On my first trip to Chi.na in 2007, we made a pit stop in the capitol of the Muslim Autonomous Region on our way back home.
There, we met with a family who was in Chi.na with a group and a Purpose. We sat in their clean, nice living room on a college campus and chatted with them for a few hours before hopping on a train. They fed us baked goods and melons and soda and we salivated like we had never seen such goodness (because for a month, we had not). I remember several details from the visit that continue to impact my life abroad.
We were asking the mom, a woman probably in her late 20's, early 30's, what it was like to do "M" work in Chi.na. She answered that it was like real life, she gets up and has her coffee. There are good days and bad days. She talks with people and makes friends. She chats with her house keeper and stands outside the Chi.nese kindergarten waiting for her children with the Chi.nese moms and grandma's.
She replied that you do every day things when living this life - just remembering that your actions are meaningful and purposeful.
I'll never forget that and I have been sustained by those words repeatedly over the past 3 years.
I get up and I have my coffee. I make friends. I have quality relationships. I talk when I should and ask questions when I feel it's appropriate. And I listen. Always listening to hear the people's stories. To know them. To make the Work more meaningful.
So when my friend asked me to join a Chin.ese Fellowship in a BBQ in the park, I jumped at the opportunity.
Meaningful friendships. Quality time and discussions. Real life activities.
Here's some pics from today:
A bear in the woods!
workers preparing for the autumn flower show...
Chin.ese BBQ's are quite different...(messier, louder, not much rhyme or reason - like everything else)...
me being a doof as always, walking around in make-shift paper socks because the mosquitoes were killing me, watching/talking while the others do all the work, haha...
I never in my young life thought that I would one day be sitting in a park in Ch.ina discussing the Old Testament while pouring MSG over lotus root and eggplant. But alas, the unexpected always happens.
Then I came home, played with my cat, and went to the gym. All in all a good day. A meaningful day.
One of those days that makes me wonder how I could ever leave these people and this meaningful work. One of those days that keeps me here - just a little bit longer.
walk slow. xoxo.