My Provider has been noticeably with me wherever I’ve been thus far! It’s incredible to see His hand move right before my eyes on this trip. Through many circumstances He’s shown His love and favor for His children as Jen Chen and I have been traveling. Even before the trip began, unknown variables were met with satisfaction such as the ability to bring every single gift people had given us to send out for the people here in Macau into our four very large bags, with one of the bags even totaling 81lbs!
Even before the bags, to give testimony to His omniscience, He decided to have Jen be the person whom I’d be traveling with. He knows I’m completely ignorant with anything having to do with traveling (ex. “How do I buy tickets? How do I know if cameras are allowed into Macau, and what size? What kind of money do I use out there?” ect.) and I saw right before my eyes in the HSE hallway Jen Chen cross my path asking if and when I’m going to Macau to see Rusty. She had the same destination, and same time-period of traveling, same heart to aid Rusty and all of the people of Horizon Macau. Why should I be surprised? We have the SAME GOD!!!
When we touched down in Macau from Tai Pei, Seth Aguilar picked us up at the airport and we all headed straight over to the bachelor pad. With rain drizzling, and thick grey clouds covering the city, Macau was at an unexpected 55 degrees. It usually doesn’t get that cold until late December! It’s so interesting how the city is constructed too. As we drove to Horizon Macau, I noticed the city was very densely populated. There were high-rises (at least 15 stories tall) everywhere, with the shops/grocerystores/ect. on street level, and maybe up to the second story. These aren’t business buildings though, or clean offices like I’m used to seeing in San Diego or that I’ve been immersed within while my family visited New York City. From any point in Macau, there is always multiple high rise apartments blocking your view from any direction, and sometimes the sky itself above you is not to be found!
We dropped by the apartment to unload our gifts to the guys that we brought from San Diego from ourselves and their family and friends. After getting settled a bit, Jen and I were escorted on foot by Seth about 6 blocks away to the church. Horizon Macau is nestled within the Fai Chi Kei district, which means “chop sticks”, (given it’s name because beggars would sit on street corners with a bowl and pair of chopsticks, begging for food to be put into their bowl to eat) and is wedged at the foot of a common dirty 20 story apartment building. As we approached, I noticed children from the neighborhood were playing soccer outside of the church, and a group of gamblers were casting their away their hopes no more than 50 feet away. There in front of the church, we met up with Rusty, and other people who have come along side Rusty in leadership named Tim, Pete, Pete’s wife Kathleen, and all of their children along with other church members.
Horizon Macau is at the base of these tall apartment buildings, just behind that tree
By this time it was noon, and after quick greetings and a brief discussion of Jen and my travels, off to lunch we went! Rusty decided where to go, and he lead us to a busy and noisy family-style tea house a few blocks away where we immediately were served a verity of dim-sum! Oh my... so yummy...
As a part of the culture in Macau, restaurants offer boiling water in a dish at your table so you can dip and rinse any bowls or chopsticks you are provided with to sterilize them, mainly because of the different viruses that pass through China. Seating about 16, we all had a lovely lunch being introduced with each other and fellowshipping in Him. Along with new smells, sights, teas, tastes, and cultures, I got to try an interesting dish as well: chicken feet!!! Bones and all (no skin), they weren't my favorite, but weren't half bad either ;)
We soon walked back to the church, where everyone commenced the weekly Sunday school (because it was Sunday in Macau, being 15 hours ahead of San Diego), and we had fun with the kids. I was able to get some great footage of Rusty’s children leading worship, and Kitty teaching the little ones about Jesus and His simple yet profound love for each person on the earth. After sunday school, Rusty, Jen, Tim and I got to really speak in private as they told Jen and I what things would be looking like roughly over the next few weeks. I enjoy their company very much - wonderful men of God. They toured us around the church where we learned of their neighbors who are into witchcraft and such, and gave us a better picture of the confusion of the culture’s views toward the deceased within their family, and the food offerings they make to them. Incense filled each alley we walked down as Rusty explained how the ground god needed daily sacrifice, and how the heaven god operated too. So much confusion with these people... so much
Jen and I went our separate ways. She was staying with Pete & Katz apartment, while I crashed with the guys in their very small 3 bedroom apartment. I was so whipped out by this time from jet lag, that the only way I could function was the energy provided from being in a completely foreign environment. My mind still raced and body still worked hard to stay awake as it was in survival mode. Pretty funny to see my reaction to a new place, but so much fun! I really enjoy just fully embracing a new culture, asking questions, and figuring things out within it.
I was able to make it until 7:30pm Macau time before crashing on the inflatable ground pad I packed. And praise God! I didn’t have a blanket and Robert Stacy (another missionary from SD) brought home a comforter randomly from the church just in case he’d need it sometime! I got to pass out from sleep deprivation knowing God had my back and would take care of all my needs :)
It rained very hard that night, and I didn’t wake up for 12 hours. Day 1 was so blessed!
+ The guy’s apartment:
- 3rd story
- 3 bedrooms, a living room, bathroom, kitchen, and balcony
- Hot water shower, propane heated
- About 350 square feet
- They haven't moved in fully with anything because they might not be able to stay in Macau for technical governmental reasons (unfurnished)
- Propane stove
- I’m crashing in Robert’s room
+ They use toilet paper used for everything, including napkins (they’re poor!)
+ Cover your mouth while using a toothpick
+ Rain is very uncommon in Macau, but overcast weather isn’t
+ Currency: USD 1:7.8 Patacas
+ Budism/Taoism most popular religions by far
+ Incense stands are built in front of most homes/stores for ancestors
+ Traffic is on the opposite side of the road
The book of Ephesians has been blessing me alot on this trip so far. Please pray I can be used for more than a video's production - that I can be appart of God's work here in Macau. And also, as always, for wisdom.