A Quiet Understanding

Good morning from Hong Kong!

And Happy (Chinese) New Year!  I promised I’d find some internet and catch you up to what’s going on, so here goes:

Our cruise finally finished on Saturday.  We had a truly blessed time, meeting some nice Christians and even a couple or men who have Tony’s same cancer problem, and, what are the chances, have had the same treatment, which seems to be working well. It was all so encouraging.

Cruise goals: We focused on the “Three R’s”  Reading, Riting and Reflecting.  It’s been a good couple of weeks.

So what I’ve learned about Chinese New Year.  I have to say that while it’s floated around me the many years we’ve lived in Asia, I’ve never experienced it first hand.  Japan celebrates New Year with the Western world on January First, complete with their own special traditions of Red Beans, House Cleaning and Church services, but The Lunar New Year, aka Chinese New Year, follows the cycles of the moon instead of the Calendar.

Our Vietnamese guide, on the one day we took a tour to the Imperial Forbidden City of Vietnam in Hue, kindly read us some of the “rules” of the New Year and we did our best to comply.

For example, the first visitor you have on New Year’s day will be very significant to you and your family in the coming year.  For that reason, we declined from ingratiating ourselves to any of our friends here in Hong Kong on day one.  They are always so kind to us but I would hate to have them thinking they had to be putting up with us for the whole year.  Another advisory is to never give anyone a CAT on New years day.  Not sure why except the basic thought of, even though I love cats,  “Who would ever give someone a cat?”

Other rules regard sickness, and a myriad other ones, mostly food related, so we just stayed away from our friends till today, Sunday. Then today we were blessed beyond belief with first meeting up with our ride to church (“take the MTR to Admirlaty, change lines to the Chai Wan line and get off at the Wan Chai stop”, so easy because of Hong Kong’s excellent transportation systems.)  Then the first song we sang was that old song, “There’s a quiet understanding”…..so appropriate to the love we have for these friends.     Then after church we took one of our friends ‘display model yachts’ over to another island (Base price 25 million Hong Kong Dollars) and had a seafood feast.  Coming home it was the total scene of “Jesus calms the storm” as we wondered if we’d ever be able to get back on, but we did, and we survived.  It’s so hard to describe how we love being with these folks, even when it’s only for a few hours every few years.  I guess it’s a true picture of “God’s Family”

Next week you’ll either hear from us from the Philippines or from somewhere to be determined.  The Philippines are having some trouble with a little volcano just outside of Manila, so we’re watching the situation carefully. We think we might need to put a week or so between us and the becoming famous Coronavirus, now necessitating a state of emergency in Hong Kong, so that Australia will not think we’re contagious and let us back in!  Don’t worry, we’re taking every precaution, wearing masks and washing our hands like crazy.

Always appreciative of your prayers, we’re doing fine.  Marsha

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