THE BEGINNINGIn September of 2006, my Mom and Dad asked mysister and I if we would like to live in China for 6 months.We were shocked! We had never been out of thecountry before and never even flown on an airplane.After we talked about it for a few days, we decided itwould be a great adventure! So, on January 2nd, 2007we boarded a plane to Shanghai, China. Little did weknow that we would not live in the U.S. again until 2010.Shanghai was just the beginning…
A DAY IN THE LIFEDuring the 3 ½ years we lived in China, I woke up at about6:00 every school day. I got dressed in my school uniform,and went downstairs for breakfast. Then, our driver, Mr.Huang, came to pick us up to drive us to our school,Concordia International School Shanghai, or CISS. It was aK through 12 school, with 6 buildings on the campus, andstudents from around the world who spoke English. I studiedthe same subjects as American students, plus 45 minutes ofMandarin each day. After school, I went home, ate asnack, and jumped on the trampoline, or played withfriends. Our ayi, or maid, fixed dinner for us, and we atetogether as a family. My life wasn’t all that different fromkids in America, I was just living it in a different country.
THE GOVERNMENTChina is ruled by a communist government, which hasfar more control over its people than the democracywe enjoy in America. The communist governmentclaims to own all property in China, and professes todistribute it equally amongst all citizens. We know thisisn’t true, because when we lived in China, we sawbeggars on street corners, visited babies inorphanages, and knew people with disabilities whowere supported by our church, because thegovernment wouldn’t care for them. The Chinesegovernment doesn’t encourage religion, but it doesallow people to worship in state approved churchesand temples.
OUR MINISTRYWhen we arrived in China, we decided we would share ourChristian faith whenever we had a chance. We found theChinese people to be very interested in Christianity, andeager to learn more about it. Several times a year, we invitedChinese friends over to our home for dinner and a gamenight. We talked and laughed over pizza or Chinese food,and then we’d invite our friends into the living room. Aroundholidays, my sister and I would recite the Christmas story, orshare “resurrection eggs” near Easter time. Our Chinesefriends were fascinated with our Christian faith! They oftenwanted to talk more about how they could become aChristian, too. After sharing about our faith, we would all playChinese mahjong, or dominoes. Those were such fun nights!The Lord blessed us to see 14 of our Chinese friends becomeChristians in the last year and a half we lived in Shanghai;including our driver & his family, our Chinese tutor, our pianoteacher, and two of my Dad’s co-workers. We look forward toseeing them again in heaven one day!
OUR TRAVELSWhile we lived in Shanghai, we traveled to 12 differentcities in China, and a total of ten countries, including:China, America, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam,Malaysia, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. My favoritecountry was Singapore, because there was so much tosee and do. I really liked riding the Singapore Flyer (one ofthe biggest ferris wheels in the world), visiting the world-famous Zoo and celebrating Chinese New Year. It waswarm and beautiful there! Our other favorite destinationswere Cambodia and Vietnam. Although so many people inthese two countries are poor and without many things wetake for granted in the US, they were kind to us, full ofsmiles, and content with their few possessions, theirfamilies, and a close-knit community.