One of the greatest joys of my life is being a link for people.
I often feel like a corner piece. When I met my new classmates at the uni this year, I linked up several classmates with my old students to be language partners. Seeing their friendships grow made me feel needed, important, and happy. I like being the catalyst and then watching the relationships go on and grow on their own.
Last Christmas I was given 4 tickets to the international fellowship's Christmas Party. I invited my 4 fave Chin.ese people: Michael, Christina, Stone, and Lin. Stone couldn't come, so Lin brought her mom and the bunch of us (along with some of my foreigner friends) sat around a table and had a grand ol' time.
At that party, Michael and Lin became acquainted and I introduced Michael hoping that the orphan hospital (Lin) and my work hospital (Michael) could work together on charity issues.
Well, that relationship has exceeded my wishes and hopes and has become a beautiful thing. Michael routinely visits the orphan hospital and takes groups there to volunteer. Last week, a group of doctors from America spent the day singing, playing games, making dumplings, and helping bath the children. They also gave translated lectures on child-care and hygiene to the nurses. (some of my students were the translators! I'm so proud!)
Today I met with Michael and he shared the pictures and stories with me. Honestly, I was a little sad that things go on without me. That human part of me was like, "hey! Why didn't I get to go!" But then I looked at the big picture and realized that's not why I am here - to see things and hoard experiences.
One day I will leave Chi.na, and it is my greatest hope that these activities will continue. And they will. They don't need me. I get to be lucky enough to be here, to be a small catalyst, but the work is not in my hands. It's bigger than me. It's a freeing thought.
I am thankful for those Americans whom I will never meet. They shared joy with the children, brought them toothbrushes from America (better quality), and were another solidifier for the relationship between the two hospitals.
This all brings me great, deep, unspeakable joy. It's reaffirming. Even though I have a bad attitue towards Chi.na 75% of the time (it's been a hard year), I know that this is my life. I haven't mis-stepped, and I can't go anywhere else just yet. There's more bridges to build.
Here's some pictures from last week's trip, all taken by Michael:
dance, little one, dance:
I wish there weren't any orphans in the world. But there are. So we must do something. Anything. Toothbrushes and singing. Anything.
walk slow. xoxo.