Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Week 4 in China

***When commenting, please be sure to code all r-ligious words for my safety! Thanks!***

Wow, I’ve already been in China for one month (on Tuesday)! That’s crazy how fast time flies! So many exciting things have happened in this time frame. Hopefully I’ll be able to share all of them with you.
On the River walkway on the west side of campus

Near the park

Starting February 24th, we began our Chinese dance classes and even have a few Chinese language classes. All of our dance classes are completely in Chinese, so a lot of the time we mostly just try to watch and follow. It’s definitely a new way to approach a dance class but so much fun! We have three Chinese classical types of dance classes. In one of the classes that Ms. Uen teaches, we wear these really long sleeves that reach past the floor. A lot of the movement uses the flick of the elbow and wrist to make the fabric flow into different lines and patterns. It’s a lot of fun. For our second Chinese classical class with Ms. Ho, we are learning folk dancing and more specifically Tibetan minority group dancing. It has a lot of attitude, authority, power, and presence coming from the upper body and head. Its playful and lots of fun. The last type is dancing with fans. They have extra fabric at the end, so it’s lots of wrist moving and shapes with different patterns. It’s really beautiful! 

View from one of our dance studios and some students practicing the dragon dance

In addition to our Chinese classes we have three modern classes with our Chinese teacher Mint. He specializes in contemporary/modern and his classes are stretching! I have many bruises from his class on my neck, elbow, hip, knee, spine, and feet, but it feels so good to finally be dancing again. I’m sore from being out of shape, but slowly my body is adjusting to the physical exercise, walking everywhere, and all the stairs (elevators are not common here). My knee is doing okay with classes, but is still pretty painful, tired, and sore. Please continue to pr-y for strengthening! Coming up on March 23rd is the one year anniversary of when I fully tore my ACL. After surgery, physical therapy, and lots of hard work I’m able to not only walk again and be in a foreign country, but I’m also able to dance. HE IS GOOD.

My bruises and Chinese language class

Learning the Chinese language is really hard, but lots of fun! Though I know that it’s not possible in one semester, I’m hoping to be fluent in Mandarin Chinese one day! So it’s really fun to be able to start studying the language now. One afternoon after classes Grace and I went to explore the city near campus and we found a beautiful park that had a skating rink in it. There were even some skates that only had two wheels to them! It was really cool!

Quiet time by the water
The Park Grace and I found

A Temple Shrine at the top of stairs that lasted forever :)

Funny translation

The two-wheeled skates and Grace&Me

Last week we had to travel to the main city for our medical exam for the University so that we could complete our visa status. Doctor offices in China are very different than in America. You go to individual stations all over the building and get your paper checked off when you’ve done that part of the doctor visit. We had chest xrays, sonograms, EKG, ultrasounds, had our blood drawn, urine test, color-blind test,  measuring of our height and weight, and vision test. It was really interesting. And I have a pr-ise report! I didn’t pass out when I got my blood drawn! (I have a history of this.) Yay Jes-s!!!

On Friday nights we have a small group where we are studying different chapters in the New Test-ment. It’s really nice to have a group of people to run with this semester. We’ve met many Chinese students that have dance groups, some English major students, and many other students. Life on campus is always busy! Here are some more food we've eaten:
HotPot-basically the water is so hot that it cooks your food. The one on the left is individual hotpot and the right is group hotpot

Middle Eastern food and potato soup Karissa made

Foreign foods in Metro in the big city....didn't eat them, but it's nice to look at them!

More foreign food that I didn't eat (icing!!!). On the right are green beans :) Veggies here are gigantic!

Bar-b-q pork, lettuce, and rice (really yummy!) and Garlic greens, potato & eggplant dish (also yummy!)

Saw these on the market shelf =) I like the Nescafe coffee brand here

We went to the main city of the province I’m in about one week ago to get some things on Dance street for our Chinese dance classes. We also made our American stop at Starbucks. =) It’s helpful for lessening culture shock to have something from ‘home’ every once in a while when you are adjusting to a new culture. While we were walking down the street, a man who was brave enough to practice his English and talk to the “Americans”, invited us to his house for afternoon tea to meet his daughters and wife. Greg (the teacher who was showing us around the city) and all four of us dancers got to go have tea. It was so much fun to meet them and talk with them. The daughters showed us their artwork and played the violin for us. The wife cut up apples and oranges to serve with the jasmine tea that had real flowers in it. 

Walmart and Starbucks in the city-familiar sites!

Hanging blue lights in the 360 shopping area

The B-ble Drinker Club hahaha.....Cool trees they shape around the electric wires

Organized dance shoes at a dance store

Leotards organized by size and me trying on a Chinese hat at a dance store

Dance street

The family we met in the city who had us over for afternoon tea

This past week, Grace and I were offered a job at a restaurant to be their ‘brand’ so that they could be an international restaurant. They brought us into the office, measured us for uniforms, and practically signed us up for the job before we could even blink. Later they realized since we don’t have a work visa and only have a student visa we can’t actually work, but they invited us to make dumplings with them next week. We also ventured out more in the city and went to Walking street with many vendors and the Two-Head park. 

The work outfits we were measured for.....Two-Head Park

Two head park and a purple car!!!

Something really cool that has happened to me is that I found (sorry for the coding….security stuff) IH-P people here! =) (I call them pancake people). I even found people who are from a mixxionary agency with the pancake place. I’ve met at least 4 of them here! I’ve also gotten to go to several meetings and teachings and even their pr-yer room. =) I think it’s really cool that G-d placed me with people whom I’m like to give me a taste of what it would look like to be a part of the their agency before I did a season with them. 
China comes alive at night! Food street opens and has the best food!

In addition, I finally realized the value of the model of the pr-yer room in kc. While kc doesn’t say that their model is the perfect one or the specific way to do the pr-yer room, they stress the importance of the values of structure. I was able to join a random group of strangers and still know what was going on and how the pr-yer meeting would work. It was so cool! 

Our dorm building lights up at night

Since being here, I’ve also realized more of what I want to do full time as a mixxionary. I don’t want to do m-nistry without the value of the pr-yer room. Even if it’s not all the time 24/7, but just like a few hours each day or even a few hours a week….pr-yer so important! I really want to be part of living among the locals and training them how to be mixxionaries to their own people. No matter how well I know the the-logy or d-ctrine, I’m still not gonna know all cultural things like giving green socks means you hate their mother (haha…random example). Even if they have less understanding of the-logy than me, they would be more effective in reaching their own people. I want to be part of a training/sending school that teaches how to do the mixxion stuff (like how to deal with culture shock, how to raise support, what to do when you encounter such and such) as well as teaches the the-logy part, with some sort of pr-yer room context on campus a few hours a week people could drop in for. I’m still thinking about what would be my legal reason for being in the country…and, how dance would be involved. I’ll probably do lots of the cultural dancing. I’m excited to see more of what He shows as desires in my heart.

Here are some more pictures from campus life! 

Students dry their bedding on bushes in the sunshine.....Grace and I out shopping 

Our first dorm birthday...Happy Birthday Wahyu! (Guy in the red shirt in the middle-from Indonesia)

On left: what we call lunch rush. So many people!!!! On Right: a walkway near the basketball courts

Kirsti & Grace with a cute Chinese kid

Facetiming parents is so much fun!!! You never know what you will find in teacher dorms....Captain America!!!

 Cute little kid watching Latin dancing

Another cute kid on a bus......Karissa & Grace at lunch

I love nature pictures! With warm weather coming, spring has begun here on campus:

Cherry blossoms and other flowers....Springtime is here!!!

 We saw clouds!!!! We finally saw through the smog!!! And had a beautiful sunset!!!

The campus lights everything up at night!!! 

Today was really warm and sunny and bright! We even saw blue sky today!!!! No smog!!! =) Nice weather requires more exploring!

 Blue skies today!!!! So exciting!!!!

 We explored the roof of our building today....still more drying laundry 

 The top of our dorm and 4 very-excited-for-sunshine roomies!

Thank you for pr-ying!!!!! “The pr-yers of a righteous man are powerful and effective.” James 5:16

***When commenting, please be sure to code all r-ligious words for my safety! Thanks!***


  1. I loved reading this. Great job..fabulous photo story!

  2. Really neat pictures--glad to see some blue sky! You've encountered super opportunities to interface with "people on the street/in the culture" with the invitation to someone's home for tea and to meet their family and to make dumplings at the restaurant! The flowers are beautiful.

  3. You are a great photojourn alist!

  4. Wow! As I was sitting quietly this morning I marveled at what a good daddy you have who has allowed you to be in the place and with the people you love. And you get to dance while you're there. It just doesn't get any better than that. We love the pictures, it lets us feel like we're "almost there too". Love you, Nana

  5. it's so awesome to see how r boss is leading and guiding you each day there on the other side of the world! GREAT BLOG! cherish the relationships he has for you there. many of them may last forever. :-)