Wednesday, January 9, 2013

November and December Pictures

The last few months in pictures. They are out of order on dates and that makes me crazy, but it takes too much effort to change it. I tried and just couldn't do it! Sorry!

First up, Our sweet visit with Staci

Yep, this is on our couch... it's really cold here even inside... We often see our breath as we eat dinner. 
This is taken at our local favorite restaurant... "The Hot Pot" They bring out a pot with a duck and broth in it.
Then, we add in yummy vegetables. This restaurant has the best spring rolls ever!

For New Years Eve, we were invited to a symphony orchestra concert. We ate at a nice restuarant
and enjoyed an evening of pretty music.

Some of the girls all dressed up!

It was such a special evening and we were so happy to have Staci there with us.

In the background is the concert hall... it is a magnificent building.


Staci brought us these fun glasses from America, so while we were waiting on a taxi, we had fun taking pictures of us all wearing them. They kept us entertained for quite some time.

We took the ferry across the river to the other side of the city. We were able to watch a gorgeous sunrise.
Within two days, we used every form of transportation offered here in Wuhan while gallivanting around the city....
bus, a friend's personal car, taxi, ferry, and a subway

This is the Yellow Crane Tower. It is a popular tourist spot here. We have been here a couple of times during the day, but
we have never seen it lit up so that was a special treat.

Staci also brought us stuff to celebrate Baby V. We made cupcakes (some were colored pink and some blue).

Proud parents to be wearing our badges.

Decorating the Christmas tree with Nancy. We had such a fun time and she was so excited to be a part of it.

We shared a special Thanksgiving meal with friends.

A little crafting on Thanksgiving.

Kid's Night-
Thursday nights the children come to our house and we do some fun singing, dancing, playing,
we share a story from the Word and eat Pizza Hut. It is a special night for all of us each week.

Some of our students all dressed up ready for the Christmas Show (see my last post for details)

Looking like a true Who girl right there.

Here's to hoping I'll do better blogging over these next few months.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It is January... How did that happen?

I’ve been a terrible blogger this semester. Life just keeps flying by and doesn’t slow down long enough for me to sit and write my reflections. This semester has brought us precious moments in the middle of the mundane. We feel more settled than ever before into a place of comfort and it seems that any time I get comfortable the Father decides to make a change. He doesn’t want us to stay in a comfortable place because we become less effective. We allow the comfort to take the place of His presence. For us at this time, He decided to bless us with a baby to be born in June. We could not be more excited, however, this really through a “kink in the plan.” We began to research options for staying here to have the baby. We felt like this was our home. This is where He has us. But after much research and heart-searching, we decided this would not be the best option for us. So, then we began to devise a plan of the whos, hows, whats, and wheres for coming to America to have the baby. We prayed and talked and talked and prayed. In the meantime, I was having some mild complications like hypertension and recurrent UTIs. We decided that I would return to America at the beginning of March and Cody would have to stay here to finish as much of the semester teaching as possible. So, Cody will join me on June 1st with lots of prayers that the baby stays put until Cody’s arrival. The situation is less than ideal, but we both feel at peace about it and that is what carries us to push on. 

 Even though, we felt pretty all consumed with the surprising news of a baby coming, life here continued on. We enjoyed having Nancy here and looked for opportunities to tell her of a perfect Father through reading stories from the Word, Kid’s Night (children come to our house on Thursday nights for pizza, we sing songs and dance, and share a story about Him), and meaningful conversations. Her parents have decided to move her to a teammates’ home since I will be leaving in March. 

 We also had awesome opportunities to share about him at school during the Christmas season. This is always an excellent time to tell the story of his birth and this year was no different. All of our students performed a Christmas skit completely in English entitled, “How Christmas Stole the Heart of the Grinch.” It was a spinoff of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” but completed with a nativity. Around 300 people attended this program and were told about His birth. It was pretty amazing and we were pretty proud of our students for doing such an excellent job!

 We finished off 2012 with my sweet friend, Staci coming to visit us. It was a wonderful time of catching up and gallivanting around our big city. We were encouraged by having her here and had a blast. We are so thankful for sweet friends and family that love, encourages, and supports us.  We are tremendously blessed.

 We have three more weeks in the semester and then we finally have a long break. We will head to Thailand at the end of January for our conference retreat. We are so looking forward to rest, relaxation, warmth, sunshine, fresh air, and sweet moments with our Father.  While we are looking ahead to Thailand, we are hoping to make the most of each day He has given us here because it is gift, not to be taken for granted, and we know that he is preparing the hearts of people all around us. May we be sensitive to His work.

 We are excited about 2013 and all that it will bring. Our hope is that we will walk in faith and obedience each day, no matter where or what He calls us to.