Here's the last post I posted from the Far East, posted here for your SBTS enjoyment in it's original uncut form. Enjoy!
And so here I am, once again, in Hong Kong. Our group will meet together in 50 minutes and head to the gate. After that, 15 hours of flying. The good news, the inflight movies showing in my personal TV screen include Fight Club, Fever Pitch, The Fugitive, and Kung-Fu Hustle. The bad news. It's a 15 hour flight. Trans ocean flights suck. Transalanticism, however, is awesome. But now that the trip is almost over, I need to process the past few days in this open forum called Xanga. Thus, pablobutterworth.blogspot.com, proudly presents: ATTACK OF THE RANDOM THOUGHTS.
#1: Beaches, Good, Beach Towns, Bad. As referenced in the last entry, the group went to Kenting (CAHN-DING) and got to go to the ocean. This was a pretty big thing for me, because my home state is Arizona. We won't have a beach until a huge earthquake or the melting of the ice caps puts Cali under water. I go to Boyce College, one of the best undergrad schools for Christian ministry in the Western world, but we're unhappily land-locked in Kentucky. Long story short, I haven't been to the beach since I was in San Diego back in '03. Feeling the waves on my feet rocked, even if it was only for 30 minutes. And man oh man were those waves huge. The missionaries said that they had never seen the surf like that before. The town of Kenting however, sucked. It was one big tourist trap for Asian tourists. So just remember, try to get the beach without the beach town.
#2: Stardom. Americans are big pimpin' in Taiwan; they loves us because we've kept 'em non commie for so long. As a general rule, they consider white people to automatically more attractive, and Jhutien is a smaller town that doesn't get a whole lotta white tourists. So, we were all the center of attention. It was only God's grace that there weren't daily auto accidents on account of people craning their heads and staring at us as they drove by. I'm not sure how many dozen pictures I was asked to pose for, but after having to smile for 5 minutes straight, I suddenly gained some sympathy for models everywhere. I'm looking forward to blending back into the U.S. crowd.
#3: Love. Although we were definitely venerated by most, the way our Chinese brothers and sisters treated us was astounding. They showed so much love for us in so many tangible ways, like providing meals, and cranking down the AC at the church building. After the second parents night, before all the families were dismissed, they called every single one of us 30 plus Americans to the front of sanctuary and presented us with a rose, a laminated, personalized certificate of thanks in Chinese/English, and a T-Shirt featuring the church. One of the IMB missionaries told us how the pastor has a new vision for the church, thanks to our service. Danette, Wes's wife, told us another testimony. An older man who accepted Christ a few years ago had told here that when he converted to Christianity, he had seen that the Buddhists and Daoists around him were always talking about doing good deeds, but seldom did, and when they did do them, they were often paid in return. He told Danette that he knew God loved the Hakka people because He moved in the hearts of so many Americans to come at their own expense.
#4: Cool stuff. After the program last night, the pastor told us of an old Chinese custom. When two villages were next to each other back in they day, they would launch balloons like a smoke symbol, with the launching of red balloons signifying peace. We got to help launch nearly 10 traditional Chinese ballons by holding them until they fully inflated with hot smoke from the burning fuel wired at the base. That was pretty sweet.
I think that brings this edition of blogging to an end. Keep us in prayer as we will not be back in AZ until 6:30 or so Mountain Standard Time, (9:30 Eastern) and we will then have to drive several hours yet. God has worked in my life and heart in huge ways through this trip, and I can't wait till I can tell my Boyce kindred about this face to face. I'll have some pretty sweet pictures and I'll be happy to listen to you all as well. Let's close this out with Family Guy. Grace and peace.
"Brian, set a pot of tea on the stove. I've got stories."