Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Young Life- still rockin' after all these years!

Many of you may or may not know that the ministry of Young Life has played a central role in our lives over the years. Lisa spent almost ten years working for Young Life and when Luong met Lisa, he took the initiative to dive in head first. Volunteering in the Delaware community and even giving up a month in the summer of 1997 (at age 30) to serve at a Young Life camp in Virginia.

More recently we have moved into the roles of Adult Committee Support. Lisa works with local pastors, business persons, and parents to promote YL in the community along with support our college age volunteers. Luong works more directly with the volunteers- providing behind-the-scenes support every Monday night at club. Here you can see him moving a table for a skit.

As we celebrate the 10th year of YL in Delaware, we are seeing more kids than ever coming to our weekly meetings (over 80 this week!). The leaders work tirelessly to build relationships with teenagers so that they may "earn the right" to share the transformative love of God with them!

To find out more about Young Life visit their website www.younglife.org.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bono makes Top 10!

I know you've heard me go on and on about this guy- but I'm not the only one!

They are the 25 most influential people of the past 25 years — those who changed our world, transformed technology, mapped the human body and affected the way we relate to one another.

Bill Gates (AP)

1 Bill Gates, software entrepreneur

His Microsoft software shaped the way millions use the technology that has transformed communications and commerce — making him the world’s richest man and, now, a leading philanthropist.

Ronald Reagan (AFP)

2Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. president

Elected in 1980 and re-elected in 1984, he put the United States on a more conservative course, restored buoyancy and confidence in the presidency and forged a partnership with a reformist Soviet leader that helped end the Cold War.

Oprah Winfrey (AP)

3Oprah Winfrey, talk show host

As a talk-show host, first at WLS-TV’s AM Chicago in 1984, she pioneered a form of intimate public discourse that brought taboo subjects into the open and sparked a confessional, self-help culture.

Dr. Craig Venter, left (USA TODAY); Dr. Francis Collins, right (GNS)

4&5Francis Collins & J. Craig Venter, mappers of the human genome

The Human Genome Project headed by Collins and a parallel private effort by Celera Genomics under Venter jointly announced the mapping of the human genome in 2000, opening the door to breakthroughs in identifying, treating and preventing the world’s most feared diseases.

Osama bin Laden (AP)

6Osama bin Laden, terrorist

For most Americans, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, by the al-Qaeda network he leads marked the beginning of a global battle against radical Islamists 12 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of the Cold War.

Stephen Hawking (USA TODAY)

7Stephen Hawking, physicist

In the tradition of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, he explored the nature of the universe. He popularized science, wrote the best-selling A Brief History of Time in 1988 and remains a puckish personality despite being severely disabled by Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Lance Armstrong (AP)

8Lance Armstrong, cyclist and cancer activist

He won a record-breaking seven consecutive Tour de France races, cycling’s most prestigious event, after battling testicular cancer. Sales of his iconic "Livestrong" wristbands have raised millions of dollars to help fight cancer.

Pope John Paul II (AFP)

9Pope John Paul II, pontiff

Polish-born Karol Jozef Wojtyla helped propel a peaceful revolution in Poland in 1989 that ended Soviet domination and reverberated through Eastern Europe. In a 26-year papacy, he defined the Roman Catholic Church’s role in modern times.

Bono (AFP)

10Bono, rock musician and activist for Africa

Born Paul Hewson, the lead singer of the Irish rock band U2 has shrewdly pressed world leaders to forgive third-world debt and address the AIDS pandemic in Africa.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

These last few years have been a sort of Paul on the road to Damascus experience for me. But it wasn't the typical spiritual awakening that many of us think of when we think of Paul- blinded with scales and then made to see again with new eyes. It was like that, but I began to see was this world through the eyes of God...

From U2's "When I Look at the World"
When you look at the world
What is it that you see
People find all kinds of things
That bring them to their knees

So I try to be like you
Try to feel it like you do
But without you it's no use
I can't see what you see
When I look at the world

When the night is someone else's
And you're trying to get some sleep
When your thoughts are too expensive
To ever want to keep

When there's all kinds of chaos
And everyone is walking lame
You don't even blink now do you
Don't even look away

So I try to be like you
Try to feel it like you do
But without you it's no use
I can't see what you see
When I look at the world

I can't wait any longer
I can't wait 'til I'm stronger
Can't wait any longer
To see what you see
When I look at the world

I'm in the waiting room
I can't see for the smoke
I think of you and your holy book
When the rest of us choke"

To see the world the way our Creator does is both beautiful and burdensome. I can no longer ignore the great needs and greater injustices that create great need. Here is a short video about the great need in our world and what we can do about it.

Support missionaries, support programs that help the poor, go help, stay home and help.

Just do something.

Look at the world through His eyes.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

We're HOME! The crazy world tour is done. We capped it off with time spent visiting Luong's family in California and Canada. All in all, we were able to see his younger sister Lihn and her family, his older brother Tai and his family, his oldest sister Muoi and her family (including our first "Grand-neice!"- whew we are old!), and of course his parents.

Luong flew to Orange County, CA the end of June to spend two weeks looking after his mom who has been recovering from surgery. Then I flew out on July 4th for a couple days. On July 6th we flew up to Seattle, WA. It was the most BEAUTIFUL day you can imagine in Seattle! No rain, sunny, and warm.

After a day and half in Seattle (including an evening spent in an Irish pub- of course!) we rented a car and drove cross the border into British Columbia. It seemed as if the mountains that surrounded us were shouting God's glory, spectacular! We made our way up and over the Cascade range, through the desert-like conditions of Kamloops, and up into the Canadian Rockies where we spent the night in Sun Peaks. This little ski resort village reminded me of Aspen or Vail. Ironically, our friends the Stockmans spent a couple days there in 05. Per their suggestions we shopped early and enjoyed the views! There was a BMX bike contest and live music. What a great time!

The next day we drove an hour on the most remote, yet beautiful, cow path back to the highway. Seriously cool. Then we drove through Canada's Glacier National Park, Roger's Pass, and Banff National Forest. I took over 100 pictures in about an hour!

We arrived in Calgary around 8pm and shared the first of many Chinese meals with Luong's sister and her family >-)! Yummy. We stayed with Lisa and Simon Le (Luong's oldest sister's oldest daughter). Their first daughter, Brianna, just turned one- which should be about the age of our daughter when we pick her up in China... needless to say thoughts were often of her!

The famous Calgary Stampede was roaring through town, so of course we had to go! Basically, it's a big rodeo meets a county fair. The entire city of Calgary (1 million +) goes all out for the Stampede. Free community-wide breakfasts, corporate lunches complete with cowboy hats and blue jeans, and the event itself! It was hard to not get caught up in the "spirit" of it all!

After a wonderful visit with family and more Chinese food than I could handle (and not near enough for Luong- of course!) we hit the road for our the eleven hour drive back through British Columbia to Vancouver. Again, all sun and no rain (sort of the theme for our trip). And, 100+ degree heat in the valleys. Even Vancouver was experiencing their hottest day of the year! We checked into our cute little hotel/ B&B in the heart of downtown and set out to explore the neighborhood. Vancouver has so much to offer, we packed as much as we could into three days. We bought a two-day tour bus pass that allowed us to hop on and off whenever and where ever we wanted. It was a great way to see the city. We visited Stanley Park, Granville Market on Granville Island, the Canada Place (where the all the cruise ships dock), Robson Street, North Vancouver, Gastown, and of course Chinatown! Our favorite had to have been Gastown. It reminded me of the narrow little streets of Ireland lined with shops and pubs.

Finally, we packed up headed back across the border to Bellingham, WA to catch our Skybus flight back to C-bus. All in all, a fun time for the Hos. I think we learned that "vacations" will never be the same after serving in Ireland last summer. We were often overcome by the social, physical, and spiritual needs around us. We were overwhelmed by the dozens of homeless and open drug abusers we saw in Vancouver. We couldn't help but try and come up with potential social reform programs that would help those in need... oh well, I'm glad that we will never travel the same way again!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Ho Summer Adventures!

So you haven't heard much from us... and for good reason! We have been on planes, trains, and automobiles for the past month and we aren't slowing down any time soon! Here's a quick recap and some pictures!

May 21-31: Lisa returns to her "homeland".
I was hugely blessed to co-lead a trip of 8 students to Northern Ireland for 10 days. We spent part of that time at Corrymeela Center for Reconciliation (where Luong and I served for a month last summer) and part of our time in Belfast (hosted by Steve Stockman at Queen's University). It was an amazing experience to watch students serve, wrestle with, and grow in understanding of the Troubles that impacted this country and its people for over 30 years. I learned even more than I could imagine this time- about the conflicts, reconciliation, and myself.

The 2007 team

June 3-6 (Lisa)/ 3-8 (Luong): Washington, D.C.
If you can imagine Luong and Lisa taking on D.C... Luong with 400 8th grade students on their annual trip and Lisa with 14 students at the annual Pentecost conference hosted by Sojourners. Luong's trip went smoothly- well as smoothly as you can imagine taking 400 middle school students to D.C. ;-)
Lisa and her crew of students heard from a great and inspiring set of presenters and even made it onto CNN as a part of the Presidential Canadites forum on Faith and Values. Check out www.sojo.net to find footage.

June 8-15 Young Life's Lake Champion in New York
Yep- check the dates, Luong rolled in about 7 AM worked a full day at school and we then left around 5:30 PM for New York. After spending a night in State College, PA we were off to Young Life's Lake Champion for a week of hosting other adults interested in the ministry of Young Life. It was a restful and inspirational experinence. It was also a bit disorienting considering we have spent years running around YL camps with students. But it was an amazing way to serve and see the ministry of Young Life. We did get to watch as 30+ students and leaders from Delaware ruled the camp and had the best week of their lives!

June 19-23 CCO New Staff Training- Grove City, PA
Over the past couple years, I (Lisa) has been praying through joining the Coalition for Christian Outreach as an Associate Staff memeber... the benefits include campus ministry training, ministry resources, and a network of quality campus ministers. I finally took the plunge this summer which took me to Grove City College to participate in the first week of their new staff training program. My job description, title, and position at OWU does not change in anyway, I can just now access the resources of the CCO better and have a greater network of co-laborers in ministry! To learn more about CCO visit their website at www.ccojubilee.org.

Future travel plans...
June 23-July 6 Luong to L.A.
On Saturday Luong is flying out to Santa Ana, CA to be with his mom who is recovering from stomach surgery last month. He will spend about 2 weeks with her before I join him on July 4th. Then, the two of us will head up to Seattle for a couple days, rent a car and drive to Calgary, Alberta Canada. It should be a beautiful two day drive through the Canadian Rockies (we're spending a night at Sun Peaks Resort- which comes recommended ? by the Stockmans). We'll spend a few days with Luong's sister and family in Calgary (visit the world famous Stampede) and then drive back to Vancouver, British Columbia for a few days before flying back to Columbus on July 15th.

So there ya go- the Hos are on the road. Please pray for us and check back for cool pictures!

Friday, April 27, 2007

An essay from Sharon Chittock. A good friend of mine... who "gets it"...

For all those who claim Christianity

I look around, and I wonder how it is possible for those of us who say we love Christ to live a life of pure comfort and wealth. To live a life for ourselves, to live a life to please our own material and emotional needs. To those who, like myself, spend 99% of your thoughts on yourself and your own happiness, let us be challenged through the example of Jesus himself. Let us be challenged to literally do as he did; to sit with those we hate, to purposely befriend those the world will not acknowledge, and to invite the ones we want nothing to do with into our own lives. Imagine how this world would be different if Christians were at the forefront of social justice causes. What if Christians were standing with those struggling during the civil rights movement? How would this world be better if Christians spoke up every time a child were starving and end every time another young girl is sold into prostitution? What if we were right there, with homosexuals, fighting for their right to be treated as equals? Why do we sit by our own Chistian-selves when the "losers" sit by themselves? Why do we ignore those every day who despise us because we have abused them in the name of God. Why do we sit here and go about our lives as if we are the star in our own movie while our fellow humans are starving, are being exiled, and are refugees? We watch and read the news and feel mercy, but go on with our lives and change NOTHING to help others. Why does this not enrage us to the point of action, to the point of putting forth our own efforot to write a politician, volunteer, or start a petition or awareness program? Jesus was revolutionary. Jesus purposely and lovingly invited those into his heart who society no longer wanted. Why have we forgotten this? I wonder how the world would be different if we DIDN'T hang out with our youth groups, Bible studies, and Christian friends for just one night, and sat with those the Church turns its eyes from. I wonder why if Jesus actually did this himself, why he wouldn't want us to do it, too? I wonder how, after the Church's complete irresponsibility to counter the injustices that choke our society, we the church are able to sleep at night. I am ashamed that I have not been living a life of radical compassion, kindness, love, and justice. I am ashamed of those of us who believe "the poor will always be with us," and who believe that we can do nothing because this world will always be bad.

"He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
Micah 6:8

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The wonderful... STEVE STOCKMAN!

If you have spent any time with the Hos in the past three years you have heard us talk about our good friend Steve Stockman from Belfast, Northern Ireland. I met Steve just a little over three years ago after I read his book "Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2". My friend Ryan gave me a copy of "Walk On" since he knew I was a huge U2 fan. After reading it, I noticed the author was from Belfast and since I was helping to plan a mission trip to Northern Ireland I decided to send Steve an email and the rest, they say, is history.

Since then, we have coordinated three trips for Steve to come speak in the U.S. Including appearances at; Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, the Jubilee Conference in Pittsburgh; and Kenyon College near Mt. Vernon, Ohio. He jokes about me being his "road manager". I'm not really sure about that, but I would be proud to be called his friend.

Steve's day job is the Presbyterian Chaplain at Queen's University. This May he and his staff will be assisting our next mission team during our time in Belfast. Last July, Luong and I were blessed to stay with the Stockmans at their cottage near Ballycastle, Northern Ireland where we got to know his family- daughters Jasmine and Catlin, and wife Janice. Now we know what really makes Steve so great!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Chelsea in Charleston!

This last week I spent my spring break in Charleston, S.C. with one of my favorite people, Chelsea Brink! I've known Chelsea since she was in high school, now she is all grown up and ready to graduate from the College of Charleston! This summer she will be taking off for western Africa to spend two years with the Peace Corp. I love this girl! She has enough energy and life for 10 people. She wined and dined me, along with her roommate Jenna and boyfriend Brad. Here are the highlights...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Prophet of Peace...

On our way back from visiting my parents in East Central Indiana, I finally made the pilgrimage to Rich Mullins' grave site. Rich was a modern day prophet, more known for his Christian music hits of the 80's and 90's (Awesome God and Step by Step), but I knew him as the voice of God. He was killed in a car accident almost ten years ago.

He spoke boldly about peace and poverty. He made his own vow of poverty, of sorts, when he decided early in his career to collect the average wages of a single American (about $25,000 at the time) and divert the rest of his earnings to charity. He told his accountant not to tell him the difference, lest he be tempted not be faithful. Luong and I made the decision to follow his lead and set our annual budget to that of an average American family. Before you go commending us for our great sacrifice, remember that 1/3 of the world lives on less than $2 a day. We are not suffering in any way.

You can find many of his "teachings" and lyrics at http://www.kidbrothers.net/.

We long for the peace you knew Rich... may you rest deeply in every bit of it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Monday nights are spent with some of the most fun, insightful, and lovely women I have ever met!

This year my "Monday Night Bible Study" took on a new look and feel with the addition of Jessica Kynion, our new Assistant Chaplain of Service and Justice and one of my favorite people. She opens her home every week with hospitality and and ever flowing supply of "hot drinks".

Last semester we worked through Paul's letter to the Ephesians together and this semester we have begun to take a closer look at the life and ministry of Jesus. I so value the opinions and insight of these women. They are a stark contrast to group of rowdy teenagers I meet with beforehand in our Young Life campaigner bible study!

Mondays are not my only chance to get into the scriptures with young minds. On Tuesdays I meet with a diverse group of women. From Ghana to Cincinnati, these women have a wealth of perspective to draw from. And, recently, Jessica and I started a small group on Friday afternoons. I am so blessed in the work I do!

Jessica and Natalie

Karen and Erin

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ok, so I found on YouTube and I just had to put it in... it's got music from U2 ;-)

enjoy. pray. believe. dream. love.
Let's never forget...

"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence."
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Mama and Papa Brake were in town this weekend for a quick visit and to watch the OSU vs. Florida National Championship Game (NCAA Football for those of you not in Central Ohio).

I also got a NEW CAMERA for Christmas- thanks Mr. Ho!

Here are some pictures of the family!