That's the Cantonese greeting at Chinese New Year. This was just one of the important things that happened while I was overseas during the last couple of weeks.
There were also, of course, the Commonwealth Games.
In America, they have heard of Chinese New Year, but they don't seem to know the Commonwealth Games exist. The only way I could find out how we were doing was the daily fax from WVA that included a medal tally. Didn't we do well?
I really regretted being away from Australia for the Games. I love the excitement, the excellence and the thrill of national pride. I was sorry to miss sharing it with the family.
I was delighted to be able finally to accept an invitation to the Washington Prayer Breakfast. So I found myself in Washington with George Bush, Dan Quayle and 4,000 other people.
At a buffet style dinner I started a conversation with a man from Micronesia.
"What work do you do?" I asked.
"Oh, I work for the government."
"So you're a public servant?"
"Well, no. Actually, I am an elected official."
"So you're a member of parliament?"
"Well, no. Actually, I am the Vice President of Micronesia."
"Heavens above," I said, "you're an important person!"
"No," he replied, "I have an important job. But I'm an ordinary person."
I am sure you have already heard that the response to this last TV special was the best for many years. Thank you for all those who worked so hard to make this possible.
The young son of one of my relatives was crying himself to sleep one night last week. When his mother asked him what the trouble was, he said he was sad about all those poor children he had seen on the TV. They have decided to sponsor a child.
The first meetings I attended were at the headquarters of Campus Crusade. Some years ago they bought an old resort in the hills not far from Los Angeles. There is a big hotel, a swimming pool and various other buildings, built in the 1930s. Once the stars of Hollywood spent their weekends here in the cool mountain air. Now they go to Paris or Acapulco. And Campus Crusade run the resort as the international headquarters of their movement. The hotel has become a convention centre.
I was there for a meeting to plan the follow-on from the big Lausanne congress in Manila last July. Tom Houston, the former President of World Vision International is now the International Director of the Lausanne Movement.
What a great night! The most fun I've had since the Christmas party. Steve Grace was great, and Graeme Irvine spoke powerfully. I can still hear him saying, "What kind of soldiers shoot children under five?"
A 15 year old from Toowoomba wrote to me apologising that she did not have enough money to sponsor a child just yet. She wrote:
Our family has had great problems but with support from others we have succeeded. I feel for the children because I lived on the streets for 6 months and for about 4 of them I either starved or scavenged in the rubbish bins.
I spent three days altogether with our President. One day was in Canberra where we met the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans. We commended the Minister for his work on Cambodia and urged him to address the abuse of human rights in the West Bank and Gaza.
He assured us that the Australian government was expressing our concerns to the government of Israel.
We have heard the wonderful news that, after many years of being illegal, the church in Cambodia has been recognised.
Our President had written to the Prime Minister of Cambodia urging this action. Finally it was representations from the unlikely quarter of the Hungarian Embassy that made things happen.
The church in Cambodia has been faithful under persecution. How wonderful it must be for them to know that this Sunday they met in their houses and halls without threat of arrest.
Distressing news during the week about an area in Tanzania which has the world's worst AIDS crisis. Field Director, Aba Mpesha reports:
In some villages, as much as 40% of the mid-adult population is dying of AIDS. Most are parents and income producers. "One generation is missing," say the local people. Many children are doubly-orphaned - grandparents are struggling to cope, over burdened. In Bukoba district alone with population of 390,000 it is estimated that 110 AIDS patients are dying monthly. 7,000 orphans and 1,700 aged people are without proper care. More than 2,600 orphans are in critical condition.
World Vision in Tanzania is finalising a plan to help as much as possible.
At this time of each year we make preliminary three-year forecasts. They represent dreams rather than plans. But our history together is that many of our dreams come true. Often earlier than we plan.
By the end of fiscal year 1993 we think we might have 178,596 (more or less) children in program. Personally, I think this is a bit low. More likely we will have passed the 200,000 by then. Think about this for a moment. It took us over 20 years to go from zero to 100,000 child sponsors. It might take us less than 5 years to get to 200,000!
Also we think we might be raising more than $75,000,000 by 1993.
Now a question. Which number is more important--200,000 sponsors or $75,000,000? To help you with the answer, refer to our core values.