in Hong Kong for two years. It’s hard to fathom that time has blown by so quickly. Two years. Two years ago we were packing our house up. Two years ago, we were saying our good byes to dear friends. Two years ago, and we were going on an adventure. An adventure that we didn’t know where it would lead us to.

Two years later, and I still have questions. I still struggle with “Why?” I think, at times, I tend to over think, over analyze and over everything. On the other hand, our boys during this time have grown so much. I don’t necessarily mean physically, although this is true. They have become more independent, more confident of themselves. Malachi has grown in his love for God. The opportunities afforded to him to serve using his musical abilities is amazing! Timothy continues to grow in his understanding of God’s word. It’s quite awesome hearing him talk and having mature conversation about God’s word during our family worship time.

Gloria and I have also been challenged during our time here. And yet, God is faithful. He demonstrates His love and grace and mercy on us each day. Thankful for His provision. Thankful for His leading. Thankful that He is our Shepherd. Has it been easy? Not at all. Have we been stretched in our marriage? Absolutely, however, through it all, God is there. He has promised to never leave nor forsake us.

What have we learned during our time? I’m sure some of our friends will be asking us this when we’re home this summer.

First, we need to be obedient. God has called us to Hong Kong for a purpose. Maybe it’s to love on the people that He’s surrounded us with. Perhaps, to take the opportunity to shepherd my class each day, to share the Gospel with students at my school, or maybe to live a life of contentment. Whatever the reason, we need to continue to be obedient.

Second, we need to remain steadfast. James 1 says to “let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” This is challenging in that, living in Hong Kong is difficult. “Count it all joy when you face various trials” (James 1:2, ESV).

And finally, well not really, but one other lesson – God answers prayers. As a family, we have seen God at work. We prayed in our first year that God would provide a friend for Timothy, and He did … the first day. We prayed that Malachi would get the support he needs academically, and we were blessed with an amazing Grade 5 teacher plus a wonderful Literacy Coach. We prayed for a place to live in our second year, and God answered our prayer exactly. We prayed for a piano, and God provided one for us – yes, we found it by the garbage dump, but He did answer our prayers. We could actually go on and on and perhaps pray even more.

Two years. We’ll have to take some time to reflect more during this summer and we can start a series of Blogs on lessons learned. Canada here we come!!

Learning to Listen

I tell my grade 4 class – especially a few boys –  okay, let’s be honest, most of my boys, that listening is a skill. They’re not quite at the stage of understanding what this actually means nor do they understand the application of it.  It’s quite frustrating.  Teachers, friends, parents, you know exactly what I mean.

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The Bible recounts for us a story about a boy named Samuel (1 Samuel 3).  He was placed in the care of Eli and God calls him several times.  Each time God speaks, Samuel responds by saying “Here I am, for you called me” thinking that Eli is the one calling. Eli in his wisdom instructs Samuel how he ought to respond if he hears his name again. God, indeed, calls again a fourth time, and Samuel responds by saying, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

As we pray and seek the Lord regarding the direction of our family, I need not only to hear … but listen.  Listening involves action.  So many times we hear but so little of us respond properly, so little of us respond properly to God’s voice.

We have shared many times that living in Hong Kong is a struggle.  It’s not easy.

Grocery shopping basically takes anywhere from 2 to 5 hours.  Gloria needs to walk from our village to the MTR station, take the train for about 45 mins to her destination.  By the time she finds what she’s looking for, going through the crowds with her cart, it’s quite exhausting.  Oh, it would be easier if we had a car, but we don’t.  Thankful though, for the times when friends give her a ride and go shopping together!  You know who you are!!

The list could also include: hot weather in the summer, Mosquito-Pa-Looza every day,  pushing and shoving, lack of personal space, rude people that we encounter daily, the crazy amount of people who smoke, the constant grind of people walking, moving at lightning speed because they don’t want to miss a train, bus, tram.  Crowds.  Enough said.

Hong Kong is a love – hate relationship.

Are we complaining?  No, it’s just reality.  Are there aspects of Hong Kong that we love?  Absolutely.  However, this is Hong Kong.

And so … how do we hear God in the midst of all this crazy?

“Be still and know that I am God.”  

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Sometimes the question is: How do we be still?  Where do we find peace in the midst of chaos?  So much for desiring to leave the rat race.

What is God saying to us these days?  What are we hearing through the noise?  Are we even paying attention?

What about you?  What is God saying to you lately?  What do you hear in your noisy world?  Are you paying attention to God?

And so , we continue to pray.  We continue to seek the One who led us here to Hong Kong in the first place.  We continue to be in His Word.  We desire to be obedient.  Pray that our motives be pure.

Samuel was obedient and God used him for His glory, for His purpose.

Will continue to share with you our journey as we do our best to put Christ first in our lives.

You are loved.

“It’s just the way it is.”

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August 27, 2018.  That was a few days ago.  For our family worship time, we looked at Psalm 25.  We focused primarily on verses 4 and 5.  King David writes:

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

As a family we noticed a couple of things here … King David makes 3 requests from God.

  1.  Make me to know your ways.
  2.  Teach me your paths.
  3.  Lead me in your truth.

We asked our boys what it means to “make me” to know your ways.  Our thoughts and conclusion is that David desired for God to make him understand His ways.  I don’t believe that this is always comfortable.  Having God make you understand something would require some time, perhaps even stress, pain.

He continues to ask God to “teach me your paths.” As a teacher, I have the joy and privilege of teaching my students daily.  I absolutely love the fact that I get to teach Bible to my grade 4’s, open God’s word and to share the Gospel – every day!  We sort of came to an understanding that King David didn’t know everything.  He needed God to teach him something, in this situation, God’s paths.  Perhaps David was not making wise choices.  Or perhaps David was simply seeking wisdom.

David ends by asking God to “lead me in your truth.”  David writes over and over in the Psalms of his desire to know God’s truth.  Here in verse 5, he’s asking God to lead him in His truth.  We know that God’s truth is the ultimate standard of truth.   There is nothing more truer than God.  If God were to lead, our response ought to be, we would follow.

So why do I share this with you all?  My prayers these days are:

“God, why did you bring us to Hong Kong?”  

Timothy’s thoughts are, “I want to go back to Canada, forever.”

A year ago we came to HK, left basically everything to come, to be obedient to His leading, His calling.  Was it a mistake?  Did we “hear” wrong?  Was there some kind of miscommunication?  I don’t think so … however, living in Hong Kong, working in Hong Kong, daily life in Hong Kong, is a constant struggle.  Personally I struggle with the culture, I struggle with how things are.  “It’s just the way it is” doesn’t cut it for me anymore.  That seems to be the answer every time there’s a question.

So what?  Psalm 25 was somewhat convicting.  I need to be praying … “Lord, make me to know your ways, teach me your paths and lead me in your truth.”  I also need to be prepared for God’s answer as well.

Verse 9 and 10 of Psalm 25 reads, “He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.  All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and his His testimonies.”  There is hope.  Thankful that God’s love for our family is steadfast.  Thankful that God is faithful even when we are faithless.  And so, like King David writes at the end of verse 5 … “for you I wait all the day long.”

Pray that we would be teachable and humble during this season of our life.  After all, this is Hong Kong.

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2018 … what’s next?

Happy New Year friends!  

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It’s been quite a while since we have shared with you on our Blog and what better time than now to update you with what’s been going on with Team Wong.  

For the past month we have continued with our galavanting around Hong Kong, going to different restaurants, sites and eventually ending up at the Happiest Place on Earth!  Yes, Disneyland!  We love Disney!  It was definitely our happy place.  

As we approach New Year’s in a couple of hours, there is much to reflect on.  There is much to be thankful for.  There is much to consider.  

2017 has been a year of change in our family, if you haven’t guessed already!  Haha!  As I reflect back on what God has done, what He is doing, it’s amazing that we’ve lasted Hong Kong as long as we have.   

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Our time in Hong Kong has been challenging in many ways.  We continue to look for a church that we can call home.  I believe that God is working in my heart with regards to this.  Not sure what the lesson is at this moment, however, I do know that I need to be in the Word consistently and be praying more fervently.  Our Family Worship during  this season of life has been way too sporadic, and that’s my fault for not leading better.  This indeed is an area of my life that I need to work on in the New Year.  

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As for fellowship is concerned, our SG is growing closer to one another.  We continue to study the book of Colossians and hope to be done soon, however, the time spent digging into the Word together has been meaningful and it’s a joy to lead, even though there are days when I feel so inadequate.  I think the fact that we all (with the exception of one member) have a Harvest Bible Chapel connection has bonded us quickly.  We actually call ourselves Harvest Hong Kong (unofficially) but our love for the Word and Worship that we have all experienced at Harvest Brampton, York or Durham bring us together like family.  

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I have appreciated my time teaching at ICS.  The faculty, leadership are encouraging and I absolutely love my class.  My students are so much fun!! Every year, students have given me a number of different nicknames, ranging from Wong to Wongy to Mr. W and now, Mr. Ping Pong, Mr. Kapong and Mida Wong … haha!  There is a family / community feel at ICS which has made the transition so much easier.   Thank You ICS.  

We are also thankful for our 7th Floor family here at ICS as well.  Doing life with friends who are going through exactly the same thing has been a comfort, knowing that we are not the only ones who struggle with life here in HK. God indeed has been faithful.  

My reflection of 2017 does not just start and end with our time in Hong Kong.  I can still remember the lead up to our departure.  Last minute decisions that had to be made, getting together with close friends “one last time”, Malachi running back into our home on July 21 taking a “last look” brought tears to our eyes … and still does when I think about it.  Moving on!!  

Our ride to the airport with our dear friends, the conversation that I had in my vehicle, and I’m sure Gloria in hers.  Our Small Group hosting a farewell party for us, we were super appreciative!  We miss our friends.  We miss Harvest Durham.  We miss good, solid preaching.  

IMG_2510More recently, I had the opportunity to touch base with some staff members back at Norman G. Powers.  Do I ever miss teaching at NGP!  I miss the “off comments, jokes” that we shared, certain staff members who use strong adjectives, the relaxed environment, Friday Treats!! NGP, I do miss all of you dearly!!  Let’s Skype in soon!!  

Finally, to close out the year 2017, we were thankful for the many visitors that we had from home.  It was so special for us to spend time with Vivian, Gabby, Samuel, one of my best friends Dennis and more importantly, my Mom who came to visit and stayed for 6 weeks with us here in Hong Kong.   We miss our friends, but definitely miss our family.  We were able to create new memories with my Mom, our boys spent valuable time with their Grandmother and it allowed us to have meaningful dialogue with one another.  Malachi and Timothy especially miss their Uncle Duncan. We are looking forward to having more visitors in 2018 and to be given the opportunity to grow in our friendships and relationships.  

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So what’s next?  Well, as a family we desire to be in God’s Word more consistently with much regularity.  We will continue to seek the Lord with regards to church.  Praying for much fruit with my Grade 4 class.  We look forward to developing strong relationships with our new friends here in Hong Kong.  Praying for our Small Group – to grow in our love for the Lord.  Pray that we would use our time wisely as we mentor / disciple others.  

2018 will continue to be a year of change, a year of growth, a year of dependence on the Lord.  

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As a family we just finished looking at Psalm 121.  “I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth … The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”  We learned that God is our helper.  He never slumbers nor sleeps.  He is our shade.  The Lord keeps us.  What better way to enter the New Year than this?  To be reminded that the Lord loves us.  That He is faithful.  He will never leave us.  May we continue to look to the hills when we find ourselves struggling and to know without any doubt, that our God is there to help, encourage, support, love us.  May we continue to lean into God daily.  Praying that 2018 would be a year that our love for God would grow.  

Friends, we miss you.  It was a difficult Christmas season.  Thankful for His provision.  Thankful for His love.  Don’t be strangers … we would love to hear from you.  May we all have a desire to Know Him more this upcoming year.  

You are loved!

5 months … in Hong Kong

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

“I waited patiently for the Lord, he inclined to me and heard my cry.”

“I delight to do your will, O my God, your law is within my heart.”

“Your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me.”

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way.”

“Wait for the Lord and keep His way.”

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Friends, these are words that keep coming to my mind.  Depending on when you read this, 5 months ago, our family left our home in Brooklin, Ontario and made the early morning drive to the airport for our family’s relocation to Hong Kong.  I can still remember that early morning when dear friends of ours came to pick us up, packed the truck with our belongings, Malachi running back into the house to take a “last look” around.  It was difficult.  Tears are forming even now as I write this and recall that morning.  I think Timothy was in a daze and still trying to figure out what exactly was taking place.

Five months into living in Hong Kong and in some sense, home in Canada seems like a distant memory.  We have made some really good friends here in Hong Kong, living in Uncommon Community with others, and we are learning what “Your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me,” really means.  God is faithful.  This morning with my Grade 4 class, I reminded them that “God is the ultimate promise keeper.”

My mom is currently visiting us in Hong Kong, and we are thankful for that.  Our boys are excited to see their Mama (Chinese for Grandmother), and I’m thrilled for them – new memories, time spent with loved ones.  Now we need my brother to come and visit as well!

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Many of you know that coming to Hong Kong was our response to God’s leading, His prompting and our desire to be obedient to His calling.  The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way.”  Our desire is to remain faithful, to delight in His ways … even though sometimes we’re not sure what that looks like.  We pray, we are seeking.  We believe that God is doing something, that He is on the move.  God has placed certain people in our lives to be our friends, prayer partners, people to lead, to disciple, to mentor.

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Last night, I had the opportunity to have a quick 10 minute conversation with a friend back in Canada, and it was encouraging and refreshing to hear of his story and what God is doing in PEI.  It almost seems that we’re living parallel lives, just on different islands!!  I’m excited to see how this all unfolds – God’s timing is always perfect.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” In the midst of a busy life, busy country, busy culture, we do our best to be still and remember that He is God.  I am continually learning to “Wait for the Lord and keep His way.”  My prayer is that I can say, “I waited patiently for the Lord, he inclined to me and heard my cry.”  Friends, I’m learning.  God is growing something new in me.  By nature, I’m not patient … I think I’ve shared this before.

Five months.  Wow!  It’s been pretty fast.  One desire does remain though … “I delight to do your will, O my God, your law is within my heart.”  This is our desire.

Pray that this blog entry would be an encouragement to you as well.  Trust Him – no matter the circumstance you find yourselves in.  God is in control.  He will direct your steps … when you delight in His ways.  Wait patiently for Him.  And remember that God is faithful and He loves you unconditionally.

I wonder what the next 5 months will bring?

Friends,

You are loved!

Lessons from James … again …

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Hi friends … it’s me again … I know I said that Gloria would be blogging this time around, however, it’s been a bit crazy over here in Hong Kong.  Promise.  She will be blogging soon.

A few Blogs ago, I shared from the Book of James.  Our family just finished James a couple of evenings ago … which is good.  There’s so many lessons packed into such a small book … and I’ll do my best to succinctly share some of the lessons from James that I’ve been personally learning.

James 1:19 says, “be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” … during our time of transition, this has been somewhat challenging and difficult, especially toward our boys. It’s more been “quick to anger, quick to speak, super slow to hear” … there have been moments where I would rather forget and pray that my boys would not repeat my words or actions.  The Lord is working on this area of my heart.

James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”  Wow … it’s been a huge blessing and responsibility to be able to teach my class God’s Word every single day.  I need to hold God’s Word high, but importantly, ensure that what I’m teaching is sound doctrine and Biblical.  In our short time here in HK, we have come to notice and realize that although there are many churches, sound doctrine is not something that we see nor hear.  Biblical teaching has been a challenge as well.  In having some meaningful conversations with friends and colleagues, the positive, is that many also see this, have a concern about it, and do have a genuine desire to see people grow in the knowledge and understanding of who Christ is, what the Bible teaches.  We are leading a Small Group every Wednesday and starting this weekend, Gloria and I will be leading another Small Group with some of high school students whom we’ve come to know and dearly love!  Pray that we exposit the Word correctly … handle the truth with much grace, mercy and love.

Chapter 5:7 … “Be patient, therefore, brothers …” Let’s just stop there.  I think God is working on this particular area of my heart as well … be patient.  I’m really not a patient person … I like to get things done, quickly, efficiently.  I’m praying about this one.

Chapter 5:13-20 … this section mentions the word Pray / Prayer 8 times.  I think it’s safe to say that’s it’s important … a real good reminder that we need to be in prayer – in trials, thanksgiving, when sick / ill, for one another, fervently in prayer for something / someone.  What does my prayer life look like right now? Who / What do I often pray about?

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So much to work on!  And so, we continue with our transition, we continue to put forth our best here at ICS and in HK.  We truly believe that God is working on our hearts, pruning us, preparing us for the work of the ministry. Preparing us for something down the road!

Friends in Canada, we miss you … Friends here in HK, thank you.

You are loved!

Direction … Clarity

IMG_5064.jpgFriends … it’s Wednesday evening, here in Hong Kong, which makes it Tuesday morning back in Canada.  Hallowe’en has come and gone and I loved seeing some of pics on FaceBook of our friends back in Canada!  Good times.

Our boys experienced a different level of ‘trick or treating’ this year – literally.  They went to a couple of rooms at our current place of residence and that was it.  I don’t think they really minded at all, which was encouraging.  They didn’t rake in pillow case after pillow case like they’re used to, but that’s ok.

In our last Blog, we shared about some of the struggles that we continue to have, what we’re praying for, and we are thankful that you are praying with us.  One story that we didn’t share with you occurred a few weeks ago now.

After our Family Fun Day at ICS, our family went for a quick dinner.  On our way to the MTR station, we witnessed a father scolding his son, publicly. We stayed to watch.  What we saw was disturbing.  The father was reaming his son out, aggressively approached his son, motioned his hand to smack him.  I yelled at him to stop.  He looked at me with surprise.  He didn’t know that I knew Chinese.  The man eventually did slap his son across his face, kicked him and threatened him continually.  Gloria called the police.  I approached the kid and asked him to walk away to safety, the father yelled obscenities at me, although I didn’t even know it until later.  I did finally speak up and spoke to the man in Chinese … to his surprise.

How did this end?  I had the opportunity to share Christ with the kid … and in Chinese.  That was a God thing.  Really.

The police did come … not sure what happened after though …

Why am I sharing this story with you? Well, we are learning that this type of behavior in Hong Kong is quite common.  Father’s in Hong Kong seem to be missing the point.  Many are absent in their children’s lives.  It’s so sad and unfortunate!

Where does Team Wong fit into all of this?  If you know me or our family, something is always brewing.  God has been faithful to us during our time thus far.  We know that He has a plan for us.  We are remaining firm despite not having a home church.  Our family is trying to be as consistent as we can with Family worship.  Small Group is helpful as it really forces me to dig into the Word and to share with our friends.  As we’ve been praying for direction and clarity, I was reminded by a good friend, that it seems like we’re both in a fog, or as my friend said:

“It’s like there is a plan or specific direction, but I’m blind to what it is.”

Yup … this is so true.  There is a sense though, that we are coming out of the fog.  God has definitely placed a desire on our hearts to disciple young people here in Hong Kong.  Team Wong will be starting a Life Group (aka Small Group) in a couple of weeks for some of the youth at our school.  We are also praying  intentionally for the launch of our home church … also probably in a couple of weeks.  God is moving.

More recently, like two days ago, I went to Starbucks for a meeting with a good friend here.  Shared some of our frustrations …  and he said to me:

“It may seem that God is stirring something in your heart.”

And this too is true.

So much more to share friends.  Gloria will be sharing the next few Blogs.  Would you continue to pray for and with us as we seek the Lord for better clarity and direction.

Trusting Him with all things.

You are loved.