It’s now been over a year since we moved into St Stephen’s Society’s new man houses in Hong Kong. In this time, we have learnt so much about so many different things from living in community with people from other cultures, different aspects of parenting and learning a new language; to developing patience, trying to meet the needs of the poor and learning more about what it means trying to live by faith. Although we’ve already learnt so much, we’re sure we will probably spend the rest of our lives finding out more about all of these things.
Over the last week, we have had to practise a lot of these things. Our patience, in particular, has been tested this week as two typhoons and a bout of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) have kept the boys and Joelle locked away inside. The first typhoon was a T10 (hurricane force winds) and happened to fall on our only day off, leaving us stuck indoors without any hope of escape. Unfortunately for Asher, the next day he fell victim to the dreaded hand foot and mouth disease and was covered in itchy and painful blisters. His feet in particular were so irritated from the blisters that he couldn’t sleep, which meant that we also didn’t sleep. Some friends from the UK happened to be in Hong Kong and brought us some British chocolate (infinitely better than HK chocolate) which helped to ease the pain of the week a little. Unfortunately for them, the second typhoon happened to hit just as they were due to fly back to England. This time it was a T8 typhoon, which came very close to HK. The good news is Asher’s virus seems to have passed now and he is back to his energetic self, keeping us on our toes.
We have seen a lot of brothers come and go from the New man house in our time with St Stephen’s. Our hope is that once they have finished their time here, they move on the next stage houses. However, sometimes they will decide they don’t want the help and will leave. Often these brothers find themselves back in the same situations that they left to come to receive help in the first place, but are not ready to make healthy choices to avoid making the same mistakes.
Recently, we have begun to see a lot of brothers returning because they know that they can receive the help they need here. Whilst its sad to see some of these guys returning having taken drugs again, we have come to realise that each time a brother returns, he receives more and more healing and grows his relationship with God. The more time we spend with the brothers here, the more we realise how similar we are, but we just have different struggles. The main difference being that the brother’s struggles with drugs can be so damaging to their bodies. But we too, just like the brothers here, are on a journey to experience more of the freedom that knowing God more intimately brings.
The forecast is for another typhoon to hit Hong Kong this weekend so we would appreciate your prayers for safety.