A couple of you have asked what my plans are for next fall, so here it goes…
I will be staying in China for another year.
Wow. That was scary. Words aren’t real sometimes until you say them out loud. My school asked me this week if I would be returning next school year and I have said “Yes”. There are still a lot of details to go through like signing my contract for next year and such, but I have decided to stay at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law next school year.
I thought the decision would be really hard, but honestly it was not. I love my job, and I love my students. They are smart and funny and well educated. The cream of the crop. I have a great group of fellow believers here and that’s important. I feel like I fit in, and like I can do some real good in the lives of my students and other Chinese friends that I have met.
I have thought alot about my options and whether I should stay in China or return State-side, and for me the decision came down to one simple question,
“Where can I do the most good.”
Once I answered that question, my decision was easy. I can do more good by staying in China than I ever could in the states. I guess I have just gotten used to the pace of life here. I feel like in America I was always so stressed out… about everything. I would rush home from work to cook dinner so I could sit in front of the TV. I was always rushed from work to church and other activities, and didn’t have the time for my friends that I would have liked to spend because they also were rushing in every different direction taking kids to activities and events.
Now I don’t have the option of TV because it is in Chinese (of course), and it is a rare occasion that I ever watch a movie. My time is mostly spent bonding with friends, either by having meals together or studying English with students in my home. I love it. I am adamant about giving my students hugs when they leave my apartment, and they know that I love them. The bible says that they will know us by our love, and I believe that is the truest sign of a Christian, that we show our love to the world, and shine like a light for all to see.
I have also learned not to be so materialistic. I was very materialistic when I lived in America. I felt like I had to have everything… an oven, a dishwasher, a blender, a food processor, a mixer, you name it, I wanted it. I have learned how to live with less, and I am happier and more content for it. I still miss Ranch dressing and brownie mix, but it’s a trade off. I would not have made it one month in America without a car, but now, I don’t even miss it. I have a bike and a bus card, and that gets me anywhere I need to go.
Life’s lessons are hard sometimes, but I have learned that happiness does not come from things, it comes from people, and I have met so many incredible Chinese and America people here.
I am blessed.
I will be sending a letter home to all of you very soon telling about my job here and some of the great things that have happened this year, but for now, just know that I love you all so much and I couldn’t be here without your love, support and prayers.
I will be home for the summer around the first of July and will be making the rounds to see all of you.
I love you all so much and look forward to July when I will be able to see everyone in the States.
Please continue to pray for me and for my students in China. Pray that they will have open hearts, and learn not only English but life’s lessons and that I can somehow make a difference in their lives through the brief time I have with them.
Love and Hugs,