It has been a fantastic week for us. We were blessed to have the Cox family (connections from Toccoa) visit us on their way back to Cambodia where they are serving the Lord in church ministry.
They've got a beautiful family with 3 precious little girls. (5,3,10 months) Isabella adored having them around and they all got a long really well. Their youngest, Tova, and Isaiah hit it off as well. It was really cute watching them interact and chase after one another.
In the midst of many conversations, we commented on how great it is to have connections all across the world... to have kindred spirits in ministry... and because of those things, it doesn't matter how well you know each other, we always welcome guests into our homes.
It really was great to hear their stories... how God brought them to Cambodia, what life is like there, what challenges they face living in a foreign country, the differences in our lifestyles, etc... It was great to hear their passions, to watch them parent and steal ideas :) but while we swam, went to Disney, tried some new restaurants and just basically relaxed and tried to help them recover from jet-lag... I was really challenged by the conversations we had.
In talking about our lifestyle differences and cultural differences... I realized how immune almost I've become to living in a foreign country. How normal life has become for me and how the things that shocked me, stopped me in my tracks, etc... 3 years ago, don't even phase me now. In some ways that's good I think... I think it means that I've adjusted to living in HK. But at the same time... I feel like my eyes/senses are not as in tune as they should be. I'm not amazed when I see spots of grass anymore or even when I see the moon. I don't thank God when I hear birds outside or because I feel incredibly safe here. And I don't even hesitate to spend 4$ on a liter of milk.
After hearing some of the things that the Cox's have to deal with, I instantly became aware of how blessed we are to be in HK where I do feel safe... so much so that I rarely lock, let alone shut the door when I'm at home. Or how blessed I am that I can get by speaking English.
Even in the conversations, I was reminded of the differences of living in HK versus the states... such as living in a gated complex with a guard, or having to turn on the hot water when I want to shower, not having a proper washing machine and dryer or having one that the whole process would take approx 3hrs to complete.
Or just looking around the city and seeing things that are different... such as people hanging their clothes out their windows or drying them on the railing by the highway. Buildings and housing complexes that are at least 30 floors high... EVERYWHERE to where you really can't see anything but buildings.
But in all this discussion, I think I just realized that when we first moved to HK, I was really on the look out for God. I was really focused on Him, serving Him, seeing Him in everything and now that I'm comfortable... it's easier to go on with a normal daily routine and see things in that mentality. It's not that I'm not focused on God or that I'm not or don't want to serve Him but it's... I'm comfortable. I've dealt with riding buses with strollers, bags and children... shopping at a market for fruit, etc... and that's just normal life for me now. I focus more on specific people or specific ministries.
Chris is a photographer and made this awesome book about their lives in Cambodia and as I looked at it, I realized that I haven't taken a random picture of HK in probably 2yrs. How can I show others what our life is like, if I don't take the pictures of the daily things we see and do.
So I've decided that I want to be more intentional about life in HK as I was 4 years ago. I want to be more sensitive, more aware... I want to be able to share our lives and our new culture with others.
It was a great week for many reasons and the house seems all to quiet with them gone but it sure was a blessing to share God's blessings on us with them. Chris was even gracious enough to take some family photos for us (with Victoria's wonderful suggestions on how to pose and help to get the kids to smile) and I'm anxious to get working on a new prayer card and new blog header.
And as I took Isabella to a birthday party this afternoon... my eyes were a bit more opened to life in HK... having random cows in your back yard and eating satay alongside chicken nuggets. Life is good.