Thursday, July 8, 2010

Worship in Langfang with students and Fortune Cookie Stories

Saturday's Leadership training was in partnership with Jennifer Chen's BCEF business fellowship organization run by her husband George. We had about 50 in attendance and trained for about 6 hours with an hour for lunch. Wonderfully received and at one point in the afternoon when I thought they might need a break the said "No!" - such a hunger to know and to do all they can for God. There will be a need to have different levels of training in the future as we are laying the groundwork for the upcoming connections on the website (coming soon!) on Skype and in person. In total, only counting the larger groups we trained 130 women on this trip!

I took a beautiful 2 hour drive on Sunday with Hope to Langfang, the college town built by the government where Hope attended and started a ministry. We had a really nice sharing time with 5 lovely young ladies, one named Joy who is a seeker and the birthday girl! After worship we went to lunch in the village of Langfang - a very rural type place with dirt/mud streets and vendors and meat cooking at nearly every residence/shop. We ate at the girls favorite family run restaurant and enjoyed great food and a beautiful cake!

Monday was packed with connections: a meeting with the woman at Anadarko Petroleum about possible donations to the China Harmony and Unity Center; time with Iwona Fahel; meeting with Eunice (wife of the Beijing Int'l Mandarin Church pastor); meeting with Sabina. Great times spent with all!

Tuesday was again filled with: a meeting with Shaun and Sarah BAO; time with Judy Burrows of Family Life Ministries; meeting with Hope and more time with Sabina! It was really good to have these times to really talk through how we are working together and how we can help each other to help orchestrate religious freedom in China! Then on Wednesday Shaun took me to the airport for the long ride home :).

Now, about those fortune cookies: I try to bring goodies and treats that are made in the USA - well this time that included fortune cookies purchased from Oriental Trading Co of NE :)! Knowing that fortune cookies are American and not Chinese, I thought that might be fun to bring since you can get them with Scripture Verses inside from Oriental Trading. It was really great to see how excited the women at the first training received them after Hope explained what was inside - because there were 75 women, I couldn't see all the expressions.

Then the next day at Sabina's church, after lunch and before the baptism I passed some out. They had never seen them and one lady called them "lucky cookies" and had heard of them. We had to show them how to open the cookie and take out the verse which one young man helped us translate. One lady ate the whole thing verse and all before we had a chance to explain! She was really disappointed to learn she had eaten the verse! Chewing on the Word...

I will add more and then link to the full summary of the trip soon. So many things and such excitement over God, worship, learning and all that we take for granted here. It truly wakes you up to your first love. There is a sweetness and freshness to the people and their faith. As you can probably tell, every spare moment was taken and if there had been more moments they too would have filled. Please pray for us as we move forward on creative ways to continue what we've begun and then plan the next trip in October for the Reconcilliation Forum at the Summer Palace!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sunday, July 4

The Wall, The Temple and The People!

Here are some more pictures for you! Check out the three ladies in their special prayer shawls from our dear KnitWits!! The shawls and the women are gorgeous!!

On Thursday, we made it another shopping day because it rained all day. Such hard work that shopping is… Then we saw the sweet children at the orphanage and had fun giving them little gifts and lots of hugs. There was a group there from Grace Alliance Church in Ohio and it was yet another wonderful connection with Deborah and Peggy as well as two of Peggy’s adult children who were having ministry there. They were so excited about all we are doing and I know the relationship will continue.

What a fabulous dinner time we had with Jennifer Chen. We certainly share the same heart and will collaborate together to help the women here! It was so exciting to make our plans for the Saturday training and we enjoyed fabulous food at the Taiwanese restaurant. We are certainly well fed here! I don’t think I’ve eaten the same thing twice and it is all soooo good! This restaurant is nearly walking distance from out hotel and is another one run by Christian people.

On Friday, we had a great vision casting meeting with Shaun and Sarah BAO – wonderful to see their hearts for God and this city! Later, we went with Hope to eat real “Beijing” food….YUM! Then we made a trip to the Temple of Heaven which was wonderful and very HOT! From there we made a quick exchange for Maye at the Silk Market and had a quick planning meeting with Sabina for Saturday. Finally, we had such a great dinner and visit with Ramsey, Iwona, Melvina and Esther Fahel. It really was a joy to see them and to share their lives and our ministry. Ramsey also told me he would arrange for me to meet with someone at his company (large petroleum co.) to discuss a corporate donation for the center here! I will be going there on Monday morning; please join me in praying for this!

Well, enough for now….more later :). It is pure joy watching God work in this place!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Saturday, July 3

Wish you were here!

I know I am behind in writing this week. Oh, what a week it has been! I will give you a brief summary for now and, as is my custom, I will write a trip journal when I return home with more of the highlights.

On the 29th of June - We went to the Forbidden City with Dony. I have never before experienced the “instant friendships” one develops here! It is such a pleasure. I do have to say it was very hot and humid for this Colorado girl :) and Maye, Faye and I were in competition as to who was the drippiest! Later on we went to train on how to lead a Bible study for small groups. Another great day!

On the 30th of June - Our team went to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall with Eunice (pastor’s wife of the Chinese international church) and Dony. It was really nice getting to know Eunice and sharing about the vision of Global Partners to help orchestrate religious freedom in China! We rode chair lifts to the wall this time, walked and took pictures and then decided to ride down on the sky slide. It was so funny to see Dony intervene so that Maye and Faye could ride down. Their beautiful silver hair caused the Chinese workers to question whether they were young enough to ride (my hair of course is a “natural” brown :))… the sign there says you can’t ride for various reasons including if you are “old and weak”. We all got a big laugh out of that and it became a “funny” the rest of the week! Dinner that evening was with Shaun and Sarah at another Christian restaurant in Beijing. We met some terrific people again and enjoyed fellowship.

I will catch you up on the rest tomorrow. So much to tell including the terrific training today with another 45-50 ladies and some really really wonderful possibilities!! Stay tuned…

Blessings and a hug from Beijing!