It seems like time always sneaks up on me here. We are so busy during the session and focused on our class and all the work that needs to be done that it is easy to forget what else is going on. Our latest session ended on Saturday. It was filled with wonderful students, fun memories, lots of laughter, along with a few frustrations that are bound to happen. With all of this going on I forgot what time of the year it is. Spring is finally starting to slowly show itself in Beijing. But until Sunday morning while I was laying in bed reflecting I was missing the importance to the season.
Palm Sunday, the day where hundreds of followers worshiped Jesus and proclaimed His name. They laid down palms and their clothing, for the dirty ground was not worthy for him to walk on. Maundy Thursday He shared a meal with His disciples, the meal we now remember as the last supper. What they didn't fully realize was this would be the last meal they would share together before the ultimate sacrifice was made. And then, as we all know comes Easter, one of the most joyful days I could imagine, for it means a way has been made me for to have eternal life.
We are on a much needed break this week and I am taking the time to slow down and reflect on all this week really means. On the significance of the enormity of the sacrifice and what it means for me. On how I am supposed to take this and show His love in this world, how I am to show His love, grace, and mercy here in China.
What I do know if I am thankful. I am thankful for the blessings that are never ceasing. I am thankful for His plan that blows mine out of the water. I am thankful that He sent me to China to open my eyes and my heart so I could see Him more clearly. But mostly I am thankful that I am able to receive the gift of His grace, the gift that changes everything.
Grace: A favor rendered by one who need not do so; indulgence
So, in an attempt to blog more I am going to try to do wordless Wednesday. I will post a picture or two and maybe a sentence description. My hope is this will help you get more of a glimpse into my life in China!
You may have heard of the sandstorms in China, and I have been experiencing them first hand. I missed the main one on Saturday but I did get to go out in the sand on Monday, or as Google said the storm. This is a picture from Yahoo. In it you can see the 656 and the 562 buses, which are ones that I frequently take and stop right outside campus. So, if you were in China with me this is what you would have seen :) Now all that remains is yellow sand on the ground.
During the month of February we had Mandarin TIP. So, now, even though I am by no means fluent I can understand a lot more and my vocab has increased by so much! It is still a work in progress though.
One of our Saturday activities was an Amazing Race scavenger hunt around Beijing. We were give a list of locations we could visit along with assigned point values. My team consisted of Dan, Elim and I and our Chinese teacher Ethan. We set off as fast as we could trying to converse in Chinese and plan our route to maximize the points we could obtain. Luckily for me my teammates were competitive like me : )
Out first stop was the main campus of Peking University. That is also where we met our first problem, where we missed our bus stop and had to walk about 10 minutes out of our way!
"climbing" the pagoda
Then we hopped on the subway on our way to the Olympic village where our tasks were to take various pictures in front of the venues.
Swimming in front of the Water Cube
Kung Fu and the Birds Nest
We earned extra points for every tiger in a picture. Because it is now the year of the tiger there were tigers everywhere, including this decoration at the Olympic Village
Then it was time to hop back on the Subway on a trip to the CCTV building, where were supposed to poise like it.
Then we moved onto Tienanmen and the Forbidden City where things such as
Kissing Mao and
Poising like statues was on the list to complete.
A short walk later we were at the Egg, which is the National Preforming Arts Center
More pictures of Tigers and Lanterns finished the day
All in all it was a lot of fun, even though it was pretty crazy to try to speak only Chinese the whole time! We ended the day by meeting up to eat Hot Pot together, which is a boiling broth that you add various meats and vegetables to and enjoy! I am so thankful for this opportunity to learn Chinese, even though I have a long way to go.
I'm on break right now and am really enjoying this time to relax! We start a new session the 8th and as of right now we don't know how many students we will have or what our roles will be, but I am so excited to be back in the classroom after 2 months! So much has been going on, but the fact remains that God is good and His plans are perfect. I am learning a lot and and am so blessed. Love you all!