Sunday, January 16, 2011

Around the World in an Afternoon

One afternoon last week we loaded up and drove to China Town for some cultural exposure. The children studied a little about China last fall, and our trip made some of the pictures in their library books come alive. Even better, in my opinion, is that the afternoon will be remembered.

There was so much to look at! In every direction, every corner, up and down, there was stuff! The boys especially loved the dragons, and Olivia admired the silk embroidered dresses. There were swords to check out, interesting toys and jewelry, and decorations of all kinds. Stuff for sale everywhere! The food was interesting also, if you could stand to look at it.

Here's my favorite: This old lady was selling her small selection of goods right there on the street. She looked like the real deal and several people stopped to buy from her. Seriously, most people were interested in the dried bird wings.

A little further down the street this man was playing some sort of Chinese instrument. We had stopped to listen for a moment when we noticed another man dancing on the bus stop bench in his socks. He jumped down and tried to dance with Jon. That wasn't going to happen, obviously, so he tried to dance with Olivia. Now Jon was not about to let that happen either, so he stood in front of him as we made our escape. For the rest of the afternoon Jon was extra alert as Olivia's bodyguard.

Providentially, I was reminded about the Chinese people in church today. We had prayed for the people of that country before Jon's trip last fall, but over time we have begun to forget about them. There is such a great need for the gospel, and for the believers to receive teaching, resources, and encouragement. I thank the Lord for the faithful ones there, leading and attending underground churches, and for the missionaries our church has sent out to train and encourage those dear people. I can't help but wonder what my faith would be like in the midst of religious oppression. I think that such circumstances would weed out those whose faith is an empty claim, and that the true body would be strengthened by God's sanctifying work through trial.

I was also reminded that even though the Chinese culture is so different from mine, the same contrast is felt by those who come here from various parts of the world to be trained at the seminary. They must live and function in a strange and seemingly backward culture. 

Later, we drove down town to a French gourmet restaurant and shop for a little treat. I took this picture of the children and I in the reflection of a glass building. I just love Jacob's body language. It seems to say, "Yes, Mom, I'll smile, but could you please stop taking so many pictures?"

We let each of the kids pick out a pastry. I couldn't quite capture Jacob's face as he made his selection, but you can imagine it was cute!

I'm a little partial to the French culture! :)

Maybe next we'll go to Italy, or Korea, or maybe Mexico for an afternoon. 


1 comment:

  1. Just love following the family in this way.
    Beautiful pictures allow me a small peak at family life.
    Love you all


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