Being involved

It has taken a little bit of time for all of us to become steady on our “China legs” once again. It is a little hard to just jump right back in where we left off. We have been asking for opportunities to get involved with local community. So many opportunities have arisen, now we are asking for wisdom to know which we should be involved in.

David started working at Gina’s place within a week of returning. He is amazing. His language ability, his way of connecting with people, his willingness to help others are just a few things I admire about him. He truly is a man who seeks to glorify our Father in all things.

Rachel, 16, was able to teach English for a month which was a great experience for her. Four nights a week, she taught a small group of locals. She was teaching for a friend who had to go out of town. Now, she is looking for her next opportunity to serve in the community. Working at the restaurant, teaching English, or taking music classes are all opportunities for us to meet locals and live our life before them. It is all about being intentional in all we do.

Torie, 14, and Charis, 12, are both working at the restaurant with David. They go at different times and work directly with our wait staff, who are not like-minded. It is a great opportunity, not only for language study, but for sharing their life with others.

Alia, 9, started Tae kwon do last week. She goes to class 3 days/week. I get to sit in the waiting area with all the other moms. Hopefully, I will get to know some of them soon. Alia also made a friend in our neighborhood, but she is on vacation with her family for a few weeks. Great opportunities are always around but so many times we are too busy living our life to notice them.

We hired a helper, Maria, to clean our house 2 days a week. She is a hard worker and gives me lots of practice speaking Chinese. She has a son that is about 12 years old. Since it is now summer vacation, Maria asked if her son could come to our home while she is cleaning so he want get involved with anything bad. He goes to summer school, first thing in the morning, and then joins his mom at our house. Maria really wants her son to learn good habits from our children. (That makes me nervous! She obviously doen’t know my girls very well! ) Alia and Charis have taught him how to play a couple of board games and next week, I will help him with English. Maria and her son do not know our Father, yet.

For fun, I’ve been teaching a cooking class. Rachel, Torie, and their friend Young (who just graduated from high school and is about to head to college in the states) each made a list of foods that they wanted to learn to cook. So on Mondays we are cooking meals and on Thursdays we are cooking desserts. First of all, everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. (That is for a later conversation.) But, we are having a good time regardless. It has turned into something special not just for friends to do together, but something for me to do along with two of my favorite girls.

Being involved may mean stepping out of your comfort zone or maybe being creative in your everyday activities. It may mean setting aside your own desires to meet a current need. It may be just spending a little extra time doing an activity, like cooking, that’s important to someone else. Some of the activities we have chosen to be involved in are only short-term, others will continue on. Our hope and desire is that all of them either encourage the body or reach out to those in need.

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