Wednesday, September 30, 2009
On Monday I finally got to leave campus, which was wonderful. I left with a big group to go eat lunch and do some shopping. This meant I was able to start to explore the vastness that is the city of Beijing. We took a bus to a district that has a lot of foreign type things and ate lunch at a place called the Lush, which is pretty much an American/Foreign hangout spot, and has good American food. We then took the subway to a few places to shop and just explored for a while. And yes, I did see scorpion and seahorse on a stick, but no, I haven’t eaten it! Yesterday evening I went and played ultimate Frisbee with a few of the guys on the team who found a place where a lot of people play every Tuesday night. It was really nice to get out and run for a while.
I have been adjusting really well so far, and really haven’t had a lot of culture shock as of yet. I am pretty much over jetlag and getting used to the 12 hour time difference. The thing that is getting me the most right now is getting used to when it gets dark/light here, so it really isn’t too bad! I am however already learning more about myself, as I knew I would be, and having to rely on God in new ways everyday. It is however so refreshing to know that I am surrounded by Christians. I really think having just graduated from college and leaving that environment I think is making this a lot easier on me, as I know I wouldn’t be able to do this a few years ago.
Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers. I honestly do not know where I would be without them! Also, if you want to receive e-mail updates, which may be more frequent as I have access to e-mail in my room through ChinaNet, please send me you e-mail! (to firstname.lastname@example.org) Also, I would love to hear updates on your life and life back in the US, so feel free to e-mail whenever, or if you have g-mail and use g-chat I do have access to that in my room as well, but do not have access to Facebook!!!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
REMINDERS ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS WHILE OVERSEAS
- The Internet provides a wonderful way to keep in touch with friends and family back home. However, all e-mails going in & out of China are filtered and can be read. An unwise comment in an incoming letter could jeopardize not only you but also the whole ESEC team. Please make sure that all of your correspondents are familiar with the following guidelines:
- What not to say about me: Missions and evangelism are very important and natural topics to the Christian. But they take on a very different meaning with the Chinese government. Oftentimes, they are equated with imperialism and subversion. So please don’t call me a “missionary” while I’m in China—the Chinese government has a very different (and negative) impression of what that means to you and I.
- Other topics to avoid: politics in general, especially Hong Kong or Taiwan’s independence, “freeing Tibet”, human rights, religious freedom, military encounters, or any negative comments about China.
- What to write about: anything personal you wish, including spiritual things. It’s okay to use Scripture occasionally and speak as a Christian. Do tell me what’s happening in your personal life and at church. Just avoid anything concerning missions or evangelism—and especially avoid using those words directly.
- Newsletters (e-mail or hard copies) – copy the home office along with your supporters.
- Some people ask a friend at home to do your "screening" before messages get sent to you. This is a similar function as the "mail facilitator” for regular letters & cards. Only family and very close friends have your direct e-mail address.
- Please ask people to not put your e-mail address on any sort of mass-e-mailing list!
They should not forward any chain letters or jokes or "prayer letters" from other people. (It's too easy for your e-mail address to get out to wrong people. This happened to another teacher—she received an unsolicited e-mail about the situation in Tibet.)
- Ask friends not to give out your e-mail address to other people. Rather, they could tell you that someone else wants the info and let you decide what to do.
- Apply these guidelines to online chats, MySpace, Facebook, blogs and online media, including pictures.