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Yes, I along with most of the humans in the Western hemisphere have seen many movies with exotic scenes of Hong Kong as the backdrop. Suave and daring secret agents raced through town wrecking havoc as they chased enemy spies or ran desperately away from blazing guns and razor-sharp knives. Whether it was during the day or night, on land or splashing through the water or flying massive airplanes between tall skyscrapers, this city was the stage for mysteries, adventures and drama.
Now, for the first time in our lives my bride and I are in Hong Kong. We are seeing sites that we only remember from the silver screen. They are spectacular when we are in the middle of those sensational scenes.
It is crowded. Throngs and hordes and crowds of people are going everywhere. The sounds of so many accompany the masses.
Yet, when it is time for many to board a bus, a tram or a subway train, the people are orderly. They queue up and patiently wait in line. There is absolutely no one cutting into line. Such order in the middle of such chaos is a stunning sight to take in.
Then, of course the city lights at night has to be a famous feature of this city. Whether we gazed at Hong Kong island or took the Star Ferry and looked back on Kowloon, the lights of the city were festive in an unforgettable way. I don’t remember the last time I walked through a city at night and felt no fear, but this was a welcomed experience.
Our hosts told us that we would feel quite secure in walking the city at night. No pick pockets, no racial unrest, there were no shady characters waiting to rob anyone and no dark recesses that hid nefarious activities.
Man-made buildings and transports were features of the city. Now, it was God’s turn. From the top of Victoria Peak we scanned the gorgeous islands that made up Hong Kong. Each protrusion from the waters of the bay were a powerful reminder that God did His handiwork to make this natural harbor a home for one of man’s freest enterprise markets in human history.
Setting aside human structures and stunning vistas the most remarkable feature of this special city are its people. We have special friends here who call Hong Kong home. They welcomed us into their hospitality and we thoroughly enjoyed the embrace of love.
photos by brucefong photography
The drive from the South area of Bangkok to the North area where our hotel is situated is a long drive. That lengthy commute is extended when it is rush hour traffic. But, the views are sensational and leave an indelible impression on my soul.
Mid-rise dwellings abound in Bangkok. These small uniform apartments collect human beings in family units throughout the landscape of this beautiful country. I will meet very few of these people face to face.
When our commute took us off of the tollways system and plunged us into the streets of the city, faces attached themselves to the masses of this countries millions. The Thai people are famous world-wide for their cheerful smiles and clasped hands and bowed head. There were countless people sharing that interchange along our route.
Yet, I would know very few of their names. I would know less about their lives. Even less would ever cross my path as a friend.
Millions of people scurried about, shopping, eating, commuting, conversing and laughing. Some were making a living selling, cooking, driving, delivering, guarding, guiding and an endless list of other activities of a city. How many human brains would it take to know each one and follow each of their lives?
Yes, that’s definitely an impossible human task. Yet, it gave me a chance to realize how BIG God is. He knows all of their names.
Not only does God know each of their names, He knows each of their lives. There are no overlooked issues. Even the smallest of details of all of our lives are known by God.
He doesn’t stress over an overload of information. He is never threatened by a limit of His knowledge. Nor does He become so busy that He doesn’t have time for us.
The God of the Bible is the God who is not just attentive to our needs, He is fully engaged in inviting us to be in His family. He makes that possible through His Son’s sacrifice on the cross. Jesus died for everyone without exception.
Do you feel left out? Are you overwhelmed with matters of life? Has life become so troubled that you feel forgotten and ready to give up?
God loves you. He knows every detail about your life and circumstances. Not only is He aware of your situation, He controls all of them as well. Turn to Him in faith; it will be the best decision you have ever made.
Our guide was waiting for us at the Concierge’s desk. She did her best to communicate with us in English and her efforts paid off as we got used to her vocabulary and accent. There was a lot of pointing but also plenty of laughter and the typical overabundance of Thai smiles.
The drive through the city of Bangkok took over an hour. She reminded us that the traffic was unusually light. Our trip home would be a bit longer due to the rush hour.
Nevertheless, she made the trip interesting. She pointed out the highest building in Bangkok, the United Nations headquarters of Asia, the Army base, various hospitals, Thailand’s best university, the picture of the King and his mother, the local grocery store and the names of the rivers that we passed over. This must have been a route that she had guided many times in the past.
Finally, we rolled up to the Thai Cultural Center. There we strolled the grounds and took in the pristine water features with quaint bridges, examples of Thai agriculture of rice, lemon grass and water lilies. Then, we lingered long at the display of women harvesting silk from silkworms and spinning it into thread and then weaving into amazing scarves.
Then, it was time for the cultural show. Elephants, dancers, martial artists and musicians gave us a massive portrait of the Siam that became Thailand. The climax came with the traditional bamboo dance that originated in the northern parts of Thailand.
The dancers came into the crowd to seek volunteers to join them. I was self-controlled and tried not to embarrass my family name so I gripped the seat that I was occupying with two tightly knitted fists. Really, I could have done it!
On the way out of the parking lot our driver got excited. He pointed ahead and slowed down. That’s when the large monitor lizard of about 4 feet long casually walked across the asphalt looking for the nearest body of water to do some evening fishing.
The long drive back to our hotel took us through Bangkok traffic. It is no fun. But, it did afford me some opportunities for some fun photo shoots.
The famous Asian Tuk Tuk filled me frame. Tiny 125cc motor scooters were the vehicle of choice for many locals. They could easily zip here and there.
Safely back at our hotel, I just sat down and rested through dinner. Images of smiles, dancers and a bustling city danced through my mind. Bangkok is a delightful city full of treasures for the eye and a lasting memory.
photos by brucefong photography
The medical staff ushered me into the examination room and Dr. Wan introduced himself. He is in his 70’s and slight of build and very gentle in manner. When he explains his practice and why he does what he does, you feel like you are hearing Yoda give a lesson about life.
My appointment was with Dr. Wan at 4PM on my day off. It was tough to make it from my truck into the waiting room. The pain in my back was agonizing.
Traditional Western medicine provided temporary but very limited relief from the back pain. I had been trying almost every option from shots to pills to physical therapy. Even surgery was starting to look like a viable option.
I would not say that my foray into the Eastern world of therapy was a desperate move. It was one of several options that was on my short list. Pain has a horrible way of making itself at home and disrupting every facet of your routine.
Simple tasks like putting on shoes was agonizing. Walking any length even to put out the garbage at the curb was punishment. Standing still for worship at church was more like penance for the sins of many lives. It just hurt.
As Dr. Wan went on with his questions, I was reaching the limits of my self-control. Reluctantly, I broke into Dr. Wan’s discourse, “I’m sorry but I am in so much pain now, I can hardly listen to what you are saying.” Then, he went into action.
“Let me take of that right now,” he calmly assured me. He was down on one knee. With his left hand he grabbed my right knee. My left foot was firmly in his grasped.
The strength of he two grips was remarkably powerful. That’s when the surprise of his moves startled me into the reality that my back pain was subsiding at a breakneck speed. “How did you do that?” A few moments more of his technique and he simply smiled, “Let’s start your acupuncture and take care of this problem on a more permanent basis.”
He did not have to ask me twice. From literally breaking out in a painful sweat to being relaxed and under control, I rehearsed in my mind what just occurred. No pills, no painful manipulation, no fancy machines but just the right grip of an experienced man set my pain back into the “no problem” category.