Sunday, January 12, 2014

This is My Life

In early November, I mentioned that a reporter from the Episcopal News Service came to Hong Kong to do stories on the Young Adult Service Corps Missionaries working in the city. Two weeks ago, one of those stories was published. In the story below, you will see what I do from day to day here with Mission to Seafarers in Hong Kong.

Special thanks to Matthew Davies for putting this piece together. Your gift for storytelling is certainly an asset for the church. I hope this video inspires someone thinking about YASC. Hands down, it has been the best decision of my life.

Another glimpse into the outreach of the Mission here happened just this morning. The Mariners' Club, in conjunction with the Hong Kong shipping community, sent a shipping container stocked full of much-needed supplies to the Philippines for those still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan.

What was in the container? Good Question:
  • 7 Boxes of Toys
  • 1 Box of Toiletries
  • 2 Bags of Shoes
  • 1440 Bags of Sugar
  • 400 Bags of Rice
  • 3,690 Packs of Noodles
  • 1,560 Bottles of Water
  • 1,392 Cases of Dried Food
  • Lots of Love
Got Rice?

From left to right: Rice, Myself, Catering Manager Peter Lam 

So much water!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hong Kong Holidays

Happy New Year!

I hope each of you have had a blessed holiday season. Mine here in Hong Kong has been excellent - full of family, great food and fellowship. This year marked the first time in my life that I was not in Asheville, North Carolina for Christmas. It was a little sad to be away from home, however I was extremely thankful for the Hong Kong "family" that I have made here.

I doubt I will ever forget where I spent Christmas of 2013. Christmas Day was spent out on the water delivering presents to seafarers out on the waters of the South China Sea. Reverend Miller and I had a great time playing Santa Claus, yelling "Ho Ho Ho" and singing carols to bewildered seafarers on the intercom of our small launch. Throughout Advent the mission has delivered over 7,000 wrapped gifts to seafarers. The gifts are items that are extremely useful - clocks, bumbags, flashlights and wallets. While not life-changing, I think the mere of act of receiving a present means a lot to these lonely people at sea. The reactions upon receiving the small gifts were priceless.

Rebecca and I packed hundreds of bags for seafarers this Christmas season

The Rev. Stephen Miller sends up a bag of presents on Christmas morning. 

Happy seafarers

While I missed my true family on Christmas Day, I was fortunate enough to see them soon after. My mother, father, brother and sister-in-law were all able to come visit and experience my life in Hong Kong. Fortunately I was able to take a few days off from work and show them the sights of the city. Having my family here was very humbling, as it made me realize how blessed I am to live in a place as vibrant and beautiful as Hong Kong. Their visit also made me realize how much I have matured since I last saw them before I departed on my mission. August 2013 seems like a lifetime ago!

Enjoying a sunny day up on Victoria Peak 

Cheesin' in front of the Big Buddha

Tour on top of a double decker bus 

Craig being a mutt at the Chi Lin Nunnery

I cannot thank my family enough for traveling all the way out here to visit me. While we missed one brother and sister-in-law that remained in the USA, it was revitalizing to see some familiar faces from home. To quote one of my favorite songs, "Always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name." I love you all.