Posted by: sammerz | 04 October, 2013

Musings on transitions in HK

Over the Hong Kong summer holidays in July/August 2013, we decided to make Melbourne our “big trip of the year”.  Steph could only afford 1.5 weeks leave, while extended my holiday in Melbourne by an extra 2 weeks (yes, I’m a teacher, we have our perks, but DO NOT say we have it easy or I will have a word with you! 😉 )

We’ve probably told our stories a hundred times over numerous cups of coffee, so for everyone and especially those whom we weren’t able to catch up with… <begin guilt trip> yes we understand, we travelled 7,400kms to get to you </end guilt trip> … here is the gist of our story:

Why Melbourne?

Originally we wanted to visit the US and Canada, but it’s time to actually catch up with my family and as many close friends as possible.  Previously, we managed two trips back since we relocated in April 2011 but those were weekend trips and much of it was catching up with family and attending a friend’s wedding!

Importance of the trip?

It marked many transitions in our time in HK:

  • I finished up teaching in Primary School, and this school year (HK school years run from September-July),  I’m teaching Mathematics in Sercondary School.
  • I also finished up helping out at Gennext, ICA’s Children Ministry.
  • We finished up leading and hosting a cell group (to be honest, we were getting very busy and almost burned out).
  • We transitioned to Matt516, a slightly older group to Rock’s 20-29ers.  Matt516 and Rock are young adult groups in ICA.

We also wanted to take a REAL break from the busyness of HK life.  Part of our itinerary was a two-night stay in Hepburn Springs.  Away from crowds, and time to chill and reflect.  The closest companions we had was a few families of kangaroo.  Also, for the first time in a long time I used a REAL oven to cook a REAL dinner!  Woo!

Catching up with close friends enabled us to reflect on the time we said goodbye and began our adventure in HK.  It gave us the opportunity to see how far we’ve come from when we left with great expectations, to how much God has blessed and grown us.

Where to now?

For many people, we’ve said that we’ll be in HK for “2 trial years”.  Those years have passed.  In fact we came up with the “2 year plan” when we roughly estimated we’ll survive in HK for 2 years without jobs and based on our savings then.  Praise God, we’ve been blessed with awesome jobs and did not have to eat into our savings.  God has opened numerous doors and provided for us every step of the way.  That said, we plan to stay in HK for another 5-6 years.  By then we don’t know if we’re meant to stay here, go back to Melbourne or go elsewhere.  We’ll see where God leads us.

Ministry wise, we are taking a “sabbatical year” until July/August next year.  We are taking a break from leading/hosting – all those “commitment-intensive” serving for now so we can rest and recharge.  However, we are still serving in church in other ways – we don’t want to just do nothing!  Steph is rehearsing with an amazing team and at the end of November will be starring in ICA’s “Because of Love” Musical.  We’re both serving in the ICA News Team…. and hopefully some day we can help out in the youth.  I know that’s where God’s called us, ever since we served the youth in Bataan, Philippines.  After all, I’m already serving the youth in my school!

Missing Melbourne

I can go on comparing so many things between HK and Melbourne such as transport or fresh air (our biggest reasons why we would choose one over the other).  But can I just be a little open for this segment.  What I do miss most about Melbourne is that it was where I was born and spent most of my life growing up.  It was the place where I first met Steph, where I dated her and where we got married.  As a result we have had so many people journey with us through these times where we made the biggest decisions of our lives and these are the people we are closest with.  Unfortunately, Hong Kong being a busy AND transient city (where people pile their agendas high and generally don’t stick around for long) means that we haven’t been able to develop such close friendships with the people here.  We have our initial prayers answered (finding a church, a small group and a mentoring couple) and we really do thank God for these people.  At the same time, it is just so hard to have just a handful we can call our “close family” here.  I know I’m rambling… but in a nutshell, we know God’s called us here and He’s got a plan for us.. so despite these thoughts, we aren’t relocating anywhere for now.  Melbourne doesn’t feel like home for us, nor HK a suitable replacement.  At the end of the day…. SGS: Steph+God+Sam… this is home for us.

Final words before the Melbourne photos…

We really appreciate our supporting family, our close friends and the many people who have been such a blessing to us.  Whether you’re 7,400kms+ away in Melbourne, here in HK or somewhere on this big blue planet… we’re thinking of you and are thankful we can share our journey with you.  Again, to those we caught up with – whether we got a proper sit-down or just a brief encounter – God bless you guys heaps… and enjoy the photos!

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