Saturday, September 26, 2009

did you know?

The population of Hong Kong is 95% Chinese, the next largest demographic is Filipino (mainly domestic helpers) at 1.6%...we fit into this number Causasion .5%.By language, 90.8% speak Cantonese... 2.8% speak English. The local property market is worth $413.1 billion HKD, the local restaurant industry is $79 billion HKD, and mainland Chinese spend $50 billion HKD on holiday tourism here.

In terms of population density, this is fascinating.
USA - 31 people per km2
England - 395 people per km2
Finland - 16 people per km2
China - 139 people per km2
Hong Kong - 6,054 people per km2

Average working week in Hong Kong? 50 hours
Percentage of Hongkongers who own cars? 5.3%
Percentage of Hongkongers living in government housing? 66%
Average expat monthly compensation? $130,000HKD

*All figures were published in HK magazine, sources cited.

Friday, September 25, 2009

friday nights might look like this



I haven't played soccer (football) in since college. That was ten years ago. Wow, am I really that old? On most friday nights, some of the guys on the team play at a nearby housing complex. I thought, sure, why not? It's like riding a bicycle right? Well, I'm proud to say my performance wasn't world-cup worthy, but I made it through one 6 on 6 match. It was a lot of fun, for sure. Then we went to a local favorite restaurant that has been named Tommy's although I think that's just the name of the waiter who speaks a little English.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

passion live link + rice krispies.

Tuesday morning our family joined around 14,000 others for a live-link event with Passion. Honestly, we are so grateful for Passion and the way God has used its leadership in our lives. It was pretty humbling to know there were close friends from Auburn in the room that night in Atlanta, worshipping our great God.

probably not in America, but here... sure.

luke is walking

video

Friday, September 04, 2009

she is.




As an encouragement to our family, friends, and partners who have blessed and enabled us to be here serving in Hong Kong, I wanted to share that I am incredibly grateful for what I see happening in the life of our family. This transition has been a 2 year journey of surrender for all of us, but I have seen true joy in our home these days.

April is operating on a different bandwidth these days, filled with a sense of confidence, direction, and peace like never before. She is definitely making up for lost time in homemaking. After packing / unpacking 3 times in the past year, she is nesting like a pregnant woman in her third trimester (no, she is not pregnant).

No, not everyday is easy or perfect, but this is what I can say for all the Dean boys in our home: "She is clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come, she speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her, "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." (Prov. 31:23-29)

I am so honored to be her husband, and to see how God is working in her. She has been a source of constant encouragement and wisdom for what is turning out to be the most significant transition we have experienced as a family. To say it another way, I am very much impressed. She has made our "marble hotel lobby" into a home that both our family and team can enjoy.

I say this because I know during those last weeks in Auburn our closest friends saw us at our worst, in our condition of brokenness as people in need of God's abundant and constant grace. I just wanted to say, that our God and Father has been so faithful. Knowing Christ is the joy of our lives, and we can't wait to see what He will do.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

keys


Two weeks ago, I woke up from a random dream. Rarely do I remember my dreams, but this one I could recall. "April, I had the weirdest dream, I was driving through HK in a Volvo." Her kind reply, "Oh...ok." Then a few minutes later, I check my email. I read in disbelief.

"Matt, would you be interested in this.... a friend of mine is looking to donate his Volvo?"

What?!?!?

I got an email that morning from a dear friend in HK who was approached that morning about donating a vehicle to a Christian ministry / family. She thought of our family and asked if we were interested. My reply: "Yes, we would be interested."

April and I could not believe the "coincidence". It sounded to good to be true. Seriously, we read and re-read the email. I was thinking.. this is crazy. Then, again, it's not. Why is it crazy for God to act on our behalf and for His purpose in our lives. The point is not our comfort, or what kind of car... the point is that we would know and testify of His faithfulness in our circles of influence. So we will do just that.

We met him at church that sunday morning. We spoke briefly, and once again I was reminded how God has gone before us, in ways we couldn't see or plan for. Clearly.

My not so random dream about driving a volvo in HK.
His generosity and stewardship in the kingdom.
Her friendship connecting the two of us in this massive city.
One beautiful picture of God at work in all of our lives.

I was blessed to have lunch with this brother and now friend. I got to know just a little bit about his story, walk with Christ, and motivation behind donating a perfectly good car to our family.

To be honest, he could have been donating a rickshaw, school bus or 1983 Yugo. It would have been appealing. Navigating this beautiful and sprawling city with little ones can be a challenge. And yet, at the end of today, we have been blessed with a safe and dependable car that we could never afford to purchase in HK.

I was able to have lunch with him today; We both shared our stories of how we came to know Christ, and talked a lot about living for what matters most. Not to mention, he gave me my first (and last) driving lesson in HK. We rescued April, Josh, Caleb, and Luke near the Science Museum. Props to my iPhone for the GPS Map. Thank you Apple.

Tonight, after putting the kids to bed, I drove (still a scary thought) out towards Sai Kung. Worship CD's were still in the changer, and when "Mighty to Save" came on, I thought back to our time in Auburn, to the many Thursday nights of going after God's heart with a community we loved, and how God has so clearly called us here.

Shine your light and
let the whole world see,
we're living for the glory
of the risen King, Jesus.