Our internet is down again, so this is another late edition. Last week it was a problem in our village. This time it’s something I did wrong, but don’t know how to undo it! I generally know enough to get myself into trouble, but do not know how to resolve the issues I cause. Case in point: I was simply trying to set up a wireless printer. I followed the instructions, but the wireless system didn’t like it, and since Thursday we’ve been shut down, other than using the “hot spot” function with our phone.
It was another busy week. Seems they’re all that way lately. We had a lunch with one of the couples in our church who were both celebrating birthdays a few days apart, ande also enjoyed lunch with another couple in our church. We were supposed to hike with them on Lantau Island where they live, but the weather was too unpredictable. In fact we’ve gotten some heavy rains the past few days.
One of the days I was driving home and there had been a small landslide in one of HongKong’s 60,000 maintained slopes. Since there are many hills and mountains in the territory, along with a lack of flat space, mountains are cut into to make more space for roads and high-rises.
I read an article this week that Hong Kong has one of the highest income inequalities of anywhere in the world. Here’s the article if you’d like to read it… Housing: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-13/unless-you-re-a-tycoon-life-in-hong-kong-is-harder-than-ever
More than half the working population pays no taxes, and for those who do, it’s a low rate of 15%. The inequality in wages has meant that some thrive… property owners in particular, or businessmen, who are often propped up with favorable government policies directed at them. Those on the low end of the wage spectrum, however, can barely keep up with rising costs. “The assets of the 10 wealthiest people in Hong Kong now equal 48 percent of Hong Kong’s economy, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index."
Housing is where it is seen most explicitly, and Hong Kong is considered the least affordable place to live in the world. Property prices have risen 400% in 14 years (2003). Fortunately we’ve lived in the same place which OMS purchased in 1991, so have not been affected by the surge.
This has led in some cases to cage homes… literally space enough for a bed. Developers are building 128 square foot micro apartments (that’s basically 12’ X 12’) which sell for HK $400,000, around ($52,000 USD).
There’s more in the article but those are the highlights. This has lead to frustration and pent up anger at the way the government favors the minority of rich people against the majority. Some say a property crash is waiting to happen, but in all our 42 years here it hasn’t happened.
One other even from last Saturday was the asylum seeker / refugee program commemorating the World Refugee Day. It was an inspiring program with music, testimonies and true stories of how churches and organizations are providing hope for those in a seemingly hopeless situation.
We’ve enjoyed having a team from the Philippines made up of our partner churches of OMS in Hong Kong. They’ve come to explore the ways they might be involved in training overseas Filipino/a workers. Nearly 10,000,000 people are spread all over the world working to send money back to their families in the Philippines. What a force it would be if they go as Christians, bearing the good news, living in homes and affecting the lives of families, or even just the children for whom they care.
There has been the start of major movement in the Philippines of people coming to Christ.
That's it for this week. Blessings, Dave
The Harvest - (Author Unknown)
There was once a spider who lived in a cornfield. He was a big spider and he had spun a beautiful web between the corn stalks. He got fat eating all the bugs that would get caught in his web. He liked his home and planned to stay there for the rest of his life.
One day the spider caught a little bug in his web, and just as the spider was about to eat him, the bug said, "If you let me go I will tell you something important that will save your life." The spider paused for a moment and listened because he was amused. "You better get out of this cornfield," the little bug said, "The harvest is coming!"
The spider smiled and said, "What is this harvest you are talking about? I think you are just telling me a story." But the little bug said, "Oh no, it is true. The owner of this field is coming to harvest it soon. All the stalks will be knocked down and the corn will be gathered up. You will be killed by the giant machines if you stay here."
The spider said, "I don't believe in harvests and giant machines that knock down corn stalks. How can you prove this?" The little bug continued, "Just look at the corn. See how it is planted in rows? It proves this field was created by an intelligent designer." The spider laughed and mockingly said, "This field has evolved and has nothing to do with a creator. Corn always grows that way." The bug went on to explain, "Oh no. This field belongs to the owner who planted it, and the harvest is coming soon." The spider grinned and said to the little bug, "I don't believe you," and then the spider ate the little bug for lunch.
A few days later, the spider was laughing about the story the little bug had told him. He thought to himself, "A harvest! What a silly idea. I have lived here all of my life and nothing has ever disturbed me. I have been here since these stalks were just a foot off the ground, and I'll be here for the rest of my life, because nothing is ever going to change in this field. Life is good, and I have it made."
The next day was a beautiful sunny day in the cornfield. The sky above was clear and there was no wind at all. That afternoon as the spider was about to take a nap, he noticed some thick dusty clouds moving toward him. He could hear the roar of a great engine and he said to himself, "I wonder what that could be?"
2 Peter 3:3-4 "In the last days mockers will come, following their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming?'"
2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but He is patient toward you, not wanting anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance."
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Over dinner, I explained the health benefits of a colorful meal to my family. "The more colors, the more variety of nutrients," I told them. Pointing to our food, I asked, "How many different colors do you see?"
"Six," volunteered my daughter. "Seven if you count the burned parts."
The shipwrecked sailor had spent several years on a deserted island. Then one morning he was thrilled to see a ship offshore and a smaller vessel pulling out toward him.
When the boat grounded on the beach, the officer in charge handed the marooned sailor a bundle of newspapers and told him, "With the captain's compliments. He said to read through these and let us know if you still want to be rescued."
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You know you’re a mother when…
- You count the sprinkles on each kid’s cupcake to make sure they're equal.
- You have time to shave only one leg at a time.
- You hide in the bathroom to be alone.
- Someone else’s kid throws up at a party. You keep eating.
- As you cling to the high moral ground on toy weapons; your child chews his toast into the shape of a gun.
- You hope ketchup is a vegetable, since it’s the only one your child eats.
- You find yourself cutting your husband’s sandwiches into cute shapes.
- You hear your mother’s voice coming out of your mouth when you say, “NOT in your good clothes!”
- You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.
- You hire a sitter because you haven ’t been out with your husband in ages, then spend half the night checking on the kids.
- You use your own saliva to clean your child’s face.
- You say at least once a day, “I'm not cut out for this job”, but you know you wouldn't trade it for anything.
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Top 10 Things You'll Never Hear Dad Say
10. Well, how 'bout that? I'm lost! Looks like we'll have to stop and ask for directions.
9. You know Pumpkin, now that you're thirteen, you'll be ready for unchaperoned car dates. Won't that be fun?
8. I noticed that all your friends have a certain hostile attitude. I like that.
7. Here's a credit card and the keys to my new car. GO CRAZY!!
6. What do you mean you wanna play football? Figure skating's not good enough for you, son?
5. Your mother and I are going away for the weekend. You might want to consider throwing a party.
4. Well, I don't know what's wrong with your car. Probably one of those doo-hickey thingies--ya know--that makes it run or something. Just have it towed to a mechanic and pay whatever he asks.
3. No son of mine is going to live under this roof without an earring. Now quit your belly-aching, and let's go to the mall.
2. Whaddya wanna go and get a job for? I make plenty of money for you to spend.
1. What do I want for Father's Day? Aahh, don't worry about that. It's no big deal. (Okay, they might say it. But they don't mean it)
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