Archive for September, 2007

Enduring Change

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Hello Everyone,

It is hard to believe that we have been in Hong Kong for five months.  The past year and a half since we sold our house has been a blur as so much has changed in our lives.  Our daughters are growing in so many ways, our business is growing as we have added a Chinese employee in the Hong Kong office, and our faith has definately grown.  We have seen God work in so many miracalous ways during our journey thus far.  We are a little tired from the battle, but God gives us endurance through His awesome grace.  Just as we were starting to get settled in Hong Kong in our new flat, we receive direction that we need to go back to Dallas in early November for 9 months to add staff in the Dallas office. With all of the transition over the past 2 years, we can claim  Romans 15:5
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.”                                                                                                                                                                                                      We trust God in His wisdom, and most of all we have hope He will give us the endurance in moving again.  When Anne and I embraced the calling of God on our lives through Sun Consulting, we knew this time would come.  He allowed the first four years to be of some stability-all in one state at least, but the next three to five years will be anything but geographically stable as we strive in growing the company.

Many people have asked, “So what are you doing? Are you missionaries or business people?”  I admit when we left Dallas I was struggling with the same question.  In the last five months, our Heavenly Father has strengthened our resolve and built endurance through giving us a glimpse of how we will be used by Him.  Through this time, we see more clearly our role in the Kingdom.  So I hope this helps answers the question – What are the Clarks doing?

We see our ministry in three parts:

1. Sun Consulting: God continues to bless us with success, and we look forward to growing the company for as long as He provides.  In hiring Rheuter Cheng in Hong Kong, it has reaffirmed our beliefs that God can bring the right people to the company just as he provided Solomon with specialist for building the temple.  These special people not only have incredible business talent, but are like-minded in doing this work for the Glory of God.  We desire that our employees also have a passion for spreading the Gospel and will use their business contacts to spread the Good News as we travel the globe doing business.  Another great aspect of business is seeing our role as mentors to those we hire.  Whether it is working along side someone in the company, or having dinner with their family, we can encourage and minister to those God brings our way.

2. Personal Ministry: Our personal ministry is broken into two categories.

      a.  The Clark Family enjoys building biblical community wherever we live.  It is exciting to see in a short month and a half how God has built community in our new area.  We are assisting our church in establishing a small group in the area (as it is on an outlying island), and it is always a joy to minister to people in our community whether that is Dallas, Hong Kong or wherever. Anne is meeting for prayer and support with the few Christian moms that are near us as they have all been struggling for some community. Also, they have regular intentional get-togethers with the other moms to have opportunities to live out their faith and God’s love among the lost.

b. The Kerusso Foundation: Our vision is to finalize the paperwork for a non-profit organization in 2008.  We are calling this Kerusso Foundation.  The verses that really touch our hearts in Romans gave us the idea for the name because the word ‘kerusso’ in Greek means ‘to preach’ as in Romans 10:14  “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching (Kerusso)to them? 15And how can they preach (Kerusso) unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”[g]

From our time in the Middle East, Anne and I grew to have great admiration for the indegenious (national) leaders of the church there.  They had such passion and love for Christ at such risk for their lives and well-being.  We also saw how they had a great desire to go to other countries in the world but did not have a way ‘to preach’ because there were no funds to send them.  Our desire is to build a non-profit that identifies indigenious mission movements and supports their efforts in leadership training, evangelism and discipleship.  God has blessed us with meeting awesome kindgom workers around the world who are called by God, and we have already seen opportunities to give. Today, the 27th of September, is the last day of a two-day conference on evangelism for 30 church leaders in Burundi (think Hotel Rawanda), one of the poorest countries in Africa.  We rejoice because Kerusso Foundation is making an impact as God provided the funds to make the conference happen.  Wow, what a wonderful God we serve!  That an amazing King would allow someone like me to be part of His work.

I want to end with a song that has been ministering to me.  When I was in the States in August, I picked up this CD and found this song.  It is the Clark Family’s hope that we can live this song out.  May He continue to do more than we could ever imagine or think in our lives!

Bring The Rain Lyrics

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that
I’ve gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It’s never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory
And I know there’ll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that’s what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain

I am yours regardless of the clouds that may
loom above because you are much greater than
my pain you who made a way for me suffering
your destiny so tell me whats a little rain

Disneyland Hong Kong

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

This was our family’s first time to go to Disneyland, and it was in Hong Kong! It is located on Lantua island so now we are just 10 minutes from it! The girls just loved everything about it. We went with another family from Michigan who moved here about the same time we did. (Click here to view pictures)

It was so fun to just play the tourist for a day and relax and have a somewhat normal outing. Although, there was Chinese spoken over the speakers, Chinese food in all but one restaurant (and even then, the menu said fish tail and rice burger), and the ice cream stand sold milk and green tea frozen bars, orange sesame seed frozen bars and blackcurrant jelly frozen treats!

Since it was our first Disneyland experience, we had no expectations, so everyone had a very very good time. Sarah has known since we moved here that the princess castle was very near to our house, so she was happy to go and visit it and see all the princesses.

Tung Chung and an Auntie

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

As you know, we had to move from our first apartment due to the jackhammering on our ceiling and also the price was unbearable – 4 times more than a high mortgage payment in the US. We moved out to an area called Tung Chung on Lantua Island near the Hong Kong Airport and the rent is less than half what we were paying and the apartment is a huge 1200 square feet! We are so excited to be here. It does take some time and lots of walking to get into the city, but the community out here is nice. We have made lots of friends and many of the families have outdoor BBQ-type parties and get togethers. The girls like having such a close-knit community, but they really are having a hard time with all of the walking required to get from one place to another as we have no car. Living downtown, there were many options for public transport to go even one block. Out here on Lantau Island, the pace is a little slower and the transport a little more sparse, unless you are going into town, of course. click here to see more pictures

Most every family here has a domestic helper who cleans, grocery shops and nannies the children. There is a tiny room in the kitchen in each apartment for the helper. Most come from the Philippines or Indonesia. Our helper is Auntie Rachel (Auntie is what you call all helpers), and she is from the Philippines. The girls love her, and I am so happy that she cleans my house, mops my floors, does the dishes (no dishwashers here), organizes everything and irons our clothes. We decided to get a part-time helper and not have anyone live with us, so Rachel comes on Tues. and Thursdays for several hours. She stays late on Tuesday nights to provide a date night for me and Jay!

The last pictures are of the market close to our new house. I haven’t been able to get a picture of the live chicken booth, but that will be coming soon. Every time I go near there, the lady behind the cages has some fresh, warm, slimy chicken organ in her hand. So, I hurry on by straight to the vegetable stand. But don’t worry, I am working on the nerve to stop and get a picture and maybe even say hello.

Starting School in Hong Kong

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Hong Kong started school this past week. To some of you it might seem a little late, but school also doesn’t end until July here so I didn’t mind the wait. Sarah Grace’s December birthday put her in kindergarten here and we found a private school that teaches mainly in English except for when they study the Chinese language every day.  With Hannah’s outgoing and easygoing personality, we decided to put here in the cheaper and closer local government school which is only for three hours each morning. It is in both English and Chinese. We can walk to both of their schoolswhich is a big plus. (Click here to view pictures)

The girls have been so excited for weeks now and Monday morning  they both had their uniforms and shoes and backpacks on before I even made it out of bed. When we dropped Hannah off, she waved goodbye and never looked back. Then we walked to Sarah’s school and on the way we get to see the local ladies doing Tai Chi (a form of exercise that looks like standing-up yoga mixed with slow motion dancing) or fan dancing if it is close to a special holiday. (see pictures) Up unto this point, Sarah has been so excited to go to school and get to stay and eat lunch there and not have to come home for a nap. But once we get to Sarah’s school, she realizes just how overwhelming it all is. She is the only North American in the class, and she is the youngest, and it lasts from 9am to 3pm everyday. Daddy comforted her and prayed with her again and she felt a bit better and after a few pictures, she was ok with us leaving. I haven’t had much time to get used to the idea of Sarah starting kindergarten and then to be starting kindergarten in Asia!

With Hannah being in local school, we are having to truly adapt and live in the culture. At her preschool, no child is allowed to wear diapers or pull-ups. So, we have been talking to Hannah and building up the idea and on the first day of school, she wore big girl panties and we sent her off. She can home dry and has been so all week. I don’t know how they did it, and not much can be deducted due the the language barrier, but I am just glad Hannah is potty-trained! And she got to choose an ice cream treat of her choice after school for her accomplishment.

Hannah also has homework every night and has six books she has to bring back and forth each day. She has a little book that requires me to take her temperature and initial it each morning so she can give it to the teacher and be allowed to enter the school each day. Friday was birthday day for all those that had birthdays over the summer. They were allowed to wear casual clothes and Hannah came home with a little bag of goodies. It had fried prawn chips, green dried seaweed and some fruit-type chews. The seaweed is still in the bag.

I am finally enjoying a few hours of separation. The moms from Sarah’s school get together on Fridays and have dim sum. It is a meal like brunch where someone orders a lot of little finger-type Chinese foods and everyone digs in with their chopsticks as the lazysusan is constantly turned. It has been good to meet the other moms but bad on my poor stomach. I have thus far avoided the fried chicken foot and mystery-filled rice noodle wrap.

Sarah has already told her teacher that we love Jesus at our house and that we travel around to other countries and tell people about Jesus. I’m glad Sarah isn’t the one in the government school! I just pray for the influences on both of the girls and the educational pressures in this country that they will encounter at school. I pray the Lord protects them and strengthens their hearts to love Him and show His love to others.

The Goldfish Market and Ladies’ Market

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

There is one other American family that lives near us, and they have one daughter named Ada who is Sarah’s age. Ada’s mother and I decided on the spur of the moment Friday morning to take the kids to another island where the Goldfish and Ladies’ markets are located. There a several famous markets in Hong Kong and these are two of them. The Goldfish market does have a lot of fish to buy and other sea creatures and also some dogs (mainly miniatures) and cats and rodents. The Ladies’ market has no ladies, but it is filled with things a lady might want to buy like jewelry – the little stalls reminded me of Sam Moon – and some shoes and clothes and some kids toys and trinkets, too. It was fun to spend a morning in the local streets seeing fun animals and creatures and toping it off with purchasing a pink sparkly bracelet. A full day. No strollers could fit through the small walkways, and the girls both let me know how walking a lot makes them tired. And by their whining, I see that they view being tired as a bad thing. Living in Asia, walking is what you do more than any other activity, so we are in training with a long way to go. I took some pictures of the girls looking at the markets. Hope you enjoy them!(Click here to view pictures.)