Sunday, December 4, 2011

Guest Blog: the Russells

This past week, Marti and Ray Russell from Clear Creek were visiting China. I asked them to write something about how they saw China.  We have been here long enough that we do not see it as other people do.  Ray wrote this before he left our house.  They continued their adventure by taking to a train to ShaoXing, staying a couple of days, and then taking another train to Shanghai.  They are at a hotel in Shanghai right now and will fly home tomorrow evening.  You should ask them about their trip!

Here's the guest blog:

This week my wife Marti and I have had the unique experience of spending the week in Haungzho. As our week with the Davis and Hardin families come to an end Jennifer asked me to write down some thoughts and reactions to our first time in China. The first thing I would like to express is our gratitude to both families for allowing us to intrude their homes to experience what life is like. They have been so gracious and loving to us while we have been here. Now to the experience.... First, China is very different from what we imagined, it is full of life and is very modern in many ways. It is not however at the same level as we are when it comes to toilet hygiene. That may have been our biggest challenge when in public. Another challenge is of course the language, in many countries you are able to function through reading text or finding an English speaking individual, China is not one of those places. The language is so different that it is very hard to get where you need to be without a base knowledge of Chinese. We also realized the modern amenities we take for granted like clothes dryers and dishwashers, these things make our lives so easy and the lives of the families here in China so much more difficult. The final thing we have notice on the negative side is the second hand smoke! China has not received the news that smoking will kill you yet and they do quite a bit of indoor smoking! On the positive side, the food is outstanding! From the first morning where Jon took us to street a vendor the eating experience has been fabulous! The food is full of flavor and so very healthy, it is also very different from American Chinese food. I was also able to go to class with Jon and Josh this week which was a great. They both allowed me to to answer questions and ask questions Of the students who were so excited to speak to a 'real' American! Also I was given a Chinese name meaning 'so very handsome' much to Jon's chagrin. These students were fun to interact with and I was even given a demonstration of real Chinese hip hop dancing, if only I had thought to video! Finally, is it so very obvious to both of us that God is at work through the team here. The study I was able to experience was amazing and the believers here truly want to serve and follow. God is blessing these families and the work they are doing here in China!
Thanks for sharing Ray.  We had a great time with you!

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