Sunday, March 10, 2013

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Today was so laid back. Too much so for me.  I never sit down; I never watch an entire movie in one sitting; I never DON'T do laundry.  I don't know what to do with my lazy self.  Tough job :)

We visited the  Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which happens to be inside the Temple of Thanksgiving.
Hmmm, I somehow didn't get any photos of the Buddhist Temple.  Ah well.
This morning we prayed that God would give us opportunities to share Himself, and He surely did!

Celine is precious.  She's a cute, hip gal who wants to cater to our every need, although so far we have been very low maintenance.  She did a fantastic job of detailing the history of the temple and Buddhism.  She kept referring to dates BC and AD.  My husband can bring Jesus into any conversation, and he saw a door wide open.  He asked what AD meant...and she told him it means 'after death,' so he asked, "Who's death?"  She said, "Ummm, I don't know.  Can you tell me?"
And it all went great from there!  She has never heard the Gospel.
Will you please pray with us that the Holy Spirit will work in Celine's heart?

In front of the burner.

 Can't have too many pictures of a pagoda, right?
 Celine did not know the English translation of this tree, but I love it!
There's something on my heart that I just need to share.  And I want to share it before we get Khloie because it's so sad to me, and yet it really hits home.  There are many cultural differences, and we have become keenly aware of some of them, especially since our teen Treasure came home.  All that as a prelude...
On our 13.5-hour flight to Beijing we shared the bulkhead row with an elderly couple who had a 4 month old baby boy with them.  They spoke no English; they obviously had never flown before; they spent every ounce of energy on the adorable baby.  I attempted to communicate with the grandmother, but my Chinese and her English got very jumbled so it mostly left me curious.  All the baby items appeared to be very American, so I concluded the baby's parents might live in the US.  But why were these grandparents traveling back to their home in Beijing with their grandson whose parents live in America?  Or what would cause them to travel to America with their grandson if their parents live in China?  The things that make me go hmmmmm.
So I innocently asked Celine about this scenario, and I have to tell you that her answer completely surprised me.  And it makes me very sad.  And I mean no judgment here.  It's just very unfamiliar to me.
She explained that it is actually very common for married couples to send their children to be raised by grandparents, whether in other parts of China or in the US.  The parents work very hard and don't have time to care for their child so they have grandparents take them home until the child starts school, and the parents see the child twice a year during the holidays. this makes me sad.  I mean, you try and take one of my babies away...
So basically, this baby boy has just been transplanted to a new country, a new language and new grandparents whom he probably just met, and may not see his parents again until this October for a short time, and likely will not return to China until he's 4 or 5?
And for the rest of the day...
I unpacked Khloie's things, and now we need to fill this crib!  Tomorrow!!!

 We found a quaint little noodle restaurant.  It was fabulous, but much too spicy.  I don't normally eat foods that make me sweat, but I ate every single noodle!  I need to figure out how to communicate 'no spicy' tomorrow.

 Tonight we took Celine to dinner.  Another fabulous meal of peanut/almond milk, wheat tea, pot stickers, pepper beef and a local specialty, fried celery.
This menu also had pictures and English translations.  We opted out of the Fir Bacteria Chicken Chicken, the Slap Fish, Diced Cattle and the Fresh Baby Food (baby cabbage).
Until tomorrow...


Kevin, Jake and Violet said...

We talked to a worker in a Chinese restaurant who sent her children to China. It didn't seem as time was an overwhelming factor, though they were building a life & busy. I think it simply was their home, and while they see a better life here they wanted their children to know their culture back home, not to mention their grandparents. It also gave thus mom a reason to go home more than she probably would have. She only did it before school age. It is a cultural difference, but I wonder if our ancestors might have done the same thing if travel had been easier. Plus, how many grandparents in the U.S. raise their grandchildren? Just sharing my thoughts as this was a recent conversation that hit a cord while reading your blog. Hope you guys are enjoying Xian. We sure loved it and missed it when we left. God's blessing on everything. So wonderful you were able to plant a seed of Jesus in that girl's heart. You guys are wonderful! Take care. Violet

Shonni said...

Love reading this. And so excited for you.

Kathy said...

I loved those flowers! Xian is where we met
our sweet Chloe for the first time!
So very excited for you!

lizzielou said...

Praying sweet friend. Love this!

Dardi said...

I learned about this Chinese family custom from our neighbors. They had the sweetest little toddler that our kids loved to play with. Suddenly, she was never out with the parents, so one day I mentioned that I missed seeing her. That's when they explained she had gone to live with the grandparents for several months b/c that's how they do things so the parents can make a good living & the child can be exposed to 2 cultures. Made me sad, too.

Kiki said...

Yay - tomorrow!!!!

Praying for your first precious moments with Khloie...and for Khloie's heart as all these transitions begin for her, as much as it's for her good.

And joining you in praying for Celine! I'm sure God will give you even more opportunities to talk with her and share your hearts with her and your love of the Lord - and her just seeing you reflecting Him - will convey so much, too. How neat that God, in His timing, had it orchestrated for your trip to get Khloie to have you end up with Celine, for such a time as this, to be able to open the door for conversations about Jesus with her!

Leese @

Jennifer said...

My best friend was born in China and her parents moved to US when she was an infant; she didn't join them in the US until she was a couple of years old. I always thought it was strange but didn't know it was common. She's getting ready for her first child any day now, and I know she couldn't imagine doing the same.

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