Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Last Day and Last Thoughts

A sign at the Great Wall
which we visited on the
previous Friday
I did not post anything about my Friday (Day 8) but it was a free day spent with the whole team at the Great Wall. The day was beautifully clear with a bright sun and crisp air. Mary, John and I spent the most time on the Wall walking, climbing stairs and wiggling our way up onto the roof of a lookout fort. It was great fun to be with them. We treated ourselves to crepes filled with chocolate and bananas or apples. See the video of the vendor making them.

After the retreat on Sunday and most of Monday I stayed in the hotel trying to recover from my cold. Peggy and Liz went to Jufong's Bible study group where Liz spoke on mentoring. She inspired most of the women to figure out how to start a mentoring movement among themselves. Since there are very few older women of faith, they would need to engage in peer mentoring. A few years down the road I am expecting these women to be those older mentors for the younger ones. It will be exciting to see!

Monday afternoon I got stir crazy and went sightseeing with Peggy, Liz and Helena to the Forbidden City and to a famous "hutong," a preserved and working neighborhood built in the 1200's. It was probably not a good idea to be out in the cold air but it felt good to get outside. Helena and her husband treated us to a dinner known in the southern provinces of China. I am going to need to go on a diet!

From left: Greg, Kathy, me, Peggy,
Liz, John and Mary
Tuesday morning before leaving for the airport our whole team gathered for the last time. Kathy and Greg. John and Mary. Liz, Peggy and me. All of us remarked how easily we bonded as a team and grew to love and appreciate each other. We made plans to reunite in San Diego where the two couples are from.

Rooming with Liz was also a treat. We got a long so well. And the connection was timely for me because of her expertise in leadership training and consulting. Liz is a great listener and she helped me think through my own vision and call to ministry. She affirmed me and validated the dreams I had. It was good to have an outside voice who understood women and leadership.

Great Wall
The most frequent question I got from my sisters in Beijing was when I would be returning. Jon and I talked about this while skyping last week. We both feel I should return as often as possible. Hopefully Jon can accompany me at least once soon. In ministering to the men, Greg and John believe a men's ministry is important to develop in China. I know that Jon would have a significant impact there as well.

I saw so many prayers answered while in Beijing that I have no doubt if they are praying for me and this is what God has for me, I will be returning to them.

Great Wall

The two trips, last September and this one, have opened a window for me to gaze into the lives of the beautiful believers of Beijing. And they have opened their hearts to me. So now the question is, will God open a door for me to go regularly?

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