Monthly Archives: July 2005

Rahr hello everyone.
So now I’m back at my Aunt and Uncle’s house.
Today we’re going to Macau for the day
Yesterday we went to church, ate lunch w/ Mom’s friend, and did some computer-related shopping stuff.

All right, time to go, got to catch a boat.
I’ll be back August… 6th or 7th.


Sorry for the incorrectly labeled “quick” update…. it was pretty darn long… but it was a WHOLE week of a LOT A LOT of stuff so I couldn’t help myself.

After all that posting, I hung around with my team/group for a little and then we guys went back to the dorm room at around 2:00am (we got delayed lights out cuz it was the last night!) and the we stayed up, doing push-ups, talking, and mostly writing notes for the ICQ envelope thingers (the ones that I made my *hem* move through, more on that later though).  I wrote 6 notes, some for team members and some for other friends.

We had to get up @ 6:50 this morning (remember I’m 12 hours ahead of the US) and then we ran up the hill that the Breakthrough Center is alongside… so we ran up… and down… and up and down… and then cuz I ran it fast, the police drill man (who does the physical instruction and other interesting militaristic things… like how to do a squad salute and attention and funny discipline stuff), his name is Edwin, said, “can you do it again?” and I thought I could… so I did… It felt pretty good, considering I haven’t trained in forever and that wasn’t just a run, but it was a legit hill, 3 times at a decent pace for most of it.  I felt like I was racing through the XC course @ Andover: I’m always burning up that stupid long hill to the Log Cabin but I always say to myself, “you’ll make it… and then you get a long long long way to go downhill and gain space and speed and catch your breath.”  So that was good… but when we got back I sweating and gross.

Dr. Choi (my Dad’s friend who helps to run the camp) gave his message today, and asked us about what kinds of graces we’ve had… and I thought of a whole bunch.  The whole 100some of us were asked if we wanted to share about anything, and I immediately raised my hand, because I’ve had some serious and deep conversations with some of the Christian brothers here, and I’ve only known them a week!  I talked about how special that is, how they trusted me with their “wounds” and scars (wounds is from a topic talk where we have to face ourselves, including our past and our wounds) even though I’ve known them so little.  It was really great.  I stayed up with one roommate for 2 and a half hours after lights out one night just talking about serving God and him being in campus ministry and my more (or rather most) important struggles and sacrifices.  I spent a night’s guard duty (each day, each group has a boy and girl designated “leader” and the guy has to stand guard from 11:30 to 12. the girls do nothing < just kidding) talking to a guy from California, named Caleb, and about his own relationship pains and mine and just, being on the worship team and that sort of thing, and how amazing it is that the camp can “get away” with so much Bible and Christian ammunition in their messages without anybody being mean and annoying about it.  I had to say how I responded… so I said “in turn, I trusted them with my wounds and scars, knowing that they would understand, even though we’ve only known each other a few days.”  It felt pretty good.

Later we went down there to fool around a little bit for singing and just fun stuff… I’m really tired and my memories kinda busted cuz of it… only got 3-ish hours of sleep so yeah… but anyways, I felt pretty “dai dam” (in Canto that means, literally, big gall, so like.. to be brave) again so, *gasp* I wrote her another letter.  Actually I forgot to include last night, that I approached her last night after I’d read her response and politely asked if I could have a picture with her.  I know, doesn’t sound like me does it?  So I put that new letter in her mailbox… and waited..

Then we had this long award thinger where each team got a certificate, and all the adult crews and helpers and mentors and leaders and ambassadors got different prizes and everything.  Thousands of pictures must’ve been taken, not even in kidding…. Asian people are scary with their little digital cameras!  And during this whole thing, she was actually writing me a response!  When I was sitting at the back of my group’s circle and close to hers, she tapped me on the arm and handed me another letter, this time carefully folded in this cool like way where the folds of side hold the corners… I’ll show people.  Or.. maybe not.  But anyways, I felt pretty good about myself.  And this is utterly, NOT serious.  I’m really on the walking on air feeling right now…

But anyways, after the ceremony ended and all that, we went back up and had our last group times where our 2 mentors gave us these sheets on our backs, at first blank.. but everybody had to write on them… so everyone else in my team wrote some that they thought was good about me and something that needed improving.  Then, because the sheets have no names (it’s on your back), our mentors made us guess if we thought it was ourselves.  After that they gave us these little presents.  1 was a little cedar block that has a nice fragrance and supposedly drives away moths… but it was in the shape of a heart, and they’d drawn like… fires on the front to show us “on fire” and they said “though it may with time stop smelling with that nice fragrance, just take some sandpaper and if you rub it a little, it’ll have that strong smell again” which I thought was a cool way to show us how to… refuel ourselves; just take some time and rediscover and contemplate.

Later, I felt pretty dai dam again!  This time we weren’t wearing the silly-looking purple camp T-shirts, and I thought of this great reason to ask for another picture: “yen wei ne gum yut zheuk zhou lang di” (because you’re dressed prettier!) So we got another picture and this time she wasn’t as nervous which was cool too… Don’t think too far into this though, it’ll pass after awhile…which is probably a good thing:heart;

And now I’m back @ my aunt/uncle’s house after some food.  Gotta go!!

I’m updating quickly.  Wow, what a week it’s been!  I got to Hong Kong Saturday night, slept, then went to church on Sunday and not long after came right to the Breakthrough Camp.  A lot of the leadership content and how to be an authentic person material is mostly old for me thanks to America’s aggressive school regimen of “self-esteem” and more importantly, my immersion in church where I’ve come into leadership positions. So… not all of it was relevent…plus, my Canto is onl 75% good for understanding, and my Mandarin is only 33 (maybe now 40%) good for understanding…. luckily my group knew enough english.

We did a lot of interesting activities… we had to fill these huge PBC tubes with water cuz they had a floating ball w/ a puzzle piece in it, but the tube had holes!  And not only that, our water supply was limited, so we had to use the holes of the finished tubes to use our water conservatively.

We also did an exercise where you drew a color out of a bag; your color represented your social class.  Red was the best, yellow second, green third, and black last.  I happened to go up and pick us a green… so we were w/ the black group and had to work real hard for our food that day, crossing this grass space by stepping on bricks and picking up certain cups with either food items or disabilities (pretend to have a broken arm etc.) so we had rice with soy sauce while the red group had a good good good meal… but the most important part was later, where we had to build a simulated “village,” where all 12 groups, regardless of what color, had to build a hut/house/shelter out of some bamboo stick thingers, newspaper, some cardboard, a few trash bags, and tape.  The catch: green and black were outside, while red and yellow had raised levels of shelter (roof over heads… and air conditioning).  We wree outside… and based on points from a previous activity we had to gather materials.  The red had the greatest point advantage (we could get 1 point for their every 3 in some cases…) and they got to draw first.. and took almost everything. mean ppl. thankfully the stuff was divided up with the help of some discussion people (each group could send one delegate) and we got stuff to biuld.  But halfway through, suddenly they turned on sprinklers and dumped these huge tubs of water on us from the balconies above!  Man, that really messed us up…. newspaper and water make a weak structure… and then they kept turning on the water every so often.  Our house failed.  We managed to fake it’s secureness by holding it up with our heads and hands while lying under its too-small frame.  As soon as we got out, it collapsed.  The point was, that as a global village, we failed.  The reds, yellows and a couple greens did fine, but most of the other greens and hte black team failed.  And what I got most out of it was the fact that a red team guy said this during a whole-camp question period, “I know you’re all mad cuz we took so many… but we really weren’t trying to be mean or anything, we took so much so that we could share it with you!”  If you ask me, that’s a bogus, stupid and small-minded answer.

But. I would’ve done the same thing.  I wouldn’t have said all that garbage about “sharing” when it just…. well if he meant it, he needs to rethink himself. But I understand why he took all that stuff.  How often do we take more than we need cuz we always figure, “more is better than less?”  In fact, if you look at hte whole thing, the green people are like… the poor, maybe in Africa or something.  We have fewer materials, get bad food, work in hard conditions, and get hit by disasters.  I said this, one of my most profound thoughts of the whole camp: “even if everyone had been nice enough to give each team and equal share, that still wouldn’t be enough.  Because the greens and blacks are in such harsh conditions, they need more.”  Imagine that, an American living with less than a starving family in Africa, and that’d be fair.  I hope you get what I mean.  The point is, it sounds ridiculous, cuz according to our world standards, it is.  The idea that a poor person should get more than I get is absolutely proposterous.  Yet that’s what they need.  In order for that house to weather the 6-gallon flood and sprinklers and hoses, they need MORE than the “richer” more “civilized” people need.

On Wednesday we went into the city, into Yau Ma Tai which is considered a poor area of Hong Kong.  We were to take pictures and eat at a local place and find something profound, seroius.  Wiht our $20HK per person for lunch, we were left ovr with $14 after a full lunch and after talking/interviewing some of the local ppl, including the elderly and poorer, we bought 6 oranges and gave them to people who we thought needed them.  It felt good, cuz some of the people who took them… they didn’t smile, but their eyes REALLY lit up.  If you’ve ever heard the expression “sparkling eyes,” I know that I saw it twice, one from an old man sitting on the steps in the shade, and one from a beggar in a park who didn’t seem to be able to speak.

Another day, our leaders imitated Jesus and washed our feet.  Though the camp’s ont Christian, it’s highly evangelical since the Breakthrough organization is Christian. The camp accepts all kinds of people, and many of the people from China (mainland) aren’t Christian, but somehow, in Hong Kong, using Jesus or Paul or people’s personal testimonies about Christ passes for “non-religiously affiliated” within the limited bounds.  In America, there’d be lawsuits and pointing fingers everywhere.  Funny that yah? Many people cried at the feet-washing, the fact that OUR group leaders (adults with the title of Mentor) would was OUR feet, we the campers… it was too much for many.  I’ll admit I cried too, but not because I was shocked by this (I’m used to the idea of servant leadership…. though I’m not really good at exercising it…) but because I felt a terrible kind of…. empathy for the large number (seriously, maybe 1/4 cried) of people who were so shocked by God’s love. But many don’t understand the experience… someone from Shanghai in my group said she noticed that the exercise made so many people “sad” when I honestly tihnk and almost know that it’s the hearts of people crying out in surprise at the love that is exhibited in Jesus.  That same day, we went up to a mountain. I and the three guys in my gropu had to carry a gallon of water each in addition to our own stuff.  When we got to the top, we spent 3-4 hours alone, in solitude, and except for a few sillies, in SILENCE.  We were allowed to talk to ourselves, but not the other people.  I spent a long itme thinking, then had this sudden…. buliding sort of inspiration, writing writing writing through tihs exercise sheet that talked about my feelings of the camp, about myself, about my life, about my dreams and passion in leadership or service.. and I had to finally in the end write a letter to myself, talking about my growth this week and limitations, and most importantly, write myself a commitment of things I should do and things that I should remember.  It was really good.  I spent time praying for people too, in our church, from CTY, from school… many things.  We got back late.

Today we performed a…. skit (some did songs, dances, narrations, etc.) about sometihng we learned.  WE talked about hope in injustice.  A person coulnd’t find a job even though she tried REALLY hard, and was forced to become a beggar.  A passerby immediately labeled her as lazy and spat at her.  Another passerby couldn’t be bothered and just threw some kinds in hopes of stopping the beggar.  But the third guy, even though he didn’t have the resources himself, purposely sat down to understand (point 1), and then communicate (point 2) with the beggar.  He then worked very hard point 3)and brought some people who could hlep, and eventually the beggar was able to get a job.  We said that these 3 attributes are IFs, and only if people apply them regularly can there be a fight against injustice.  It went pretty well.

I also …. went and did something stupid.  There happened to be this girl, Hong Kong moved to the UK, who was pretty good-looking, and happened to also be kinda quiet… wihch I think is something I like.  It at least proves the girl isn’t…. ditzy and silly and ridiculous like… so many girls can be… so … every once in awhile I’d glance over when the lecture/talks in Mandarin were too difficult to understand… and then, very bravely (and stupidly), I went and wrote her a little note, telling her what I thought of her, and noting how dumb I was cuz I’ll NEVER see her again, and also leaving contact info just in case she’d want to, platonically (and I mean that seriously) keep a correspondence.  And I put it in the envelope with her name.  Each of us got an envelope so that people could write us notes and comments… and she read it… and responded.  I think I was flushed… it turns out she’s kinda shy-ish… and was “surprised by your ‘letter'” which is kinda funny.  She actually gave me hre e-mail!*score* and is also a Christian which is really cool.  No, I don’t plan to have a long-distance overseas girlfriend or anything.  I really only felt like being… a stupid silly teenager, and went and did something fun and… kinda ridiculous

Ok enough.  We have a late lights-out tonight and some of the Cali ppl I met here are also awesome, and most are Christians.  I hope to find some of them and rock to some worship songs for awhile.


Holy is the Lord, God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
Holy is the Lord, God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
The earth is filled with His glory!
– Chris Tomlin

All right everybody… today was my last day of VBS.. and it was good! I hope that the REAL last day of VBS tomorrow goes REALLY well This morning’s Sing & Play Roar time was bad…. very very bad because the kids were totally distracted and just talking.  They weren’t really paying attention and that was no fun. I’m so glad however that our afternoon session went so well!  We had to entertain them for a LOONG LOOOONG time because Yan waited a long time before she pulled out the crew leaders… so we sang like.. 8 songs in a row.  That was tiring!  During Every Move I Make the line goes, every breath I take I breathe in You and its’ kinda… “ironic” since we can barely breathe while we’re jumping up and doing and doing that part!  So yeah… we did the serious segment and lot of kids came up with their heart stickers.  Hopefully most of them really meant it and understand what it’s about.  I really would like to see these kids grow in their purported desire to be with God!  Vicky, Daniel, Mike and I played a song while they were putting up their stickers instead of using the CD, and it was really good I’m glad it went so well!

I’m leaving for Hong Kong tomorrow morning, bright (er… actually, before it’s bright..) and early (flight is at… 6? 7? I dunno…) I need to pack.  I also need to burn a CD for my Breakthrough Camp, because I need to bring a “gift” to exchange… so I figured I’d put 14-or-so songs on a CD and give that to the lucky (right… lucky) person.  Hopefully the recipient will like my taste in music. If not, then that’d be sad

So I’m in Wayland Library where it’s nice and cool.  And I need ti be home in 20 minutes cuz Mom wants me to cook rice and do other food-related chores for dinner.  *sigh* 

One more note.  Joey, Joyce’s… cousin I guess, wrote me a note/letter thinger because I’m going away.  I said I’d hopfully see him before he leaves for Thailand to go home, but in any case he wrote me a note.  And it was really really nice and sweet and I can tell he likes me quite a bit, which I find pretty odd because I’m NOT good with kids!  But that had me thinking that apprently I’m pretty cool, or nice, or look-up-toable to him for some reason, and I had this one moment of emotional stirring in the car when I was driving back.  I really feel like I need to and want to devote myself better to God and be the kind of guy that people see me to be.  He’s just 10 years old (almost) and hopefully others see something worthwhile in me.  I think it’s time for me to try harder to through out the garbage language, the bad habits, the stupid sins that we rationalize as being “not a big deal” but in the end are still sins… etc.  So that’s my contemplative and “deep” note before I leave.

Time to out.  Take care everyone.  Hopefully I’ll have access to internet while I’m there. this however is a precautionary measure.


I sing for joy at the works of Your hands
Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand

     Nothing compares to the promise I have
     No, nothing compares to the promise I have
NOTHING compares to the promise I have
     In YOU
– ??

Rahr, hello everyone!  I’m currently at a computer in the Wayland Library.  I’m back from our 3rd day of VBS @ church, and it’s been a good one!!  Both the music events were really really good today!  Everything we practiced just went so well, and the improvised skit about the school in the Serengeti also went really well; the kids enjoyed it mucho methinks.  Also, our set last Sunday was ROCKIN’.  It was sooo sweet being up there, we were all pumped and really really with it, even though I pulled many repeats and implied “follow me”s to the rest of the team.  We did songs in different ways, quite different than we’ve done them before.  That’s the way empowered worship [should be]/[is]: nobody minds going back and repeating the song or part of the song.  It’s spontaneous, it’s eagerly spontaneous where the team follows well cuz they’re into the music and the crowd follows well cuz they’re into the music.  Man, it was good.  Too bad I have to go to Hong Kong now, far away, and I miss Chris Williams’ sermon next Sunday cuz he cancelled on us for last Sunday… oh well, nothing I can do about that I guess.

So….I’ve lost my keys.  And I’m mad.  Not so much now, not when I forget about it.  But when I think about the fact that my keys are gone, then I get mad again.  It’s so dumb.  I don’t even know how I lost them.  I don’t know if someone has them (that seems unlikely since we called everybody who was at the house for dinner that night).  I don’t know if I put it in a REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY random place in passing while distracted and needed both hands (this is likely I guess….).  I could’ve just forgotten them when I put them down consciously, but I checked all the usual places.  I have no idea.  I spent Monday morning looking for it; it made me late for VBS.  That made me pretty angry/annoyed too.  My Mom even helped me look again, but still nothing.  It’s complete…ly ridiculous (other words come to mind, but I’ll pass on that language)

Also, I need to get my computer fixed.  The poor laptop has major problems with heating and keeping itself running properly….which is bad.  It’s not even when I play games or anything.  Even having like… 3-4 programs on it causes it to use up all of its resources and in its seizure, it just shuts down.  Stupid thing.  I need to call them back and figure out what’s going on to get a box shipped to me so I can send it on its way for serious repairs.

Now that Bay State Games are over, I’ve not been doing ANYTHING active.  I mean… VBS singing/dancing counts as activity, but not like… training or anything.  But it’s too hot; that’s my excuse.

Time to go home now.  I need to start packing, the leadership camp in Hong Kong has an extremely long and annoyingly complicated list of things that I have to bring, and because my Aunt didn’t relay us this stuff earlier I haven’t seen it until just this past Monday I think.. better get going.

People who wanna be “interview”ed… that could take some time sorry… I’ll work on it when I can!


Turn your gaze to heaven and raise a joyous noise
O the sound of salvation come
The sound of rescued
And all this for a King
Angels join to sing all for Christ our King

     O Praise Him!  O Praise Him!
     He is Holy!  He is Holy!
     O La la la la la la
     O La la la la la la
     O La la la la la la la la la la
David Crowder

Rahr, I’m back from the Bay State Games.  I’m tired.  I got
up @ 7:15 and got to MIT’s track @ 8:30.  My first race went off
at 11-ish cuz they were late.  My 100m prelim was good- 11.84sec
and like… 5th place of all 12 (or 14, I dont’ remember) guys who
ran.  My 200m prelim sucked a ton.  I got inner lane for
200m, but I lacked the power to capitalize on it… so I ended up with
24.49 or something awful like that.  I didn’t make it to finals…
but actually that’s good.  The track was burning and my
feet/spikes felt like they were on fire around the curve; I wouldn’t
have wanted to run another 200 anyways after that.  The 100m final
was good: I ended up with 5th overall.  All but the 1st place
runner got slower times the 2nd time around.  Even the 2nd place
runner, a kid who I know now cuz of running with/against through the
Games, got a slower time.  We were all slower by about… 0.2 I
guess, but the 1st place guy (a HUGE white guy, like the THING or
something) got 11.31 then 11.35.  That’s darn good.

So people are coming over tonight for dinner and such.  Tiffany
“interviewed” me (a surver thinger), and it’s 5 questions.  so I’m
gonna answer them and pass the rest on as well.


1. When did you realize that you wanted to stick with the piano?
… I guess that happened when I decided that I didn’t really like
violin, at least, mentally I decided back then.  But more
decisively…well, even though took 2 years of lessons while at Andover
for violin, I definitely was a lot better at and enjoyed the
piano.  So, even though I quit piano lessons, my comparative
talent and like for piano has kinda pushed me into that category,
though I technically haven’t quit violin either…

2. What was the first song you figured out by yourself?
hmm…. I want to say Closing Time, by Semisonic, but that’s not entirely
true; I actually am still not quite sure about how to play the
bridge.  I know it goes from G to Bb (one of the weirdest darn
modulations I’ve ever heard) and I can play the bridge in a more
“civil” key, but not the whole song straight through.  I also
never figured out the exact flow of it…since they actually go back to
certain parts more than once before ending… so then the first song that
I fully figured out, from chords to arrangement to making it my own… is
Brick by Ben Folds Five.  I really liked the piano part in the
beginning and noticed that they didn’t bring in a whole lot more other
than some drums and bass to beef up the

3. Karaoke?
mate is THIS supposed to mean?  Just cuz I sing for the
worship team and in the car along with radio, it doesn’t mean that I
hop and love karaoke bars and karaoke…this is definitely a weird
question.  I’ve done it before if that’s what you’re asking: I was
with some friends, it was during winter vacation and not long after
school had gone out for break.  I drove up to Andover and we went
to this Korean restaurant and sang karaoke along with eating our dinner.

4. What’s your favorite movie scene?
Oh geez…….that’s hard…… Coolest action scene is some part of
Equilibrium which is a random and violent movie, perhaps the pistol
duel (and not just, “five paces and turn,” I mean like… a fist-fight
with guns, blocking, dodging, no Matrix slo-mo stuff, but REAL
choreography) or when Christian Bale owns everybody in the Battle
Bus…or when he uses his pistols to beat up (that’s a gentle use of
the term) 6 guys who just figured out he’s not on their side anymore
Best dramatic scene with real substance?  That’s harder. 
Umm…the part in The Last Samurai when Ken Watanabe is dying, although
that’s a little cliché when he sees the “perfect” cherry
blossoms.  Or, more recently, the scene where Nicole Kidman is
dying in Ewan MacGregor’s arms, that’s pretty moving.  

5. Where are you most at home, specifically?
Most at home?  Hmm…… when I’m home by myself during summer
vacation (as in, at my actual family residence) and I can just… do
whatever I want (from playing piano, to making food, to watching
movies/TV, to reading, to playing video games etc.) I feel quite at
home.  When I eat a dinner made by my Mom on a Sunday night before
I have to go back to school, I feel pretty at home.  When I’m at
Andover, I have some places I like.  I guess I normally like my
dorm room.  Since I have a single, I have my own little…cave,
lair, sanctuary whatever you wanna call it.  If I want to just, be
alone and be by myself, I can do that (except when dorm mates invade)
or I have other spots around campus.  The library at school is
pretty nice too.  When we’re doing work at a table in the “silent”
study room (now it’s “quiet study”, they caved to our loud voices and
mass-student pressure.  Hurray for communism!) or in the
downstairs study desks during finals week and we’re just being
lazy/chilling down there, that’s pretty good too.


The fine print:
1. Leave me a comment saying, ‘Interview me’.
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. Only respond if you are willing to answer ANY question that is asked of you
4. Update your Xanga with the answers to the questions.
5. Include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
6. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


How infinite
and sweet

This love so rescuing
How infinitely
GREAT LOVE that has redeemed
Crowder Band

Wow, long day.
Went to visit colleges today… and thus I had to get up @ 5:15.  During the week, during the summer.  That was harsh.

I saw Wesleyan, then Yale today, both in Connecticut.  Wesleyan’s
admissions “activities” definitely were not very good.  The
interview was good! I think it went well and the guy knew what he was
doing and what he was supposed to do (even if he was only still a
student).  The info session and the tour however, were
absolutely terrible.  I’m not wasting anymore words…. blah.

Yale was nice.  Nice campus, close to “city,” but still private
and separate.  The whole “dorm” residential thing is pretty neat,
and the facilities are sweet.  The gothic architecture is cool to
me, and the libraries are HUGE.  Nice stuff.  The interview
went well too I think.  Presonally, I think that interviews help
me…. but of course, I could be wrong.  We are often
disillusioned until we get smacked in the head by something that tells
us otherwise.

I didn’t get to run today however which doesn’t change the date of
the Bay State Games…. which are this
Saturday.  So yeah….. tough.  I dunno
how to work tomorrow either, since I’m hanging out w/ Victor @ Harvard

I’ve been training lately at the Lexington High School Track… During
the day it can be darn hot.  Had one of those… running headaches
or pain thingers… but nothing new.  I’m really trying not to
screw up like I did last year at the Bay States.  You never know
what 11.6 could get you.  Silver?  Bronze?  Top 6 for a
jacket?  Who knows.

I need to do my devos before I sleep.  Trying to…. practice what
I “preached” at worship on Sunday, ENJOY and appreciate the time you
have with God.  Out.


How lovely is Your dwelling place
O Lord Almighty?
And my
soul longs and even faints
For You
For here my
heart is SATISFIED
Within Your
I sing beneath the
shadow of