I MC'd the Annual Hangzhou Int. Fellowship Christmas Party today for the 3rd year in a row. It was at the fancy schmancy Sheraton. There were 600 people in attendance, mostly natives.
Good news was shared to strangers and those closest to me. And it was understood by many.
It was a good day. One of those days where you get home and think: all of this is worth it. The distance from family, peeing in troughs, no heat in winter, being stared at on the street, loss of friendships back home, language and cultural barriers, latent tuberculosis, being uncomfortable 90% of the time...it is all worth it to one day hear, "well done, good and faithful servant."
When people get together, especially people from different cultural backgrounds, it is chaotic, hair-raising, nutso. But the end product is teamwork and joy. Every year the Christmas program is a testament to this idea: that all things done for good are worth it in the end, no matter how crazy the ride is to get there.
My table had 9 guests, we were only given 8 tickets, but I smuggled some more last minute. Of course 2 were these BFF's Christina, and Michael:
the ballroom that housed 600 hungry people:
MC's for the 3rd year in a row:
I imagine that one day in heaven I will sit with many friends whom I met with today. And we will laugh about the giant Christmas tree that fell over, how the choir sang off key, the wisemen held bamboo wlaking sticks, how I forgot to load the music for Star's singing performance, and how the letters to "Merry Christmas" kept falling off the wall so that by the end of the performance it read, "Me is mas." We will rejoice in this day because we were together, and we heard Good News.
What a joyful day that will be.
Until then, we will celebrate Christmas.
...Oh come ye, oh come ye, to Bethlehem.
walk slow. xoxo.