“WOW. Honestly the perfect perfect word to sum up everything that has happened so far. I never imagined this trip would be like this. We had expectations for something different, but I think it is turning out to be some of the best changes, better than what we could have ever asked for.
On Wednesday, we spent some time back on the campuses, exploring and talking with people passing by. Later that day we got to meet up with one of our international student friends from back at Jessup! He took us to a Hot Pot dinner, where they bring out different plates of food and we get to put it in a big shared pot to cook. We tried many different foods: pig throat, tofu skins, cow tongue, and even frog legs!! The frog legs tasted very similar to chicken wings!
We have been connecting with more students and even have future plans to hang out with them! A few days ago, Hannah and I had a wonderful conversation with two girls over lunch. We got to talk about their favorite things about being on campus and they even gave us different foods to try when we go into the city! Then yesterday (May 18) a group of us got to meet up with two students from one of the campuses and we got to eat lunch with them. The other group got to play a game of basketball at another campus! At the campus I was at, we talked about so many different things, such as the new Avengers movie (if you haven’t seen it yet, DO IT), what classes were like, favorite music, and so much more. One of the guys we met even sang two songs for us and it was AMAZING. After that, we got to teach them the classic card game Go Fish and they taught us a traditional Chinese card game, which I am going to teach people back in the States! It was so wonderful hanging out with our new friends and we hope that we can keep up the connection even after we leave. 🙂
On Friday, we got to venture out into the main city and explore! We met up with another friend from Jessup and He showed us around the city. We saw the second tallest building in the world, but we didn’t get to go up because it was cloudy. However, we did get to up in the TV tower in the city we are serving in , which was great! There was a viewing deck where the floor was made of glass and we got to see all the way down and over the city! There was even a small rollercoaster in the tower, a showing on the future of China, and a museum! Overall, it was great being in a new environment and sharing that experience with each other.
If you feel led, pray for our team as we meet with more students and continue on this journey! Pray for healing for one of our team members, more opportunities, and for God’s will to be prevalent. We miss all of you and can not wait to share more about our experiences when we get back.
-Kristi and the team”
“Happy Belated Mother’s Day to our mamas! We love you!
Wow! What a wild trip this has been so far! We have had some of the craziest changes, unexpected turn of events and surprises. From the minute we pulled up to the airport in the US, our plans had already changed. We have gone through a complete city change and our first four days in this country we were in 3 different hotels! We have been on planes, trains, subways, and buses for hours upon hours and this team has been stretched and pushed and challenged to be so flexible, and if I can brag on them, they have been AMAZING.
We’ve tried lots of interesting foods, explored in a couple different cities, have had several awkward encounters and some long long days. We’ve gotten our steps in (25k today!), and through it all our spirits are high!!
We’re in an entirely different place than we thought we would be less than a week ago but today’s day made every single minute of the traveling and craziness worth it. Today was our first full day on a campus and we already met so many sweet and wonderful people! I was able to meet two kind and awesome girls today with Emma who told us all about their experience at the university, showed us around campus, and bought us lunch. They want to meet up again before we have to leave so we’re very excited! Another group met a girl and they’re having dinner with her tomorrow night! We are advised to not have any spiritual conversations on the first meeting but we are praying that our second meeting with them will be fruitful!
Another thing that brought us so much joy today was the campus’s international cultural fair! This was probably one of the best experiences I have ever had. There were so many booths of people from all over the world sharing food and culture and dancing and singing! We met some amazing people from probably 20-30 different countries in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. There were singing and dance performances and the dances were very interactive! We all got moving and danced like no one was watching (despite how many people were actually watching).. they even had the US represented and we got up in front of everyone and did the electric slide to Sweet Home Alabama! Apparently this is their view of the US! Haha! It brought us all so much joy though to see such a wide range of peoples and tongues and nations represented today in a way that we have never experienced before. We all felt it was such a beautiful representation of what heaven is going to be like some day for us. Everyone was being fully themselves, embracing their culture and the culture of everyone around them and dancing with some of the biggest smiles I have ever seen in one place. I am still in awe of how precious and beautiful those hours were today. None of us wanted to leave that moment. (But don’t worry, we have more pictures and videos to show you once we come back!)
The rest of our day consisted of a bit more exploring of the city and also trying to find food. Finding a restaurant and ordering at restaurants is always a funny challenge! Thank goodness for Zach and his language skills!!
We appreciate all of your prayers SO much! This team is just so flexible and amazing and has undergone all of these changes like champs! We know God’s hand is in all of this and today that was so clear!! Please continue to pray for health and safety and for the Holy Spirit to guide us to the people we are supposed to meet and continue to open up opportunities for us! And also pray that the rain we’re experiencing here goes away soon! It’s scheduled to rain almost every day for the rest of our time here and it has definitely not been fun to walk around with wet shoes!
Thank you all so much for all of your support! We are loving our time here in East Asia but we miss you all back home a bunch too! See you soon!
– Kayla and the team”