Monday, June 19, 2017

Year 2.4

Year 2.4 ends with the first anniversary of Doris' memorial service, June 18. The week couldn't get off to a better start when I added more writing to John 14:1-3, a sermon for my Lent series that I did previously. I was invited for lunch by Doris' former classmate and his wife at East TST, to a very fancy restaurant HKH. They really gave me the royal attention, I am humbled. Dinner at night with a coworker's family was cancelled due the typhoon warning. I am glad I finished a prayer for relatives at work three weeks later: 
May the Lord
Gain your trust
Grant you grace 
Grow your wisdom
Grab your attention
Galvanize your faith
Guide your intellect
Get your confidence
Guard your emotions
Groom your potential
Gladden your motivation
Give you favor to glorify His name!

Day 2 I forgot to go work later at noon instead of morning because we have Men's Fellowship at night. At noon a new language division was proposed and all eyes were on me. The night study on Abraham's Sacrifice of Isaac was good because all was involved. A Malaysian visitor joined us, 11 altogether, including 4 for dinner. The study on Men in the Bible has book potential.

On Wednesday I woke up to a full-blown acne that surfaced the night before, probably from too much chilli and thinking of the new division. Work on Judges 7 Gideon was barely creeping along, but my prayer group had a good time after two weeks' break At night I listened with pleasure to Philemon Choi, who shared his mentoring experience.

Day 4 was a big let down because I was asked to consider taking the division assistant job instead of the head, so I declined. The work is too much and I had no control, so it does not help to reap suffering. It was a wake-up call for me that leadership is not what it seemed and not my cup of tea. It's an answer to prayer for me not to be attracted to leadership. I am more than content with my present work. 

On Friday I woke up crying dreaming of Doris. For the first time I dream of her suffering from cancer, remaining still in a standing position, but we were not at home. I went over and hugged her, but the emotional pain was too much for me, so I could only cry. When I looked at the clock it was barely one hour into my sleep. Praise God I could continue sleeping. The negative but official ruling on a long running saga arrived before lunch and put a damper on all, putting office transition plans revealed two days ago in doubt and chaos, not withstanding our anniversary celebration. Later a friend Justin came by to visit and we had a good time sharing.

Day 6 couldn't be any busier. I did two hours of writing Bible study questions with two zone leaders, then led 30 prestudy leaders for an hour, returned to office to talk to my coworker for an hour, hurried to fellowship for two hours, had dinner with five others after fellowship before returning to catch a buddy's sermon near the end.

Sunday arrived with a touching song 宣教的中國 and an inspiring message by 龍醫 followed by a somber announcement of the ruling. A buddy asked me to join him for lunch. We shared a lot and was surprised by a diner who called my name. Again the same young man at church gave me dessert. Father's Day dinner was with Doris' brother in law. The trip was 1 hour 20 minutes door to door, which was how long it took Doris' sisters to travel at least two times a week to care for her when she was sick, what sacrificial love! Returning home with two hours more before bed, I managed to finish the John 14:1-3 The Third Person of the Trinity sermon for Lent:
1. The Spirit is Our Close Companion (v 1)
2. The Holy Spirit is Our Command Center (v 2)
3. The Holy Spirit is Our Choice Comfort (v 3)

Finally I thank and praise God for giving me a poignant and passionate dream of Doris on Friday, two days before anniversary of her Memorial Service.

June 19, 2017

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Year 2.3

Year 2.3 was a fair week for me. Monday lunch appointment was a waste because I was earlier by a week and it was not due till next week, so I ate two buns from a fast food 包點, very good for the money's worth, less than ten dollars each. After swimming I met a pth friend for high tea, followed by a seminarian's graduation, the only person I interviewed to recommend for school. I arrived home near midnight with late supper  included.

Day 2 we had the shortest meeting meeting for 1 Thess 4:1-7, ending in half hour. Noon staff meeting was a dud, but I was invited by the chair to a drink, which means work. I was again asked to lead a new language department, a subject previously broached that I resisted. My answer now is, up to leadership. I have no preference nor do I want to choose. My immediate task is to find two English speaking coworkers. After work I took home flowers from mother's fellowship that I requested a year later. I missed the flowers that reminded me of Doris and the kindness of others. This time, lilies were added due Doris' fondness for it.

On Wednesday I can only remember working on Gideon's story from Judges 7 for men's fellowship. The sermon preparation has not been going smoothly. The hot weather that started this week definitely induces sleep.

Day 4 was a hot morning, so I decided to have breakfast in local café rather than have bread at home. I was comforted by the thought of Doris not having to endure last year's summer.

On Friday morning I decided to return to office to escape the heat even though I worked from noon on. Staff was surprised to see me working on my PC in the lobby. I enjoyed doing so before Doris' loss but shied away for a long time. I received soup that I requested, again a year later. I was delighted it was served in the same blue flask. 

Day 6 morning I asked masseur to treat my right leg as well now that the hand is better. The treatment on my left leg last week worked; my right knee, however, is still vulnerable from the air-conditioning chill. The person placed his elbow on the underside of my knees to separate the right veins and muscles. At lunch I got together with the new staff of couples fellowship, which we had two. We shared about our roles, how we can and should work and blend together. Coworker conflict can scar all. A song 尋求神的臉, sung in pth inspired me at pth fellowship. After fellowship I had a drink with a couple; one of them was invited to join leadership.

On Sunday morning I had a good high blood pressure reading of 130/87. I was emotional near end of song我知道我的救贖者活著. The same happened at noon prayer with the husband of soup giver present. A young man gave me homemade drink 羅漢果, so I was thankful, inviting a co-worker to drink with me at lunch. At night I had dinner with a visitor from Malaysia.

June 13, 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Year 2.2

Year 2.2 started by providing me a good signal to go ahead with blogging when Doris appeared in a dream. On Monday I killed two birds with one stone by meeting a friend in Prince Edward  and getting flowers for Doris. He was hoping to get an overseas ministry position and got a call the same morning for his family to visit Canada. Evening was spent in fellowship with buddies, followed by prayer walk. There was also interaction with neighbors. It begins with a morning exchange with a lifeguard. He told me he's returned to church, invited by his former pastor to the latter's new pastorate. Good news for us because Doris and I have known the young man for a few years. At night I met a neighbor on bus and finally told him that it's been a year Doris passed away. He said he heard about the news from a morning fellow clubhouse member. Since we were nearby my apartment, I asked him to wait downstairs while I grabbed Doris' blog book and gave one to him.

Day 2 was Dragon Boat public holiday. Doris' two local sisters came in the morning with flowers for her and helped to clean up the two bouquet of flowers from her first anniversary loss. We head off for 飲茶 at North Garden, a place we have not returned to since Doris' loss, mainly because the restaurant has moved. After that I did work at our regular Sheung Wan cafeteria for two hours until it was high tea time, when I walked around a few
blocks before deciding to eat at our old Dragon Help eatery, ordering Teochew noodles with wonton for $28, plus another $5 for added beef balls. Later I took the 430pm ferry home, buying two buns at IFC just in case I was hungry.

On Wednesday I finally finished the hardest sermon in my Lent series, before I found out in the next few days there were other relevant Lent passages too. Here's my outline for Behold the Lamb (Isa 53):
1. Be Drawn to the Dear Lamb (1-5)
2. Be Delivered by the Dying Lamb (6-9)
3. Be Devoted to the Divine Lamb (10-12)

The next day was a relief for me as I finally finished my coming Sunday worship sermon. I was surprised the translation took me two days only instead of the regular three to four days especially on a tough text, John 4 on the Samaritan woman. I was short of time because Tuesday was a holiday, but here's my outline:
Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul:
1. Be Delighted: Your Wants are Delivered (7-15)
2. Be Deepened: Your Worth is Defined (16-18)
3. Be Devoted: Your Worship is Demanded (19-26)

On Friday I and two coworkers visited a friend who is in another ministry. The work needs time to get started and it was not easy to be by oneself in transition. At night I sat on front row in Couples fellowship for the first time in over a year!

Day 6 I woke up to a pleasant and poignant dream of Doris. She was anxious to drink and sample the soup she made. I, on the other hand, was sparing in giving away the magazines that we do not published in real life. It has been a while since my last dream of Doris. In the morning I met Doris' very good neighbor friend who told me, 冇諗咁多. I had lunch with an intern and at night I was touched by a familiar song 獻給我天上的主 and TVs Star Trek Into Darkness, shedding some tears.

On Sunday all went well with my John 4 message except I ran over by six minutes at least. A song inspired me 盡情的敬拜:
I had lunch with a buddy before he left for missions next day.

Thanks for hearing me out. The second week has not been easy but God has been faithful.

June 6, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Year 2.1

Year 2.1 was an unforgettable week because Monday was the exact date of Doris' first anniversary of loss. By 7 am Monday morning at a local cafeteria I began to put up the English version of Doris' blog, which was my goal for the day. Two and a half hours later Doris' sister and her husband arrived, coming by 10 am to pay respects to the sister she dearly missed. Her sobbing were sorely felt even in the living room where her husband and I sat, still uploading her blog. At 10:10am we took Doris' electric piano downstairs to wait for a delivery van to transport it to her sisters newly renovated house. A year after Doris' loss I could let go of the instrument because it was for a loving relative. Her sister even took the unused xylophone wrapped in plastic. Doris would dearly loved her sister to have both as her sister can occupy her time with music now in her retirement years. The sister had lovingly took an earlier six months retirement to care for Doris, what great love! After they left I went to have lunch with two buddies at Simply Life, one of Doris' favorites, where I ordered a hamburger, as she would have wanted me to because she did not want me to starve since we ate little when she was sick. After lunch we prayed, tearful and all. At night I was invited to a coworker's home for dinner. Halfway through a USA friend called me from the airport so I had to meet him because I would leave for Shanghai next day. I apologized to the family because my friend did not confirm his arrival because he had no internet access for some days in the field. It was awkward on this day but I could not ignore him and a friend with him because of my personal grief.

Day 2 was leaving for Shanghai. It was miserable at the airport where we were stranded in a plane on the runway for five and a half hours. On the plane tempers flared and quarrels ensued with the undersieged attendant. At least my three fellow sojourners from the Putonghua fellowship kept our conversation interesting and I did not feel tired, praise God. By the time we landed and ate wonton noodles it was 1230am next day. The nearest opened restaurant was ironically a HK restaurant!

On Wednesday morning, our first full day in Shanghai, we all slept in. I was actually awakened by a buddy's early text at 730am, which is an hour later than my usual waking hour. We did not wait too long after our 830am gathering to eat breakfast , which is fried bun 煎包. After breakfast we go to one of the longest and oldest shopping boulevard南京東路 in Shanghai. There people lined the streets for 粽. Most shops there are old brands. That takes us not far walking to the Bund上海灘. We stopped at Peace Hotel 和平飯店 reminiscing how Doris and I visited the hotel briefly, if only to use the restroom for hotel guests. On that occasion we were let in by a nice gentleman guest who held the door for us. Our group saw a sign that said $238 for western high tea and asked if we could order two sets for four people. The waiters gave a resounding yes because guests were few. It was money well spent because our craving was for local food. The view of the Bund was excellent from high up. I cried saying grace for the food. Later we headed to the Bund and walked for a few hours snapping photos where Doris and I used to pose two years ago. No doubt sentiments surged again where Doris used to stand at the adjacent 人民英雄紀念塔. We ate French bakery at a nearby cafeteria and lavish local Shanghai food at a store nearby our hotel. It was end of Shanghai day two, 9pm, as we returned to Okura hotel because our fifth sojourner from HK was expected to arrive.

On Thursday morning I walked out at 630 am to find out where Doris and I had coffee previously, but a sign said Open 830am, so I took my PC to work at a nearby Starbucks, returning later with the whole group to enjoy coffee. I ordered a flat white. At least I know the store is called Paras. We then had simple Shanghai breakfast and hurried to get tickets to Hangzhou. Everything was total recall on the trip. I told the group where we previously caught a bus to Westlake, and I was right! At Westlake we still had to walk more than half an hour to Shangri-la where Doris and I took pictures over high tea two years ago. I was emotional over high tea there thinking of past memories. My sojourners were great, putting me to exact spots and poses from two years ago. Earlier I couldn't answer if we took a bus home, but then I remembered we did. The only regret is not wearing the same shirt from two years ago. Returning to Shanghai we went to 新吉士 on a sojourner's request and it turned out that it was where Doris and I had dinner before. I was glad I took Doris by accident to a renowned restaurant before. Unfortunately it was closed at 10pm, so we hurried to the old diner 舊吉士 that closed at midnight, and we ate to our hearts delight at a bill of $777, an interesting number to HKers. 

On the last day I went to Starbucks early to write, then joined the group for soybean咸豆漿breakfast, followed by Paras coffee, ordering Doris' favorite mocha. Then it was time to fly home. Dinner was at HK airport. I bawled before sleeping seeing the two years before and after pictures we took on the trip.

Day 6 was back to normal. I had a great time having my first lunch with a coworker I have known for five years because he's coming to pth worship to preach the next day. We recorded his sermon over 35 minutes long but merely a few minor words mispronounced. After resting for fifteen minutes I tried to work on an upcoming men's fellowship Bible study on Gideon in Judges 7. At least I got the observation part done before having a meal with a buddy and going home for my prayer walk, which I missed for close to a week. Following a news report of a worship leader Chris Blue winning the Voice contest in USA, I searched for the song Take Me to the King that soothed my soul:

I had to be alert and on my feet Sunday because many mainland visitors were in town for a 4,000 attendees conference. It worked out well because we have less people over the long weekend as well. I helped ushered the visitors, and our fellowship served some food. The speaker spoke well for a pth debut. Our visitors spoke glowingly of the reception. I was surprised a newly married young man brought soup for me, which was my dinner along with two small 粽. An intern said that I have written more books than his professors; indeed Doris and I were "productive" book partners. Another intern was sick, so I led pre-study for pth fellowship.

It's been a long road, a long, with a long, long journey ahead undoubtedly. Apart from Doris' English blog I have also enclosed the link to my 52 weeks of blogging:
I wanted to end blogging by the tenth week, but Doris appeared in my dream on the eleventh week, so I had something to tell. There's no telling when I'll stop now. Like my life nowadays, I can't think so far ahead. I have learned to press on, but not move on, which is insensitive nonsense to me. But thanks for praying for me, sharing and walking with me, plus reading our blogs, which I won't send now that the year is over, but you can check on the internet.

May 30, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 52

Week 52 ended just one day short of Doris' first anniversary of loss. On Monday the emotions surged momentarily in the morning thinking of the coming week. I had lunch with Doris' St. Paul Co-ed classmates but not before I dropped off our latest book to Dr Tsang, one of the doctors Doris formerly consulted a few times. A person in the lunch group later said Doris belonged to the “hardworking” student category. Doris loved having lunch with her classmates.

Day 2 I had a session preparing a coworker for the person's next sermon date. It was quick and easy because the coworker learned how to follow the text's grammar. It took us less than half an hour. It took us less than half an hour. It ended when Doris' friend came by to pick up more books, including the last of the 400 copies I ordered also checked a coworkers sermon for Sunday. He did very well. At night I cooked spaghetti for a friend and his two kids while his wife was on a mission trip.

Wednesday was deacon's night meeting, so I had the morning off to work on a book. Since March my mind has been back to normal, just at the right time to plow full steam ahead for a new book.

Day 4 I decided at last to send last week's blog entry to our family chat group, which I do not normally do, just like Doris. Doris sister said, "I miss Doris so much, it is hard to pass this  year." Later our department had a birthday lunch before the meeting.

On Friday I finally finished and sent my local tax. This year I have to mark the “widowed” box. How sad. I finished the second last NT text on Mark 15 preparing our Lent series. It was an enriching, fulfilling and satisfying study:
The Centurion and the Christ (Mark 15:37-39)
1. Hear the shout v 37
2. Heed the signs v 38
3. Hasten the surrender v 39

Day 6 I finished the last NT sermon on The Last Seven Words of Jesus for our Lent series. It took every ounce in me to complete it before the anniversary. I had lunch with three guys before our pre-prestudy group and then led the pre-study group. At night I excitedly looked at a video a friend transferred from another format to video for me. It was a vintage five year old video of Doris  teaching the Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5, exactly what we studied in the afternoon! It was a blessed gift! At night I confirmed with Doris' sister that a moving van will help her and her husband move Doris' electric piano to her place when she visits on coming Monday anniversary morning. She wanted it for a long time and she just got her house renovated. It hit me emotionally that I would lose the piano but it was for a relative who loved Doris dearly.

On Sunday I gave thirty of Doris' blog books away. The song 我的心 你要稱頌耶和華 touched me deeply and I could not stop crying as it was a Doris favorite. Two younger coworkers took turns comforting me. After worship a friend cut  all my hair off to represent my loss, lament and longing. Two families came to the island to share the rest of the day with me, walking to the park and old village, having German dinner, praying at my  apartment and eating durian for dessert. I had no time to grief! Thanks friends! One even cut his hair shorter in support and one bald!

Please pray for me as I travel with pth friends to Shanghai to chase memories my last ever trip with Doris two years ago one day apart, to Shanghai. 

May 22, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 51

Today, Monday, is week fifty one, exactly a week from the first anniversary of Doris' loss. On Monday I sat in two cafeterias to close out the first year, one in IFC to buy mocha and an almond croissant like before with Doris, and next at a Sheung Wan cafeteria to add $100 to her coffee card, which I was warned that it would expire if no recent activity is detected. At night I had dinner with a buddy and his wife at a newly opened northern food restaurant.

Day 2 I had a night meeting, so I went locally for coffee. When I told neighbors I know it'll be a year soon, the responses are 唔經唔覺,時間好快 and 眨眼. Can't blame them, it seems like that to anyone but me. Late noon I declined the new work that was  recommended to me. It took courage and honesty in me to get the point across. At night we had a new Putonghua men's Bible study attended by twelve men, equally split between the campus group and the adult fellowship group. It was an eye opener because young men seldom come, especially on weekdays. I consider it a triumph. I also use materials previously written by Doris, if possible.

Wednesday was a blur but I managed to complete my John 4 outline: 
Be Delighted – Your Wants are Delivered (John 4:7-15)
Be Deepened – Your Worth is Defined (John 4:16-19)
Be Devoted – Your Worship is Demanded (John 4:20-26). 
The June 4th sermon team loved it. There was little headway in content but many were waiting for my outline for the sermon to be delivered in three weeks.

Day 4 was a good day. My coworker and I had lunch with another coworker to persuade him to join our fellowship team instead of leaving for good. More than an hour and a half we made the breakthrough, by God's grace. The turnaround was so sudden and sweet that it caused my fellow coworker to cry. Good workers are hard to come by. Also, I am thankful that more than 400 of our new book 求你使我痊癒  have been sold in less than a month.

On Friday morning I already felt sad. I had a night fellowship, so I spent the morning at the clubhouse where Doris spent her most mornings when she was sick. When I closed and rested my eyes, an image of Doris winking and smiling at me came to my mind. She was dressed in white. Returning home to get ready for work, tears flowed from my eyes.

Day 6 I had a department meeting but before that I had lunch with two department reps. It was a good chit chat. At the meeting proper we managed to get over the hump in dealing with other departments' issues that affected us. At night fellowship we had a good study from our book同作門徒.

Sunday was a hard day for me. At the monthly church prayer meeting I cried twice, the second time when the congregation stood singing, You Raised Me Up. A church leader, a coworker and a friend prayed for me. At night I joined a pastor for dinner, almost regretting it, guilty of interrupting the family on Mother's day, which I forgot.

Please pray for me with the sentimental week coming. There is nothing to fear or forget, just let God stir and steer as He may.

May 15, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Week 50

Week fifty means less than two weeks to the anniversary of Doris' loss, but it has been a dream week as well as a down week. On Labor Day I was happy as a lark finishing a new sermon - Jesus riding a donkey - for my Lent series. At night I visited a brother at hospital. There were tears in my eyes before the visit because it was my first time back at the hospital where Doris had the most treatment. I was glad for the visit because I got to know the person better.

Day 2 I had breakfast with an upcoming seminary graduate to see if the person is interested to serve in the same church. I had to hurry to attend a sermon group to discuss our next worship Sunday text of John 4, the Samaritan text. I fell in love with the passage doing my own study the previous week. After our coworkers meeting I was told that I would be recommend to take up a new work, but that got me worried and troubled for the rest of the week. At night I had dinner with a coworker and we, including his wife, walked around the island twice to talk about ministry.

Wednesday was a public holiday, Buddha's birthday. I went to Prince Edward for lunch at Tiffany, then walked Fa Yuen Street and finally bought orchids for Doris, my first time buying orchids for her.

Day 4 is back to work again. I worked half a day but I had to meet a person for lunch. He had regarded me as his teacher but I am no business guru, so I told him the story of Isaac who retreated digging wells until nobody quarrelled with him because what mattered to him was God's appearance in his life before the strive with Philistines began. By God's grace, I managed to finish translating my Sunday sermon on the Great Commission, which did not energize me since it was an old passage, but I had no takers for the sermon date.

On Friday I had a sweet dream of attending a wedding with Doris at an old but long American apartment. We even stayed overnight before the wedding. Sometimes we hear people knock at the wood from the outside. Doris said Hi to an ABC bridesmaid she knew. I took the 8am bus to rush to wan chai to collect Doris' probate documents, then deposit them to internal revenue before I returned to office  for a department meeting and later department lunch with a previous coworker. At night I delivered 94 of our new books to Couples fellowship.

Day 6 I woke up to another dream of Doris but for the first time she was cancerous in my dream. Other details were blur my predecessor was there, my passport was confiscated and the apartment doors were locked, so were my notes. I had my third two hour morning massage for my tennis elbow. I still managed an hour of writing before I went to lunch with a former fellowship leader before pre-study. The new study on Acts was well-received, so was the grammar Bible approach.  At night another nine books were sold. The old song Hineni brought tears to my eyes at pth fellowship. I joined the younger pth Couples group and greatly encouraged a new couple trying to adapt to the group.

On Sunday the Spirit moved me to speak with conviction on an old message on the Great Commission.Telling Bonhoeffer's story was emotional for me. Two people made a decision for baptism at the end of the invitation. A coworker called me for lunch as we shared ministry stories.

May 10, 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Week 49

Week forty nine begins the countdown to three weeks from the first anniversary of Doris' loss, and another dream of Doris. On Monday I got the most excellent and ecstatic news from my travel agent in the afternoon. My ten year visa to China has been approved. It was so unnerving that I thought I had to cancel my planned trip to Shanghai to relive the memories of our last ever trip together, and other professional plans in China! What a blessed gift heading to the first anniversary.

Day 2 I said goodbye to my brother and his wife as I head to work. Last night he cleverly kept me awake till 1am in the morning to watch Stephen Chow's Kung Fu as he tenderly massaged my tennis elbow right arm. We differed night and day in the past but age and time tore down the walls.

Wednesday was hard on me as I read the last words of Doris again in our new book 求祢使我痊癒. Tears fell from my eyes reading the same things now that she is gone. The entries are more poignant and powerful because previously I clung to the slightest possibility of  hope and healing.

Day 4 I struggled with going to hear a case or working on a sermon on my half day off. I decided on the sermon because there's nothing new In closing arguments and I did not receive text confirmation of court time.

On Friday I have a wonderful dream of Doris. We went to a mall and she went ahead of me in a crowded lift. I got  into the next one but couldn't find her as she had gone to the new mall nearby. When I asked a store owner how to get there, the person refused to tell me, so the customers present were angry at her.

Day 6 morning I had a two hour hand massage in the morning and met a friend who's returned from UK for lunch. He's retired but volunteered halftime in ministry there, but needs might forced him to do voluntary full-time ministry. After lunch I picked up my PC from Asus store because they required $4,470 to fix a motherboard and charged me $300 service charge as expected. I tried other stores nearby in shum shui po. One offered to do it for $700 if he succeeds and no fees for consultation. At night I had dinner with a buddy and his wife now that we seldom have dinner because of schedule conflict.

Sunday arrived and the speaker did a good job after sharpening his sermon from our weekday review.  I attended youth lunch but it only made me sleepy. After I returned home I got a call from the repair store that my PC repair worked! I was too tired, slept for two hours, then went to pick my PC. I found a goose store nearby and had a pleasant dinner and headed home happily. At night I finally finished the Emmaus sermon on my own time over two weeks. I derived a lot of satisfaction from doing it because reading it went nowhere and did nothing for me previously.

May 1, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Week 48

Week forty eight was a memorable week with my brother and his wife in town and Doris' 11th month of loss. Monday was a holiday due Easter the day before but it was more like a weekend, a sleepy one for me too in the morning. Nevertheless I started working on the Emmaus sermon I did not get to preach over Easter, giving the opportunity to my predecessor. I plan to include it into Doris' Lent devotions that she left behind. At night I spent dinner with my predecessor, the smartest guy at work in his heyday. It was his last day in HK after two months here. The sharing was good because he could talk transparently, partly because he too had spent decades overseas, so we are on the same wavelength.

Day 2 begins a comedy of errors and a lot of sweat in trying to obtain a new visa to China. When I finally submitted my application I signed at the wrong place, so there was another delay. Then the agent did not submit my application for fear of rejection and being blacklisted. China is becoming a nightmare for believers with a foreign passport like me. My travel agent and I spent the next three days getting the information right. Even then I won't know by next week if my visa is approved. I also gave a few hundred dollars to support a young seminarian to missions.

On Wednesday I went through a co-workers upcoming sermon with him. A passionate speaker, he is very thorough but still lacked understanding in structure. It was a joy and a challenge to explain again to him because of his high intelligence and full China upbringing but he's still unsure if structure is that important and meaningful.

Day 4 is delivery of our new book 求祢使我痊癒. I ordered 700 books, of which 300 of them is meant for 三宗 that meets the anniversary week of Doris memorial service. Last year I started giving the participants, so may the Lord bless it's use. At night my brother David and Siew Huay took a direct shuttle to the island all by themselves. We had northern food at Tsing Yi.

On Friday we had breakfast with two buddies who witnessed to my brother over yum cha. I had to leave earlier for meeting and left the job to my two trusted friends. At noon I had my evaluation, something I did not look forward to because of a previous misunderstanding not on my part. Tough talk does nothing, only soft power works. It ended well. I even apologized for any embarrassment I caused. I agree I have not reached my potential, but I believe in helping others succeed, not helping promote myself. I had prayer with my group and a buddy cut my hair for Doris' 11th month of loss tomorrow. At night I took my brother out for wonton noodles and dessert.

Day 6 I took compensated leave to take my brother David and his wife to Stanley, a place he recognized for the prison from Chinese movies. For dinner we had Korean food at Sorabol. We had a good make-up time because we seldom see each other. Today was the 11th month of Doris' loss but my brother kept me busy enough to lose focus.

On Sunday I took David and wife to church. Praise God for once they were not bored after past failed experiments  attending church to find unimpressive speakers, in his view. At night they wanted to eat Cantonese food, so went to Tsing yi for food and mall.

April 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Week 47

Week forty seven was another good dream week. On Monday Doris' little school "sister" came from Toronto and brought a beautiful bouquet of flowers to visit Doris rest at home. We searched some of Doris' old letters to find two cards that belonged to her. One of my goals is to return to the sender's the old cards they sent to Doris. 

On Day 2 the flowers I bought for Doris during Ching Ming bloomed to a rich fragrance. The flowers her sister brought as well as from  the Canadian visitor yesterday made the room a sight to behold, so much so that I told Doris, "You look good, Baby!"

On Wednesday a swimmer told me her pool story. She suffered from 左骨神經線 and walked with a limp on her right foot. After various treatments she asked her acupuncturist, "Would swimming work?" "They can," said the doctor. Further, her island daughter urged her saying, Would you rather spend money seeing doctors or swim? Her daughter even offered to pay the $350 an hour training for her swimming, altogether more than $10,000 for her mother to finally learn how to swim. She called herself dumb and old - over 60, but now  she travels daily to the island clubhouse for her swim.

Day 4 morning I woke up to a dream of Doris and I introducing her niece to L A. Regent Cafeteria, telling the niece we had taken a distant relative there for lunch before. We realized our error because the two girls are rivals. After lunch I picked up Doris' will and lawyer forms to apply for probate in order to get our tax refund. The lawyer was Doris friend who did not charge us. When the paperwork was done tears rolled down from my eyes near MTR thinking of the will I saw for the first time and the blessing from her friend. At night I had a bigger Thanksgiving, finally finishing the 38 chapter 職場 book Doris almost completed. I had finished it more than a month earlier than the expected date of Doris' loss, May 22.  Now I pray for a publisher with similar vision, intent and passion.

On Friday morning I returned to our favoriteTung Chung cafeteria to relive old memories. At noon I wiped the tears from my eyes to the Good Friday message. I mingled Jesus' sacrifice, Doris' suffering and the speaker's sickness to a good cry. 

The holidays continued through Saturday. I went to morning dim sum with Doris' sisters to get her original death certificate for probate because mine is in USA. Departing at 330pm ferry I even found a store that has celery for a drink. I definitely need one for my high blood pressure, even ordering one more for take-out.

I joined the early Easter 630am worship but to a lack of sleep. The Emmaus sermons gave me a lot of thought since I had checked out the passage a day earlier. My next project is to work with the Lent devotions Doris left behind. From the gospel accounts the texts I need to work on include three gospel texts, one from Isiah and no more than five from Paul.

Finally a song from Good Friday that touched me:

May 18, 2017