Saturday, October 27, 2007

A last word from Hong Kong

Hello from Hong Kong!!

We have about four more days before we leave with 9 concerts in them. It's going to be crazy but I know a part of us will miss the crazy life style that is Hong Kong YFC. It's been a lot of fun and a huge challenge!

One of the parts of our ministry here in HK has been leading worship in the different Fillipeno churches. There is a large amount of women who have come here to Hong Kong to work and have quite a large community through out Hong Kong. The services that we have led for them have been such an amazing blessing to us as a team. First of all they are in English giving us a little bit of a break from translation. But to see the joy in these women's lives is beautiful. We've heard a ton of stories of how they have left their families and everything they know to come here to help those same families survive, and the faith that they have shown is amazing. Plus they've realized that they are here in Hong Kong for a purpose, to share the Gospel. So it's been really cool for us to share in this mission with them, if only for a short while.
Prayer requests:

  • Hong Kong YFC: they are constantly going and sharing the Gospel with youth. Pray that they would continue to be able to do this as the doors are closing more and more with China taking more control.
  • Concerts: We have about 9 more concerts in the last three days we are here (with three on the last day, plus flight packing all our gear) Pray that we would remain focused and that we would be safe traveling from churches and schools.
  • Traveling: We leave in a little over 4 days. Please pray that all the logistical things will work on schedule and that we will be safe (and for Laura, cause she's really dreading the flight back cause it's so long). And that jet lag won't be too bad cause we have to start rehearsing the rest of our music for US tours once we get back.
Thanks for your prayers!!
I'm excited to come home and share many stories with you all! Thank you for all your prayers and I will be home soon! :)
Much Love,
Brooke :)
Joe G:
The last month has been such an amazing time, it will probably take another month to dissect this blur of 75+ concerts, MTR stations, City lights, and a passionate people. I am excited to come home and see everyone and hit the American road for fall tour.
See you soon!
Oh Man! 3 more days and we'll be packing to come home. I don't think I could shove all that we've learned into this tiny little blurb, but suffice it to say that God had been faithful in revealing Himself to us here in Hong Kong and we have grown because of it. Thanks for the prayers. See ya soon!
Hola Todas!
Wow! We leave so soon, it's hard to believe that a month has gone by! I miss you all very much! Please continue to pray for our team, Especially energy to continue!
Love you all!
Hi everybody what's up. I'm doing fine.
Joe Lee:
Hey all. It's strange how time is going by so fast now. We are all still healthy and alive. My English has changed. It's bad when I say things like "I'm not Asian, I'm Korean-American" (from stage)
Take care all,
Joe Lee
Wow I can't believe a month has come and gone and we'll be heading back to the US for a very different adventure. There's so much I can't wait to tell you all about!Love,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another Hong Kong update

Hello from Hong Kong!!

We're now in the beginning of our third week and it feels like yesterday that we arrived. It's been so busy here. This morning we lead worship at an international school where everyone spoke English. I don't know how to explain how relaxing it is to go from the many schools where we have needed translation to where we can talk freely. The experience is growing all of us and it's been exciting for me (at the sound board) to see the team try now ways of bridging the cultural and language gap. One of the most amazing tools we have are three songs that we learned that are in Cantonese. They have opened so many doors for us to be heard.

There are so many stories to tell but one that has stuck out in my mind was last night at the YFC headquarters. Every week or so YFC has an evangelistic night where they share the gospel and do a ton of fun, and very random, variety shows. YFC uses the different volunteers to preform and it's so cool to see everyone work together to make these nights happen. They have invited us (14:22) to come up and preform a few of our Cantonese songs and share testimonies and dramas. It's so amazing to see the people come to understand more of this Great Love that we know of. There is so much fear here, and it is so busy and commercialised, that the fact that there is a God who loves them is incredible needed to be heard and known. It has been such a blessing to be a part of that here in Hong Kong.

Things you can pray for:
  • YFC, they have been amazing and have blessed us so much. They work so hard for Hong Kong, it's really humbling to work with them.
  • Terry Veasy, he's an evangelist we are working with here in Hong Kong. Pray that we will be able to work well with him and that we would be united while sharing the Gospel.
  • Health and energy, we've all gotten mostly better from the first week or so. Also we are really busy with at least 3 concerts a day, it's almost as if 8 hours of sleep isn't enough! Please pray that we would get the rest we need.
  • Traveling, we are hauling stuff all the time going from place to place. Pray that we would be surrounded with protection.
In care of 14:22,

Hello everyone! We are all doing really great, though busy doing many concerts a day. The food here is great, and the people are so welcoming to us. Most of the students and schools we encounter are very receptive to our program, and it's soo awesome to see what an impact it is to have learned some Chinese songs. Mom and dad, I am still healthy, and I have still not lost anything...I know you're probably wondering. We will be home before you know it, so love and miss you all!! :-)

Joe Lee (the other Joe):
Well God is really in the small things. The weather has gotten cooler with less humidity, so instead of a steam room we have a dry sauna kind of atmosphere. We are eating a lot of chocolate. None of us are sick. I am actually losing a lot of of weight (fat) and have gotten much stronger. Strange I always hated working out, so God is so smart for sending me to Hong Kong. We need prayers for strength and protection for surely it requires a lot of energy and it is a spiritual battle that we are up against and it is a blessing that so people are being exposed to the gospel and saved. Keep all of us in prayer.

Howdy! Life is still going well! We've witnessed God moving in incredible ways here. There are times when we are so tired that we think we won't be able to stand up, and having no choice but to let God sustain us, and of course, He pulls through. Other times He does things like provides us with chocolate and fried chicken when we're feeling a little homesick. It's wonderful. For a little bit of added irony, we have had the unique pleasure of being able to play the song Montana, a Spanish song, here in Hong Kong. The people here love it. Nothing like singing a Spanish song in an Asian country. Hehehe. Mom and Dad, I promise that we're all healthy, so don't worry. We've taken plenty of pictures and videos, so hopefully we'll get some posted when we get back. Ta ta for now!

Joe G (the real Joe hehe):
Yo man! 2 weeks down, 2 weeks to go. Half way through our time here in hong kong and we are still daily left in awe at how much God is moving here. We had the treat of playing at a few Filipino churches this weekend and we God to party it up with all of my "aunties and uncles"! I miss all of you guys back home (California and Wilmar) and am looking forward to seeing/talking to all of you guys again. We are all very much looking forward to some cold weather when we get back to Minnesota and I personally am craving some egg bake ;) .
Anyways, time to go! Peace, reverse that.

Hey everybody! hope your all doing well. I miss all of my jville homies. oh and my parents and stuff... ya. I am doing fantastic if you were wondering. k bye. sorry for the shortness of my blogs.

Hola todos! Wow so we are technically starting our 3rd week of ministry in Hong Kong. God is really rewarding and blessing us! This week we got to minister in some primary schools. It was such a blessing! I love ya'll and REALLY miss yoU! Happy Birthday Roni! Hi team 14:21! Soon we shall be together again! LOVE Vanita (aka ZIPPER)

Hello, I can't believe it's been two weeks already. I haven't tried any cool foods here yet, but we are going to have hot pot. I was thinking about what I was doing last year and was remembering the game 99, Ahh old 14:22, I miss you! Happy B-day to Adam! Can't wait to hear stories of what has gone on in your lives in the past month!! Love to Mom, Dad, Chris, Jess and Jo. Miss you tons!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Update from Hong Kong

Hey everyone!!!
We've had an amazing time here in Hong Kong. I can't believe it's already been a week, time flies!

The first day we got here (at 10pm) we unloaded, set all the equipment up and then went to bed at around 2am. The next day we got up at 5am and played five concerts. With jet lag and everything I think we all felt as though we were pushed to the end of ourselves, which was a really good place to be.

We had two concerts on the street with just a boom box and we did all our songs karaoke style along with all of our dramas. The rest of the week wasn't quite so hectic till yesterday when we had again 5 concerts...but this time they were all full set up! I didn't know there was that much time in a day. We've been challenged a number of times to do all English performances (without translation) so we're all learning to taaalk slowwwer so that the students can understand us.
We've been to a ton of schools which have all been a ton of fun and you should see the smiles of their faces when we start singing the Cantonese songs we've learned. There's one in particular that's a kung foo fighting song from a Jet Lee Movie that's having it's 10th year anniversary here. Everyone starts to go crazy and joins us for all the "HOA"s and "HEY"s. Every time we have a concert I see the team grow in their stage presence...we'll be a force to be reckoned with once we get back to the states!!!

Prayer-wise we've had a few people who have had a cold and our bodies are still getting use the to humidity and the physically taxing days so if you could pray for our health. And for our safety while hauling the equipment everywhere (up stairs, in the middle of get the idea).

God has been amazing and has blessed us so much with random little things along the way (like chocolate yesterday). It's been such a privilege to be here and work with YFC. The food here has been amazing. YFC has volunteers that cook for us and boy are they good. We have had quite the eclectic mix of Chinese/American food....nothing like fried rice with spaghetti!! Please pray for YFC as well as the coordinate all of our concerts and all the logistics :) that go into it.
Thanks for your prayers and we will see you all soon,
Rebekah Fleck

From: Matt
To: You
Hey everybody just wanted to say that I'm doing great. Hope to see you all soon. I love you Donna.

Hi everyone back at home! We are starting to adjust to the new lifestyle, weather, and food here. The YFC is taking really great care of us!! We've already done over 20 concerts and have many more to come. Mom and dad, I am feeling wonderful, and I haven't lost anything...don't worry :) I miss and love you all very much. Blessings!

Joe Leee@!#:
Nay Ho ma everyone back at home. I am learning to embrace this culture and also accepting the ways of the Dong Jee Keung (HUH!-with a jump kick). The schools and crowds here are open to what we have to say and present. It was rough at first but we have been able to manage. Eat seng HOng Yat Kwong....!

Joe Gomez-
Hey everybody! We've been here in hong kong for about...8 days now and have had 25 concerts already! (5 on our first day with just 3 hours of sleep) Jet lag has nothing on us. God has provided incredibly for us this last week, giving us energy to get up and go and blessing us with so many great oppurtunities for ministry. It has been amazing! anyways, Hello's to Mom, Alex, Charles, Dad, Shane and Amanda, CHriiiiis reeeed, Bomstad's, Paul, Housekeepers, Jump, Ovcc, and...Nate and Christina's new baby. See you guys soon!

Hi! Hong Kong has been wonderful so far. We've been learning a ton and are challenged on a dialy basis. It's awesome to see how God is moving here, and to know that we're just a small part of it. Mom and Dad, don't worry, we're not sick, and the food is AMAZING (though they insist on making American food for us sometimes- yesterday, we had fried chicken and french fries!). To everyone else-Thanks for all your prayers and I can't wait to see you all soon!

Vanita Joines-
HOla Todos! Hong Kong is WOW! We've been so super busy but it has been a fantastic experience so far and I'm having a great time and staying healthy ( that's for Vera and Mom :) )... I am learning a few Cantonese phrases... the essentials, like, "where's the bathroom?" and stuff like that! Singing in Cantonese has been fun! Hello to Mom and Dad! Praying for you both and love ya! Vanessa and Dave (Dave I am drinking PEPSI haha) give Stephen and Ruth a kiss for me! Take it easy Vanessa! Hi Vera, Roni, Vida, Vance! I miss you all and can't wait to talk your ear off when I get home! Thanks Cross keys for all your prayer and support! Ngor oi nay, ho pung yau! -Love Vanita

Hi Mom, Dad, Jess, Chris and Jo...I miss you all so much and I love you. It's been a ton of fun here, really challenging with all the concerts, but I'm learning a lot. Hong Kong is making it up on the list of places I'd like to live for a while. Thanks for your prayers!! And tell the grandparents I love them.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Safe arrival in Hong Kong

Hello from Hong Kong!

We arrived safely, early in fact, with all of our equipment. We spent the first hour or so setting up our stuff with the equipment YFC provided and then went to bed. Boy did those beds feel good!!

We have our first two concerts today at a school, where we will get to use our Cantonese songs for the first time!! Everyone says "HI" while eating their bread roll thingies.

Miss you all,

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The great commission

So, today we had our commissioning service and it was wonderful. We worshiped together (and for a nice change we weren't the ones leading it...), had communion and also had our feet washed. Let me tell you, it was a humbling experience. As I sat there waiting to go up to have my feet washed, I was thinking about how uncomfortable it is to be served like that. The point of the whole thing was to teach us and prepare us to be servants, to be willing to wash other peoples' feet, but while I was waiting my turn, I realized that I have a harder time making myself available to serve. I sat in the pew thinking about how nasty my feet were, and like Peter, I didn't want anyone to have to wash them. I was worried that I might have toe jam, or that after being stuck in shoes all day they would stink. I didn't want anyone to have to experience that. I'd gladly have washed someone else's feet, but I didn't realty want anyone to have to wash mine. As all this was going through my head, I couldn't get Gomer's story out of my mind. Gomer was the "adulterous woman" that God commanded Hosea to marry. She left Hosea three different times, each time running away from a nice, clean safe home, back to her life as a prostitute. As I think about that story, I find it hard to believe that she ever went back to prostitution because she enjoyed it, or because she missed it. On the contrary. I think she was afraid. God spoke to Hosea on a regular basis. His life was a living example of what the Israelites had been doing to God. Every time Gomer ran away, Hosea had to go back and get her. Every time she sold herself back into the slaver, he had to come rescue her. I'd imagine that she was pretty ashamed of what she had become. She was dirty and tainted. She was no longer pure and innocent. And I am the same way. How often do I tell God that I am not good enough for the job he has ahead of me? How often do I feel like what i have to offer is insufficient? It was devastating to think that my dirty nasty feet were about to be washed by someone who didn't deserve to be exposed to my gross feet. I didn't want her to have to experience it, just like I don't want to show God how tainted I've become. I'm ashamed and afraid and it hurts my heart to think that it was my fault that He had to die. But, by not approaching Him with my weaknesses, I don't give him an opportunity to cleanse me of them. By not facing my own sins, I deny Him the chance to forgive them. I miss the bittersweet redemption that he has offered me by grace.

All that was to say that we are leaving for Hong Kong, and 1421 is leaving for Singapore tomorrow (well, technically for all those in the central time zone and east, I suppose we're actually leaving later today) and I feel totally inadequate. Luckily for me, I have an entire team going with me. Also, I know that God would not send us without equipping us. He'll show up as long as I will. Tonight was my reality check. Am I trusting God to equip me for those things that he has called me to? Or am I just going to cop out and make excuses for why I don't think I can handle it? Is my own shame getting in the way of His grace? Am I buying myself back into slavery like Gomer, or do I have enough courage to follow where God leads me and humble myself in front of him? How about you?

Thanks to everyone for all of your prayers and support. Hopefully we'll be able to update you on the blog while we're over there, but in case we don't end up having Internet access- see you in a month!