Happy Easter…My first Holiday in China

Easter Dinner in China. Don't you love the lilies?

Easter Dinner in China. Don’t you love the lilies?

This  is my first holiday away from the USA. I was  feeling a bit lonesome  for  America and  my home  church. God  is  with me  everywhere though and When I prayed to him this  morning and read his word, I felt  a sense of peace and his love washed over  me. You are never  alone  when you have God’s love. However I still want a puppy!!! That would be  very awesome.

I wish there  were  foreign teachers that  were  my age and  singletons  like  me. I have to  get out  and  explore Nanchang but I have  no sense of direction and  will probably get utterly lost. I guess I want a partner in crime, who knows  maybe next years crop of  foreign teachers will bring  me a gal pal.

I have  met some amazing people in China like Joel, Lulu, Ron, Bai Qing, Dawn, Sean, Keith,Jessica and Jonathan. They have become good friends  as  well as spiritual supporters  for me.

i have  met English professors Lily and Andy(Andy is  really cute) that I hope  we  can become  better friends. I would love  to hang out  with those two but I live in the boonies. Maybe one day I can suggest an outing. I  just have  to reach out to people more. On this day, I reflected on Jesus’ love for us  and I realized that I have been hiding my glory, due to fear of  rejection. My greatest  gift is my love  for others.

photo courtesy of www.crpuppylove.comI want a teddy bear puppy to love!!!

photo courtesy of http://www.crpuppylove.com
I want a teddy bear puppy to love!!!

This Easter Sunday, I spent the more in fellowship with my new  spiritual family. I have to say, I really love that God placed these people in my life to help me grow. I am the type of Christian who thrives on fellowship. I like to worship in a group setting, prayer is  more powerful in numbers. I also like  my time  alone with God  as well.

This Sunday Lulu spoke on love. She  did  a great job and  spoke  from her heart. I just love Lulu she was not a Christian all her life. This sermon made  me realize how much Jesus loves us all. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross.

After service, Dawn made a an Easter lunch. This was my first western meal since I came to China. I had ham, mashed potatoes, macaroni and  cheese, broccoli and bread, There were also baked beans. It was so good, I tried  not to eat too much since I am losing weight in China. I didn’t take  leftovers. Dawn and  Sean have a rarity in China, they have an oven!!!. I should have taken a picture of their oven!

Easter lunch courtesy of Dawn :)

Easter lunch courtesy of Dawn 🙂

Fellowship, Coffee and Dumplings

One thing that I really miss  back home  is my church. To me,  my church was  more than a church it was  my spiritual family. Sunday were my favorite day of the week. When I was an atheist, I hated  Sundays because  it  meant that I had  to  go to work the  next  day.  I use to call it Sorrowful Sundays. Once I accepts Christ into my heart that all changed.

The White Van

The White Van

Leaving  Liquid  Church and  all my friends behind  were  so difficult. Liquid  Church was God’s instrument to save  my soul. I am so  glad that I was lead  to them. I can  still look at sermons online  but there was something lacking. It was fellowship. I am a social person and I love to communally praise and  worship God.  One  thing that I was scared about is losing my way once I moved to China.  China  is  not a Christian country, though there  is an undercurrent of Christian faith developing in China. As  a new  Christain, is  my faith strong enough not  to be  swayed?

I know  that I needed to  find  another church to attend. My campus is a bit a ways  out of  town. Ok there are chickens and vineyards nearby. Yes I am one  step above  Green Acres. The campus  is  modern though.  So going into downtown Nanchang can be  a bit of  a challenge  for  a non Chinese speaking lass. So I have  no  been to church  since I left the states.

A few days  ago, I had a strong inclination to phone Joel another foreign language  teacher  at my school and inquire about a local church. He  just looks like a Christian. My  hunch was  correct he  told me that he  and  some other teachers at various  universities all formed an informal church. that  sounds perfect, right up my alley. The one thing  about Liquid  Church that I loved was how informal it was.

Sunday morning Joel told  me to meet him  and  his wife Lulu at the  small gate  of  our school. Joel and  Lulu will be  my next door  neighbors once my apartment is remodeled. I went to eat  breakfast first, I had  baoza and soymilk again. I love  baoza. On my way I meet a student who wanted  to converse with me in English. He wanted to practice his oral English  with me. He has a n exam in a few months and  he failed it prior. I even gave  him my mobile  number if he wanted  to further communicate  with him. If someone  speaks  to you in English in China it is  a good thing to take notice of.

I then walked to the back gate also known as the  small gate. A friend  of Lulu and Joel were going to meet  us  at the  back gate  with his  car. Lulu and  Joel met me on their  motorbike. Keith was the  name of the guy with the  car and he was originally from Glen Cove, Long Island. What a small world! I watched him maneuver  around the highways of Nanchang and it reminded  me the video  game “Pole Position”  All I have  to say is  driving in China is  not  for the faint of  heart. I would  be  too scared  with motorbikes, pedestrians and bicycles coming out of nowhere and  from all directions. There are no traffic rules in China. It is just The Chinese Way.

Keith drove  us to the university where we all would meet. It was in a coffeehouse! They call it ETC (English Training Center). On that campus they had a building  where Chinese students can come hang out  and speak English. That is  pretty cool. I met Dawn her husband Sean and their adopted  child Thomas. I also met Jessica who was  a young intern and Jonathan who was also from New Jersey(Monmouth County). The group is  small but immediately sensed the fellowship of the group and  felt right at home. Everyone  was  so laid

photo courtesy of www.gizmodo.com

photo courtesy of http://www.gizmodo.com

back and opened.

Oh and there was  coffee there. I have  not had  coffee since, I left  America. Coffee  is  a rare  treat. I was extremely excited  about this! Dawn made  me  a cup. It was  so yummy. I felt that for  a brief moment that I was transported  back to the US. There is Starbucks in China but remember I live in the chicken area of town so I don’t get into the city much. Starbuck will be  a rare and expensive  dream  for me. I will just have my weekly cup of  coffee at church.

Basically each week  a different member of the congregation will sign up and  preach a sermon based  on the scriptures. We have worship music music in the beginning and  following and  ending in prayer. We have prayer requests as well.  I signed  up to be the last speaker. I will have  to start  to prepare a sermon. I don’t  like  to speak in public, even though, I am a teacher  and that is  what I  do for a living. God  will guide me to what I want to preach about  when the  time draws nearer, I  have  6 weeks to plan  for it.

After  church we all headed in town for  dumplings. We had  three Chinese people that assisted  us. Lulu helped  me, she is Chinese. Oh Lulu is  pregnant and  is  having a baby! Everyone knows how much I adore babies. I love dumpling. I ordered mushroom and chicken and plain mushroom dumplings.  I also ordered  a green ice tea. It came  to about 15 yuan. That is equivalent to $2.41 in USD. I got 12 dumplings  and  a drink for $2.41. I love China!!!  A woman came by and gave us soy sauce. We had a choice  of  either adding chili peppers, garlic  or vinegar to the soy sauce. I chose garlic. Oh my gosh my dumpling tasted  amazing! Having fresh garlic in the soy sauce really enhanced the flavor. I had  some  of Lulu’s pork dumplings  and they were good too. Exif_JPEG_420

After dumplings we went to Aukman’s with is  a grocery store that has a great foreign food selection. I have  no kitchen yet so I was just observing everything. They have  an extensive  fruit and vegetable section. I liked  it better than  Walmart. Oh and a score I found Grape Mentos there. I have  never seen Grape Mentos, so I bought them. Actually Sean  bought them  for  me. they were only 2 yuan. After Walmart  we parted ways. Lulu, Joel and I took the white vans that dropped us off at campus. I did not know  about the white vans until today. For 3 yuan(48 cents) they drop you off at various college campuses The  white vans  also wait outside  of the college gates. My campus is the first stop going into town, so i’ will always  get a seat.. This  is very convenient, now I won’t feel trapped on campus. There is  a shopping mall a  many small stores in that area of Nanchang and it is easy to get to from my campus! Another score!!!

Today was a very good China day for me. I found a new fellowship of Christ followers, made new friends, had coffee, ate dumplings and experienced the white van. I have  off  for  most of the  week. On Tuesday, I have  my health exam. I have  one  class on Wednesday and another on Friday. Even  weeks  are my easy weeks.  I have  to say I appreciate teaching more here than in the  states.

Grape Mentos

Grape Mentos