EETAOW! A great missionary documentary in Papua New Guinea

Take the time to watch this awesome story, it’s very moving and powerful.

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Hong Kong (backlog 6/6/09 – 7/28/09)

Hong Kong

Consumerism
I’ve never seen consumerism as to what I experienced in Hong Kong. Our ship docked right next to a nice shopping center and I was amazed by all of the high-end and trendy items everywhere. By the way, people in Hong Kong value trendiness. It was very modern and impressive. Speaking of shopping centers, you could literally walk for miles through endless shopping malls that all seem to be connected to each other. Designer stores were everywhere, as well as Indian and Pakistani men offering tailored suits and luxury watches on just about every street corner. It was intense.

I think most people onboard were influenced by this extreme consumerism in some fashion. I know I was. I bought a pair of trendy pumas and I was completely dumbfounded afterwards as to what I was thinking. Not that trendy shoes are bad, but on a missionary budget, not the wisest option. Don’t worry, no support money was used to fund these shoes. To make matters worse they were ugly and had some wierd art work on them. I was so convicted that I secretly threw them away. Well it’s not a secret anymore.

International NGO’s
Anyway, we ended up doing some pretty cool projects nonetheless. We helped this organization renovate a building that was going to be a homeless shelter at some point. It was 7 stories and we carried many bricks, mixed lots of mortar and did some good old-fashioned hard work. We always looked forward to practical work like this because it was a great change of pace from the normal routine.

Another organization we volunteered at was called Crossroads. In Hong Kong there are no such thing as thrift stores or The Salvation Army. People literally throw away everything despite the condition. This organization happens to collect all of it, then loads designated goods into shipping containers sending it all over the world. Crossroads sits on prime property donated by the government.

Abandoned House Adventure
Speaking of property, real estate is hard to come by in Hong Kong and very expensive. I read this article in one of their freezines highlighting unique abandoned properties throughout Hong kong. They were unique because of the small number of properties abandoned in the city. Since I’ve been back to Warren Ohio, I see abandoned properties everywhere. Matter of fact the city is tearing down 30 homes each month this summer.

I was in charge of this discipleship group with some of the two month volunteers on board. I decided to take them through the city to find one of these properties highlighted in the magazine. Kind of like a treasure hunt. I think we trekked throughout the whole of Hong Kong that day, but in the end we were victorious. You can see our pics by clicking on the Facebook icon on the left.

Spiritual Warfare
We encountered spiritual warfare while in Hong Kong. During one week a string of events happened, two crew members were injured seriously, one slipped fracturing his skull. Just a hair-line, but still it was intense, especially when we found him unconscious outside. Some people had family members were sick or recently passed away. Everyone on board was in one accord that something was going on. In case you didn’t realize, there are no such things as coincidences or chance.

The night the brother had smacked his head on the deck, the captain woke up all of the leadership team to pray in shifts all night. I happened to be doing gangway watch from 4-8am. One of the leaders had walked towards me and asked me if I wanted to pray. Honestly, I was in no mood to pray and just wanted to be left alone on my shift so I could read or watch a movie. But I reluctantly decided to pray anyway. I ended up praying against these spiritual forces and demons rebuking them and what not. Apparently I pissed some demons off. When I did my firerounds a few minutes later, I could feel the presence of evil throughout the entire ship and it freaked me out. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up and I could sense a heaviness in the air. Honestly I’ve never felt anything like this before and it put the fear of the Lord in me. I started to pray and confess any known sin that I could think of to get right with God. I was paranoid and convinced that a manifestation or a demon was going to jump out at me at any moment. I didn’t go into the lower holds because of the fear. I’ve never been scared like this before in my life. This only lasted for a short while, thank the Lord, but I won’t ever forget it.

So friends, don’t start praying against spiritual warfare if your heart isn’t right before God, cause you’re in for a rude awakening like I was. Jesus says in Matt. 5 (sermon on the mount) “Therefore if you are bringing your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your gift.” The same goes with the Lord, He knows our hearts and we need to constantly get right with and turn away from sin towards him. Have you been turning towards Him?

I’m back in the States!

After being gone for 18 months, I finally arrived back in the US late on the 19th. I could feel "America" when I arrived at the Chicago airport and was bombarded with grandiose American restaurants, people dressed business like everywhere, and rude disgruntle airport workers :). It was refreshing. 

I got to talk to 3 different young military dudes on the way over which was awesome. I was reminded of the impact the Air Force had on my life because I could see the difference in them. I was surprised to hear all of them talk about "job security" and they had re-enlisted already and plan to retire. Things we definitely didn't talk about when I was in the Air Force. I was proud of these young guys serving overseas away from their family, and you should be too. 

I've just been relaxing the past two days here nearby Atlanta, catching up with stuff that's been going on in the world and doing some reflecting. I'll be going to SC for a few days and then up to Ohio for a few weeks. 

Thanks for you prayers and support. 

Attached are some songs that have been blessing me lately by Sufjan Stevens. 

The Transfiguration by Sufjan Stevens  
Download now or listen on posterous

Sufjan Stevens – The Transfiguration.mp3 (7480 KB)

Seven Swans by Sufjan Stevens  
Download now or listen on posterous

Sufjan Stevens – Seven Swans.mp3 (9222 KB)