Archive for February, 2009

Morning Sing-A-Long (featuring “Happy Birthday” in 4 languages!)

This is a great clip from the morning bus ride from our apartment complex to our international school.  These 4 to six years olds are amazing.  Enjoy a truly international sing-a-long!

– Dan The Bus Monitor

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The Sabbath

Sunday was very special.  We were invited to visit Xi Kai Catholic Church for mass.  Xi Kai (literally translated ‘west open’) sits at one end of Tianjin’s most famous shopping streets.  This area is typically packed, day and night, with shoppers, young people (great date spot) and westerners in search of Papa Johns Pizza and Hagen Daaz ice cream.

Unlike our international fellowship, Xi Kai is legally open to Chinese and foreigners.  The Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA) (under the Communist Party’s State Administration of Religious Affairs or SARA) operates the church.  For historical and political reasons, the CPA is not under the Roman Church, and is not able to ordain priests, bishops, etc that are recognized outside of China.

The service was one of the first opportunities we’ve enjoyed to corporately worship with our Chinese brothers and sisters.  Affirming together the Apostles Creed gave me the goosebumps! The children were duly impressed with the beautiful old cathedral – the soaring ceilings, chandeliers, kneelers, candles and statues that are so uncommon in their experience of corporate worship.  “Church” looks alot of different ways in China!

After a full morning and great afternoon of fellowship with friends from our organization, we prepared a huge bowl of spinach salad with strawberries and almonds and a giant wok full of spaghetti.  At 5:30, dear Chinese friends shared this simple meal with us.  You may recognize most from our most recent newsletter.  The lady & gentleman on the right side of the sofa will be married in October.  As appropriate for China, Daniel was their Matchmaker.  It has been a joy to watch this courtship!  What a beautiful Sabbath.

FAMILY Portrait – February 2009


Experiencing a Chinese Lantern Festival… or “Mystery Night”

Life in China is never boring, but after three years, we are losing our ability to be surprised.  By anything.  Today was no exception.  Come with me…

Yesterday I got a call from our Chinese teacher, Liu Laoshi.  He invited our family to join his to celebrate the end of the Chinese New Year festivities (all in Chinese mind you).  We were to meet him at his place at 3:30 pm.  That’s all I got.  So today, we went.  Overall, it was really great.  And exhausting.  And before I went I knew it would make a great blog post.  🙂  It was an incredible reminder of the richness of Chinese culture and their ability to host these foreigners with graciousness and patience.  Thank you Liu Laoshi and family!

For simplicity, I posted a photo album with captions on my Facebook page – open to all, even if you are not signed up.  Follow this link…

– Dan

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