Kristen, Marissa and I returned to China in late September, and two weeks later I was offered a short-term teaching job in Guiyang (Guizhou Province which is on the Viet Nam border) at Guizhou Finance and Economics University. Two weeks after that I found myself in a brand new city getting ready to teach marketing to about 150 students. Talk about unexpected!
Though this was not something I had planned or even considered, it really was a blessing. Our supporters are faithful but few, and funds have been dwindling for quite some time. I really had no idea how we were going to make ends meet for even our most basic expenses. So this job really was an answer to our prayer for provision. It didn't look anything like what I thought the answer would be (more supporters!), but I was instantly reminded of this story:
A man's boat is sinking, and he prays for God to save him. When a fishing boat, a Coast Guard boat and a helicopter all come by, the man refuses their help, continuing to believe that God will save him. The man drowns, and when he arrives in heaven he asks why God didn't save him, to which God replies, "I sent a fishing boat, the Coast Guard and a helicopter, what more did you want?!"
I believe that this teaching job was my "fishing boat" so I jumped on board. It was definitely an interesting ride! I taught for eight weeks, eight classes each week for three hours per class. It was kind of fun to get back into the world of marketing. The material brought back lots of great memories, and I hope I was able to communicate some of my enthusiasm to my students. That part was a little more difficult since most of the students had very minimal English skills...a challenge to say the least. But together we muddled through the best we could.
Most of my off hours were spent preparing my lectures... in the Starbucks in the mall next to our apartment. A definite plus. There was also a Walmart where we could shop for groceries.
Two highlights of the trip were a weekend trip to Guilin -- where we froze but enjoyed the beautiful scenery -- and an impromptu visit by my cousin Jim Laurie, long-time China journalist.
We arrived back in Beijing on December 19...just in time for Christmas!
In typical perfectionist style, if I don't have time to write the perfect post, I don't post at all. Fail! So my only resolution for 2016 is to post more by making my posts short...maybe just a photo with caption...anything to keep our good friends, family and cyber buddies up to date.
About This Blog
Part documentary, part family chronicle and part personal reflection as I try to sort through the ups and downs, the joys, heartaches and surprises of our life and work as we follow the path that God has set for us here in China!
Kristen to continue to adjust to college life and find good friends.
Donna to have wisdom in planning and implementing new programs for the youth and for financial provision to cover our expenses.