Christmas time has always been one of my absolute favorite times of the year, and being in China hasn't changed that one bit. For me Christmas is a time to celebrate the most wonderful gift of all, the birth of our Savior, but it is also a time where I look back on the past year and reflect on the joys and blessings the year has brought.
God has granted me the opportunity to live in 2 countries (3 including the States) and serve him in ways that I never dreamed would be possible. Both experiences have been rewarding and have taught me a lot about the power of the hand of God. There is such a joy and peace I find in living and working here and I know that peace comes directly from the Lord. Yes, there are definite moments of struggle, loneliness, and feelings of discomfort. But it is in those moments when I must rely on the Holy Spirit to strengthen me and remember that God has brought me here and will be with me always. I think of Isaiah 49:16, "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands." God hasn't just written me into the palm of His hand, he has engraved me which is a mark that will never vanish. He has all my fears, joys, weaknesses, everything permanently imprinted into His hand. Amazing Love!!
I was able to visit the orphanage last Friday and found out that things are a little different than I expected. After visiting, I am not sure that this particular orphanage is the best place for me to volunteer right now, so I am meeting with World Vision again tomorrow to find out if there is another orphanage in the city where I might be able to work. My main concerns are the amount of time this orphanage requires that I volunteer as well as the lack of interaction I will be able to have with the children. My prayer is that I will allow God to direct this opportunity and I will not become a backseat driver. If this orphanage is where God needs me to be right now, then I know I will find joy in the work and God will work out a way for me to manage both school responsibilities and the volunteer work.
I have taken some new pictures of campus and posted them on my pictures sight along with a video of my students. I taught them The 12 Days of Christmas this week and they had a great time singing and doing the motions. The picture quality isn't great, but it is still really cute. So turn up your volume and enjoy their singing!!
Merry Christmas to all!! God Bless You!