Sunday, August 30, 2009

So many little time--The TAs

In China we had so many amazing people to get to know: Quality people, people you just want to keep spending time with and laughing with. So, let me tell you about a few of my Chinese friends.

Sunny--sweet tempered, quiet, and loves Jesus. Sunny was a smiling face when I got to share my testimony at "youth group" in the Chinese church. She came to our TA Bible Study and shared her heart and challenges.

Coco--ordered me tea by the river one night...sweet believer and fun to be with. She came to TA Bible study too--it was great to hear her share. Her favorite color is Red. I especially enjoyed her and Bessie arguing about Chengdu food vs. ZiGong food and which was best. Long Chao Shou--capped off one of my most fun memories of the trip.

Fred--the man with the megaphone. Fred translated for me at "youth group", and I was so proud considering I talked about a miscarriage. He got it all across for me. He was our activities man...and I can still hear him yelling "Mr. Fox, Mr. Fox"

Kiko--her smiling face was so terrific to see and she had so much fun hanging with the girls. I especially remember sharing music together on the bus--looking for some songs we could both sing to Jesus.

Barbie--sweet friend who took me shopping when I was too tired to make any sense of money our first day in China. We hung out at the dinosaur museum and lots of other times too. Enjoyed eating at a Western restaurant in a private room just for our group--the Good Wood! Good times.

Teddy--she's a, really, she is so much fun! She reminded me that others of my friends had been where I China loving students (and TAs). Teddy has such a warm, vibrant personality and her use of slang gives me so many smiles! Golden friendship! Since Teddy is in the States now for school, we got to talk about some of those important things a girl needs to know when she moves across the world. Praying I get to see her soon!

There were more TAs...and I got to know them here and there. I wish I had more to tell you about each of them...I'm sure I missed some special moments we shared. I love how God brings people into your life, and I pray that I see them again!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know the main reason I went to China. I don't take that lightly because for many of my friends, it is not as clear. I went to China to tell Bessie that God loves her.

I love Bessie so much that I can't describe it. From the moment I knew she was going to be my teaching assistant, I just wanted to be with her. I'm not sure how to describe was just instantaneous! Even the first night, as we walked together toward the Sichuan cultural center, I just wanted to be with her. Someone else spirited her away...and I still had a great time that night...but over the course of the next two weeks being with Bessie was my priority.

Bessie did not grow up with any belief system or religion. And as I learned from our camp director, believing in God is even more difficult for the Chinese than believing in Jesus...generally. But Bessie was interested. I didn't preach to her...but she did go to Bible study with me. I loved her! I loved her whenever I could. And she loved me. This connection was not just natural, but supernatural.

In the end, she said I was like an older sister to her. And there was no higher compliment for me. Just thinking that I may not get hold her hand again makes me cry. God made such an amazing special person in Bessie. I'm counting on HIM to make sure I get to hold her hand on the other side!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Things I learned or relearned in China

God can bond you to someone instantaneously!
Sharing your story can touch hearts even across cultures.
Sometimes doing what you're "supposed to" isn't what you should do.
Being flexible is easier when you have friends with you!
God can still kick your rear-end even in the middle of a church service you do not understand.
Emotions happen; controlling what they lead to is important.
God uses people despite their faults, issues, frustrations and even their strengths.
God is willing to answer even the smallest prayers especially when He gets the glory.
Relax and be who you are; people will love you anyway.

Monday, August 17, 2009

God answers funny ways sometimes

Every morning in Zi Gong, a rooster started crowing about 4:30 am. Sometimes I could sleep through it, but most of the time, it woke me up for at least a few minutes. For a while I used this as a reminder to pray, but as time went on, and my lack of sleep increased I prayed,

Lord, please make that rooster my dinner!

We often had meat that could have been chicken (or duck or rabbit)
And a day or two rooster. Hooray!

The next day, a dog started barking at 4:30 am.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I found myself in China

Somewhere in the middle of being a stay-at-home mom, caring for my husband and children, and life happening, I lost a few pieces of myself. I thought maybe I was maturing, but what I found is that I had pushed down those pieces in order to focus on the life stage at hand.

Then I went to China.

And somewhere in Zi Gong, I found Melissa. She loves to laugh and hang out. She loves to work hard at relationships with students, believers and not. I found a person who doesn't worry as much about what people think---she sings songs to God aloud randomly at dinosaur museums, and she holds hands with a dear girlfriend without considering how that might get taken. She dances the macarena without wondering if she looks foolish because she doesn't care. She was going to have fun, and she could still care for people the way she always seems to...

And she's still broken with wrong motives and wrong attitudes sometimes. She desperately needs her Savior even more than she used to think. She is flexible, and even when she complains she jumps in to get it done. She gets jealous and worries still a little...but it was good to see her.

So the question becomes--what parts of her can translate from Mandarin to English? How can those parts be woven back into the life of mom and wife and homemaker? That's my question for God right now. What do I do now to be all of who He made me to be?