Celebrity Status

Good morning!

It is 9pm here in China but I know that most of you are just waking! I surely am not looking forward to readjusting to a new time zone when we come home :/

To say the very least, me and my American friends are regarded as celebrities in China. For the first couple days it was cute and exciting. Then it reached a point of utter frustration all the time. It can be a little draining when everyone that walks passed you gawks with their mouths open. They whisper and take pictures. We often have people (of all ages) ask us to take pictures with them as if we are truly people to brag about meeting. It was a little out of control! But now we have reached what we like to call the “Golden Years.” In marriage terms, this is the time when we just love everything again. The honeymoon is over, the routine middle years are just behind us and we are pleased to enjoy and relish in every moment.

Yesterday we went to a musuem. “Oh, how interesting” you might be inclinded to say, but I object. Musuems can be fun, yes, but when it is the 5th musuem you’ve visited in a weeks time and EVERYTHING is in Chinese (including the tour guides) it gets a little tiring. We decided to make it fun and we made ourselves an exhibit inside one of the main exhibit rooms. I think that Dad was smiling on our desire to have a little fun and we found 6 wooden benches just sitting in a little nook. Our team of Americans sat down and posed as statues while Chinese patrons wandered past and gawked at us. I mean, they gawked anyways, so we decided to give them something to stare at :) We had our Chinese friends play along and they would pretend to be visitors as well, even to the point of convincing other random visitors that we were not real. When a large enough crowd gathered our Chinese friend, Quinten, would yell “1, 2, 3!” And we would all awake from our statue state, terrifying the Chinese gawkers. It was one of my favorite moments of the trip thus far. So much fun!

Tomorrow the University is having a going away party for us. They have invited their entire school and are expecting around 500 Chinese students to come. Last week they asked us to prepare acts to perform at the party, along with Chinese performances. Since few of us are wildly talented we’re just having fun with it. Jeff, Nicole, DavRog, and Melissa are singing worship songs. Yes, I said that and it is okay! :) When we arrive I will expand on how this is possible but it is truly a mighty work!! The American girls are singing a special song for one of our American boys, Derek and I are lipsyncing “A Whole New World” and the Americans are doing a step dance. We just had dress rehearsal (they take it far more seriously than we do!) and everytime we took the stage the errupted in applause. The real performances should be great :)

We have only two short days left with the students and I beg for you to lift my team up and lay us at His feet. There is still work to be done and we don’t want to leave anything that is ready for harvest. Keep us in your thoughts! Can’t wait to share more details!!

I’m thankful for you all! See you soon!

Jennifer

HELLO!

Wow!
Friends, I am terribly sorry that this is only post two!! The internet here is China is very touchy and this is the first time that it has allowed me to post other than the night we arrived. I have certainly tried, but it just did not work.
I could not possibly tell you everything that has happened in the last two weeks. It is without a doubt radically different than it was when we first got here. What a reason to celebrate!
Last Sunday (about 10 days ago) we took a 10 hour train ride to Inner Mongolia, a province north of Beijing. Since arriving, we have been living with Chinese students at a university. We are dorming with them, having special classes, and seeing important sights in Inner Mongolia. It is called a “cultural exchange” program. The workt that we are out to do has surely been accomplished with great care. We have shared so much with our new friends and our family has grown!! :) So amazing. Every night we are reading our books with them and truly pouring out everything we have.
That to say, this is the most exhausting thing I have ever done. I am empty in every way and ask that you would continue to lift up my team in thought as we finish out this final week.
It has truly been the ride of a lifetime and I cannot wait until I am home and able to share greater details with you. It has been nothing short of a mighty work and we are so thankful. The stories I have to share will blow you away!
We will leave the University and return to Beijing by way of train on Sunday night. Tuesday afternoon we fly out of Beijing. We’ll then have 9 hour layover through the night and then a flight home.
Don’t stop thinking of us now!! We really truly rely on it.
Thanks, precious friends!!
See you soon!

Jennifer

Arrival!

Hello!!

We are in the Big City!!! The plane ride was veryyy long, but we made it! We left PBA at 3:15am on Wednesday, May 12. You, my friends, are just beginning May 13, but we are about to go to sleep and close the day.  We traveled for around 26 hours today。 Instead of flying around the world we flew over the North Pole,which was unusual and very neat! It is insanely difficult to type on Chinese computers because it constantly changes the words Itype to Mandarin。 Haha。 So I appologize if this turns out looking totally wacky.

We arrived in the city today around 3pm China time (3am body time!) and drove to our hotel. It is a nice little place! We walked to dinner tonight and had a fabulous meal!! Our friends here are great And I know it is going to be a wonderful trip。

The next 3 days we have the privilege of sightseeing in this beautiful city!Icannot wait to share all the fun things we experience!! After that we are traveling North to spend time with college students! We will be taking a 14 hour train ride to get there! Ah! It will be like the plane all over again. We were told that we will have beds on the train though, which makes it infinitely better!

Well, I have been awake for longer than my body would prefer, so I must head to sleep. I miss you all dearly。 Hope you have a wonderful day! Please keep lifting us up! Talk to you soon!

from China,

Jennifer

TWO days!

Good Evening!

We just finished our first night of training. This helps us prepare for the travel and adventures we will have as we teach English in Beijing. My team leaves PBA at 3:30am on Tuesday night (aka: Wednesday morning) which means I have TWO days left. Yikes.

It is absolutely surreal that I am going to travel half way around the world in about 55 hours. I went to Target today and got a few things, but other than that I have SOO much do. I still haven’t completely cleaned my room. And packing is about the LAST thing on my mind. I should probably change those two things… But there are far more fun things to do before take off.

Keep lifting us up && I’ll keep you updated :)

Much love,

Jennifer

p.s. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOMMA! I love you SO SO much and I can’t wait to be home and spending time with you in just a few weeks :) Love you more than the world.