It’s been a while since we were last able to write a blog post and it feels like a lot has gone on in the meantime:
We had a very different Christmas here compared to what we are used to back home and it wasn’t just the warmer weather. Even though, growing up, both of our parents would welcome people who couldn’t be with their own family to share our Christmas dinners, spending this years festive season with 15 recovering addicts and their family was quite a change. All in all there were around 60 people sharing a traditional layered Chinese Hot Pot (a bit like a meat fondue) called Pun Choi.
Everyone on site met for a celebration on Christmas morning and it was a great opportunity for the family of the brothers in our block to see how much they had changed for the better as they receive more and more healing. The celebrations were simple and understated with only a few presents shared. Whilst we missed sharing the time with our own family and friends, it was refreshing to have such a simple time without the commercial distractions to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
After Christmas, there were further celebrations with New Year’s Eve and Micah’s 3rd birthday, both of which were quite low key and, being honest, were times when the presence of family and friends from back home from back home were missed.
It hasn’t just been celebration after celebration here; there have been quite a few changes in the house that we work in. Previously, we were only working with the second stage brothers: Men who have been here on site for a while (6 months +) and get more responsibility, freedom and also opportunities to train in helping others. Recently, we also began to welcome into our block addicts who are in the process of coming off drugs (New Boys). They will have someone with them at all times of the day and night ‘dutying’ them to help meet their physical needs and to pray for them whilst they go through withdrawal.
This has been inspiring and challenging. We have seen both sides of drug withdrawal here- brothers going through almost unbearable pain as they come off heroin and also miraculous answers to prayer as other brothers have come off the same drug pain free after unsuccessfully attempting to ‘get clean’ many times before. It has been really encouraging to see the brothers change and their hearts soften as they receive healing and deal with the roots of their additions.
Speaking and understanding Cantonese is still very hard, although we have recently began a course at a language school near my parents house. We will let you know how that goes and if it makes any difference another time. Finally, we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has sent us gifts, cards and letters. We really enjoy hearing from you as it keeps us going and is really encouraging. We are very grateful!