International Ministries

Chinese New Year

February 12, 2015 Journal
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This year the Chinese New Year was on February 19. We remember that last year’s Chinese New Year in Macau was similar to our Christmas in the US in that all the stores are closed. However, we did not have a “Special After Christmas Sale” here. On the contrary, the stores were continuously closed for a couple of days, and some were closed for an entire week. The labor/construction workers even took two weeks off. Friends had advised us to purchase plenty of food in advance for the holiday. The main custom of Chinese New Year’s eve is an opportunity for family reunions and for the senior members of a family to give a “Red Envelope” (Blessing money) to the young people. On New Year’s Day people visit their relatives and friends to congratulate them for the New Year. 

Time flies. We have served at Macau for one year. We are still learning its language (Cantonese), its culture, and, unfortunately, learning from our mistakes. Though Macau is very small, when we explore new streets, we often get lost in “the maze.” Buses are another challenge, and we are just now learning how to take a free transfer from one bus to another bus. When we came to Macau, Emerson did not feel he was old until he got on the bus. According to the Chinese custom, young people on a bus give his/her seat for senior people. At first, Emerson was not comfortable taking the offered seat, but he had to accept the given seat in response to the people’s respect for senior people. This is one of the customs that we have had to learn and adjust to day by day.

When we moved to Macau last January, Ivy had eyes problems only one or two days after moving. The family doctor in Macau examined Ivy’s eyes and immediately sent us to Hong Kong hospital as an emergency case. We worried and rushed to Hong Kong. While we waited for the eye doctor, Ivy went to get a cup of coffee. When she came back, she was laughing and said, “God has a sense of humor,” and showed me the cup which read “Take a break.” God knew what the Dr.’s diagnosis would be, and He had already responded in a way that brought humor and relief.

After the decision to move MBI to a new location, Emerson was so deeply involved in the moving and clean-up up of a 30 year old of building with it’s pollution that he had no time for rest, resulting in his getting a severe sinus infection. He became very sick. From this illness Emerson learned the lesson that we all have our limitations. Praise belongs to the Lord because until that time Emerson had been heathy without taking any medicine. The most enjoyable time for Emerson is a 30 minute walk on a winter morning, a very comfortable time for walking, meditating and praying.

In this past year, we have enjoyed visits from our supervisor (Rev. Ben Chan), missionary Dr. Buttry and an ABC brother Mr. Kwong from the church at San Francisco. We also so greatly enjoyed and deeply appreciated the visits from our two children and a sister and brother-in-law who made long trips to visit us.

February 1, 2015 was our 1 year anniversary of serving at Macau. Our ministries have included the following:

(1) Macau Bible Institute (MBI) - Ivy served as lecturer, student counselor and field study advisor. She is now the MBI’s chaplain. Emerson serves as the Administrator which includes the campus relocation project. Both of us were prayerfully walking with our co-workers in the MBI difficult transition time. When we started to work at MBI, we were surprised to learn that many key persons had resigned. The campus relocation project had waited for 10 years to launch. We also faced so much resistance to change from the co-workers. But God is faithful and His provision was sufficient for us. He called His children to help on the campus renovation, and the most amazing thing was that God transformed the co-workers from “resistant to change” to “stepping up for involvement.”

(2) Evangelize China Fellowship - Our ministry is teaching youth Sunday school, preaching and fellowship with children.

(3) Preaching to churches.

(4) Micro movie production project - The finished product title was Priceless Trip in Chinese (A Tale of Two Cities in English), a story of three teen age girls and how they resolved their conflict. (Click to watch the movie with English Sub-title: 

(5) Kris project - When we met Kris last March, she was age 17 and in 7th grade. Her school grades were so poor that she could have been retained in the same grade for another year. She had run away from church and had poor relationships with her family; she especially hated that her father gambles so often, and they did not talk each other. Many times when both unexpectedly met in public, they did not even say, “Hello.” However, Praise belongs to the Lord, that through months of mentoring and discipleship, God put His hands on Kris and she made excellent progress. She improved her class grade from the last to the 10th rank; she returned to church; and most amazing was that she reconciled her relationship with her father – she showed up at her father’s birthday dinner.

(6) Supporting IM’s Conflict Transformation Training.

(7) Providing Sunday School Teacher training at a Christian Theology Training Center in China.

“The seventy returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” … “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.” (Luke 10:17-21). All glory belongs to God for His grace and love on Macau ministries.

Although we have rejoiced many times, we had our share of exhausting, challenging, disappointing and even very frustrating times. Your prayers and encouragement have certainly lifted up us. Thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support for the Lord’s ministry.

 Happy Chinese New Year!