Ni hoa, from the China team! We are having an amazing time here in China. Our week has been full and there is so much to tell you about. Our team is typically spending their morning working on construction projects around the camp. This week that included, finishing a brick fire circle, digging up bricks in the back corner of the camp and dismantling a dry pond in the middle of the camp. This team loves to work and it is exciting to see all that they can accomplish in a few short days. I anticipate that we will be able to accomplish much during our four weeks here. In the afternoons, the team is divided up with the campers as they participate in fun activities. Team members have joined campers on bike rides, playing basketball, making soap/crafts and learning english. We have been surprised at how well the campers speak english. Many are hesitant to speak english with us, but once they were comfortable, many relationships began to blossom. Some highlights this week included a water fight in the pouring rain (the water fight was a planned activity…the rain was not) and a final night celebration and fire, which included smores!
On Saturday, the campers left. There were many hugs “good bye” and little notes passed from the campers to the team members, thanking them for coming and being so friendly. After the campers left, our missionaries took the opportunity to spend some time with the team discussing Chinese culture and taboos. This was a fascinating time and discussion with the team as they discovered more about the Chinese culture. We were surprised to be invited to dinner with the camp volunteers on Saturday night. We were treated to an amazing Chinese buffet. Team members had the opportunity to try unique foods like chicken feet and heads or stick to traditional foods like orange chicken and noodles. The team is enjoying Chinese food!
Sunday, we worshiped with the other volunteers at the camp. Our leader, Ryan, shared with the group and then we prayed over the camp. We enjoyed lunch together and then headed into the nearby town for a little shopping. We are in a rural part of China and many people consider our city a village, although it doesn’t look like a village to us. There are many large buildings and lots of shops for the team members to explore. Many team members decided to have custom traditional outfits made for them. Team members were measured and picked out their fabrics. In 10 days our outfits will be fitted and then we will be able to come home with unique traditional Chinese coats and dresses. We concluded our trip to a local cheese factory which is run by one of our missionaries. He has been living in China for the past 20 years and is Dutch. He helps local farmers create Gouda cheese, which is extremely difficult to find here in China. The team had the opportunity to sample his cheese and many team members purchased a wheel of cheese.
Tomorrow a new group of campers will arrive and we will start all over again. We anticipate 60 campers. The team is looking forward to continuing their work projects and spending the afternoon working directly with the kids. We continue to appreciate your prayers. Thank you.
From the team:
“Wow. So far, that’s all I can say. China is so amazingly beautiful, and you can see God’s craftsmanship in every little piece of this country. As most people know, China’s air is very polluted, and I can tell you first hand that it is true,but I’ve noticed a little analogy that it makes. You can always see the smog, but once in a while there are some clear patches, like the Christianity here. Anyways, today we went to a gigantic park and did a little scavenger hunt with the campers. The kids are very sweet and affectionate and the elderly people love hearing me speak Chinese. I have only been here one day, but I know that this summer will be very amazing. Keep praying for us!” – Sam J.
“China is cool! I’ve been stopped three times because locals wanted to take pictures with me. Even though there is no hot water (big surprise when I turned on the water, btw), and we still have to sleep in tents, I have to remember that this is not about me, nor is it all going to last forever. Love you Mom & Dad!” – Alathea R.