Monthly Archives: February 2014

New Day South

Benjy, the kids and I just got back from spending some time visiting Doug and Janice Bush and their daughter, Sarah Grace.  Here are goofy pictures of us at KTV, which is a fancy karaoke establishment.  French provincial décor is very big here.   

2014-02-10 07.56.35


The Bushes are family members of mine and they live just a two-hour ferry ride away from Hong Kong in a city called Zhongshan in mainland China.  Due to a couple of divorces, remarriages and various blended siblings in the mix, it gets a bit complicated for me to explain exactly how we’re related.  But, it is a wonderful thing that Jesus is in the business of redemption and has redeemed all of that familial dysfunction to bring the Bushes into our lives.  We likely would never have otherwise had the honor and pleasure of meeting them and getting to know the amazing ministry of which they are apart. 

Having said all of that, I think the most direct way to explain our family relation is to say that Doug and Janice are my half-sister’s mother and father-in-law.  There that wasn’t too bad.

Doug, Janice and their daughter, Sarah Grace work with a ministry called New Day Foster Home.  Based in Beijing, New Day Foster Home provides life-saving surgeries and a loving home to orphans with special needs.  Sixty percent of China’s orphanages, however, are located in the southernmost provinces of China.  New Day Foster Home wanted to do more for the children in these orphanages.  So that’s where the Bushes came in.  They opened a southern branch of New Day Foster Home in Zhongshan several years ago.  This southern branch is called New Day South. 

Benjy, the kids and I spent time holding the babies and playing with the toddlers. Because much of the children’s young lives are devoid of any human affection, they soak up every ounce of love and snuggling you give them.  It grabs your heart and it’s life-changing to be around them.

I’m not permitted to post pictures of the children on my blog, but you can visit New Day Foster Home’s website at

Please join me in prayer for the children and for the Bushes.  They do the work to which the Lord has called them joyfully, but I know (now firsthand) that it isn’t easy to be in a foreign country struggling with the language and cultural differences.  It can be lonely and isolating, so they need your prayer support for encouragement and assurance.

Doug and Janice provide inspiration to Benjy and me to stretch our faith further and do more to advance the Kingdom.  We look forward to spending more time with them and, of course, holding and loving on the precious babies.

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year!  This is our first time experiencing Chinese New Year and it has been quite an interesting look into the biggest celebration in China.  Think Christmas, New Year and Easter all wrapped into one and that about sums up the importance of this holiday to the Chinese.  

The Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar and not the Gregorian calendar used by western countries.  This year, Chinese New Year began on January 31 and will continue for 15 days.    

Preparations for Chinese New Year begin weeks before.  People adorn their homes and businesses with bright colored decorations (especially the color red) because bright colors chase away evil spirits. 

stationary store


Bright-colored flowers and kumquat trees are purchased for good luck.




Three days prior to Chinese New Year, tradition requires that everything be thoroughly cleaned.  It’s considered bad luck to begin the new year with “old dirt.” Restaurants and other businesses pull everything out of their shops and meticulously sanitize from floor to ceiling.  People paint and freshen up their homes.  If something is not in proper working condition, it is either repaired or replaced.  For me personally, this was my favorite tradition and I especially appreciated seeing the restaurants undergoing a thorough decontamination.  Once everything is spic and span, cleaning cannot commence again until after Day 1.  Otherwise, you could wash away all the good luck that you worked so diligently to generate through your cleaning on the days prior.

Young children dress in traditional Chinese garb.


The dragons come out to scare off evil spirits and bless the businesses and homes around town.

orange dragon

long dragon

Of course, a good Chinese celebration would never be complete without a spectacular fireworks display and I’d expect no less from the inventors of the pyrotechnics. 

CNY Fireworks 3

CNY Fireworks 2

CNY Fireworks 1

In all, the show lasted 26 minutes and did not disappoint.  We had some of our own good fortune and were able to enjoy the display away from the crowds and up on the 30th floor of a hotel right on Victoria Harbor.  The “good fortune” was courtesy of all the hotel reward points we generated after living in a hotel for month!   

 So, when you’re finally sick of all of the traditional food and too much up-close and personal time with family, where does one go in China to get a bite to eat when EVERYTHING is closed?

pizza hut

That’s right…Pizza Hut!  Note the line out the door. 

It seems a lot of you are just as amused as I am about the dog adoration that goes on over here, so I’ve decided to drop in dog of the day (“DOD”) shots as I come across some photo-worthy pooches.

I saved this pic for last.  I took it right as I was getting off the MTR.

Wait. For. It.

cool dog2

Note that he is wearing a traditional Chinese top.  There were quite a few people taking photos of him so his human was telling him to “wait” and then “smile” and that’s when he stuck out his tongue.