"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
Welcome to Beijing (China Post 1)
Well, I wish that I could say that everything has been amazing since I got here, but that’s not exactly the case. I have seen the hand of Providence as I traveled and as I have met and made pretty good friends with the other volunteers that I will be living, working, and playing with over the next couple of months. I will admit though that I was not at all prepared for the shock of this new culture, and have really struggled to take everything in, even more so because I’ve been sick for the last couple of days as I’m trying to get used to the food. The learning curve here is steep. I have been forced to learn to use chopsticks, ride a tandem bike (I never learned to ride a bike as a kid, and that’s must here, so my friends are helping me work my way up), and also use a squat toilet. Oh, and we won’t even get in to how it feels to not understand a word of the language! I’ve also had to learn much about living so far away from Community and fighting for joy and actively seeking as I wait on the Lord. I’m not sure why I thought that simply because I am following the Call, I would not have to battle fear and anxiety and cry out to see Promises come to pass. It wasn’t that way for the Israelites. Yes, God prepared the way for them, but He also left enemies in the Promised Land. We all have to learn to stand and fight and live day by day in full Dependence.
Truly, China is a whole other world. The parts of Beijing I have seen look nothing like the Olympic footage. It is so incredibly crowded and dirty in most places, and yet so clean and modern in others. I am struck by the poverty and yet astounded by the lights and the amazing architecture. I can tell this summer will teach me so much and really reshape my worldview. So far I’ve had one day (Friday) to see what Bethel and my work will be like. I’m excited that I will have more time beginning tomorrow (today is a Chinese holiday called the Dragon Boat Festival) to get into my work and get to know these wonderful kids. Each day brings more peace and hope as I adjust and wait to see what God is going to do through me. These last few days have been thoroughly humbling and I have reached a new point of dependence on God. I can’t believe how much more there is to do and to learn over the rest of this summer!