Hello from Beijing!!! I apologize if this is a short update, but we have been very busy in Beijing and having a wonderful time! The team has finished well and is enjoyed some much deserved sightseeing time in Beijing before we board the plane tomorrow afternoon. Saturday morning we said our last goodbyes to the staff and volunteers at the “Joy in the Journey” camp in Yangqu and boarded a bus which took us to Taiyuan to board the high speed train to Beijing. It was lots of “fun” managing our 50lb duffle bags onto the train, which has no way to check your luggage, so we stuffed them in every free space available. Many team members enjoyed experiencing the train which exceeded 300 km/hr at times during our journey. We arrived into Beijing Saturday afternoon and settled into our hotel before heading out for some “Western” food (McDonalds) and some sightseeing. The evening was spent visiting Tienamen Square and then walking to a local street market where team members could barter for souvenirs and eat exotic foods like scorpions and fried octopus. It was amazing to walk back to our hotel and pass the Forbidden City all lit up. The team did discover that we are still quite the attraction, even in the big city. People continued to walk up to team members and ask to take pictures with us. The team took this opportunity to be gracious and friendly, and snap a few photos of their own. Today, we got up early and traveled to the Great Wall. This was a highlight for many team members. The team took chair lifts to the top, walked a portion of the wall and then had the opportunity to ride toboggans back down to the base of the mountain. In the evening the team had the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Chinese meal including Beijing’s famous Peking Duck! Everyone seems to have mastered their chopsticks, because there was nothing left on the tables 🙂 We have truly enjoyed our time here in Beijing and many team members have come to love this country and its people.
Tomorrow morning we will board a bus and travel to the airport to prepare to leave. We are sad to go and pray that God will use the things were did here in China for His glory. Thank you for your continued prayers as we head home.