Happy Christmas From Hong Kong
2016 has been a year of new things for us!
Firstly Reuben started in grade 5 (year 6 in the UK) at the same school as Samuel. He has already had lots of new oportunities including learning the tenor sax … seemed like it was nearly as tall as him though he’s growing so fast that will soon change. He’s also taken up basketball and is on the U12 team – along with his new best friend Josh.
A new school for Reuben has a knock on effect for Jo and I too. Until the beginning of this academic year it’s mainly been me working with the men in our ‘new man house’ (Jo was still home schooling Reuben). It’s a great relief to the guys that they get to have Jo’s brillaint input too. This is especially true since we started leading the house in May. As with most new things it’s been hard work – please keep praying for us to learn Cantonese better as it’s now more vital than ever to be able to communicate effectively!
We continue to have a lot of fun mixed in with the serious business of how we can be a ‘new creation’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). We call the place where we work ‘new man’ house for a good reason - as we are trying to show these guys a new way to live, to have the fresh start which Jesus never stops offering to those who ask.
Other new things included Samuel becoming a teenager. Here he is with his friends before the Cinema on his 13th birthday!!! How has that come about so fast? He’s growing in to a fine young man. It’s not easy being where we are and sharing dad with the the guys in the house but he copes well and is enjoying life and school! This year was his first year of drama club … landing the role of King Richard in their production of Robin Hood.
Reuben also did some acting in a school assembly – Paul on the road to Damascus. We’re so proud of them both as they seem to thrive despite the challenges of being transplanted into a new culture and a totally different environment to the one we left behind 2 years ago.
We have had a number of visitors here in Hong Kong (including my mum and cousin) as well as people I knew from 30 years ago when I was a gap year student here! But it’s been amazing to make some new special friends too. Some families that have visited have truly become brothers and sisters for our boys (left), not to mention the ones that seem to be twins separated at birth! (right).
What hasn’t changed is where we live. We still have the same wonderful apartment as when we arrived. It’s amazing that we still fit into a space that is the same size as our kitchen back in the UK … and that I still manage to lose things. But the surroundings are beautiful and while this is what God has called us to we are happy to share our lives and our family with the special people that He calls to be His disciples here.
So we send our prayers and wish you a peaceful and meaningful
Christmas and a happy new year.