Thursday, March 17, 2011

Speaking to the student body of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (HKIVE)

A wonderful opportunity awarded by the US Consulate of HK, department of Cultural Affairs to speak at the "Cultural Awareness" week for the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (HKIVE). An auditorium full of students from various backgrounds and ages were the audience. A wonderful group of leaders greeted me at the door and I was introduced immediately to some of their most outstanding students, the honor roll and shook hands with those who are about to graduate.  I had a bottle of water, my folder with notes and a bag full of Regent University goodies....these provided by our wonderful staff at RSU (thank you- students loved the red flags, pens and Regent logo balls).

Upon being contacted to represent the US Consulate as a Fulbright Scholar at events such as these, I thought of some great topics and themes. Immediately, I knew I had to present on Leadership and Vision. Given that these students are making career decisions, I felt moved to speak about personal goal setting, becoming a leader regarding your very own future. Reminding the students that leadership is not about position but about attitude, behavior and personal growth. Vision is a image of what we seek to attain, the goals lead us to that place. I quoted several leaders, noted statistics, but more importantly encouraged those listening. I voiced in many places, more than once that leadership comes from within, and that many are watching and much is learned through observation. It is about integrity, honesty, responsibility.....

So the questions came flooding out of the audience-- What about failure? is it possible to have something good from failure. Absolutely, failure gives us the opportunity to rethink to reposition and make stronger decisions. Then the next question, about hard choices in life, being confident about choosing the proper career, and it went on.  Everyone was so delighted that students engaged in such a way. Adelaide, my host and guide, was pleased and continually reminded me that this is rare to have such return.

The accomplishment is great and the encouragement was felt, but more than anything it is a seed of hope, bringing understanding that vision is important, stated strongly that without vision the people will perish. These are challenging words by the old testament prophet. The encouragement comes from knowing that we are not alone.

Japan- Weathering the tragedy

Yes.....we are very close to Japan in more ways than a mere geographic region. Our hearts are truly moved by the impact this great storm, tsunami, earthquake has shaken the ground and the many lives of people in Japan. I am reminded that our storms in life are in no comparison to Japan....but nonetheless, it is there. We board the trains, we see the news, people wear mask in Hong Kong for many reasons- it is not the radiation, more for hygiene and once you cough, you must wear one. It is a good way to stay healthy, get better quickly, and keep others from getting contaminated. The efficiency of the people here is amazing and also to watch the way in which people have weathered the aftermath in Japan. Straight lines, orderly to receive aid, to receive water, to receive food.  We have much to learn from this storm and that of our own storms in life. Read here to find out more about this issue in Japan.

As we feel the impact in many ways, it is greater for those who are Japanese, like our Chairman at the CUHK- who is Japanese and wrote to all in our department to inform that his family is in good standing, that he was able to locate a friend and his family and all is well. Our hearts, prayers go out to this great nation.

My children today came home from school announcing that they were taking a collection for the tsunami victims in Japan. Hannah, saying very confidently "they need our help, because they do not have enough water and they are our neighbor".  She was on a campaign, at six years old already looking for ways to help.

As we weather our storms in life, my constant reminder of who we are in Christ is my nephew Elisha, who is fighting for his life at the NIC unit of the children's hospital. He has been there since birth, November 18, 2010- he is a twin to Ephraim. My sister and family have beautiful children and these two little boys are precious. Elisha fights, and he is strengthen and sustained by prayers.  We can  have joy in the midst of the is difficult nonetheless, but our hope and strength comes from above.

What is your storm today?  Rest in the hands of God, for He will sustain you and give you peace.