Thursday, December 24, 2009

Go tell it on the mountain. Over the hills. Everywhere.

I am on a temporary pastry-sous-chef break while the head pastry chef of this kitchen [April] and I wait for the homemade cinnamon roll dough to rise... um wow. Can't wait for those in the morning. So, for our first Christmas Eve away from home, away from family and dear friends we made the most of things. Tomorrow, our team [we love them so much] will be here for brunch, so we are in the thick of baking [which is fun for us]. Earlier, we had a leisurely dim-sum lunch at a local restaurant. For sure... we were the only people... like us... there. And that's beautiful. Caleb loved the noodles. Josh loved the dumplings. April was a fan of the jasmine tea. Me? I was just happy we made it there, could order, and had a great morning.

A big temptation in the blogosphere is to pretend or portray the right information. So... here goes. We love being here. It's hard being here. We know this is where we are called to live and serve, but we miss the people and places we have served alongside in the past. We are not suffering, but there are real costs involved in living away from family and close friends. We see God at work, around us, and sometimes painfully within us. Many days can be discouraging. We see our children thriving. We know their grandparents are missing them. For things that used to be familiar, like face to face family gatherings, easy to find gift wrapping paper or shredded coconut for cookies --- on the altar they go, in one humble, yet steady reply, "Yes Lord, walking in the way of your truth, we wait for you, for your name and your renown are the desires of our soul." [Isa. 26:8].

Hope in Christ NEVER disappoints. NEVER.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. [Romans 5].

Tonight, I took the boys on a bike ride (and Luke in his red push car). We had a great time. April was at home finishing last minute gift wrapping. We had the best time. I took them to get cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes [McDonalds just moved in, replacing the cat restaurant] We got back home. Quick baths for them. Put Luke in bed. Then, roasted chestnuts and hot chocolate with Josh, Caleb, and April. We talked about what we are thankful for. Drew pictures. Izzy slobbered on us. We prayed together. Josh suggested we all pray one long prayer together. Wow. Read the Christmas story. We sang "Go Tell It On The Mountain". They opened a few gifts. Then, they went to bed. I walked to the grocery store to get more flour. I looked at the faces I was passing. Prayed. Surrendered again.... And now we're in the kitchen. Norah Jones is singing familiar songs. We are laughing. Experiencing real joy from Him. Cinnamon rolls anyone?


Queenie said...

I can smell those cinnamon rolls....and waiting to taste one:) Oh, the joys of Christmas!

"Joy to the world, the Lord has come...let earth receive her King." Across the miles, we celebrate with you the birth of a precious babe that grew to be our redemption. Love you all....Bud, Queenie, Josh & Jake

Taylor said...

If you're the pastry-sous-chef, and April is head pastry chef; who is chef de cuisine?

Hope you're well.

Scott Fillmer said...

Thanks for the update, we have been praying for you guys...

We just made our move up to Virginia and spent the entire Christmas break in a new place away from family and friends. Not nearly the same thing as you guys in HK but I do have an understanding of what it's like to be away from family at Christmas.

We were really hoping to get to see Micah while he was in Auburn for Christmas but we ended up having to leave for Virginia before we saw him.

So good to hear about what is going on in HK, blessings to the whole team. -Scott