Qinhuangdao

It’s been a relaxing time here back in good ‘ol Qinhuangdao (which translates to Emperor Qin’s Island).For those of you who don’t know, I spent 3 semesters here as an oral English teacher at Hebei Foreign Language College. I’ve been able to see many old friends, including former co-teachers Tim and Kara, as well as some of the new teachers who are all really cool. And of course walking around the campus and seeing former Chinese students/friends/teachers, they are quite shocked to see me, so that doesn’t get old. So far we’ve eaten lot’s of awesome food, played soccer, basketball, gone to our old hangouts, going to the beach for Chinese barbeque tomorrow, and we’ve really gotten back to the way it was. Also, for those of you who don’t know, my good brother/sister Bobby and Evie have returned to QHD as well. We taught together at this school, and they also really wanted to come back for a few days and see students before they all head off to all parts of China. Next week Bobby is heading back to Washington DC, Evie will go to Shanghai to see some other former students, and I will make my way up to Inner Mongolia.

Of course a few things are different here, but it feels, in some ways, like I never left. I’ve had several students who found out we are in China, and are making trips to this city to come say hi. I don’t even want to ask how far they’re traveling. One girl took leave from her job, hopped a night train last night in Beijing, sat in a cold cramped train for 5 hours, and arrived at 6am this morning, and is currently sleeping on the couch across from where we sit as we are watching game 1 of the NBA finals. Chinese guys love NBA. Today should be another awesome day with students and friends, beach going and loving on people. I hope it will be encouraging for them, as it has been for me. The most encouraging part of my stay here thus far is seeing how He has worked and His provision in this place. Now the student ‘group’ is self sustaining and growing. When I first came, there were a few uncertain B’s, and now they have several groups that meet throughout the week, and I’ve heard they are 40-50 strong! He definitely hears us and provides; seeing the fruit is quite wonderful, and who knows what else has happened with those students who have graduated and gone out. It’s cool. The kingdom is indeed like a mustard seed.

Around June 10, I will head up to Hailaer, in Inner Mongolia to spend the summer at  camp. I’m really looking forward to that as I received an email a few days ago stating that there are over 200 students signed up for the camp; slightly more than the estimated 50 which would have been perfectly suited for the 3 foreigners facilitating the camp. It’s going to be interesting. But right now I have a hard choice to make. I came with intentions and an opportunity to teach English in Shanghai this fall, after the camp ends. After visiting Baoji in western China, I’ve been plagued with thoughts of going there instead. It’s been a really hard choice to make, as I would be leaving a great opportunity for another great opportunity. Baoji is almost unknown to foreigners and there’s bountiful ‘opportunities’ there as well. The job has a significantly lower salary, but lot’s of free time to practice Chinese and various other things. It would be university English teaching again, and the dynamic there would be very different than I’m used to but it could be good. I just need to listen and be obedient. You can lift me up in this decision, as I’m having concerns about going out there, and diverting from Shanghai. I will know in a week which doors open and which close, and am finally at peace about whatever He wills. Both are good, which is better? He will decide.

P1020193

Jane, Evie, Me, Bobby at Bei Bei’s coffee shop playing Jenga.

 

P1020205

Us eating Lemon Chicken, one of our fav’s.

3 Comments

  1. That’s so cool, Mike. I bet it’s awesome to see all the people you’ve had an impact on while you were there and to see how groups of b’s are growing and even being stretched to rest in the L’rd’s providence. Just reading about all of what you’ve been through so far has really encouraged me. I’m excited to read more about your time there and see where the L’rd leads you and how He continues to provide. Pr’ying for you.

  2. Praying for ya bro!

  3. Goffman-

    Wanted to say hi. Stay safe bud.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *