Thursday, August 21, 2008
Today we went to Beijing - ostensibly to see the Olympics. I went to the Atlanta Olympics with Katrina (the day of the bombing). We saw a diving competition, but the most fun we had was walking around the Olympic center, buying pins, seeing entertainment and just being part of the festivities. Apparently the Olympics have changed greatly since then. All the festivities are contained behind wire fences. Only event ticket holders are allowed in. So we stood outside taking pictures through the gate with the other regular Chinese folk. Of course, we also occassionally became the subjects of pictures - see the family that asked to take a picture of their little girl with Ric (and later wanted a pix with the little girl, her mother and Ric). This has happened several times since we have been here. I don't get it at all. What could they possibly write as the caption -Chinese looking boy with American parents? or American boy, looks like us?...We smile and co-operate. As you can see, Jerry managed to track down a fellow worshipper of Manchester United. Thats Andy standing in front of a church where they were taking Chinese wedding pictures (thats when they dress in rented western looking wedding garb just for pictures, the day before the actual Chinese wedding). Ric is poseing beside the different official Chinese Olympic uniforms since 1996. If you look closely in the picture of the four of us you might see the Olympic flame in the background.
The very first picture is of the boys on the highspeed train (217 miles per hour) we took from Tianjin. It was amazing! The inside was like a plush airplane with assigned seats that reclined and stewardesses who brought a cart with water. There is also a restaurant and an internet bar - all this for a 27 minute train ride !! And the ride was as smooth as silk, with never a sense of the real speed you are traveling. It took longer to buy the tickets and get to the train than it did to get to Beijing.
Tomorrow we pack up and fly to Guangzhou. I am more and more certain as I search the internet that Andy has some kind of syndrome, but he is a sweet, loveable guy. As I was stressing about it again this morning, I read this :"Don't put conditions on God. Don't say, Lord I am willing to do this and that, but I refuse to cooperate if you want me to do anything outside this criteria. .........Does your life really belong to God or to yourself?.....God knows how to best use your life to glorify Him. He knows the special gifts he has given you and where you can be most effective for his kingdom. Will you obey our Lord and go where he sends you, do as He asks?........There is no time to waste. Your days on earth are few.....ask the Lord of the Harvest to show you how to proceed, and he surely will."- Brother Yun