I want to first apologize for the delay in the report. The internet was down all day so I could not send it off.
Dear friends and family,
What a beautiful country the Lord has blessed China with. In our last report I mentioned that we were on our way to our Terra Cotta Warriors trip. On Friday we left the Evergreen property at 7am and had a beautiful nine-hour drive through China from the Shanxi province to the Shaanxi province (spelled similar but spoken differently). While we were in the Shaanxi province, we had the opportunity to see the City Wall in Xi’an. China has an old and rich culture that is mixed with the new and developing Metropolis. Xi’an was an ancient capitol that was surrounded by a wall that still remains today. It was very interesting to see the old and new together. After our time there we went to a nearby street market where we had an amazing time of eating local foods and bartering with the street venders. Here are some of the team members words about this experience:
“China is so beautiful! Friday night we went to Xi’an city and walked around. We walked through the colorful street shops and had delicious noodles for dinner. Everyone who saw us would stare and I even had a girl ask if she and her friends could take a picture with me! I am so excited about being here and can’t wait to spread Jesus’ love!” –Rachel Okrey
“China is one of the most beautiful and interesting places I have ever been. We went to a night market Friday night, and the lamb dumplings I tried were scrumptious! We were able to shop and barter after our authentic Chinese dinner, and pick up a few souvenirs. I love experiencing such a rich culture, and can’t wait to work with the kids here at camp in less than a week. I know God has awesome things planned for us!” –Heather Kennedy
After we had our adventure in the street market we walked to out hotel and got a much-needed nights rest.
On Saturday morning we took our trip to the Terra Cotta Warriors. We had a bit of a hiccup when half of our team was temporarily denied access because they disputed our claim that they were students. Thankfully two of the leaders were with that group and the other two were with the ones held up. It took about 40 minutes to get in contact with the right person to inform the one guard that they were indeed students. The once angry man now became a polite and helpful person and we were allowed access. We all had plenty of time to explore and take lots of pictures of the Warriors frozen in time. Some nearly perfect while others crumbled in time.
“So far, I’ve been in China with an awesome team for about a week now. Saturday we went to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. Before half the team got in we got stopped at the gate due to problems with the tickets. Despite getting stuck outside of the gate, we became superstars. The Chinese people gave us many laughs as they kept taking pictures of us. When we got in the gate I was amazed at the beauty and the amount of the Warriors. There was so much detail in every one. It reminded me of how God carefully made us with His extremely complete detail. Some of them were broken to pieces. Just like our lives, we are broken people but God makes us beautiful.” – Wesley Walton.
After our full and adventures time we began our nine-hour journey back to the Evergreen base.
Sunday was a fun day. We were able to attend a Church in Taiyuan, a city about an hour away. The Church had about 500 people in it and we had a wonderful time of worship and preaching of God’s Word, all of which was in Mandarin. Nevertheless it was enjoyable to spend time with believers. After church our friends and guides (people who work at Evergreen) took us to Starbucks. I know. Not what I expected, but a good portion of China reminds me of the United States. Taiyuan is one of those places—big skyscrapers and booming economy. So it wasn’t too out of place to have a Starbucks. After that we broke into our travel groups and went to lunch and a little more shopping. One of my favorite things of the day came after the group all came back together. We were sitting in a park and started to play Christian songs. Many people gathered around us and took pictures. We even had a police officer come over to listen and then move on. We took precautions and asked our guides who said what we were doing was ok and that we would not have any problems, and we didn’t. We pray that God would take that and use that for His glory. It was very exciting and emboldened the kids that if God is for us who can be against us!
Today we started working on some projects to get the camp ready for the campers who come on the 6th—painting, plastering, sanding, and building a catapult. Yes I said a catapult. It will be used for a massive water balloon fight for the camp.
God is Good and He is using people you know to bless the people of China. Keep praying for us, that we grow in the Lord and use that knowledge to bring glory to God. Thank you for your prayers! Blessings.