…so far I am getting A’s on my writing homework (it is kind of like art to me) and dictation tests but speaking is a whole new ballgame and I’m not so good at ballgames…
It happened again, and why did it surprise me for even one second?
I had accidentally stepped on my glasses on Saturday night, having laid them on the floor beside the bed as I was reading and rolled over for a short rest. With three teaching/preaching opportunities the next day, I knew I had to do something to get the screw to hold the right lens in place just to get through the day…since I cannot see without the glasses.
With some clear tape and strong tread and a needle, we had everything in place…and all went well. As I got off the subway on line 15 to speak to one of our Family Groups for the first time, I looked across the street where we were being met by a Sister…and saw a Lenscrafters store. The answer to our prayers! Within 10-12 minutes, I walked out with a repaired frame that lets me get to the nearest Walmart in Tennessee or Florida…God provides just what I need..again! 😉
We had 5-7” of snow on March 19, just four days after all the free indoor heat in Beijing had been turned off by the government. We have an adequate heater in our main room and put an extra blanket on the bed and are doing just fine. It was absolutely beautiful, and did bring out some of the human ‘snow removers.’
Remember, the snow removal system here is sending out 253,000+ humans to remove it from the streets. On the area below our window, I watched them open the manholes in the middle of the streets and push the snow in them…guess it is OK since it is only water, huh?
We have missed our Life Discussion group on Fridays in Jingzhou and tried to get a group together here, but it just is not going to develop…different age group and schedule in a large city compared to a university campus. 😦
Our effort at a Sunday night English Corner has let us meet 10-11 of our neighbors, but it did not ‘make it’ as a weekly event…so we have decided to offer an evening Bible study, even though we already have a full day. Our first session had three believers with lots of interest, so we will see how the next few weeks advance. 😉
We met Maggie and Jane for the first time, and they are such a delight! They are Sisters, and talk of wonder, doubt, and belief when discussing their Story. They are nearly 1.5 hours away from us by subway, so we will not see them often, which is a great shame for us!
We traveled to their Sunday meeting place and were pleased with the time there and well received. We plan to go back on a monthly basis to offer instruction and encouragement, though it is just under an hour on the subway to their place.
We had some visitors from Shanghai and Iowa on Sunday morning (see photo left), and the singing outstanding! It is always ‘from the heart’ and God is pleased, but it was great to have 12 singers! “What an encouragement we were to each other,” they said when it was time to leave.
We had our teeth cleaned for only the second time in China…cost was 129 yuan more in Beijing than Jingzhou…both were very professional and used nice equipment to do the work instead of people-power…little or no blood when I would be asked to spit every 3-4 minutes (too much information, huh?)
Spring has finally arrived, and I heard hearty laughter and friendly teasing daily on the streets here….all ages seem to enjoy each other’s company and it is a delight to see such friendships across age barriers.
I watched a craftsman at work today…after running some errands I saw a young man in a small shop with the sign “Shoe Washing.” My shoes are always in need of washing…have never enjoyed ‘shining’ my shoes. As he gave them a quick look, it was clear that they needed more than a washing…as he touched the sole and showed me that it was separated from the shoe itself and proceeded to show me (remember we could not use words) how he could replace the soles for me.
I watched him go to work, for the next 40 minutes, with the greatest care. He checked and rechecked and then checked again to make sure everything was secure, and then ‘washed’ the shoes…brand new and good for a few more month’s wear…I got them at a Goodwill store in 2010 and brought them back with me to China after our first year…hard to get new shoes since they are not ‘broken in’ …this is a perfect alternative! He used a glue similar to super glue, but it took less than five seconds to become very secure, though he made certain by using a hot-air hair dryer. This young man was very, very professional and I ended up taking two other pairs in for ‘minor’ repairs and a washing.:-)
I ended up taking him other shoes in need of his ‘super glue’ and he did another great job for us…in one case rebuilding the heel on TJ’s heavy-duty winter walking boots.
Greetings: We ate dinner in the home of Ken and Wei Retzer the other day. We enjoyed a relaxing visit with stimulating conversation and delicious food. It was a joy to spend time with them.
We have met seven new people in the last two weeks. The LST studies are going very well. We are thankful for the opportunity to meet and study with these dear people who are hungry and thirsty for the truth.
My class is still fun to me. We had our first dictation test and I did alright. It still amazes me that I am actually learning to read and write Chinese characters, as well as speak it.
We woke up to snow the other morning. The snow was damp and there was no wind so it piled up on every possible edge and surface; so beautiful. As I was slipping and sliding my way to the subway station, many people were out taking pictures.
Today I saw my first blossom covered tree of the spring season in Beijing. I like seeing the city come alive with new growth. It will look so different in green.
The other day when I arrived home Gary surprised me with fresh blueberries and a chocolate cupcake from the market and bakery. So delicious! He makes life fun. It is always good to get home to him. We talk a mile a minute exchanging the details of our morning and catching each other up on what is going on.
After a brief nap its study time, LST appointments and preparation for the next day. It is a good life. We marvel at how good this stage of our life is right now.
I finished reading The Obsession of Victoria by Grace Livingston Hill. I really enjoyed it.
Sunday morning worship was so good! We had more visitors than usual so we had plenty of all four parts for the singing. We took the opportunity to sing several songs we had not been able to sing in a long time. We all gained a lot from the good lesson and went on our way rejoicing and strengthened for the coming week.
Monday we got our teeth cleaned at the China Japan Friendship Hospital. They do a good job. The hard part for me is that they use an electric machine that whirs like a drill instead of hand instruments to clean the teeth.
First of all, with my genetically soft teeth I had a lot drilling done in my childhood and the sound alone almost makes my stomach hurt. Second, I hear high pitched sounds very well and the hose of the machine was near my ear along with the loud suction tube.
I had to really concentrate on my Chinese characters and vocabulary to get through it. At least it didn’t hurt physically. Next time I must take my music player. We got right in without an appointment. I felt a bit overwhelmed in class today; so much information, so fast, all spoken in Chinese, all writing on board in characters except when I ask a specific question. I have to remind myself nothing major is depending on my grade. I just have to remain in class and learn as much as I can.
So far I am getting A’s on my writing homework (it is kind of like art to me) and dictation tests but speaking is a whole new ballgame and I’m not so good at ballgames.
I pack a small lunch to eat during the break between classes since I do not get home till after 1:00. It fits nicely into the plastic heart shaped box that my favorite candy comes in…Ferrero Rocher. Gary buys them for me and they are delicious. I am reminded of his love for me every time I eat my lunch. — Love, Terry
BEIJING – With a smile on her face, dressed in a simple black peacoat and carrying an elegant unbranded bag, China’s new first lady, Peng Liyuan, stepped into the international limelight and became an instant internet sensation back home.
Stepping off the aircraft in Moscow – the first stop of President Xi Jinping’s maiden foreign trip since assuming office – Peng’s glamorous appearance and obvious affection for her portly husband caused Chinese microbloggers to swoon.
“So beautiful, Peng Liyuan, so beautiful! How composed, how magnanimous,” wrote one user on China’s popular Twitter-like service Sina Weibo.
“Who could not love such a lady as this and be insanely happy with her?” wrote another.
Taobao, an online shopping site similar to eBay and Amazon, quickly began offering for sale coats in the same style of Peng’s, advertising it as “the same style as the first lady’s”.
Others wondered what brand her bag and shoes were.
“Her shoes are really classic, and who designed her bag?” wrote a third Weibo user.
Peng is best known in China as a singer, and for many years was arguably better known and certainly more popular than her husband.
People who have met her and know her say that Peng is vivacious and fun to be around, though she was ordered to take a back seat after Xi became vice president in 2008 as he was being groomed for state power.
But she is expected to be given high-profile events of her own to attend on Xi’s sweep through Russia, Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo on a week-long trip, as the government tries to soften the image of China abroad.
Peng has won praise for her advocacy for pet causes, most notably for children living with HIV/AIDS, and may visit charities related to this while abroad.
Unlike the baby-kissing politicians of the West, China’s Communist Party works hard to keep its top leaders from appearing too human – to the point that for many, even their official birthdates and the names of their children are regarded as a state secret.
Xi and Peng are different. Their romance has been the subject of dozens of glowing reports and pictorials in state media.
“When he comes home, I’ve never thought of it as though there’s some leader in the house. In my eyes, he’s just my husband,” Peng gushed in an interview with a state-run magazine in 2007, describing Xi as frugal, hardworking and down-to-earth. Peng is Xi’s second wife, and the two have a daughter studying at Harvard under an assumed name.
Chinese first wives have traditionally kept a low profile over the past few decades, because of the experience of Jiang Qing, the widow of the founder of Communist China, Mao Zedong. Jiang was the leader of the “Gang of Four” that wielded supreme power during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution. She was given a suspended death sentence in 1981 for the deaths of tens of thousands during that period of chaos.