Tuesday, January 26, 2010


My 6 month China anniversary is a mere 2 days away. On July 28, I stepped onto a plane in Colorado and arrived in Beijing on July 29.

I am excited to mark this milestone because it means I can liberally throw around my made-up word, "Chinaversary." Chinaversary, Chinaversary, Chinaversary. Tell me that's not satisfying.

I am also happy to celebrate this anniversary because it means, by God's grace, I've survived:

  • Overnight train rides that I thought would never end
  • Eating animals and plants I didn't even know existed
  • Living alone
  • Building relationships in a culture very different from my own
  • The blockage of almost all my favorite websites
  • The 60th birthday of the PRC
  • A brown Christmas
  • Standing in front of a classroom 4 days a week and trying to bring something valuable
  • Going deeper with students
  • Cooking without cheese
  • Baking without butter
  • Leaving my community of family and friends
  • Relying on my tiny team for fellowship
  • Saying goodbye to efficiency and logic (but only sometimes)
  • Carrying on my most valued relationships by Skype and e-mail

This anniversary also means, by God's grace, I have been blessed with 6 months of:

  • Teaching 190 sweet, motivated, delightful students
  • Learning something new daily and weekly
  • Indulging in one of my loves - studying language
  • Visiting with a few good friends from home
  • Eating gan bian gan lan whenever my little heart desires
  • Seeing something every day that you don't see every day
  • Having my assumptions challenged
  • Care packages -- thanks!
  • Seeing God's word through fresh eyes (not mine)
  • Being the fastest bicyclist on the street instead of the slowest
  • Celebrating new holidays
  • Faithful supporters back home
  • Making new friends in my organization
  • Laughing at Chinglish
  • Joy, purpose, and satisfaction
Many of you have lived this half year vicariously as you have prayed, given, and kept in touch. Thanks for sticking with me, and I hope I've been able to give you a little taste of life in China.

Here's to the next 6 months. Happy Chinaversary!


  1. Cooking without cheese!!?!?! Heaven forbid! Is that even possible??

    Kudos to you. Loved this post. :-)


    P.S. One of my loves is language too. But Chinese is not on that list. No offense.

  2. Happy Chinaversary! :) Lots of love, Mom

  3. Has it only been six months? I miss you!!!