24 lives in 24 hours

How did you spend the last 24 hours? Did you go to work, drive through traffic, stop at Starbucks, eat some take out, play with your kids, take your wife on a date, call your Gramma, walk the dog, watch the news, read your bible, listen to music, rock a baby to sleep, pray, play on your iPhone, read a book, watch a movie, exercise or catch a little sleep?? Or maybe you went to school, skipped a class, shopped online, did some homework, fed the cat, rode a bike, stayed up late, fought with a friend/parent/spouse, spilled the milk, went on Facebook, read this blog, broke a nail & stubbed your toe… again!?

Whatever you did, was it important? Was it time well spent? Are you glad you did it? Did it make a difference?

24 hours seems like enough time to do a lot of things. Or not. You could be very effective or totally useless. You could be helpful, be a blessing to others… Or not.

Why does it matter? Well to me it makes a world of difference what I do with my time, because I happen to know what happens every 24 hours on an island far away where hope is lost & the people are forgotten. Someone is dying every hour, their time has run out. In the last 24 hours, 24 precious islanders have died. 24, every day. In the last 12 months, while we’ve been in the States, 9,500 have been laid to rest. Before we could get there, before we met them. Before they knew our story… His story… THEIR story…

What can we do with the next 24 hours? We could save a life or two… or 24.

24-left

One for every hour.

We need just 24 people to help us, so we can be WITH the 24 that die every 24 hours…

Please Contact us below & ask HOW you can help!  

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Acceptance is golden – “LOA” {5k+1}

Bringing them home {1x1}
Dear Friends,I’m delighted to bring you our latest update on Annabelle’s adoption. We also want to glorify the Lord with some praise reports! I’ll start with saying THANK YOU for your part in helping us get to this point. We are grateful for all of your support and prayers.

Two weeks ago, we received the official “Letter of Acceptance”  (LOA) from the Chinese Annabelle - Feb 2014government, meaning our request to adopt Annabelle was given final approval! Therefore, we are on the final countdown to the day when we can travel to bring Annabelle home. We are estimating that time to be the beginning of June. From that point on, we have 90 days to go get her. The LOA allows us to formally send gifts and make contact with our new daughter. So we are excitedly preparing a box of gifts to send for her 5th birthday, which is coming up in May! We’ve also received some new photos of Annabelle, isn’t her hair getting long?!

Now for the current financial updates… Praise the Lord that we’ve already received two major donations in 2014. One for $5,000 USD which helped us finish off the final portion of the agency fees as well as all the fees related to translating & sending our Dossier (documents) to China. We also received another $1000 USD in March, which will go toward the “Post Adoption Reports Deposit”. Once we receive Annabelle, we are required to do 6 individual reports to ensure her well being. They will be done after 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, and 5 years. And that $1000 USD deposit is kept by the adoption agency until we complete all of these reports on time.

Annabelle - August 2013We are almost there, less than $10,000 USD left to raise by June! We are extremely grateful for how far the Lord has brought us; we’re so close to bringing Annabelle home. Remember, we began with only $3,000 USD. And we trust the Lord to finish what he started. Please check the link below for more details. 

The majority of you are getting this email because you have graciously donated, prayed with us and have been an integral part of this whole process. We are thankful that you have walked with us this far. Would you please pray and intercede for Annabelle and for us? Pray that God will miraculously provide the last part of the finances on time, just as He has with every single payment so far! We know that God is never early or late, but he is always right on time. Would you please forward/share Annabelle’s story with others who may be able to help her come home to her family? One of the miracles of Annabelle’s story is that God is bringing her to us, He alone is providing every step & every payment! This adoption miracle is not happening by might nor by power, but only by the Spirit God. (Zechariah 4:6)
Annabelle - March 2014
We’ll keep you updated on any new developments – check our FB & blog for announcements. Please keep us in your prayers in the meanwhile. As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

  With Love & Blessings,
Mark & Joy Kwong

Please click here to forward an email version of this letter to anyone that can help us bring our daughter home!

children of Hope {1×1}

Joy! It’s the look you see on the face of a child who has a reason to be proud, and someone else has acknowledged their hard work & potential for greatness. It’s what we were hoping to capture in these pictures. These kiddos bring such joy into OUR lives, we love teaching them & watching them grow. We are thrilled when one of our volunteer tutors shares how one of these sweet children has mastered a new skill or even an important exam. THIS is why we do it, THIS is why we’re here… because of the HOPE we have in Jesus & how He shines that Hope through the eyes of each child we meet!

The following pics are from last semester’s Manna Tutoring Awards Day. The music students performed, an older boy shared his testimony & one of our ICA friends spoke to the students & parents about the program. Then there was a message of Hope given before we closed in prayer & broke for a wonderful lunch together. It was a great time to meet the parents & tell them just how proud we are of their kids!

Mark brought a small kids bible & stuffed animal for each of the 6 girls in his English tutoring group. He promised them that if they finished reading the bible, they could call him & he’d give them another great book! We’ve already given out 2 more books, these kids are working very hard to improve their English. They know it’s the best tool for them to do big things in their lives. We are so encouraged by these girls & we know the Truth they are reading is doing so much more than helping their grammar & comprehension! This is what it’s all about! Making a difference… {1×1}

“It is the same with my word.I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” -Isaiah 55:11

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Upgraded life… 150sq ft > 40sq ft {1×1}

When I met Mr. Miu, he was in his 40’s & sick with cancer. (He is still doing Chemotherapy.) His home was a 40 square foot room in a sub-divided flat in Sai Wan, a very old area of Hong Kong with many Shark Fin shops. For almost 2 years I’ve been visiting him there every Saturday. We talk about life, we swap stories & we talk about how we both got to ‘where we are today’… we’ve walked a while together now, we’ve become friends. When I don’t find my friend at home, I go looking for him just to be sure he’s alright. I usually find him at his favorite haunt around the corner from his building. He goes there to find room to stretch out, even a booth at McDonald’s has more space than his tiny “apartment”.

Mr. Miu & I have lived two very different lives, but we have many things in common. We were both born in Hong Kong, we share our native language & love for HK street food, etc. But most important is our mutual need for spiritual wisdom & guidance in this life. I often tell the cage-home residents I visit about the different ways Father has helped me over the years & how much better things are for my family now that I trust Him with everything. Which is how we find ourselves spending many evenings, discussing the truths revealed in the world around us & taking turns praying for one another.

One of those prayers has been for a Public Housing Flat to open up for Mr. Miu. After 6 years on the waiting list, the call finally came. (Public housing flats are often much larger & cheaper than the cage-homes many of our friends live in.) So last month David , one of my volunteers, went with me to help Mr. Miu move into his brand new flat in a brand new building! My friend was worried about how to furnish his 150 square foot apartment, all he owned was a mini-fridge and a fan. Then, about a week before he had to move, I was able to get an appointment for us to take Mr. Miu to ‘shop’ for furniture at a place called Cornerstone. The warehouse is full of all sorts of donated furniture in excellent condition – all that you can collect in 2 hours is FREE. Like one of those shopping-spree game-shows where you can fill your cart until the time runs out… What a huge blessing that was for Mr. Miu! Watching peoples lives get upgraded… {1×1}

Below are the pictures of Mr. Miu’s old & new flats, he now pays HALF the rent, has almost 4x  the space & 100% privacy, without sharing a bathroom/kitchen with 10+ other renters, etc…. I think you will agree – he certainly got an upgrade!

Unfortunately, I’m not able to visit my friend as often now that he’s living in a new area, but I make a point to at least call him once a week. As long as I’ve known him, he’s been fighting cancer, but the bigger struggle is with his faith. We know God can heal him, & he can live with the hope of Heaven, if he chooses Jesus. Will you pray with me for Mr. Miu to have two more life upgrades, that his body will be healed & that he will find the peace that surpasses understanding? (Philippians 4:7)

-MK

Mr. Miu’s new flat

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Mr. Miu’s old flat

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