Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving and Advent are EAR

Hey Y’all,
Greetings from Hong Kong.  Sorry it has been so long since my last update.  The past month has been very busy to say the least!  A few weeks back we had a conference here in Hong Kong for the East Asia Region of the Mission to Sea Farers (we decided to go by EAR for short).  It was absolutely amazing to be part of the process of discernment for future of the regional mission and to meet chaplains from all over East Asia.  There were chaplains from South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, and of course Hong Kong.  The spirit was present throughout the conference, and talking to all of these men about their experience working for the mission and life in general was truly a blessing. The last day of the conference was also the Annual Maritime Charity Dinner hosted by the Hong Kong Mission to Sea Farers.  The event was a great success and we ended up raising a little over 1.5 million HKD (a little less than 200,000 USD)!  It felt amazing to be part of such a successful conference and fundraiser.
The EAR chaplains and a Bishop!  From Left to Right
Top-  Gram Weaver (Australia), Luca Ferrerio (Hong Kong), Peter Maninuthu (Singapore), Simon Ro (South Korea), Paul Tolhurst (Japan), Andrew Dangerfield (Japan), Samuel Akio Yoshino (Japan), Me
Bottom- Stephen Miller (My supervisor and the regional director), Bishop Andrew Nakamura, John Bell (Thailand)

Chaplain Selfie at the Gala!

Thanksgiving was also a blast!  I ended up celebrating with two good friends, Libby and Beth.  They are serving in Hong Kong with the Methodist Church’s version of YASC and are genuinely amazing human beings.  We ended up going to a BBQ place for Thanksgiving dinner.  This place had authentic NC style BBQ (the best kind of BBQ)!  Who would have thought that a comfort food of that sort would exist halfway across the world?  I was a little sad to be away from so many friends and family for Thanksgiving, but then I remembered something Momma Davis tells me when I feel a bit homesick.  “Think about the sea farers.”  Some of these men have not been home for four Christmas’ in a row!  Mom always tends to put things into perspective very well. 
As we come into this advent season I ask that you pray for the seafarers of the world every day.  Remember that there would be no Black Friday deals or Christmas shopping or even a majority of the foods for Christmas dinner if it were not for these men.  Remember that there are people who have not seen their families in over a year and who will not be home for Christmas.  Remember that these same people make sure we can have the luxuries that we do. Please pray for the sea farers of the world.
On a final note, thanks to all that have donated to this mission experience so far.  It means more to me than I could ever express through this blog.  I am however still fundraising, so if you are feeling extra generous please donate.  If donating is not an option I ask that you keep me in your prayers. 
I love and miss all of you!
Peace, Justin

P.S. donations can be sent to Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 8 N. Laurel St, Richmond, VA 23220.  Please include Justin YASC in the memo.  

Ship visiting in the port

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