What can I say about today? It was another one of those strange days that was busy but not at the same time. We were up bright and early-some earlier than others and had breakfast at 8:00- this seems to be the official breakfast time, followed by devotional time. We’re looking at James-I can’t remember if I mentioned that in my last post. After that Shumin, John, Ron and Chuck walked to the train station to get our tickets while Phyllis and Marilynne went to KFC to get some western-ish food for their lunch. Jeff and I went on adventure to try and find a djembe-sadly we didn’t find one but it was great walking through Guilin again and seeing so many familiar sights. After that we went to the department store that doubles as grocery store in the basement in typical chinese fashion. We got lots of different things for our train ride lunch and I discovered that everytime I say I don’t know what something is Jeff’s automatic response is “I want to try it.” I quickly stopped saying that. We had lots of junk food items though and when we got to the check out I’m fairly certain the ladies working there mocked us a bit. Although I really don’t blame them-sterotypical white people eating tons of junk food, it didn’t help that we had more than enough food for 7 people. From the store we walked back to the hotel, packed up and filled John’s super-minivan with our luggage. Ron, Phyllis and Chuck went with John in his van while the rest of us walked to the station. Only about a 15 or 20 minutes. The train ride was smooth and easy, and the washroom was definitely not as bad as I remember it being-although it probably helped that the train wasn’t busy at all. We practiced our puppet scripts and enjoyed looking out at the scenery since it was such a lovely sunny day. Had our random lunch of mixed delights and I can now say I’ve tasted the Chinese Rainbow-that’s right Skittles!-China style. MLIA. Had some Chinese guys working on the track staring at me a little when we were stopped at long-su(I’m definitely not spelling it right but thats ok) Everyone decided it would be quite amusing if we pulled out Billy, my lovely duck friend so Jeff pulled him out and had him staring out the window at the guys. We all had quite a laugh at that, including them and when the train pulled out about 5 minutes later I made sure to smile sweetly and wave good-bye. It was quite the adventure. Shortly after the sun started to set and we have lots of beautiful pictures of it sliding behind the mountains-I’ll see what I can do about getting some pictures up but since I’m on the Hotel computer here in Rongshui I may have some technical difficulties trying to navigate around the Chinese everything. And as you probably figured out from the previous sentance we arrived in Rongshui! David met us at the train station and arranged some taxi’s to take us to our hotel. We’re staying at a different hotel this year-the Fu Hua Hotel, it’s been absolutely lovely so far other then the GIANT SPIDER IN MY ROOM when we first got here. That was the scariest part of this halloween for me-God must have known I needed something since it’s my favorite holiday. Thankfully my lovely roomie Marilynne is not so scared of spiders and got rid of it for me. God bless her! Had a nice dinner at the resteraunt here in the hotel and then David took us on a quick walk down the street to show us where some shops are if we need anything. Sadly we did not get to see the kids tonight as we arrived at 7:30 and after having dinner and everything it would have messed with the kids bed-time. Tomorrow I will see the kids again for the first time in almost 5 years and I can’t wait! For now though I will say good-bye and hopefully get a good rest-we’re planning on painting tomorrow so rest is important. Blessings on all of you! Keep us in your prayers as we minister to the children and to the people here in Rongshui. And-because I already mentioned it’s my favorite holiday-HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! -To those of you who don’t celebrate it, may you have a wonderful day full of God’s richest blessings and mercies. Happy Harvest! Lot’s of Love!
The Chug, chug, chug of the train
lulls me to contentment
peace covers me like a blanket
and the lazy afternoon sun
settles on me like hot tea
on a cold day
comfort to soothe away unease.
The landscape sliding past my window
looks so much like home
and so much like adventure
they twist together in my mind in the most wonderful way.
My team, my family
sits around me
enjoying the wonderful blessing of God’s creation
and I can’t imagine being any happier than I am in this instant.
The sun turns red and the sky goes pink
the slow fade of day to night begins
and while the world goes to sleep around me
I stay lost in this frozen picture of tranquility
that is locked in my memory
until the end of time, and beyond