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"Ni hao" from the other side of the world!
All around us are tall buildings, both new and broken down, coming up from the ground like massive trees. Multi-colored tropical foliage grows from every spare plot of earth, leaving the landscape like a very literal urban jungle. There are bright flowering bushes everywhere and their glorious fragrance fills the air as we walk by. Hidden amidst the modern city are hints of the ancient culture...from the triangle basket hats the grounds workers wear to the site of old ladies squatting along the sidewalk hand making dumplings. City traffic, loud horns and noisy engines make up the soundtrack we hear and like a sea of faces there are countless people rolling down the streets...all hurrying, working, moving. As we take in our new surroundings we are filled with a resounding reality, HE is here, and is wanting to encounter this place with His radical love. We aren't able to share all that He is doing with you now but look forward to the time we can!
It's hard to believe we only landed here 4 short weeks ago. Already we can feel our hearts and minds settling in. In a short amount of time we have...begun making our new place into a little home (cleaning and scrubbing it first for 50+ man hours), started language lessons, adventured through the city to learn local bus routes, met kind hearted locals and practiced our mandarin with them, connected with our awesome fam-bam here, worked with our amazing nanny, Stephanie, to plan a great morning routine with the girls, discovered tasty new foods (and not so tasty
ones;-), hunted through shops and back alley markets looking for the best prices on food and supplies, met and are building relationship with persons of peace and overall are cultivating HIS presence in our home and discovering HIS heart for this place.
In the weeks and months to come, we look forward to connecting with many old friends and leaders here. Already it is so clear He is doing amazing things here and we are excited to be a part of it.
Our current priorities are getting our home and family settled and established, learning the language and culture and starting small groups with the new friends we meet. We already have a great opportunity to teach a whole group of families about "love" who do not yet know. Please keep us in mind for this great opportunity.
Please also remember us during this special and stretching time of transition. The cultural changes are a lot to get used to, especially for the girls.