Lam newsletter Jan`22

News from Hong Kong

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Goodbye Ox, Hello Tiger

Happy Chinese New Year to all!

The Chinese calendar follows the twelve year lunar cycle, with each year representing one animal. Today is the final day of the Year of the Ox, which is traditionally celebrated with a family dinner. The Year of the Tiger will be ushered in tomorrow with three public holidays in Hong Kong (Feb 1-3). In Mainland China, the celebrations usually last a week, and many people travel from the cities to their hometowns. Quarantine measures in HK, Macau and Mainland China will once again affect the mass movement of travelers in this region.

According to some reports, the positive characteristics of the Tiger are the following: powerful and charming, confident and courageous, honest, loyal and trustworthy; while the negative are: aggressive and reckless, stubborn, egocentric and selfish, either too chatty or too quiet, etc.

Our son Josh (HH) is born in the Year of the Tiger, and will turn 24 year in April. We have definitely benefitted more of the positive than negative sides to Josh. He is certainly courageous and confident, honest, loyal and trustworthy (we’ll leave him to spell out the negatives) J His courage is evident in his choices: two years at a boarding school in India as a 13-14 year old; ventured on his own to the UK to study Law at Warwick University in 2017; survived the first wave of Covid on his own in a big house, studied for his exams, and graduated in 2020 (without an official ceremony). In Sep 2020, returned to the UK, landed a  6-month contract as a paralegal; overcame Covid in Dec 2020; and continues to persevere in his application for a training contract with a suitable law firm in London. Thank you very much for your love, prayers and financial support of our young Tiger!

As we say farewell to the hard-working Ox, we share a few brief updates for a year of confidence and courage, keeping our eyes fixed on the sovereign God who does all things well and makes all things beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  

5th WAVE OF COVID : 81 new local cases were reported (Jan 30), the highest in about 6 months. A Delta variant cluster was traced in late January to a pet shop, where a hamster imported from the Netherlands tested positive; about 2,500 hamsters were culled as well as nearly 500 other small animals. Pray for effective measures to control the spread the virus, especially during Lunar New Year festivities (traditional flower markets have been cancelled; no dining at restaurants after 6pm; all schools, gyms, churches, are closed).

2021 SUPPORT LEVEL: PTL, we reached 96%, bolstered by one off gifts in December -- quite remarkable during this pandemic. Heartfelt thanks for every donation!

PUBLIC HOUSING : Our application for public housing is now in the hands of the HK Housing Authority (HA). PTL, that Rod is in contact with a very helpful HA official who will contact us shortly to complete the vetting process. The average waiting time for an apartment is approx. 5-7 years!!! We value your prayers for God’s choice and timing.

PhD RESEARCH : Judy has been admitted into her final year at the University of the Free State, PTL! She has a tight schedule and has been working like an Ox; needs the fierce determination of a Tiger now! Please pray for a productive year in order to meet the final submission deadline (NOV 30).

MIKAELA: PTL for two interviews recently at two tutorial centres, including one near her home. Depending on Covid restrictions, she is looking forward to begin in early Feb. Small centres have a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, and are more suited to her; also hoping for curriculum development opportunities in these centres/companies. Mika has also started her studies for the second semester M.A.; and planning to work part-time initially and then full-time from September. Thank you for praying for her recovery and for God’s provision.

CROSS-BORDER MINISTRIES : (1) the PRC Government has issued a law to ban online religious activities from Mar 1. Rod's study groups (via Zoom) expect it will not impact them; please pray for vital spiritual input while we still have time. (2) Praise the Lord for two new members (Monday group); both women are eager and active Christians. Mrs. L recently gave birth to her first daughter – who is well. (3) The Monday group is enjoying the studies in 1 John -- very lively discussions! Pray for Rod's teaching and for Mr. J who assists in translation into Mandarin.

CHINA & BEYOND

-       400-500 Mainland Chinese pastors are meeting online daily to pray for China and the Christian community, despite recent regulations and persecutions toward the church.

-       In light of the newer restrictions on religious activity, Mainland Churches are reverting to small group type congregations, and moving away from the mega-style churches.

-       With the clampdown on extra curricula education in China in tutorial centers, the new strategy is to educate the parents on how to educate their children. The result is an increase in home schooling.

 

With New Year greetings and gratitude to our friends and family near and far,

Rod and Judy

Hong Kong

Jan 31, 2022

 

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