Saturday, December 08, 2007

Week 2 in SoCal

There is a large Catholic street parade around the church today. We circle round to get parking. Guess who we meet in the service? It's Cindy who is going home from Santiago to Singapore via LA. Dinah and I have lunch with her. Then we join the Care Leaders meeting before meeting up with Pastor Chai and Crystal. Next is the Ministry Leaders meeting plus planning. Our family has dinner nearby our hotel. We get to speak to the waitress from Tennessee. Then we go back and four of us take turns to shower.

Monday starts with breakfast as a family. Next is devotions. We spend the morning confirming and making new appointments. This is followed by laundry and then a swim. Lunch is snacks and fruits. We pack then have a early dinner. Then it is a 1 hour and 45 min drive to north of San Diego. Bao's place is a nice 3-storey condo. We catch up a little and settle down. He puts us in his bedroom. In the middle of the night I get up as the heater is too warm.

Bao gets breakfast for us in the morn. The strawberry cream cheese is yummy. We drive to the San Diego Zoo. Pandas are the star attraction here. Bao loves the polar bears. This is a world-class zoo like the Singapore zoo. Food and drink is expensive here.

Then we drive to Coronado island. The water front overlooking the San Diego skyline is pretty like in Vancouver. We meet an elderly couple on the Trikke. They invite us to try. Dinah, the twins and Bao try it as I take photos. Then we go to Hotel del Coronado. Its a luxury hotel next to a beautiful beach. We walk along the beach as the sun sets. Then its an early dinner. Dinah and Bao want American but I want Vietnamese. We end up with Persian food. Its the first time for all of us having Persian food and it's good. After dinner we go back to Bao's place and then say good bye. We get some coffee so we can stay awake on the drive home. The journey takes 1 hour 45 min again. As the twins shower I call Emmy to confirm the Care Leaders retreat details.

Wed morn starts with a phone call from Minneapolis. Next is breakfast followed by devotion. We do some ministry preparation time before going out to get more drinking water and sundries. We spend the evening with Annie, one of the leaders.

Thu is a meeting with Four Square Church. Dinah and I spend 2 hours with their missions executives Lee and later with Raul at their central office. Here's a photo. This church is very similar to our movement in terms of doctrine, ethos and philosophy. We also learn that they have 1,800 churches in the US. They have 120 staff housed in this 8-storey building that they own. Thu afternoon is a conference call with Malay of Hope Chicago. It is snowing in Chicago. After that is a meeting with a US Center for World Mission executive. Thu night is a dinner meeting with Sam and Sung, church leaders. We get caught in the rain as we walk back.

Fri morn is cold. The forecast is 9-15 today. Golf calls to postpone our meeting. I am nauseous and sleep in. Then we meet Judy. It rains and is so cold as we walk back. Our Care Leaders retreat starts with Friday dinner and discussion in a private room of a restaurant. Lin takes the twins out. Towards the end of the night my stomach begins to run. Dinah feel the onset of flu.

On the way out Sat we see a stretch limousine at the hotel driveway. The doors are open and the driver allows us to peek. It's our first time seeing the interior of a 20-seater. We go to church. The retreat continues on Sat with stretching. Lin takes the kids again. The leaders have fruitful discussions and we end after 3pm. Dinah and I go back to prepare for tomorrow. We are feeling better. Later Lin brings the kids back. They enjoyed watching the "Enchanted" movie. Sure hope Lin enjoyed it too.

1 comment:

angela_ccm said...

Hi Ps Ben! Great that your blog is alive with accounts of your USA trip : ) Pls send my love to Dinah.