Friday, February 21, 2014

Kids say the darnedest things...

As my taxi pulled in to my city, I had a rush of excitement in my heart. Familiar signs, characters, places and people were all around. Ok. In a city of 1.5 million, I wasn't really seeing familiar faces. But the swarm of Asians was comforting. I was anxious to be in my apartment again and unpack.

My super awesome friend, Sarah was waiting for me. She's the sweetest. She had bought me dinner and a drink and anxiously awaited stories and hugs. We chatted and caught up as I scrambled around unpacking.

After she left, I settled into the silence around me. After two months in America, it was soothing to hear...nothing. My apartment felt SO small after living in the giant homes of the USA. I decided to cuddle with my beloved Edith to detox from the stress, anxiety and hours of traveling (33 hours to be exact). I popped in The Avengers and tried my darnedest to pay attention and stay awake. I told myself I would stay up until 9. Half way through the movie I told myself 8:30. By 7:45, I was hoping to make it just 15 more minutes. But at 8:00 pm, I was cozy in my bed and fell asleep before Harry even blow up his aunt Margaret (I fall asleep to Harry Potter movies, among others).

Monday morning was rough. I took an hour nap, even though it went against all my jet-lagging beliefs. I knew I needed some Z's if I was going to make it through afternoon classes. And boy am I glad I did.

Here are gems from Q&A time this week talking about American taboo topics: politics, religion and sex.

Is sex great?
Have you had sex before?
Did your boyfriend pressure you to have sex?
How did you become a Christian?
Are there special requirements to pray?
Do you think anything happened between Obama and Beyoncé?
Are there witches in America?
Have you even been in a demonstration?
Have you been in the White House?
How would you feel if your husband has a lot of sex experience?
Will you have sex before marriage?
Have you ever supported a war?
How do you feel about America monitoring other countries' Internet?

I'm also teaching an English freshman class. Here are some quality comments from them:

You like cooking. I like eating.
I am so lucky to have a beautiful, cute, elegant teacher.
I hope we can be friends.
Modern Family is one of my favorite shows.
Do you have QQ?
Are you married?
What about a boyfriend?
Do you want to find a Chinese husband?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Linda and her heavy burden...Part One

I met Linda 3 years ago. She is a teacher in the Foreign Language Department too. She was immediately drawn to me because I was so beautiful and young. Her words, not mine ;) I wasn't sure how I was going to relate to her. She is married and had a young son. She had never been to America and had some back problems. I tried sharing the Good News with her anyways. She quickly told me she has always been interested in spiritual things. But she didn't know how to learn about it and she didn't know how to choose which religion to follow. I offered to study with her, but she politely refused. She had to take care of her son. He was just over a year at the time. I told her I was always willing to talk with her whenever she had time. Over the course of the school year, we meet a handful of times to eat and chat.

Fast forward to 2011. She shared more details of her struggles with me. She wasn't really happy with her husband. He was a nice enough guy, but she decided to marry him because she was getting older and he was kind. But ever since we met, he had been study for his master's in Beijing. He only came home twice a year. She also told me more about her back problems and how it really held her back from a number of things. She always felt tired and still didn't know what to believe in. She said she had been reading a book about Buddhism recently.

Sweet, sweet Linda. In 2012, she invited me to her home several times. Each time we talked, I made sure to share my beliefs with her. She was always curious about my peace and faith. She has made several comments over the years about how I never seem stressed. I told her that the peace I had only came from God. I offered again and again to study with her. The year before, I had given her a Bible. But she still declined and said that maybe next year she would join the Bible class I teach. I said I would gladly welcome her to my class. She also told me her back problems had improved some, but still didn't feel fully healed. 

Over the years, Linda had asked me about marriage and finding a husband. Like most people, they wonder if I will seek out a Chinese man to marry. I say the same thing. My beliefs, my God is my utmost priority. So, I don't really care what nationality a man is, but he MUST be a believer. He MUST love the Lord. And if I find a man that loves the Lord as much as I do and loves me, it would be something to consider. But I will wait until the Lord reveals that man to me. If he does. I also tell people I deeply desire to have a husband and children, but maybe that is not in God's plan for me. So, I should be obedient to what he asks me to do.Whether it's get married, have kids, stay in China, go to another place, go home, don't get married or don't have kids. Each time, she said, "You have so much faith. To believe. To wait." And I say, "I have to. If I don't have my belief in God, I have nothing. It's not easy believing and following. And sometimes, it's terribly lonely. But I love God more than I love myself or my comfort. So, I continue."

Come back for Part Two to hear about when she attend my Bible Class!!!