Saturday, December 15, 2007

Final Week in SoCal

The story of our final week starts with Sunday. The church sanctuary seems fuller today. Many people come up for ministry after the sermon. Then I have lunch with Rob and Paul. Jarred then Mike tried to fix my notebook but... Next Dinah and I meet up with Chai and Crystal outside. Finally comes the ministry leaders meeting. We leave at 8 pm for our next appointment. Dinner is with Chris, Cyn and Annie till 11 pm.

Mon begins with breakfast with Dinah. The hotel atrium is stinky with one sewer pipe broken. So we eat a quick breakfast. Then Al calls from Irvine. Next we drive 1 hr 15 min east to the San Bernadino county. The snow-capped mountains are beautiful. We shop at the factory outlets for clothes and gifts. We eat here to avoid that evening rush-hour traffic. We take turns to shower and I am last so I clear e-mails and vet documents till 1:30 am.

Tue morn is clearing Singapore church work after breakfast. Then we go to Orange county. We spend time in the Crystal Cathedral. It is just a spectacularly beautiful campus. Here is a photo of their sanctuary. We also join the guided tour then we have lunch at the cafe. We spend time in their book shop. We go to the city of Irvine and spend some time with Al and Doreen's family (till past 11 pm). Here's a photo of our kids. We get back at midnight and clear e-mails. I shower in a choked bath tub and finally sleep at 2 am.

Wed morn sees the maintenance guy fixing the clog in the bathtub. We go see Derrick at USC campus. The uni is in exam mood. Derrick is from Singapore and he leads the Youth group here. Derrick as an international student isn't complaining about the weaker currency. After we spend time together and say good bye I make a wrong turn and end up with a 30-min drive around the city. Next we are with Cyn. Finally we drive to the Kusumo family in the city of Walnut. Josh was studying for a exam. So he're a photo of the family without Josh. We leave at 11 pm despite Hadi asking us to eat ice cream. Its 2 am when I get to bed.

We skip breakfast on Thu. Then we clear e-mails. Then its off to lunch with Anthony, a new member. Puk who works in this Thai restaurant hosts us. So we talk to Anthony and to Puk. Deb starts coughing. Then we drive to the west side of LA. I make a turn and end uo with a 20-min drive around in downtown. We finally arrive and its our first time in James and Christine's apartment. Its our first time trying her nice cooking. We arrive late again. Its our third late night in a row.

We skip breakfast on Fri. Next is morning devotions. Lee arrives for lunch and discussion. We come back and swim. We haven't swam for ages. Then David calls from Portland. The forecast tells us its 5 degrees tonight. We have a quiet dinner nearby after a series of long nights. I start working on a new sermon.

We resume breakfast on Sat. We come up and Vern calls from Seattle. Next we go to meet Wendy. She is from Hope Irvine church and arranged with Emmy to meet up with us. We arrange to meet at a mall but can't find parking. So we have to meet at the jammed carpark then go back to our hotel. We park and walk to a nearby Greek place for lunch. We go get groceries and Wendy comes along. Finally we say good bye to a new friend. We prepare for ministry tomorrow. Then JR calls from Seattle.

Here's a discovery for us. You would have heard news about the sub-prime mortgage crisis here. Naturally we assume that home prices are dropping. Our friends here tell us that prices in homes in some California cities are holding steady although sellers are taking a longer time to sell. Crisis?

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