Thursday, August 26, 2010

dance party!

The summer brings more students and an enthusiastic summer staff full of people of all ages who have a heart for serving in China but maybe are not able to for a full year.  It has been such a blessing to have them here and get to know them and just have fun.  So, because it is summer and it is so nice outside in the evenings we decided we would have a dance party on the last Sunday of the session.  It was such a fun time for the students to not have to think about anything and just have fun, and that is exactly what happened!

the much loved (by Chinese) and hated (by me) rabbit dance
everyone dance!!!

Emily-who was one of our facilitators during TIP Mandarin

the awesome summer staff girls!

Monday, August 23, 2010


the view outside my window when I woke up on Sunday!

One of the best things about rainy days is that it almost guarantee that the next day will have a bright blue sky, which is a welcome change in Beijing.  It rained all day Saturday which left us with a beautiful Sunday, which I took advantage of by going to Yuan Ming Yuan park which is located about 100 meters from campus.  It is the old summer palace that was destroyed in the 1860's during the second opium war.  It now has ruins scattered throughout the park but the main attractions are the beautiful lakes, trees, and flowers that are plentiful.  It is truly a huge blessing to have such an amazing get away so close to campus!  Without further ado, here and some pictures :)


Thursday, August 19, 2010

you can serve

I've been back in China for over 3 weeks now and in so many ways it seems like I never left.   Coming back and jumping right into the routine of training and helping out with the session has been a whirlwind to say the least.   When I arrived training for the August team was underway so I jumped into the middle of that.  Right when they were trained and ready to have their own classes it was time to prepare for the arrival of the new yearlong facilitators and then begin their month of intense training.  This has meant a lot of work for all involved and the need to create breaks to get away from it all.  One of my favorite breaks lately has been to hole myself up in my room with my Bible and a sermon to learn more about the God I serve and how I am to do it.

Today while listening to a sermon by Mark Driscoll there was a quote that really struck me.  It was "You can't save, you can't solve, but you can serve."  This really sums up what I do here in China.  I can't save the people, only God can do that.  I can't solve the problems of the world, or really even begin to try.  But the thing that I can do is serve.  I have a tremendous opportunity to serve the people of China.  This year I have the added honor to serve the team in a bigger way as the HR manager in which one of my jobs is to focus on facilitator care. 

Serving is such a huge responsibility and something I never want to take lightly.  Living a life of service is one of my biggest goals.  As Jesus came to the world not to be served, but to serve I want to do the same.  Right now, that means serving China, in the future I have no idea how I will serve, but I do know that God desires me to serve his people and He will show me how each step of the way.  He will provide the way  and pave the path for me to walk down. 

This month has been crazy with so many people, both students and facilitators, here and new challenges and trials to face each day.  But as long as I remind myself that the reason I am here is to serve and love those around me and live each day one moment at a time I can do all through Christ who gives me strength.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

blessed beyond belief

I've had ideas for so many posts, but it seems like when I sit down to type lately everything disappears.  So, I guess I should apologize for never posting anything! 

Where to start…

I am so thankful that I was blessed to spend a month at home with my friends and my family!  It was a wonderful month full of relaxation and rejuvenation.  Some of the highlights of the month were a trip to the zoo with my dad and multiple baseball games, priceless visits with friends including the blessing  of going to Stacey and Bens wedding, a Twarek family reunion in Ohio, coffee with Suz and playing with Kristen, 5 amazing days in Utah with my brother, and lots of good food and sleep!  I was blessed so much by this trip and it really helped me realize just how blessed I am and how many things I have to be thankful for. 

Being back in China has been wonderful.  Today I was on my way to the airport to pick up Amanda, one of the yearlong facilitators who was also home during July and it just hit me how much I love China.  This is something that I've known for awhile now, but as I was listening to worship music on my iPod I was overwhelmed with this realization.  How lucky am I that God has sent me to this country where I am able to form amazing friendships with so many of His children.  How I, a sinner who messes up royally all the time daily receives grace and love that is so undeserved.  And how much He loves me and has planned my life so perfectly that I am now here in China, something I would have never planned for myself.   I am looking forward to seeing how He uses me and how I am able to fall even more in love with Him and this country that I am blessed to live in!