Hong Kong, 2006

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Dr. John Nay
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Hong Kong, 2006

Post by Dr. John Nay » Sat Jun 10, 2006 4:24 pm

:D The following is a copy of the journal I kept during this mission's trip. Although quite long, I don't think you'll find it too boring:

Hong Kong
(May 25-June 5, 2006)

May 25 (Thursday): Motel to Terminal

Let me see, where do I begin. I stayed at the Best Western Motel in Tempe, Arizona, the night of May 24th. Jerry and Sharon Germain brought me down from Prescott Valley. I?d given Debbie a bug and she wasn?t feeling very well. Although, as I think about it, I?ve been bugging Debbie for some 38 years.

The basic idea was to get a really good night?s sleep before the little jaunt to Hong Kong. This worked very well, as I slept from 10:40 pm to 1:30 A.M., something like 2:00 a.m. through 3:30 a.m. Then really conked from approximately 4:10 a.m. until 5:10. Wow! Talk about refreshed! I had signed up for the 7:00 am shuttle to the airport.

The shuttle was late, but did manage to take me to the wrong terminal. I eventually caught a bus to the correct terminal.

The Balloon Line Incident: I asked at the terminal information booth as to which of the long lines I should go to. I was sent to the line with the purple and white balloons (International Flights). The lady at the beginning of the line told me that my flight to Los Angeles was a domestic flight, so I should go to the line with the blue balloons. The lady at the blue balloon line told me that I needed to go to the line with the yellow balloons, since I was working off of an e-ticket. I waited through this line (no lady at the beginning). When I got to the front of the line (these lines are VERY long), the man told me that I was in the wrong line and needed to go to the line with the purple and white balloons, since my final destination was Hong Kong, which made my flight International. I returned to the purple and white balloon line to find that the lady had been replaced by a man. He informed me immediately that I was in the wrong line and needed to go to the blue balloon line ---- I GOT MAD! (Righteous indignation!) I eventually found a lady that was the ?balloon line? supervisor. She apologized for the hassle and sent me to the purple and white balloon line, assuring me that it WAS the correct line. I waited through the very long line (went to the airport three hours early --- good thing). When my turn finally came, the lady at my ticket counter informed me that I was in the wrong line ----- I GOT MAD AGAIN!!!!!!!!!! This lady (Sue) said she?d help me, but gave me a very hard time, i.e. lecturing me on the fact that I should know which line I belonged in. She didn?t want to hear my story. I haven?t looked at my seat assignment as of yet, but it?s most likely on the vertical stabilizer of the aircraft (at least there shouldn?t be any balloons there). I just checked my seat assignment; middle seat. She didn?t ask me if I had a preference. I?m sitting here writing this and attempting to cool off ---- IT?S NOT WORKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My next step is to attempt to go through security to my gate (I can hardly wait!). I did learn a lesson through my balloon line experience though. I?ve always been told not to take out a loan with a balloon payment at the end. I now really know why, i.e. when you come to the end of your loan, you find out that you?re in the wrong line and have to start paying interest all over again!

On my way to security and my gate I saw a man being led because he was blind; I immediately straightened out my attitude.

Security is always fun. I have this down pretty well, i.e. shoes off, computer in separate container, Palm Pilot in basket, cell phone in basket, watch off, belt off, etc. This went smoothly. (That means that I wasn?t arrested.) The international security at the Los Angeles International Airport may not be as easy.

I did get the e-mail address of U.S. Airways so that I can send them my ?Balloon Line? story. (I doubt that they?ll be very interested.)

My flight to L.A. was very interesting, as I sat next to a young lady by the name of Thasha. This was a young lady in her mid thirties who is working on a Master?s Degree in 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th century art. She had been a practicing immigration lawyer. Injustices and compromises within the judicial system prompted her to leave this profession, even though she was in a law firm with her father. This all made for very interesting conversation. I was able to not only tell her, but show her with the help of my computer, what I was going to Hong Kong for. We talked about faith, proof, evolution, Christianity, creationism, etc. She was quite open-minded and very intelligent. This made the trip to L.A. seem quite short, even though I didn?t see any weather balloons on the way.

Once I landed I DID see that my next flight was in another terminal, which meant that I would need to leave my present terminal, enter the new terminal and go through security again. I also needed to get my e-ticket ?hard copy.? Praise the Lord!!! No balloons. I simply got in a ?balloon-less? line for Northwest Airlines, waited my turn, and got my ticket. I did find that I had six minutes to go through security and find my gate. I?ve now had time to check this out. It seems that my Orbiz e-ticket ?soft copy? clearing shows a 1 hour and 20 minute window of time before my flight. I?m not going to gripe though --- still no balloons. I went through security as fast as I could without being arrested and then literally ran to my gate. No lunch, but I?m not going to gripe --- still no balloons!

Well, I made my flight. It?s a full flight, as it seems most all are. My seat is next to the ?galley? (I said this for Jerry; he?s retired Navy). Since I?m a minister, I immediately felt like a ?Galley Slave?. I?ve attempted to strike up a conversation with the young man seated to my right. He?s reading a book that must be a full two inches thick. My comment was ?I don?t think it?s long enough for this trip.? He smiled --- that was the end of the conversation; he?s been reading and listening to ? with headphones ever since. Just think, it?s now a mere twelve hours to Tokyo, where I?m SUPPOSED to have a one and one-half hour layover before flying to Hong Kong.

It?s now twelve hours later and still no conversation --- we?re coming into Tokyo. Oh, No! I left my Japanese dictionary at home!

May 26 (Friday): Arrived in Tokyo (4:25 p.m.)

Interesting. Everyone going on to Hong Kong had to unboard the aircraft and go through security. (I couldn?t find deboard in my dictionary. I don?t know that unboard is in it either, so I didn?t chance looking it up, as I need to get this entry completed) It was very crowded and slow. The security here was a little sobering with all of the police, super congestion, and not being clear as to whether I was in the proper line or not (no English). There was an American near me. A fellow probably in his early forties. He appeared to be at ease and in control. He leaned over and said to me, ?This is kind of scary.? Well, that really assured me that everything was o.k. : ( We eventually ended up in the main terminal with about 40 minutes to pass before boarding the same aircraft to continue on to Hong Kong. I now have the same seat that I had had for some 14 hours perviously (it was 12 hours ?flying time?). I now have another five plus hours in my cushy. I had a good conversation with the man next to me (Steve), who is originally from Hong Kong, but immigrated to the U.S. and resides in Sacramento, California. He?s returning to H.K. to visit with his brother. We discussed what creation science was about, the Big Bang, where the races came from, etceteras. He was quite interested.

After a little over five hours in my ?cushy?, we arrived in Hong Kong. From the air at night it is most certainly a beautiful city, reminding me somewhat of my home city, San Francisco. The H.K. airport is huge, this wouldn?t be a challenge except that it is very big too. EVENTUALLY, I got through immigration and claimed my bags. Scott Smyth and a young man from the Philippines (Ronald) greeted me, and we were off in the Hong Kong traffic. H.K. is a very clean city (at least what I?ve seen of it so far). The automobiles are somewhat dyslexic; not only so, but the steering wheels and controls are on the wrong side. Not only this, but they drive on the wrong side of the road too. If this were not challenging enough, when one crosses over the boarder into mainland China, they drive on the OTHER side (same as U.S.). This all makes for the highways and roads of H.K. and China being about as safe as downtown San Francisco at 5:00 pm. The boarder into Mainland China is a ten minute drive from the church where I?ll be staying.

May 27 (Saturday - raining): Arrived at the Church (12:10 am)

On the way to the church building we picked up Ken Smyth (Scott?s father, a long ago graduate of Platte Valley Bible College --- 1972, I believe). This is one awesome man of God, who began the work in H.K. some 27 years ago.
It?s now 5:15 am, soooooooooo after a sound nights sleep, ------- sounds good, but it?s not true. Bed around 1:10 a.m., up at 2:00 am, up at 3:10 am; well, you folks my age will understand. I just saw a lady walk by my window with a dog that had a raincoat on. Hello!!!!!!!! I don?t even have a raincoat! By-the-way, did I tell you, it?s raining.

Scott is to pick me up this morning and we?re going to attempt to locate a plugin for my computer and projector. They use 220 as basic household voltage here. This would be neither here nor there, but I?m here, not there, sooooooo ----- : )

I?m to speak this afternoon to a group of young people, high school and up. These young people are from several of the H.K. churches. After this session I?m to eat with one of the ministers.

Scott picked me up and we were off to find electrical cord adapters for 220 volts. The area we spent most of our time in and and the location of the church building are not tourist areas, so I did not blend into the crowd very easily, but found this more interesting. Driving and parking are challenging at the least. When one travels from point A to point B, IF they make it to point B, they did it right! How one negotiated the distance between point A and point B is not important. The fact that you made it tells you that you did it right. We entered no less than 5,342,567,123 stores and shops and eventually found the adapters, each marked with the following: ?For Export Only.? ????? I guess it?s o.k., as I will eventually export them. We ate at a Chinese fast food restaurant. It was great! Anything that has it?s back to the heaven is edible, with the exception of dog, as H.K. has a law against it (very hard to keep a pet at one time). Did you notice I said nothing about cats? We ran into a couple of accidents. ?Ran into? is probably not the best choice of words. Scott got me back to the church a little after 12:00 noon and said he?d pick me up at 2:00 pm. Sleeeeeep ----- no. The church phone rang and I visited with someone from the Philippines, whom I later met at the church. I couldn?t get my computer to charge with the new adapter, so I fooled with it for awhile and eventually figured it out. This gave me a solid twenty minutes to lie down.

Scott picked me up at 2:00 pm and we were off to one of the churches I was to speak at. The minister was a lady (Dorcus) and the people were great. I spoke for two hours and only covered one and one-half hours of info, as I spoke through a translator. His name was Danny, a very well education business man. Prior to our session beginning I visited with my translator (Danny) and found that he believed that the Old Testament was an accumulation of myths. I was not too excited about this. The session went well and, I pray, the information shared strengthened faith in the Bible as the inspired Word of God. We had a question/answer session afterward. There were many questions. (The philosophy of Evolution permeates every aspect of the culture here, as it now does in the U.S.) Here one can truly see the importance of this issue. Education is held in high esteem here and is considered the ONLY avenue to a decent life. Trying to get this philosophy (evolution) to fit within the Scriptures is challenging and perplexing to those that believe in both. It seems to me that what has happened both here and in the U.S. is that many have simply accepted evolution as true, after all, it must be, i.e. it?s in school text books, all over television, magazines, and newspapers as an obvious fact. Now, if one?s a Christian, they either need to ignore this issue, or try to somehow get it to fit within the pages of God?s Word. The problem with this is that it?s backward. One should take the Word of God and use it as the standard, i.e., if evolution doesn?t fit within the pages of God?s Word, it?s WRONG! Well, that?s my opinion, and I think it ought to be yours!

Eventually, the minister had the people start writing down their questions and she said that she would e-mail them to Scott, who in turn would pass them on to me. I?m scheduled to speak at this same church this coming Saturday and will deal with these questions at that time. Again, most of these people are very well educated (indoctrinated) and confused over creation/evolution issues.

I neglected to mention that while we were chasing around looking for the adapters, Scott took me to his new business. He is starting a tutorial school for teaching English to Cantonese speaking people. He has a good location and the class rooms and office look great. Scott is a self-motivation (Lord motivated) young man with a deep love for the Lord and the furtherance of the Gospel Message. This school will help Scott meet his financial obligations and afford opportunity to share the Gospel.

After the church we (Scott, myself and Olivia) were off to find a place to get Chinese food (only 262 Chinese food restaurant per fifty yards). Olivia is a very talented young lady that translates teaching and learning aids for children. Her English is excellent, and, of course, she?s very fluent in Cantonese. She will be my translator tomorrow. She had already translated the Glossary of Terms from my Creation Science Notebook. This was not an easy task, as many of these terms are quite technical.

Yes!!!!!!! We DID find a Chinese restaurant. The meal I had yesterday was great. I wasn?t as thrilled with this one. First thing up, duck! Once the duck is cooked (great beginning for me), the chef takes a meat cleaver and chops it up, all of it up. Sooooooooooooo, I nibbled on a couple of pieces and stirred it around on my plate hoping it would fly away (duck out); it didn?t : ( Next we had some type of greens. For me, anything green is for rabbits. I did eat some, as I didn?t wish to appear as impolite as I often am. Next, we moved to Chow Men. The Chow Men here is different, it?s fried, and ends up very thin and brittle. This I could eat, and did eat, with much fanfare. I?m not spoiled or anything like that, but it is difficult to exist without diet Pepsi. It?s interesting (probably because I?m the only ?fat? one), that restaurants don?t seem to carry any diet soft drinks. They do have ?light? Pepsi, and ?light? Coke. I?m drinking these to help myself to feel better, however, it is not ?The Real Thing?, i.e. ?diet?.

From here we headed off to pick up Evelyn (Scott?s wife) and his two children, Jasmyn (3 yrs) and Jade (8 months - a girl). On the way to the van (on the way to most anywhere for that matter), Scott runs into people he knows. This is quite interesting, as H.K. has a population of over 8 million people! Evelyn and her children were at a dinner. We stayed at the dinner for awhile and Scott dropped me back at the church a little after 8:00 p.m. I had already decided that as soon as I returned to the church I was going straight to bed. While getting ready, Ken Smyth stopped by with a few young men to set things up for the services in the morning. I went to bed somewhere around 8:30 p.m. and didn?t wake up until 4:20 a. I think I even dreamed that I was sleeping (just kidding). God is good!

May 28 (Sunday - raining): At the church (6:50 a.m.)

I?ve been making the preceding entry, drinking coffee, and eating Skippy Peanut Butter and jelly since I woke --- God is sooooooo good!

There is a team here from the Philippines that will be involved in the services this morning; I am now scheduled to speak this afternoon. I?m really looking forward to the services and meeting the people.

I?m now going to go through the 6,334,213 pictures I took yesterday, as most likely 6,334,201 of them will need to be deleted, but they?re very little pictures (Debbie?s camera is very small), so it shouldn?t take long.

At 7:00 a.m. some ladies came into the church (Lanni, Luvi, Marie) to work in the VERY small kitchen. They?re from the Philippines and are here as domestic workers. I found out that they can understand Spanish, i.e. Spanish and Tagalog (Official Philippine language) are quite similar languages. Enough so that they can understand my Spanish, although I can?t understand them.

Services started at 9:30 am and ran straight through till 12:45 pm. The service was a real joy, as one of the young men here for an internship under Ken Smyth preached his second sermon (the first was last Sunday); he did a great job, he even used a PowerPoint presentation that he?d prepared. It was very well done and his message was excellent, even using a translator (which can be quite difficult). Another one of the young men from the Philippines taught the combined class. He was very well prepared and did a great job. One of the other men from the Philippines led the music and, like his fellow interns, did a great job. The remaining young man sang a special; again, exceptional. Ken Smyth certainly did a great job of preparing these young men for their waiting ministries upon their return to the Philippines.
We had lunch about 1:45 pm. I started my class at 3:00 pm and we went until 5:10 pm. Olivia translated for me and did a great job. There were many questions relative to the creation/evolution topic. Many of the people speak Cantonese, quite a few speak Tagalog, with one lady from Columbia speaks fluent Spanish. It?s now 7:10 pm and many of the people are still here singing. I sang with them and played my harmonica for some time. The young men from the Philippines have been here for almost six weeks and return to the Philippines Tuesday.

Scott is picking me up at 8:30 am in the morning to go to his tutorial school and meet with Olivia. She will be translating for me tomorrow evening and for over six hours on Wednesday during the day and, I believe, a couple of hours on Wednesday evening. We?ll go through the material for this, which is a tremendous amount. At 12:30 pm I am scheduled to meet with Ken & Scott Smyth and the four young men from the Philippines for lunch. They have many questions relative to creation/evolution they are writing out for me. I believe I?m to eat with a group tomorrow evening and will be teaching from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, at least, with questions/answers after the session.

It?s now 8:00 pm and most of the people are still here at the church building fellowshipping. Somewhere around 9:00 pm I could not stay awake any longer and went to sleep.

I awoke at 2:10 am feeling very rested, so I went down and attacked the kitchen and then checked out late-night Chinese television. Yes, they have Chinese SOAPS here. As with American SOAPS most everything is overly dramatic. Fortunately this SOAP had a translation text that ran with it; it was either Mandarin into Cantonese, or vice-versa (neither of which I understand). There was a movie on also, somewhat of a mix of The Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy. The movie ended and the station went off the air. Some of us in my age bracket remember the days when a station would actually go off the air and resume broadcasting the next morning. At 3:35 am, back to bed. I sure hope I don?t dream about that movie. If you think my humor is bad, you needed to have seen a little of this low-budget movie. I didn?t understand a word, but the slapstick was obvious.

May 29 (Monday - raining): Are you beginning to detect a pattern here with this raining thing? Up bright and perky at 6:10 am. Well, o.k., perky anyway. I did the basics, including the basic cold shower, which will definitely get you at least ?perky?.
After the basics, I took care of the absolutely necessary --- coffee!!!!! I?ve never been addicted to it, BUT I HAVE TO HAVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Thought I?d catch the news, just to brush up on my Chinese. To my surprise, I found a soccer game. I?ve never been interested in soccer (promotes domestic violence ---------- think about it), but this particular soccer game was REALLY big and REALLY exciting, i.e. the players were elephants. Now the goalie was a very foolish human, which the elephants did not hesitate to kick around --- by-the-way, I?m not kidding! It?s 7:45 am now and I?m waiting on Scott to pick me up at 8:30 am.

I?m hoping to access the Internet today at Scott?s school, so I can contact my Honey Bunny (that?s Debbie to you!).

No luck with sending e-mail from Scott?s office. For some reason (unknown) to us) the connection would ?time out? before the message was sent. It was just a short text message, so we do not understand the problem. We were using Scott?s computer and sending through my web site. We didn?t have time to try another approach, as we had an appointment and Olivia and I needed the time to work on translation for the evening session.

Olivia and I worked on the translation of the upcoming evening session until it was time for our lunch appointment. This would be with Ken Smyth, the four young men from the Philippines, Olivia, Scott, and myself. We had lunch in a family restaurant. While we were eating, I answered questions as best I could (background noise). The dining customs are interesting. If your party is (let?s say four people) is seated at a table that seats eight, you will sit on one side, with the tablecloth rolled up to the middle of the tabletop. If another party of four show up, they may be seated at your table, with another tablecloth placed in the middle of the tabletop and rolled partially open to cover the other half of the tabletop. Sooooooo, you end up with two tablecloths, with each unrolled halfway, i.e. in the center of the table are two rolls, the rolled up halves of the tablecloths. I am told that this custom does not go over very well with Americans. Although, I spent almost no time in an area that had tourists.

Also, a custom that is becoming somewhat outdated is that if you are not seated by a waitress, you go and stand behind the people seated at the table you would like to have. Scott says this is not impolite, but the custom. The people seated do not become irritated or take offense, and do not rush. As a matter of fact, family dining is very leisurely, often taking two plus hours, as the party visits among themselves, before, during, and quite long after the meal.

Scott took me from the restaurant back to the church so that I could rest before the evening session at the school. I arrived back at the church about 3:40 pm, with Scott scheduled to pick me up at 6:00 pm. When he picked me up, he had his wife (Evelyn) had three other ladies with him. We picked Olivia up on the way to the school. Parking is a real challenge. We parked some distance away and walked to the school. Scott was pleased with the turn out for the session. I spoke from 7-9 pm and then took several questions.

After we left the school we stopped and picked up a little food. I got a bag of my favorite, Mifun (Pronounced - My Fun), and it is, i.e. rice noodles --- good stuff!!!! Scott dropped me back at the church around 10:45 pm. Ken Smyth was at the church building going over some information with a group of men from the church (I think). I crashed about 11:00 pm. I slept really well.

May 30 (Tuesday):

I woke at 4:10 am and went for the coffee, again, I?m NOT addicted, BUT I HAVE TO HAVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! I checked out the television and was very excited to watch part of an old black & white (remember B.C., i.e. Before Color) movie. It was Karate (of course!). This was a VERY low budget film, to include a really rinky-dink set; this made it somewhat entertaining as you could see the wires holding the actors as they flew through the air with the greatest of ease.

I made a phone call home and found no answer, so I left a ?short? message. I also called Jerry & Sharon Germain and found no answer and left a short message. (I leave the states and everyone leaves!) It?s now 6:10 am and I?m thinking very seriously about having some ?Mifun Fun? (My Fun) for breakfast. Today is to be a bit of a break day, i.e. I?m to eat with Scott and his family in their home and possibly Ken Smyth and his family in his home. I?m hoping to be able to get downtown (Tuen Mun City) and purchase a few little souvenirs for folks.




Various Observations:

Churches - The church I spoke in this past Saturday that had the lady minister (Dorcus) is located on the third or fourth floor of one of the many tall buildings in Tuen Mun City. I?ve been in several of these types of buildings so far. Everything is quite small, i.e. the hallways are narrow and the elevators very small. The rooms the churches are located in are quite small, with the sanctuary being the largest, but still small. Space is a real commodity here, with rents very high.

Television - All the advertisements and movies I?ve been exposed to are quite conservative, i.e. people keep their cloths on. The only exception I?ve seen to this was a portion of a music video by Madonna. Watching television here is like going back fifty years in America (generally speaking, a good thing). There is one of the public stations that periodically has the news in English. The newscasters appear to be Chinese, but speak English without a Chinese accent.

News: The news casting is very similar to that in America, with the exception of Mainland China news. It seems to me that the news from the Mainland focusses primarily on the military and the government.

Hong Kong and Neighboring Provinces - This area operates under a different set of rules than Mainland China. Of course the cities in these provinces, to include Hong Kong, are very lucrative for China. When Hong Kong went back under the control of Communist China, Communist China agreed to not make any major changes for 50 years. Communist China definitely controls Hong Kong, but they haven?t made any ?open? changes as of yet --- that I know of.

The Assembling - It seems to me that the Sunday assembling is the high point of the week for Christians here. They come for the day. It?s such a blessing to have the opportunity to share with Christians that really want to learn. (Please don?t misunderstand, I do not mean to imply that Christians in America do not want to learn, it?s just that it?s so strong and obvious here).

Tips - You don?t tip in China. I kind of like this. You don?t leave tips in restaurants, nor do you give a tip to someone that might carry your luggage, etceteras.

Dining - If you are in a party of four people, you order servings for five. Four is a bad number. Four is associated with death, because the Chinese word for four and death sound alike.

ChopSticks - Now here?s some information that will make you the hit of your next conversation with friends, i.e. all chopsticks are NOT the same! Chinese chopsticks are much thicker than Japanese chopsticks. I?m told that the reason is the Chinese share food among themselves more at the table and that the ?fat? sticks are easier to use. Korean chopsticks are different still, i.e. the tongs are flat. According to Scott, this makes them very difficult to use. There was a movie in the U.S. where someone grabbed a fly out of the air with chopsticks. Now I?m wondering, What kind of chopsticks??? If the chopsticks were Chinese (fat), it wasn?t such a big deal. I think that even if the chopsticks were Korean (flat tongs), anybody could do this, BUT, if they were Japanese chopsticks, WOOOOOOOW!!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing. I hope you find this information VERY useful in impressing your friends!

Also, relative to chopsticks. If you get up from the table to go to the bathroom, or anywhere else for that matter, you are not to put you chopsticks into your food and leave. This is taken as a bad omen, i.e. you were called away because of an emergency, i.e. something bad happened. It?s o.k. to lay your chopsticks down next to your plate or on your plate, but not to leave then sticking in you food.

Conversation - Conversation in China appears (at least to me) to be more sensitive to not offending, than in America. Most everyone is very polite, not just with foreigners, but all people.

The People - I don?t see men wearing ties --- I like this. The Chinese people come in all shapes and sizes, but for the most part, I seldom see someone that appears to be overweight. The people that I?ve been with do not seem to eat a lot of sweets, i.e. Hostess Cupcakes, Brownies, Heresy's Milk Chocolate (These are the mainstay for my personal diet in the U.S.).

Intersections - It?s interesting that at all of the major intersections I crossed in various cities there are boxes that make a clicking sound. When the light turns green, the clicking increases in speed. The boxes are for the blind, so they can know if the light is green or red. Also, a part of the light series is the same as ours, i.e. green, yellow, and then red. However, it goes the other way, i.e. when you?re sitting at a red light, it goes yellow before it goes green. Good idea!

It?s now 9:20 am and I?m going to walk to the small shopping area here in Fairview Park. Again, this is the housing park where the church is located and Ken & Scott Smith live with their respective families. I have a map and have learned to say Mmmmmm Goy (Thank you or excuse me). With my new found language skills, i.e. Mmmmm Goy, I should be o.k.

Well, I actually found my way back, having Mmmmmmmm-Goyed my way through several shops (there?s nothing to this language). By-the-way, did I tell you it was raining. For the most part, its only rained one time since I arrived, all the time. I bought a few item at the grocery store. The isles are narrower than K-Mart, if that tells you anything. I?d taken a few pictures, so I sat down to go through them and noticed a few videos on a shelf here at the church. Now this is really scary! They were the videos I made through Good News Productions, International in 1989 and 1994. I have never sat down and watched all of these videos (17 in all - 30 minutes per session) and wasn?t about to start. However, I did watch a little of Session 1 of the supplemental series done in 1994. About the only thing I liked about it was that I had hair at that time and wasn?t as fat as I thought I was. I couldn?t take any more than the first one. I am probably overly critical, as the information is good; it?s just the guy that?s sharing the information that bothers me.

Next, I met Scott. Surprise! Scott took me to the Sports Centre (British spelling, as Hong Kong was under the control of Great Britain, before it went back to Communist China) in Yuen Long City to play some table tennis. He?d reserved ($4.00 U.S.) one of the Table Tennis Rooms. The table was excellent, and the room had green (easier to see the ball) padding (easier to not break a shoulder) that ran up the walls. We had a great workout (much needed on my part). This was the first time for me to play table tennis in a looooooong time.

Jerry, a minister from Yuen Long met us at the Sports Centre. I had met Jerry at Platte Valley Bible College in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, some years back. We visited for some time and then Scott and I went on the Scott?s house, where we were joined by Ken and Linda Smyth. We had a wonderful meal and great fellowship. Scott showed me video footage from a variety show that he was on in Mainland China a few years back. Scott had spent a year as a student in Mainland China. I did not realize that there would be such a thing as a variety show in Mainland China. Scott was paid $100.00 U.S. dollars to take part in a skit. It was quite lengthy, requiring quite a bit of memorization. The skit was about a lion that would kill travelers as they traveled through the mountains. There was an inn at the beginning of the mountain pass. Scott was to get drunk (which he acted out a little too well). Once drunk he would be able to kill the lion; and did. This all found much favor with the audience. They laughed and found it all greatly entertaining. I must have missed something somewhere; and I?m not lion! The only thing amusing to me was the sight of Scott with waaaaay too much makeup on.

While at Scott?s home his father, Ken, kept falling asleep. This man has had no more than three-four hours sleep a night for some six weeks (while the Filipinos were here). Those of you that support Ken Smyth?s ministry need to know what you most likely already know, i.e. he is a very dedicated man of God. He and two others (Wing Wong & Dave Polling) started the work here some 27 years ago. Although the church is not large numerically, Ken has trained dozens upon dozens of young men and women for ministry. This influence has spread throughout this part of the world. Not only the dedication of men like Ken and his son Scott, but the people themselves. Ken told be last night that one of the men here (Eddie) changed his flight to Australia (where his family is) so that he could attend the second session of the Creation Science Seminar here at the church.

Scott, his daughter Jasmyn, and myself walked from Scott?s to the church and I went to bed around 9:20 pm.

May 31 (Wednesday, Yep, it?s raining): I slept really good and had a wonderful dream, i.e. I was speaking Spanish!!! For those of you that don?t know, I?ve been trying to learn Spanish for some time now, much to the irritation of people around me. The only problem with the dream was that I was attempting to tell someone what a pain they were, i.e. a pain in the ?tush? and didn?t know how to say ?tush?, but everything else was easy to say. I don?t remember who the person was, but I can think of several that I?d best not name. I realize that most of you would name me : )

I woke at 4:10 am, BUT went back to sleep until 6:10 am, God is soooooooo good. I will spend the day here at the church building as the sessions run all day today. This is why I?m here, and I told them to schedule me as heavy as possible. Unfortunately, there are almost always changes, especially on the mission field. Sooooooooo, I?m not scheduled as heavily as I would like.

As mentioned at the beginning of this day, ?It?s raining?. I?d don?t understand why the streets don?t flood more, as these rains are NOT little sprinkles.

Lanni just came in (7:15 am). She is a Filipino (this IS the proper spelling of this word) domestic worker here. It was her son that preached here last Sunday, and he has returned to the Philippines. Lanni, like the others here, are very hard workers. My guess is that she?ll be here the entire day, working. Marie just arrived (7:35 am). She is from the Philippines also. Domestic workers sign a two year contract, and often times are not treated very well. I just attempted to help these two ladies put away a large, heavy table. They won?t let me help. The table weighs almost as much as they do (I doubt if Marie weighs over 80 pounds.) I just asked Marie how tall she was. She said 4?9?? and said that she wasn?t the shortest in the congregation here. She says there?s a lady here that is two inches shorter than her. If I were to lie on my back, my stomach is taller than that. Well, I best get set up for the day?s sessions.

Today?s session was scheduled to end at 4:00 pm, but we didn?t close out until 5:10 pm. There were many questions, e.g. where the races came from, what appeared to be the problem of Chinese history being dated at 5,000 years and the Flood taking place approximately 4,350 years ago (2345 B.C.), how one determines whether or not the physical world really exists, etceteras.

Scott just informed me that he has received an e-mail from Dorcus, the lady minister of the church I spoke at Saturday. It?s a list of questions they?d like me to address before the session this coming Saturday. This is always nice, as I can group some of them and put them into an order. In this way I can give more orderly explanations.

Well, folks are still here fellowshipping and it?s 7:10 pm. They truly come together to encourage one-another (Hebrews 10:25). I will be off to find Mifun (My Fun - rice noodles.) when we finally ?disfellowshipped? : )
I went to the market and had fun finding my diner (My Fun). Praise the Lord for microwaves. The real fun was trying to communicate to the store clerk that I wanted to find the chopsticks. Before I was through, the first girl that I attempted to ask (NO ONE spoke ANY English) had gathered every employee in the market, to include those pending employment, friends, relatives, (just kidding). Finally, after much drama and pantomime on my part, I was able to convey the thought, i.e. I WANT CHOPSTICKS!!!!!!!
When I arrived back at the church I prepared ?My Fun?. Once I sat down to eat, I had a hard time staying awake long enough to eat. I don?t see how Ken Smyth does it. The man lives on three or so hours of sleep a night. I did proceed to get caught up on my Chinese news and Chinese movies. I went to bed around 11:15 pm.

June 1 (Thursday): Great night of sleep! I woke at 6:05 and played my harmonica, much to the irritation of the local cat (I wonder how cat would taste with My Fun?!)

Scott called me to tell me that the luncheon with the 20 businessmen had been canceled and that we had a luncheon scheduled with a missionary (Bruce) who has been a missionary for many years in Mongolia and other parts of China and Steve, an Australian minister of a large English speaking church in Hong Kong.

Oh, by-the-way, did I tell you that it is raining? I washed out a shirt some three days ago and it?s still soaked. Humidity runs 98-99 percent; no, I?m NOT kidding. At 99% humidity, I figure it will take about 96 more days for my shirt to dry. Actually, I?d probably have been better off leaving the shirt underwater in the sink, at least the moisture would have been consistent throughout the shirt.

A serious note: For those that do not consider the creation/evolution controversy to be an important issue, they would simply have needed to be present with me during the sessions yesterday. Many of these people are very well educated and, like in the States, evolution permeates every aspect of secular education. A thinking person is going to have a great deal of difficulty in harmonizing the postulates of evolution with the Scriptures. What most often happens is a compromise of God?s Word. I had a very successful businessman at the church I was at last Saturday sharing with me how the Old Testament was an accumulation of myths and that it was only the New Testament that was reliable. I think it would surprise many, if the truth be known, of the number of Christians that have the same view in the States, but don?t openly say so. This is even more an issue with the youth. A young person attends Sunday School and learns of Noah and the Flood. He then goes to school and learns that the flood of Noah originated with the formation of the Black Sea and that this event over the years had become tremendously exaggerated. He learns that he can not accept the natural reading of the creation account of the Bible, because the Universe is some 18-20 billion years old. It?s not long until he questions the Virgin Birth, the deity of Christ, the historicity of the Scriptures, etceteras. He comes home from college in a few years, not believing in the Bible, and parents say, ?What happened?? God?s Word begins with the Creation, and it?s important how we understand this, i.e. literal truth or some fable.

Translation: The people here would like to have my Creation Week Commentary and Creation Science Notebook translated into ?Traditional? Chinese and then ?Simple? Chinese. The combined population of Mainland China and Hong Kong is approximately 1.2 billion. The idea is to first get a copy of the works to the ministers in Hong Kong and then Mainland China. Next, to get the work into the Christian schools, and then (with the help of the Lord) into some of the secular learning institutions.

Olivia, my primary translator, is a professional translator, to include computer design and layout. I discussed this with her. The translation itself would cost $1,800.00 U.S. dollars. I am planning on having this done and would like those that would like to help with this join me. A church that would donate $500.00 toward this project would receive a finished copy of the completed works and individuals that would donate $200.00 or more would receive finished copies also. At this time I do not know what printing costs would run, but much of the printing of materials is done in Mainland China and, I am told, is relatively inexpensive.

I have not yet raised the funds to completely cover this trip, but do not believe it will not be a problem, i.e. I only sent a funds letter to five churches for this trip and will write another five churches upon my return.

Well, I just returned from walking to the market practicing my ?good morning? all the way. I don?t know how to spell ?good morning? in Cantonese, but it?s pronounced ?Joe?s Son?. I don?t know who Joe?s Son is, but he must be a Christian, because every morning is a ?good? morning.

There are many people walking around the pond that is on the way to the market, exercising --- all ages, although the majority are quite old. I see three different groups that are apparently exercise classes, and yes (you?re so sharp), they were exercising. I bought a paper and, of course, My Fun, which I will microwave shortly. Many of the people I passed this morning said, ?Good morning? and I replied with ?Joe?s Son?. To those that did not look my way I said ?Joe?s Son? to, and almost all smiled immediately and responded. I couple people stopped and began speaking to me in Chinese. I smiled and repeated ?Joe?s Son?. After doing this a couple of times, they would understand, smile, and laugh a little. As in any country, the majority of people are quite friendly.

Scott is to pick me up at 11:30 am, soooooooooooooooo it?s My Fun and Chinese news for now.

We headed off to the city of Shatin. It was like all of the cities I?ve been to, i.e. super crowded with people and super congested with traffic. It?s combat driving at the very least. At the most it?s Darwin?s theory of ?Survival of the Fittest?. If one makes an attempted to be polite, one spends the rest of their life sitting while people honk at them. It?s my perception that honking is not considered rude, it?s simply a part of how one drives a vehicle.

On the way we picked up Bruce. Bruce (from U.S. ) and his wife (from Holland) have been foreign missionaries for some 26 years. Several years were spend as missionaries in Mongolia, with most of the balance in Hong Kong. They are currently moving to Asia to begin a work near the Caspian Sea. They have three children and are completely dedicated to the work the Lord calls them too. I met Bruce at last Saturday?s session at the church where Dorcus ministers. Unbeknown to me, Bruce spoke with the senior minister at the church they are currently involved with (this is a large English speaking church) about having me in to speak before I leave Hong Kong. The senior minister?s name is Steve. We met at a relatively nice restaurant and for the first time I saw ?Cheeseburger? on the menu. Since my cholesterol level had most likely dropped to dangerously low levels, I ordered one, with bacon --- God is sooooooo good!

Steve wanted to get an idea of where I was coming from before he?d have me in to speak. I can most certainly understand this. Unfortunately, Steve does not believe the flood of Noah was a global flood, nor does he believe in a literal reading of the creation account. He believes there are two creation accounts in Genesis (I am familiar with this view). From our conversation, I don?t believe he believes that Adam and Eve were literal people. Well, we didn?t agree on much, so it wasn?t a good match. We all said good bye and the nice to meet you kind of thing. He did pay for my lunch though, for which I?m at least $8.00 American dollars grateful.


In my opinion, there are more and more elders, teachers, and ministers that do not accept the entire Bible as the inspired Word of God.

I did share with Steve on why I believe these issues to be important, especially to our youth. If we can?t take the Bible for what it clearly says relative to Adam & Eve, the creation, and the flood, what about the virgin birth? What about Jesus being God in the flesh? Steve also mentioned that he stayed away from controversial areas, as they were divisive to the church.

Note the following quote from the man referred to as ?Darwin?s Bulldog?. He was NOT a creationist, he was the primary humanist of his day:
*
If a humanist can see the importance of this issue, we Christians most certainly should.

Scott wanted to show me a little more of the city (Shatin) and Hong Kong. I took several pictures. We took a ferry boat across the bay to Hong Kong and then returned in a subway that runs beneath the bay. Hong Kong is a very impressive city. As Scott shared with me, the god of Hong Kong is money and it APPEARS to be a powerful god.
Well, I?m back at the church building (9:02 pm) making this journal entry. I must admit, I?m a little disappointed with my meeting with Steve.

Scott gave me a book to read, which I?ll begin this evening, ?God at Ground Zero? by Curt Sewell. It appears to be very interesting and a subject that has interested me for a long time, i.e. the Manhattan Project (1945 Atomic Bomb development). I find this subject interesting because Einstein?s Special Theory of Relativity gives us a little glimpse into the awesome power of the God we serve.

First thing up, a shower (I still don?t know how to work the hot water unit on the wall. A cold shower doesn?t feel bad, once you get past the cold part). Scott and I walked only a short time and I was soaked; I think the humidity was something like 136%. Not only this, but it was hot and sticky too. : )

Read the book until asleep (guess around 11:30 pm).

June 2 (Friday): I slept very well and woke at 5:50 am. I?ve now read about half of the book Scott lent me. It?s very interesting in that the author, Curt Sewell, was involved with the Manhattan Project (Atomic Bomb Development) and was old earth, as all of his fellow scientists were, and a strong believer in evolution. The book takes one through his conversion to believing Earth is young (under 10,000 years) and his acceptance of a literal reading of the creation account in Genesis.

By-the-way, did I tell you that it?s raining this morning? : ) I DO need to mention that it only rains on and off. To illustrate this point I?ll use the following explanation:

You look up and a raindrop hits you on the nose and if you look closely, you will see a raindrop one inch or so above the one that hit you on the nose. The one inch interval between these two drops is when it stops raining, i.e. ?off?. When the nex drop hits you on the nose it?s raining again, i.e. ?on?. Perhaps I should go into more detail, but this will have to surfice for now.

In addition to the book, I read an article given to me by Scott criticizing creationists for appealing to the Second Law of Thermodynamic as a rebuttal of the postulates of evolution. The article argues that there is no violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamic ?on Earth?, as the Law applies to the Universe, as a whole. Here?s the quote:
?The Law does not say that in every part of a system, at all times, entropy (this is the measurement of energy that can no longer be put to work) can only increase. If that were the case, no machine, mechanical or living, could ever work, because that?s what a machine does, temporarily and locally, entropy is decreased, at the expense of a larger, permanent increase elsewhere in the system. The Law says that in the system as a whole, in the long run, entropy must increase. And it certainly does in outflow of a reservoir that will never be refilled. We?re warming ourselves by the exhaust pipe of a huge diesel, that is gradually emptying its fuel tank. We are not breaking the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Not now, and not in the formation and evolution of life.?

The key against this argument is that when the author refers to ?machine, mechanical or living, could ever work....? he is referring to the result of intelligent intercession, i.e. machines are man-made and living is God-made. The bottom-line is that the Universe IS dying. Entropy is increasing and available matter that can be put to work (energy) is decreasing. In-other-words, in a specific location man might appear to counteract the Second Law, but in the overall system he still loses. Man?s discovery of this is what lead to the discovery of the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. When the steam engine was invented, man asked the question, ?Is there such a thing as perpetual motion?? Man pursued the answer and found it to be, ?No! Man might capture the steam, cool it to liquid, and reheat it, but the engine will eventually wear out.

Well, it?s off to the market to purchase my mornings? My Fun. I plan to practice my Ummmm-Goy and Joe?s Son all the way there and back. : )

Boy, my ?Joe?s Son? is really coming along, i.e. I only had six people that laughed at me (I have more on the golf course). I?m sorry to say that I only used my ?Ummmmmm-Goy? one time; when the clerk gave me my change at the Circle K. Yes!!! I did say, Circle K. This is where I am now going to get my morning My Fun.

Our next session is at the Chinese Seminary this evening. This is the seminary that Wing Wong, Ken Smyth, and Dave Polling started many years ago. The president of the Seminary (Dave Polling) is to be my translator; he is also a science teacher. I pray this goes well, as these students are training for the ministry. More and more seminaries in the U.S. are teaching evolution; which I find greatly alarming.
I plan to finish Sewell?s book before this evening and tweak the presentation some. I?ve been asked to speak on Creation/Evolution, or Both? So, I?ll be comparing the postulates of the philosophy of evolution with the Bible. Before I actually address this area, I will spend one hour on Faith, Fact & Proof.

As I look out the window, I notice that it?s raining. Did I mention that it?s raining? : ) But, then again, it?s only ?off? and ?on?.

Well, I finished the book, ?God at Ground Zero? by Curt Sewell. I highly recommend this book. I found nothing in the book that I disagreed with relative to creation science. It not only presents what I believe to be good creation science, but it is presented in a very understandable way.

It?s now 12:30 pm and time to head to the market for some bread. I?m considering a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. When I return I will go through my information for this evening session.

I don?t think it rained while I was walking to the market, I think I got somewhat lost and was in a river pulling myself along with my umbrella. For those of you that will get to see my pictures, you might notice that in my pictures it is NOT raining. It has rained every morning since I?ve been here, but during the rest of the day, only on and off. (Good distance between drops)

It?s now 4:20 pm and I?m drinking a little coffee and preparing for this evening. By-the-way, I prepared the coffee myself. The microwave here has really come in handy. I think I might start a cooking television show when I return to the States, ?100 Ways to Prepare My Fun & Coffee in a Microwave?

For a matter of great interest, the shirt I washed out no less than three days ago is almost dry, i.e. water has stopped pouring off of it! I think it?ll be ready to wear about mid July. The old term ?Wash & Wear? must have had it?s origin in Hong Kong.

Note: I should let you know that in these speaking sessions there are people from outside of the respective places that have come as a result of the advertisement, e.g. teachers, ministers, etc.

Well, Scott picked me up (no easy task as I continue to gain weight) and we headed off to some city that sounded like Shuai Soy Po (this may not even be close). I was to speak at the Chinese Seminary.

Getting to the specific street proved to be a real challenge, i.e. no left turns, no right turns, and when we came to a street where one was allowed to turn, it was under construction. All this really took some time. Finally, we arrived at the parking garage.

Parking Garages - Space is everything in a parking garage. Scott has a van. There are parking garages that he can not park in because the van is too large. The one?s that he can park in are ridiculously small. Most of these garages have ?lifts?, that is elevators. You drive your car into an elevator; only slightly larger than the ones for people, and go up or down to your floor. Every inch is accounted for and one had best have a free half hour or so to slowly work their car into the respective tiny space.

We finally got parked and to the Seminary. As usual, the people were very dedicated and focused on ?equipping the saints?. David Polling was my translator and did a wonderful job. He?s very animated and even got some of my dumb humor across. There were many questions and I got back to the church just after midnight.

The Seminary would like to have my Commentary on the Creation Week and Creation Science Notebook in Chinese, as there is currently no information on this subject that they know of. In this session I covered the science in support of the evolution viewpoint and the science in support of the creation viewpoint and whether or not evolution can be harmonized with the Bible. There were many questions. I was somewhat surprised to see that most of the seminary student were older.

Got to bed a little before 1:00 am and woke bright and perky at 5:50 am. Well, semi-perky anyway, AFTER my coffee. I found that one can take a coffee filter pack and use it like a tea bag.

June 3 (Saturday): I am scheduled to have lunch with Ken Smyth and his wife. Scott is to pick me up at 2:00 pm and take me to the church that I spoke at last Saturday for another two hour session. I will pick up where I left off last week. I have a copy of their questions and will address these questions before I cover the new information with them. In every session so far someone has asked the question, Where did the races come from? I tell them, probably someone saying, My donkey is faster than your donkey! : ) So that I?m not misunderstood, I do cover this subject, along with the others, e.g. life on other planets, radiometric dating methods, Noah?s flood, natural selection, the fossil record, etceteras.

I finished watching CCTV, China Central Television, out of Beijing, China?s capitol. This particular segment (news) is broadcast in English. America is presented as the ?bully? of the world, bent on furthering its? own interests and meddling where it doesn?t belong. This comes across loud and clear. There is no question, this IS communist China.

Well, now it?s off to the Circle K for My Fun. Today will most likely be a long day and I don?t want to find myself here late tonight looking at a microwave with no My Fun to put in it. Before I leave, I think I?ll take a few minutes to practice my ?Joe?s Son? in front of a mirror. I need to say this in a casual enough manner that I don?t appear to not be Chinese. : )

Ken Smyth called and I went over to his home for lunch. Ken was busy on the phone trying to solve a computer problem (to err is human; to really get things fouled up one needs a computer), so I visited with Linda. It was nice to get to know a little more about their ministry here; truly a labor of love.

After lunch Ken and I walked back to the church and Scott picked me up at 2:00 pm and we headed off to Yuen Long City for me to speak at a church. Another church had brought their youth group, so we had a good turn out; mostly youth, but also adult visitors, to include missionaries (ministers).

I was scheduled to speak from 3:00-5:00 pm, but the questions continued until 6:00 pm. The session went very well with Danny (doesn?t believe in inspiration of the O.T.) translating. I pray that his view of the O.T. changed somewhat during this session.

After the session, Dorcus took myself, Scott, Olivia, and a few of the youth out to eat at an Indonesian restaurant. Indonesia has ?My Fun? also; it was great! Along with the fellowship, even though most all of it was in Chinese. I kept saying ?Joe?s Son?. This only problem with this was that it was not morning.


I got back to the church around 8:15 pm, did a few little things and went to bed a little after 9:00 pm. I slept o.k. and woke around 4:40 am.

June 4 (Sunday): Oh, Noooooooooo! It?s NOT raining! Last day : ( Lanni came in at 7:00 am and promptly attacked the kitchen. It?s now 7:05 am and Ken just came in. Sunday School is at 9:30 am, worship service at 10:30 am, and a finial session from 3:00-5:00 pm.

When we sat us the chairs today we did it a little differently, trying to get room for more people in the same space. Space is a real challenge here for the churches. I paced off the room here, it?s 10? by 30? and it?s not a perfect rectangle. We set up the chairs for worship and rearrange them and set up tables for lunch. After lunch, we take down the tables and rearrange the chairs. It appears t me that the other churches most likely do the same. Much of the church here is made up of domestic workers from other countries that make the minimum wage at best. It would compare to your church being primarily made up of immigrant workers from Mexico. This is not only somewhat financially challenging, but all of the other challenges that come with separated families come into play also. For example, Lanni is a domestic worker from the Philippines. Her husband and three children are in the Philippines. I asked her how long this situation has existed, she said ten years. She has only been back with her family for a visit a few times during this ten years. She must work in order for them to make it financially. Separation from family is generally the case with domestic workers. These domestic workers generally sign a two year contract. At the beginning of the forth contract (year seven), they are to receive a substantial increase in pay, in keeping with Hong Kong law. Many of the contractors will not renew a contract for the forth time in order to avoid giving the employee a raise. For many that will renew a contract, it?s only under the condition that the employee not accept the pay increase --- sad.

Sunday School went well, as I dealt with the World Before the Flood, i.e. dinosaurs, how people could live so long, tectonics (continental drift), etceteras.

DNA Article: A lady from the congregation brought in an article from one of the main newspapers in Hong Kong. This paper is considered a very credible publication. She was very excited about the article, as it reported a genetic tie between Gingus Kong and a professor living in Florida. The professor was obviously Caucasian. I had spent some time on Wednesday addressing the question of where the races came from, since many were very interested in this topic. This lady was very excited about this article and the fact that it had made front page news on the very day I spoke about this subject. God is good.

God, Funerals & Dead Ancestors:

God - Olivia & I visited for quite some time last night after the sessions. She gave me some insight into Chinese culture. It seems Chinese culture IS rooted in belief in a single Creator. I found nothing objectionable from what Olivia shared with me about the Creator of ancient Chinese culture, although this is not acknowledge by the Communist Party. Several of the pictographic calligraphy letters in Traditional Chinese appear to have had a strong Biblically based influence. The pictograph for Righteousness shows ?me killing a lamb?. The pictograph for grace has a man on a cross, with another man on his left and one on the right. These pictographs may precede the birth of Christ, or may not. If they precede the birth of Christ, they may be representative of the influence of the Old Testament. If they?re post of the birth of Christ, they may be representative of the influence of first century Christianity. Of course we do not know, but I find this a matter of great interest. The traditional Chinese language goes back before the birth of Christ, but it, like other ?living? languages is in a continual state of flux.

Funerals & Dead Ancestors - Olivia didn?t know how far back the worship of ancestors goes. Once one dies, their loved ones can send them things. If you would like to send a dead loved one a television set, you make a model of it from paper and then burn the paper model. Some even burn actual articles, to include CD?s, PDA?s, clothes, etceteras. Olivia said that even as a child she didn?t understand this. Someone might burn a paper television set in order to send a television to a deceased loved one, but she never heard of someone burning a television station and wondered about this. It is a relatively common practice to send articles to departed loved ones on holidays via burning. (Just the thought of this burns me up : )

Scott ran an advertisement in the paper looking for teachers for his school. He received calls from all over, to include New Zealand, with many from Mainland China.

Scott called me about 9:00 pm to tell me that there was a documentary on one of the Chinese television stations about an expedition that went to greater Mount Ararat in search of Noah?s Ark. I went to the station and, of course, could not understand anything being said. It appeared to me that this was a relatively recent expedition and that they HAD located the Ark, Although the Ark was capsulated in ice. This would be in keeping with the information that I have at this time, i.e. the Ark is capsulated in ice, with only a small portion exposed at certain times of the year.

June 5 (Monday): It?s NOT raining! I woke at 4:10 am. Scott is to pick me up at 5:30 am and take me to the Hong Kong International Airport. Ken Smyth stopped by the church building this morning, as he saw the light on. Near as I can figure, Ken generally gets up around 4:00 am and goes on his prayer walk. We had a good visit and Scott picked me up around 5:15 am and we headed off on the 30 minute trip to the airport.

Hong Kong International Airport makes Denver International look like an airport for bush pilots. Not only is it huge and very modern, but immaculately clean.

All went smoothly with my check in, i.e. NO BALLOONS! I found myself at my gate around 6:45, with my scheduled boarding to begin at 7:35 am. The number of shops is staggering, as are the prices. I had absolutely no temptation to buy anything, as the prices were a very strong deterrent. I was able to exchange my currency from Hong Kong dollars to U.S.

As I make this entry I am on my aircraft in the same ?cushy? as on the way in. I don?t know that it?s the same specific aircraft, but all looks the same to include a broken latch on one of the serving carts. I?ve met the young man seated next to me, Felix. He returned to Hong Kong for a visit, as his parents? shop (business) was destroyed in a riot. Just in case you haven?t noticed, there are mean people in this world that do things that don?t make any sense.

I have a one and one-half hour lay over in Tokyo, which is fine since we have to unboard (there? s that word again. I did attempt to look it up in my dictionary --- it?s not there), sooooooooo, perhaps we are simply to ?get off? the airplane, go through security and reboard (no, I didn?t look it up!).

I?ve been having a good conversation with Felix. He is currently working on a master?s degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Southern California. We have spent some time discussing the Big Bang and where the races came from. Like so many, he has accepted the postulates of evolution without question. Of course it?s presented in such a way that one would be hesitant to question it, i.e. a scientific fact that no intelligent, educated person would question.

We are currently about one hour from Tokyo.

Tokyo went relatively smoothly, although going through security is quite congested. Tokyo International Airport does not begin to comp

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