The Crew

Sundays are good days.  They start off with some fellowship with the foreigner crew, finding some time for English corner, and then typically end with some games or more fellowship with foreigners.  It’s a time to pour into each other, be refueled, and rest.

I have been slacking on the blog-front lately, so I have random pictures from this random life that I’m going to share with you. You get to meet “the crew.”

This is Trish, my classmate from Australia, and our teacher, XieLaoShi after class one day.

My English corner girls at one of XiaoWu’s soccer tournaments. So much love for these young ladies. Their English names are Kate, Victory, Rita, Anna, and Lilly.

Meet Andrew & XiaoWu. Andrew had never been to Karaoke and seeing how it is the have-to-do thing while in China, we had to fix that!

Well, the guys taught me how to make a lamp. My electrician-of-a-dad would be so disappointed in my original lack of knowledge, but so impressed with my new found “wisdom.”
This is XiaoWu and Andrew on the left and Stephen and Jesse on the right.

These are our awesome Chinese Brothers. — Xiao Guan on the left and Lu Shuai on the right. I don’t know the guy in the middle.

This is my roommate Abigail. WangXiang (our other rommate) was not home when we took the picture.

And then there is XiaoYi (directly meaning little one.) just because she’s too cute. Before her minor surgery, she had 11 toes. It breaks my heart that a family felt so trapped by an extra toe that it lead them to abandon their baby girl.

 

And there ya have it- some of the people that I live life with on a regular basis. Love these folks.

Contrary to Popular Belief

You see, I’m a runner.  Not as much in a physical sense, but when it comes to processing personal things- I like to run. You may think that moving across the world would be a perfect fit for me, huh? How much farther can you really run? Well, contrary to popular (or my own) belief, this move has proved to provide quite the opposite opportunity.

I’m living in a community of about 3 families and 5 singles.  That’s pretty small compared to most of the local church bodies in the states.  It’s not so easy to hide and there is pretty much nowhere to run. It seems that when a lot of material comforts are taken away, or just the comfort of jumping from friend to friend, you actually have to deal with things.  Weird, right?

Processing things and repenting: examining my heart; sin being revealed; confessing that sin to God and others; and choosing daily to not live in that sin anymore– yea, I can’t say I naturally enjoy this process.

It makes me anxious.  It brings about guilt and insecurities.  Opportunities for the enemy to attack are far too many.  It makes me weak.

but..

It makes Him great.  My focus is redirected to its rightful place- my Creator.  It makes me dependent on His grace.

Basically- this move has been greatly used to make known, to both myself and others, the suppressed sin that is still alive in my heart.

So, as I attempt to navigate through this whole ‘grace’ thing, I ask for your prayers.

Sweet Little One…

…You are cherished.

Today brought a break through for ShaoBei and me.  He came to me willingly and we had a great time together. He typically refuses any interaction with anyone other than one particular nanny.  I call him “my sweet project.”

I really am amazed that I get to live this life. I get to snuggle, kiss, and cherish these babies every week and I’m pretty sure there is nothing in this world that feels quite like it.

Meet my sweet little one, ShaoBei.

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On Saturday, Landen went to the orphanage with me.  He didn’t know he would be able to go, but on Saturday he told me that he had been working on a project for the kids there and I knew he should be the one to deliver it! He had printed out a complete alphabet book with pictures and stapled it together without any prompting.  He decided the kids needed something fun and he just did it… out of the kindness of his heart. I was so proud of that sweet boy.

When he got to the orphanage, he was a little taken back, but warmed up some and did so great! The little babies loved him.  He put them in the walkers and pushed them around for a solid amount of time and had them just-a-laughing.

When we were leaving, I asked him what he thought about his time there and after thinking about it for a few seconds he said, “It was fun to be here, but it was hard too.” Oh my- the simple wisdom of a seven year old boy.

I don’t know how many times working with orphanages that I have just felt completely overwhelmed.  It is hard work.  It’s emotionally, spiritually, and physically challenging; as many things are.  Just last week I was being challenged with the fact of a 7 year old girl I love having brain cancer.

It’s neat though because it is such a unique type of work. In and out of challenges, there is a clear picture of the gospel .  When we were dirty, broken, and near death- He redeemed us. He sustains us.  He loves us.  And the best part of it all – it has nothing to do with how lovely or how flawed we are. He just loves; plain and simple.

Being with these people and these kids has taught me so much about the Father’s heart and I’m not sure that it could get much better than that.