Here is our approach into Hong Kong, before we went on to our city. It's a beautiful landing, but it looks like you're landing on water, which is... interesting.
One of the first places we visited in our city was a huge Buddhist temple. I wish I could upload the sounds of the chanting and the smell of the incense. It was very, very powerful. The monks were chanting/singing a prayer, the "tune" of which sounded a lot like "Nothing But The Blood." So that's what we sang as we stood watching. It was a neat moment.
I am the LORD; that is my name!I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. Isaiah 42:8
Bethany made lots of friends wherever she went. Here she is with some girls at a shop. She always took the opportunity to share the gospel when she could, and exchanged email addresses with people. Hopefully she'll stay in touch.
Here she is impressing me with her ability to order for us in Chinese.
The 3 teens on our team had prepared a very bold puppet show, which they performed at a couple of different schools. This was at an autism school, where the parents were in attendance with their kids. The adults, especially, were very attentive during a story about how God is always with us, how He loves us and made everything around us. They were fascinated by the story of Noah. What a privilege to share these stories with them!
The puppets would come out and "meet" the children after the performance. Most of the kids had a really good time putting their fingers in the puppet's mouth! It was a great chance to love on these kids, most of whom had never seen any sort of puppet show before.
After this performance, we got a chance to talk to small groups of the kids to explain the story to them. Very, very cool opportunity. They (adults and kids alike) always make the "peace" sign for pictures. The red scarves indicate that their families are Communist Party members. Here I am with a group of women after an "English Corner," where we would help them practice their English. They were very interested in my beliefs, which I was very excited to share. I was able to meet with the girl on the left again later in the week, as she had many questions and is not yet a believer.
After we finished our work in our city, we went to Beijing where we toured the Summer Palace. Here is some of the beautiful architecture.
We went to the jade factory where they are inlaying the jade on the back of the Olympic medals for the '08 Olympics in Beijing. The back of the gold medals will have white jade, which is very rare. The back of the silver will have light green, also rare, and the back of the bronze will have the green jade that we typically see. I think they're beautiful! It was a great opportunity to see what the medals look like "up close."
Watching the Lord capture the heart of my daughter has been an amazing privilege.
Just a few hours after I landed at home, I packed another bag and headed here: We stayed in this beautiful house in Maryland with 9 other people, relaxing and listening to author and speaker Os Guinness. I understood much more than I did last year, and relished the opportunity to get away with Luke, who I hadn't seen in 12 days!
It was such a privilege to get to fellowship with Dr. Guinness, who is truly one of the great minds in Christendom today. He is so humble and personable. He had just returned from China himself a couple of weeks ago, so we had something in common!
This was my view each morning, overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, and where Luke and I would enjoy our coffee and Bible reading. Dr. Guiness spoke out of the book of Jeremiah each morning, and then spoke on different topics before lunch and in the evenings.
I loved spending time with my cute husband after being absent from each other. This time was truly a gift!
We had time before our flight out of Reagan airport to take in some of the sights in D.C.
Two Great Thinkers
A wreath placed at the WWII memorial. It was really neat to be there so close to Memorial Day.
I don't know how God has seen fit to let me experience what I have in recent days. He is so, so good. It feels good to be home. It is now officially "summer" and I am looking forward to relaxing with my kids, reconnecting with family, swimming, and planning school for next year.
After I get all of our laundry done, that is.
Again, thank you to those of you who have taken this journey with me. Your comments and emails of support, and especially your prayers buoyed me during some tumultuous times right before I left, and helped me stay sane while I was gone. God truly used you in my life these past few weeks, and I felt like you were right there with me in China. May the blessings return to you a hundred fold.
Now... I've got to go so I can visit your blogs! Love y'all!