"I am here," said Much-Afraid, still kneeling at His feet, "and I will go with you anywhere." Then the Shepherd took her by the hand and they started for the Mountains. ~Hannah Hurnard
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Bethel Weeks 3 & 4 - This is the Life! (China Post 4)
I cannot believe I am halfway through my time here at Bethel. All I can say is that it has been the greatest blessing I could have asked for. This is the life! Not just because it’s a dream come true and I’m living at an orphanage in China constantly using the gifts God has given me to love His precious children and glorify His name, but because He is teaching me how to love. The words of Paul are making more and more sense to me: I could have so many things and do so many things, but if I have not love, I have nothing. And I do love these kids. I love their teachers. I love sharing my passion for music with them. I even love those really rough days when I have to cry out to God to give me creative ways to teach them and for patience and joy and strength. And those are things that I can take back with me when I have to return to “the real world.” I can purposely try to live a life of love and worship. I can continue allowing God to use me however He sees fit. I’m already beginning to realize how hard it’s going to be to leave this place and go back to America and my crazy life at school, but I have faith that God will see me through it and teach me to continue living Love, no matter where I am. But for now, I still have four weeks left at Bethel and I plan on enjoying every minute of it! Life is good. God is good. His children are precious. Anyway, let’s see if I can remember some of the best parts of the last two weeks, which have totally flown by!
We recently started having “Letter Class” with the preschoolers. We cover a letter each day and do activities that focus on that letter. Each letter class includes “Silly Songs with Stephanie,” the part of the class where Stephanie comes out and sings a silly letter song. :) It’s been so much fun. I really enjoy the chance to learn from these amazing teachers, and the kids are, of course, precious.
B was for bubbles. The the kids (and their ayis) all had so much fun with the bubbles. I love seeing the joy in these little faces!
June 25th was my 21st birthday. What a joy it was to get to celebrate it in China! My friend Marie and I went to the Temple of Heaven to celebrate. It was beautiful. My favorite part was meeting this little girl. We asked her mom to take a picture of us, and this sweet girl decided that she would join us. I didn’t mind a bit. When the little girl realized it was my birthday (I was wearing a tiara for the picture) she gave me one of her princess stickers as a gift. :) Precious!
Favorite picture ever! The highlight of my day is always going to the kids houses to sing with them. I can tell they really enjoy it, hopefully as much as I do. I think Fukai and I were singing “Here Comes the Sun” here. Their new favorite song is “Big House” by Audio Adrenaline. :)
These are some of our precious children, their teachers, and two other volunteers. They were all invited to the Hilton to learn how to cook. The kids had a great time.
Okay, last picture and best story. The little girl next to me is Qing Lian. She’s new to Bethel and just recently started going to classes with the rest of the kids, so she’s been pretty quiet and shy. She’s only recently started becoming close to me, and she’s really coming out of her shell. To her, my name is not Stephanie but “Doremi,” since her favorite song to sing is “Do Re Mi” from The Sound of Music. On Friday, at the end of Letter Class, she was sitting near me and started singing “Do a deer, a female deer.” I tried to quiet her down, but before I knew it, she was right next to me singing away and the whole class had joined. We finished the song, but she started again, so Fang Laoshi, the headmaster, had her stand in the middle of the circle and sing for the whole class. She was singing straight to me though. She did such a great job, and it was so nice to see her building up confidence and courage.