Gallery

Where’d they go now?

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Most of you know by now, we’re moving back ‘home’ (to Asia) in a few weeks (Aug 2019). We’re making another move this week – OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA – and back over to this long neglected blog! In fact, … Continue reading

to Market we go… every 2 days!

I’ve been pretty sick with a sinus cold this week. I have plenty to say, but not enough brain power to put it into clear sentences for you… Not much to update on the adoption stuff. (We went to do our final fingerprint cards for the immigration papers today – tomorrow we will mail those in & wait another month or so for the next step.) That’s pretty much it, & now I’m bored, since I’ve been in bed or on the couch for two days.

So I guess it’s as good a time as any to upload all these beautiful pictures of our colorful markets here in HK. We go to the market almost every 2 days, due to the SMALL fridge space, high humidity & lovely FRESH foods. I’ve only been promising to share these for over 3 months… so here they are. This is mostly the fruits/veggies. I need to take more pics of the meat/fish… (I also plan to add a post with various market videos soon… ) I just love shopping here, relatively affordable fresh foods too! It has definitely helped me enjoy cooking & eating, having so many fresh & tasty choices! (Check out our other ‘What’s Cooking’ posts.) Please enjoy a walk through our markets!!!

 

-JK

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

1x1 logo copywright-JK

reaching, touching, Loving {1×1}

Mr. and Mrs. Au (sounds like “ow”) live with their 4 children in a room that is less than 40 sq.ft. Mr. Au works 6- 12 hours day, 6 days a week at the vegetable outlet nearby to earn about $1100 USD a month. That’s what keeps the Au family off the streets, this is how many families in Hong Kong survive. Their rent and utilities often take about 50% of their monthly income. On top of that, Mr. Au has the burden & duty of supporting his parents financially in rural mainland China. We met Mr. & Mrs. Au last November, nine years after they moved to HK. Some of our elderly friends from an older sub-divided flat had moved into the flat where the Au’s live. It was during our weekly visit with these friends, that we met the Au’s & others living there.

Mark & his volunteers took the Au Family to dinner one night last year for their weekly visit.

Mark & his volunteers took the Au Family to dinner one night last year for their weekly visit.

The whole unit is about 700 sqft, divided into 11 cubicles with plywood walls & doors. Each unit fits 1 or 2 bunk beds & a mini-fridge, with about 3 feet of floor space left over. The bathroom, kitchen & laundry ‘rooms’ are all ‘common area’ shared by all 11 units. The Au family is blessed with one of the larger units. Still, they manage to squeeze 3 small children, a teenage boy, mom & dad all into their 30 sqft cubicle, which is almost twice the size of their neighbor’s. They pay a pretty penny for the space too. The average sub-divided unit costs about $1800 HKD/m ($230 USD), which comes to approx. $6.60USD per square feet. To put that in perspective, the rent for our home in HK (about 680 sqft) is only $2.50USD per square foot… Our house in California is currently rented for less than $1 USD per square foot…

1x1 logo copywrightGetting to know new families in need is a regular part of life for us. It’s wonderful to bring groceries & deliver hot meals, but to really know someone & show them you care about them is to really make an impact & offer hope that brings new life! We want to impact our world, one family, one person, one SOUL at a time. {1×1} We have lived in HK for over a year, but we are only now beginning to see tiny, life changing moments that come from years of prayer & faithfully chasing after the dreams placed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Ours is not a swift journey nor a race for sprinters, it is a long & meticulous trek… meant to be run with endurance, patience & diligence. Paying attention to details & knowing people by name, caring for the individuals – which one day will make all the difference in the world, even if only to that one special person that God chose YOU to reach, touch or love for Him! We may not be able to save them all, but as “The Star Thrower” reminds us: “It made a difference to THAT ONE!

This family was fairly friendly from the start & the little ones looked forward to the little treats Mark brings on his weekly visits. In conversation with Mr. Au, Mark learned that Mrs. Au had struggled with depression when they lived in China. Part of her husband’s decision to move his family to HK was her health. He needed to go where he could earn enough money for his wife to be at home with the kids, where she wanted to be most of all. Instead of needing for both parents to work, only to never have enough to live on in China. It was clear to Mark, this man wanted the very best for his family & he loved his wife & children very much… So now we pray together for the Au’s often, the Lord puts them on our hearts 3-4 times a week. I enjoy hearing the updates after each of Mark’s visits, since I have only been out to their house once so far.

A couple months after meeting them, Mark invited Mr. & Mrs. Au to bring the whole family to a field trip & banquet day that he had organized through our work. They all came to the Pun Choy event in Jan., except for Mrs. Au who was not feeling well that day. I was excited to see them again & as we went through the different tours, I watched the kids laughing & playing with their dad. Over 300 people that we serve attended the outing, Mark & Kum Gee (“Gum Gee”), his co-worker,  had over 40 volunteers to help keep things in order. (The boys & I were there trying to help, but we certainly need to work on our Cantonese before the next time!) We toured a bakery that specializes in a Chinese specialty called “Wife Cake”. Then we took buses to an older area of HK where we had a walking tour of a “Heritage Village”. It was very neat to see a bit of Hong Kong’s colonial days through the old buildings that connect to each other with tiny, intertwined alleys.

Mr. Au & family eating at the Pun Choy with volunteers & other guests.

Mr. Au & family eating at the Pun Choy with volunteers & other guests.

Last stop for the day was the main event, the Pun Choy Dinner. Basically, it’s a huge pot of enormous amounts of food all cooking together over a small table top burner. While everyone ate, we had our team entertaining & teaching them. There were games & raffles, worship songs & prayer, & then a testimony of God’s faithfulness in the life of someone who had been part of our program in the past… This all ended with a time of fellowship while finishing the meal. Then came the opportunity for anyone that wanted to pray, for anything at all. Mr. Au prayed for his family & he prayed for Christ to change him & his life. He was instantly adopted into the family of God! What a wonderful day for the Au family!!!

Mr. Au prayed over his son & made a decision to follow Christ!

Mr. Au prayed over his son & made a decision to follow Christ while a volunteer prayed for his daughter.

When we go out in the world, we hope to make a difference. When we go home to our families, we hope to make a difference. The difference Mr. Au’s decision is making for his family is eternal. We are excited to walk with him through this time of change & growth. He will need support & encouragement, just like you & I do. This story is not the first of it’s kind, but it is one that touches my heart to the core. So many husbands & fathers make tough choices to help their families, thinking they are doing all they can. Striving in their own strength to get things right & make ends meet, wanting to teach their children right from wrong… Only to find out that it wasn’t enough. It’s never enough without Jesus. But now Mr. Au is getting the help, the peace, grace & power he’s been needing all these years. We’re so happy & excited for him, we’re blessed to be walking this journey with him! You might not think knowing this family is a big deal, but them knowing the Savior IS! When you & I make the time to love others, He makes ALL the difference! And He usually does it ONE BY ONE{1×1}

Recently we brought a Chinese children’s bible to the Au kids. On a later visit, the 5 year old told Mark that they had been reading it together (the 3 younger kids), & sometimes Mom was reading it too. What a sweet family they are! Will you join us in praying for the Au family? We just KNOW that God is doing a miraculous work in our midst, what a great day to be alive, a day when lives are changed & Christ is glorified!

-JK