Sunday, August 3, 2008

Goodbye China

The end of trip number two and the beginning of the last. They really do feel like completely different trips. Understandably because the people, location, and dynamics are completely different.

It was such an amazing joy to join Wendy and the team. It is truly unique and remarkable that a group of people I’ve never met can become such close family in a matter of days when you share the same Papa. I felt as though I had been with the group their whole three week trip! I feel so privileged and honored to be with them. They were so kind to work out a lot of details so I could meet them.

Once we got back from the zone, we continued our stay at Holly’s Hostel in a T area of Chengdu. We were blessed to be shown around and hosted by some long-termers, one of which I admire so much and will miss dearly. We enjoyed shopping around the area and our favorite memories will be the unstopping laughter, prayer, and deep conversations.

We would gather once or twice a day for a time of prayer and worship. We would process the trip, what was going on in our own lives and really dug into what Papa is doing in China. We feel that we are truly in a Kairos time and are extremely honored that Papa would share his story with us. We prayed for the gov and for the value of the people. We prayed for the church and saw the significance of the earthquake and it’s epicenter close to three minority groups that will one-day lead a charge West. This is truly a time of a new China. Papa is blessing it as His people turn to Him. His plan is so big. I trust him for so much I don’t understand.

Wendy had challenged Peter to an arm wrestling match and we couldn’t wait to see what happened. Walking back from the SHOP, we had a few stools and decided in true Chinese style to just plop them down and start the match. A small crowd formed as Peter pinned her. Then we pulled a guy from the crowd that was being encouraged by his friends to go against Peter. As they arm wrestled, this guys bicep literally looked like a tennis ball; it was crazy. They ended up in a stop and every one had a good laugh about it.

After one of our times at the SHOP, Wendy, Peter, Kate and I went out in an interesting district. Like most of the bars here, there is always some type of live entertainment. We walked in as a Chinese man in perfect English was singing some John Mayer. Thankfully, Kate shares my same passion for having fun and goofy dancing. By the first set of techno songs we were up dancing with some old Chinese man. We danced up to the front and I started grabbing others half dancing on the side and encouraging them to join. Wendy and Peter jumped in and we had a unforgettable time. I love the way they dance here; so innocent and basically just bopping around. One of the guys had hilarious facial expressions. Between techno music, another guy would jump up and belt out a few songs. We were almost crying when one of the guys, no joke, started singing zippidy-do-da zippidy-day, my oh my what a wonderful day! I think if this had happened in the States, he would have been booed off stage and likely got things thrown at him, but the people here loved it!

As we left the bar owned ran up to us and thanked us for bringing some life to the bar. He gave us all T-shirts that were honestly the biggest I’ve seen in China (you know how free T-shirts go).

The next day was the Pandas!!! It just shows how extravagant our Papa is. I missed seeing the pandas at the Beijing zoo with everyone because I went to ch.rch, but seeing them in their hometown as the research institute was so much better! The pandas were amazing, so cute and fun. On top of everything else we got to see the pandas that had been born just a day before! That is international news! They were pink with no hair and closed eyes. I couldn’t believe it!

After that I had a great time with Wendy, Peter, and Carey visiting a local area, eating dumplings and getting a massage!

The last night was so amazing. After dinner we went to get deserts and to share our time together. During truth & dare earlier in the week I was dared to casually walk up to one of the guys and challenge him to a dance off. It was actually rather embarrassing, but silly all the same. We then spent seven minutes on each person, encouraging them, speaking into their lives, thanking and praying for them. It was so beautiful to see the love in that place. I was so encouraged and will remember that night for a long time to come.

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