Sunday, October 19, 2008

a wild weekend

thursday night was passion: hong kong.  absolutely amazing and fun!!  the venue was small enough, and set up in such a way that you could CLEARLY see the stage, no matter where you were sitting.  the blog said there were 2100 people present - mostly young people.

i haven't been to a huge worship event in a long while, of jumping up and down, singing loudly, and hearing a great preacher (hats off to louie giglio... may we all be fruitcakes for jesus!).  it was really clear that the Spirit was present.  grant and i were talking about the challenge of slipping into emotional highs in those kinds of settings, but i also know that there is something refreshing in having those moments from time to time.  no, my faith doesn't thrive on exciting, high paced, crazy moving, loud, lights, pizzazz, and such... but those events are a chance to be lost in worship, singing to the King of all, and celebrating with thousands of others around you.  and then those moments provide refreshment for later.  i think one difference between something like passion and church worship is that i don't have to think about anything when it's not at church :-)  when i'm at my own church, i'm sometimes leading, always aware of the students i'm with, etc.  when i'm at someone else's church, i'm looking at how they do things, noticing what's different, unique, cool, could be adapted for our church, etc... at a big event like passion, those distractions aren't present - we can't put that in our church, problem solved! :-)
the whole thing got done at 11:30 or later, and then getting home on a school night was pretty late.  our sleep schedules are so messed up.  when we got home, i was still on a bit of a rush from the concert - ears ringing, eyes tired, but wide awake inside.  i said to grant, "concerts give me a better buzz than drinking does!"
for more photos and the "official" blog, visit this blog.

less than 24 hours later, i was at a youth camp in fanling (aka, almost china, in the new territories) for a youth retreat.  we had just over 40 high school students from at least 4 different churches attend this retreat: love actually - aka, a relationships and purity retreat.  praise Jesus that He can take care of logistical issues, nitty gritty details that we haven't planned for!!!  saturday night was a prime-time example.  we decided it would be a cool idea for the guys to surprise the girls with a "nice" dinner - dress up, flowers, escorts, etc.  the camp said "no, you can't bring in nice food.  you have to eat in the cafeteria.  maybe you can decorate tables...."  well, saturday night rolled around, and we were about a half hour behind schedule and found out that the cafeteria would be closed, and there was no chance of us eating in the cafeteria.  the teens and adult guys hauled tables and chairs to our meeting room, set up candles and roses, and ordered pizza and soda while the girls primped.  in other words, the whole thing happened exactly the way we'd wanted in the first place!!  what was cool was that the girls were able to feel really treasured, valuable, and special - even though they were being served and treated by guys they may have only barely known.  anyways, God really did work, and i heard enough kids comment on my talk saturday night that i can just pray God lets it stick, take hold of their hearts, and remind them to stay committed to purity and living in the light!  

now, it's time to sleep a lot tonight on a SOFT bed (you thought camp beds in the US were bad?  wait til you try hong kong...) and not do ANYTHING tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

september recap

wow, it's been a long time since we posted.

blank blog pages have started becoming a source of writer's block for me.  looking at the blank entry, i feel a need to write something exciting, profound, unusual, unique.  in truth, life feels fairly normal right now.  though, normal is go-go-go.  we've had a lot going on in the past month.  youth group kicked off at the beginning of september with messy games and a junk trip on friday-saturday.
that Sunday, there was a beach hat tournament for frisbee.  i played as a pick-up after church was done, and grant captained team fluorescent yellow:
the next weekend, there was a public holiday, and grant volunteered his time to help me with a youth ultimate tournament for kids at our church and around other churches and schools.

just when things seemed they would get calm for me, grant was in the throes of planning middle school camp.  200 students plus faculty and adults!!  oh, and it had to be replanned twice because a typhoon came through, cancelling school.  of course.
here's a picture of grant in his fat suit:
the other big event of september was "super 'stache september."  grant and a bunch of other teachers decided to have a moustache contest.   they grew beards, goatees, etc, until the one monday when they had to shave them into a moustache for people to vote on the best one.  (we used mascara to darken grant's).  grant landed somewhere in the middle.  here's a picture of the moustachioed men.  
i think those are basically the highlights of september.  we had a few typhoons, lots of frisbee, and general life.  the next few months don't look any slower either.  this weekend will be the "Love Actually V" retreat - an annual HK youth retreat for high schoolers talking about dating, relationships, and purity.  next weekend is the hong kong tournament.  the day after, i visit the states for a week for a conference.  mid-november will bring grant's school service trip to indonesia (and i'll be a chaperone).  then a few days later, kathy and scott visit!!  
don't expect lots of posts anytime soon :-)  sorry we've been so slow!