After an endless night at the Orlando Airport, a two-hour flight to Toronto, a four-hour layover in Toronto, an endless flight to Beijing (13 hours) and an endless bus ride (10+ hours) to our project site, the China team has arrived.
We all enjoyed the Commissioning service. We then had a short bus ride to the Orlando Airport where we unloaded our bus and enjoyed some pizza before moving into the air-conditioned airport where we spent the night. Many thanks to the Ray family for providing a room where the team could have their first real shower in almost three weeks and also for the goodies they and other parents provided. There wasn’t much sleep for the team as they were too excited.
We had a good flight to Toronto and a four-hour layover. We were surprised we had to go through customs as we were in transit, but it went fine. Many enjoyed a hamburger and fries at the airport. Most wanted McDonald’s, but that wasn’t available.
The flight to Beijing seemed endless and it took great efforts to get the team awake to eat the meals. Once we arrived in Beijing, we quickly got our luggage. We are so thankful that it was all there. We met up with Nina, one of our hosts, and carted the luggage outside to meet the bus. We were immediately assaulted with the heat, humidity and smog that Beijing is known for. After getting out the PB & J from the top of a duffel, the bags were loaded on the bus and we were quickly on our way.
Once the team was in the air-conditioned bus, most quickly fell asleep. It was nice to be able to “spread out”. A couple of hours down the road, we stopped for dinner—PB & J sandwiches and chips. Colton and BJ had RMB (Chinese money) from 2010 and they graciously bought everyone a soft drink (i.e. “coke” to the southerners). Once we ate and went to the bathrooms (most had their first experience with a “squatty potty”), we were on our way again and most were asleep within minutes. After a third bathroom break a couple of hours later, “lights out” was called for those die hards who had not been sleeping.
We FINALLY arrived at our location at 2:30 AM. Again, we quickly unloaded our bus, got our personal bags to our rooms and got to stretch out on a real bed with Chinese mattresses (thinner than we are used to, but just fine after what we had at Boot Camp).
We woke up at 8 AM, had breakfast and quickly got to the business of settling in—getting the food to the kitchen and inventoried, getting the equipment bags unpacked and sorted and getting our personal things sorted. We had devotions after orientation and then lunch.
We don’t have it too rough—a very nice kitchen, A/C dorms (but it is cool enough not to need it for sleep), running water and hot showers. The kitchen is AMAZING!!!!!! It is very large, with double refrigeration and double freezer space. A double oven, microwave, running water (should get hot water this week) and solid-surface countertops. The only “down side” is that the floors are white tile which get really dirty quickly.
We are all looking forward to what the Lord has for us to do this summer. We will be working the remainder of this week and plan on going to the Terra Cotta Warriors next weekend. We will then come back to helping run two English Camps back-to-back.
We are experiencing some coughs, colds and upset stomachs—mainly due to the travel. Please pray that everyone will get back to 100% quickly.
Greg Darby – We are safely at our project site in China! I can’t wait to get to work and start the English camps! Throughout Boot Camp and our travels, the Lord has shown me how much I need Him every moment to get through each day. The Apostle Paul meant it when he told the Philippians, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”
Madeleine Burk – Thus far, China itself has taught me a little. I have been trying to learn the language and God has blessed our team with team members, nationals, and missionaries who know the language and are more than willing to teach me. My mind has been occupied with more than that, though. God has been speaking to me through signs, reminding me of a promise He made me back in May. I have been thinking about this promise all throughout Boot Camp and I had a feeling God would make it clear to me when I got to China. He did. The first time I walked into a certain room at the camp, the very first thing I saw was a name that directly related to that promise. Since then, my team members have been playing songs on the piano that relates to that promise. I think this is God’s way of telling me that He will never forget His words to us and that He is constantly working to fulfill them.