Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rain, false gods, cheese and toilet paper. Day five.

Today was different. It rained all day, which made some things even more challenging than before. Imagine streets littered trash, filth, poop and only the Lord knows what else, and then pour a bucket of water on it. And then make a puddle of it. And then step in it. Yep.

Of course, I brought everything with me today BUT an umbrella, so a couple of times we just got downright soaked. But, it also cooled things off quite a bit which was a huge blessing.

This was the second day of the English camp. These students are not strangers to us anymore and that changes things. It is starting to become apparent to us which students are believers, and they are few. Which leaves so many that are not. We now know that the red necklaces that dangle around many of our friend’s necks have a Buddah, or some symbol of another god, concealed under their clothes. When we talk to them in Literature class about Jane Eyre and the topics of death, eternity and God, we are getting more honest answers now that the students are more comfortable with us. But that is also tough, because many of them feel that the concept of God and heaven and hell are silly. So silly that some snicker with laughter. Not to be cruel to us, but simply because they have lived their whole lives believing in nothing. They have never been taught religion of any sort, and for many this is the first time, ever in their lives, that they have even thought about the subject.

Some of the students shared with me today that they have grandparents (usually one set or the other and not both) who they remember being believers. They don’t know how they came to believe in God, but they think that their prayers and belief in heaven and hell are just silly quirks of the ancient old Chinese people. The concept of God and eternity seems to have literally been stricken from the minds of two generations of people.

Of course as our knowledge about these sweet people grows, so does the depth of our relationships with them. Although many of them do not understand what we believe, they still accept us as friends. We go to lunch with them and talk just like any friends would. Our differences in belief, or their lack of any belief, doesn’t seem to hinder friendship, and that is unique. I think as Americans we tend to only be comfortable surrounding ourselves with like minded people...........which is a shame because then how will anyone who doesn’t believe, ever come to belief?

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15

After our classes (and some awesome afternoon games) were over for today, we had a short break for dinner and then we had a girls night/ guys night. The dudes all went by bus to the city to eat at Pizza Hut! Apparently it is very new to the city and most of the students have never been, much less ever eaten pizza in their life. They have no cheese here…..such a sadness.
Headbands game! (sort of)

The girls night was an awesome time of hanging out, eating cookies (which they never have because they don’t want to get fat) and pizza (leftovers the boys brought us) and tea. Mandi sang a song and Lynn and I shared a little about the concept of self worth and who these girls are in God’s eyes. I shared a good bit of my story, and many of the students (and a few of the foreignersJ) seemed to have been really affected by it in a good way. It is always awesome to see God make beautiful things out of the ashes of pain in someone’s life. We taught the girls how to make friendship bracelets. I hope they will continue to wear them and think of this time we had together and what we shared with them.

We are now back and exhausted again. Tomorrow we will roam all over the city on a scavenger hunt with the students……I hope I can keep up with them!


-They have no toilet paper. At least not in the bathrooms. If you plan to need it, you better bring it with you.
-They don’t flush toilet paper down the squatty potties. Guess the pipes are too skinny for the population. So all toilet paper goes in the trash can. All.
 -They have no napkins in any of the restaurants. If they do have napkins, it is actually just toilet paper. Circle of life.

1 comment:

  1. So incredible! Glad you got to do such an amaing trip. Miss you girl! Your kiddos are all kinds of growing up!