Saturday, February 24, 2007

Praise God!!

I am in Beijing for a leisure trip and will be returning to Hong Kong tomorrow.

It was a great trip of many breathtaking sights... and I am thankful for a miracle: I left my cell phone on a taxi in Beijing last night... and got it back today!! Miracle! Praise God!!

The funny thing for me is... this is not the first time I've lost my cellphone... the last time, I left it at the Toronto Pearson airport and got it back later that night too. =p

All in all, I can only ascribe to God's goodness. Praise God!!

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Well, I think one of the biggest dilemmas this year is having to give out red pockets.. no no, nothing happened to my marital status =p but it seemed to be a general *spoken* rule that all managers and up have to give red pockets to people "under". [Thinking back to my co-op days, I guess I got red pockets from my managers too.]

It's just a funny dilemma... how much to give... whether to give more to people we directly work with... whether we should give red pockets to the tea lady or not (she's probably the biggest gainer out of all people, haha...) [the dilemma is that she is attitude-y and doesn't give water to everyone... just the partners, haha, well, she doesn't acknowledge the presence of anyone who is a senior or under, I guess]... and then arguing the "netting out" amongst us managers [managers are one class.. no differentiation of seniority among the manager group, as in, I don't need to give to new managers.] Anyway, it's funny.

At least, I only need to give a few as our group is small without many seniors and no staff!

It's funny how things revolve around the money.. but to me, I think the part that bugs me the most is how it is engrained as an "expectation" in the culture (hence the "spoken" rule... not just an unspoken rule). In Toronto, I am more than happy to take people out for lunch and dinner because I'm just happy to do it.

And it doesn't necessarily change how I am here, except that people just joke about everyone else paying that it becomes to an awkward extent, and then I already don't want to take anyone out any more. [Maybe it comes down to people are more visibly and proudly 'gu hon'.]

At the same time, I know that is part of my problem about being spiteful whenever I *sense* that people have an expectation on myself. [As in, if I feel that you expect something of me, then, I'll purposefully not do it.] Haha... this came about at a young age when my mom used to wake me up by turning my lights on, and in my head I always thought, "All right, i'll get up once you turn the lights off!" Of course, neither way really worked, hahaha.

And as for the red pockets, I am happy to give them to people who are humble about it (and especially if they've helped me on my engagements). The other part that kind of bugs me is the "public display" of praises and well-wishes... which, I am sure comes from the heart (though, usually, it's to "get" the red pockets)... but, I guess the problem is just me. That's not my style as I prefer words that are generally more informal and *real*, not need to be seen and heard by the public eye and hears. And the same goes for this for the "giver" of the red pockets... I think I'll pull my seniors aside to do it...

Sigh, a difficult part of the culture to deal with for me!

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy New Year! We welcome in the year of the Pig... guess the only difference this year is that I get a couple of days off for CNY. =p [Also, Happy belated Valentine's Day!]

It was great to have multiple E&Y/ex-E&Y meals (haha... some things don't change...), it has also been a joy to enjoy fellowship time with old and new friends... to share our continued story God's blessings and our continued challenges as we seek and discern his will.

It was also fun to have people over at the little Taikoo inn =p (no problem with 4 ppl here! Though, one bathroom does make it difficult sometimes!) And whoever would like to visit, I will try to welcome you with Chinese soup!! haha

Here are Ray & Sandra, great examples of humble servants of Christ.

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I just finished reading The Alchemist (haha, one of the rare books of fiction on my bookshelf... I'll get to Da Vinci Code sometime... though, not sure if I left it in Toronto or not.)

Other than being a delightful read, what impressed me the most was the smoothness of the writing. I thought he did an interesting (and very good) job of intermingling the spirituality of Islam, Christianity, folk religion and Eastern mysticism (e.g., pantheism).

It's inevitable for me to see integration in all that I encounter (part of how I learn, I think). I love thinking about the "application of principles" from one area to another (say, accounting to theology, or secular management into a Christian environment). So, the principles in this book, despite the mixture of spiritualities, are aligned to principles which I deeply value.

In the spirit of the lifelong search of finding the Soul of the World, I relate to idea of a lifelong quest for wisdom by noticing the caravans while reading my books. I've started to learn to listen to my heart... especially in understanding the tensions of the heart as an interesting "check and balance" as presented here. I like to think I live in the present and eat when it's time to eat, not dwelling too much in the past or worrying too much about the future. And I am reminded of the tidbit of wisdom at the beginning of the book, to see the marvels of the world but not to forget the drops of oil in the spoon...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Community of Believers

Finding Kong Fok Church (KFC) continues to be a blessing and a huge affirmation for my move here. [I was probably 90% close to deciding on another church but thought I would try out KFC to say that I "tried" another church.]

As I reflect on this simple idea of finding a suitable church, I find it amazing that this fellowship and community here, unbeknownst to them, is exactly the answer to the prayers of a group of brothers and sisters in Christ halfway around the world -- a connection is drawn.

In this way, you, who were part of my "old" community back in Toronto, continue to form a foundation for my community now.

And in this way, you, who are part of my "new" local community in Hong Kong, have now been extended not just by one person, but by many supporting brothers and sisters across the globe. I am sure there will be opportunities to gradually meet these supporters over time!

To me, it’s a simple realization. Though I rationally know in my mind that we form part of the "Big C" Church of the community of believers, perhaps it is this tangible connection of connected communities that has opened my eyes. It never ceases to amaze me of the reality of the bond that we have in the Holy Spirit; to experience the (immediate) connections drawn on a spiritual level, the joy and encouragement that are shared.

This joy is furthered when traveling or working at a different office and I have the opportunity to share in fellowship with those I have just met. It doesn't matter what job we have or our level of education, or where we grew up or where we now live; our souls are saved through Jesus Christ and we know there is something to look to in eternal life in heaven. And we simply celebrate through fellowship and the breaking of bread; it's a joy that is beyond words…

I integrate back to my reflections in my final paper which described the role of the church in the current culture. I believe that such authenticity in person-to-person relationships is a key aspect, and hope that I can remember this in my relationships, and even in this blog.

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Friday, February 02, 2007

After all these years, perhaps it's time for a change! [Maybe not, if my problems with Blogger are resolved in the near future...]

But please, consider also checking out the new Balance.
General feeling of homesickness

Perhaps it is the end of a 3-4 month typical "honeymoon period" since I arrived here on October 2, coinciding with my mom leaving, the start of my work busy season, plus perhaps some other physiological reasons as well!

I've always been quite independent, so coming into this (i.e., after moving to Hong Kong) I kind of wondered how the feeling of homesickness would manifest itself for me. From breaking down this compound word, I wasn't sure if I would really miss home that way... though deep down I probably do, in terms of the stability and knowledge that there would always be people home, even if I always returned home late and didn't see my parents until the weekend anyway... No doubt, I miss my many good friends whom I used to seek (and of course, still do) for spiritual support. With technology, it has definitely been much easier to keep in touch, and perhaps even more than before in the morning and the evenings!

The purpose of this is not to lament... I acknowledge these are very real emotions for me (believe it!! even though I generally hide them!!) and to further the understanding of my human condition. I believe it is critical for us to come to terms with emotions and recognize they are an integral part of being created in the image of God... to realize that Jesus similarly felt deep emotions when he wept for Lazarus... or, to recognize the depth of God's emotions as a metaphor when we turn away from Him.

I remember one of my original objectives in moving away from Toronto was to experience living by God's grace and test my faith by going out of my comfort zone; although Hong Kong is already as close to my comfort zone as "outside" gets! But it is through going through this short valley (and hardly a dark valley at that) that we remember Christ's promises, his providence, and his grace, all sufficient for us.

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.