Though our school year has been forced to end early (June 8th is the unconfirmed project date at the moment) due to the large international conference happening in Qingdao during that time, we are thankful that in regards to full-time operation the school itself is no longer at risk.
I ask again for continued uplifting of my entire cast and crew as we are down to only TWO weeks until we open! A lot has to happen in that time span, but I am learning a lot about leadership, management, relationships, patience, and handling disappointment more maturely through this process.
I also rejoice that these Saturdays (and the show as a whole) has blessed me with a real opportunity to get to know my students and pour into their lives as individuals. If the show itself is a total flop, I know that my Father created these “life” moments to be so more valuable and life-changing for all involved. Sure, I really want the kids to have a good show... but at the end of the day, building lifelong relationships like these is why I felt called to become a teacher. I rejoice in the fulfillment of this wish. He knows.
What was even more special to me was that neither the mother nor father come from a Western country where Baby Showers are even a regular event. This meant that the entire experience for her was completely new! My friend said she felt so overwhelmed by the love and generosity of everyone. I think it was a shock for her, the best kind of shock, that brought great comfort as well (considering the fact that she is away from her immediate family and home culture AND about to have her first child!). I can't imagine the courage and confidence she surely has and I am grateful to have been a part of such a lovely surprise!
To me, this is what becoming the Body is about... loving, supporting, blessing, and creating a true sense of family no matter where we are called.
In case you are wondering, Asian hair dressers are terrified of Western hair.
It’s really a shame because I’m a person who needs a trim pretty regularly (wavy hair struggles). Early last week I was really wanting something more than a self-trim (something I’d been keeping up with myself since moving to China), and one night I just came home just fed up with tangled, frizzy hair. I did something you are not supposed to do… in a passion of rage, I chopped off six inches of my hair!
Yeah, I did it myself! To quote a good friend, "Yikes!" Haha.
Thankfully - though I definitely had a “WHAT HAVE I DONE!?” moment when I woke up in the morning – I think for the most part (other than being super short) it turned out looking okay.
I never expected cutting my own hair would be a skill I learned and developed here!
I had my first experience with MSG Poisoning last week. MSG (Monosodium Gultamate) is actually a very popular type of seasoning and flavor enhancer in China. In rare and small amounts, most people will tell you that it is not terribly damaging. However, in larger quantities it is said to cause quite a number of health issues. The name “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” has been patented as a term for MSG poisoning, which goes to show that it is a common enough result of eating authentic Chinese cooking. My poisoning resulted in two days of a severe headache and upset stomach and while the symptoms were not life-threatening, it was not on my list of most enjoyable experiences in China.
Brothers and Sisters, throughout the city, have sent cautions and warnings to friends nearby reporting that leadership in the country has reinforced a nationwide ban on books and resources pertaining to a certain belief system.
The Book and related resources (in the national language) have been removed from stores and online shopping sites across the country. Citywide reports of law enforcement entering homes and private fellowships has sparked concerns for local Body members.
In this time of danger for local Brothers and Sisters, I find myself asking my FAMILY and fellow servants to lift up those impacted (both directly and indirectly) by this ban. I have confidence that a greater story is being written by the Great Author and that Glory will result from it, despite the fearful and unknown future it foreshadows.