Sunday, July 16, 2017
This week in addition to our regular weekly activities we enjoyed a night of entertainment at the Hong Kong Coliseum. The Kendell’s, Chatterton’s and ourselves attended the International Military Tattoo, a show of Military bands from around the world. It opened with the flag raising ceremony and National Anthem of the People’s Republic of China. Two flags were raised in celebration of twenty years of the reunification of Hong Kong to her Motherland and the establishment of the SAR, Special Administrative Region, “One Country two Systems”. The pageantry and precision of the participants were spectacular. Bands from China, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom (Scotland), and the United States all participated. Karen and I learned first hand that the Netherlands have a fun sense of Humor and the Scotts have great respect for their Scottish legacy. The band from the Netherlands entered the arena on bicycles and the Scotts in Kilts. Playing an instrument while pedaling a bike is quite entertaining but it does not create the goosebumps of The Royal Regiment of Scotland emerging from a tunnel with the sound of drums and bagpipes playing the Ode to Joy.
We felt goosebumps a second time when the U.S. 7th Fleet Band marched into the arena dressed in their white uniforms and performed the T.V. theme song from “Peter Gunn”. The Peoples Liberation Army/Navy and the Russian Bands marched with the high goose step that we don’t see on our side of the world. It was a very interesting evening as band after band displayed great admiration and respect to their respective Countries.
The finale featured all the bands coming out on the floor together with a choir of 500 voices performing from their seats, “Tomorrow will be Better”.
Saturday, after our block of meetings the Branch held a special activity recognizing three special Sisters. The first, Sister Amai will be leaving in a week to serve in the “Manchester, England Mandarin Mission”. She is a Filipino domestic worker that has been employed here in Hong Kong for the last five years. We love her and are excited to see her have this opportunity and know she will be a very special Missionary. The other two Sisters, Amenita and Baloyot are finishing their Missions this next week. Karen and I have made it a habit to take the younger Missionaries out to lunch or dinner so that we can get to know them better. We have enjoyed multiple opportunities with these two and are really going to miss them. They are both from the Philippines and will be returning to humble environments. Although they have been very good Missionaries we worry about what future opportunities will be available to them. It is hard because we have become so emotionally attached. There are three other Sisters who serve in a different branch that will be going home with them that we are close to, and will miss as well.
The Branch activity was a good send-off with lots of food, song, and a great video presentation. Many hugs, tears, and photos were part of the evening as well as final testimonies declaring the love that is associated with Missionary work. We hope that these Sisters will do well returning to a life far short of the comforts that await us when we finish our service. We realize that if we don’t gain anymore from this experience than a sure knowledge of how blessed we are it was not for wont, and that the meek truly will inherit the earth.
This week we said goodbye to 3 Sister Missionaries. Sister Baluyot (top) and Sister Amenita (bottom right), have been serving here in Hong Kong and are leaving to return to the Phillipines. Sister Amai (bottom left), is from the Phillipines, she lives here in Hong Kong, and is leaving this week to serve in the Manchester England, Cantonese Speaking Mission. We love these Sisters. They are always so happy, and they love serving our Heavenly Father. What a blessing it has been these past 9 months to get to know and love them!