Sunday, January 24, 2010

Life As We Know It

I’m just beginning this “race of life” in Hong Kong and already I can tell that the pace is fast fast fast. Everything is go-go-go and buy-buy-buy, which I’ve been doing like it’s my day job. I have booked a flight to Kunming over the Chinese New Year (which means buying a VISA and a backpack to live out of for 10 days) and now I have to admit that I have purchased another ticket to Singapore (which departs this Friday!). It’s a weekend trip with Jason (who is also attending our New Year’s excursion) but he knows a guy who will let us crash at his place, so good timing. And to top it off, to document the trips (and HK) properly, I’m investing in another lens, probably a Canon 10-20mm. Sigh…But where else would I spend the money? :D

But with that said, Hong Kong culture has definitely reshaped my life. Physical activity has sky rocketed but exercise has decreased. Diet is crazy (especially with such cheap food). Studies have gone out the window (except Mandarin and Chinese Medicine, both of which won’t transfer to Samford…ironic). But more importantly and interesting, my faith has definitely been affected.
Hong Kong is 10% Christian (so I’ve heard) but amongst the locals/college students (especially International kids) I don’t think Christianity is prevalent, which makes the Christians live out real Christianity on a day to day basis (something Samford [and the South] generally lacks). I’ve found that very encouraging and very genuine, and the most important aspect is community. When believers meet here, it’s truly like brother and sister. I’ve found it so interesting that after introducing someone in a church, the second question asked is “When did you come to know Jesus?” What?! Nice to meet, now what’s your testimony. Religion/Faith is a different level of personal intimacy here; they just throw it on the table (which is legit).
Furthermore, I had communion for the first time in HK last night. Saturday night at a local (Mandarin spoken) Bible study. How much did I understand, even with the translator? 3%. But it was a beautiful gathering (not to mention elongated into a 2 hour session). They, the local Chinese, opened it up with an open prayer session and as someone prayer, they would talk to God in spurts which would be followed by “AMEN!” by the group, so the prayer/group would build energy (there were like 25 there). We sat in a square with the communion elements in the middle, which we took part in about half way through the study. Even though I couldn’t understand the words, it was amazing to hear Christianity in another mother tongue, another culture, another nation, YET to the same God. Amazing. I’ll be sure to attend their Thursday English sessions.

So I’ve been blessed with some friends that I’ll have to do profile posts on, but it’s been great so far, so thank you so much for the prayer and encouragement you’ve given me. Today we went and hiked up in the Northern Territories to some rural villages containing some temples, pretty cool. Built some bridges between some friends and then enjoyed a meal in the top of a wet market, very good, very cheap. We had real Honey-Chicken (all you Samford kids know what I’m talking about) and about 7 other dishes for about 5 bucks each. Very delicious. My favorite Mandarin phrase is “feichang hao che” which is “extremely delicious”. It’s my favorite because it’s the only thing I can say, so I may just make it my Chinese name…It would be fitting.


ryann smith said...

hahahaha i laughed so hard at the last sentence of this!! i know you are having such an awesome time! and all of your pictures are so amazing!! you are quite the photographer Mr. Thiessen. When i get to Spain we need to skype and share study abroad stories because im sure they will be very different! Are you going to go to the great wall or terracotta soldiers? you better because those are so amazing that you cant miss them!

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