• 07Feb

    Things in the village are great. The weather is warm, the food is tasty and laughter fills the holiday air.

    The other day we woke up at 6 am prepared our things and went over the hills and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house… Nothing like not only getting up but also making it almost halfway up the mountain before the sun rose above the great mountains.

    Robert you’d be proud as I was the only one with a flashlight (in the form of a headlamp) this trip. So I guided those of us who needed the help up the mountain. (Ruth’s parents both somehow were able to walk in the pitch black with no problems! We’re talking a dirt path that goes straight up the mountain with plenty of large rocks, plants and turns. We’re nearing Chinese New Year so the moon is close to being new and NOT FULL! I’m still not sure how they did it.)

    We made it to Grandma’s house around 9, just in time for the pig killing. (Sorry no gory pictures this time). The feast was like nothing I’ve had before with at least 12 dishes on each table (of which there were 5, each seating at least 8 people).

    I love the time spending with this family learning more and more about Chinese culture, Mandarin and the local dialect!

    It’s been especially great to see the change that’s been going on in Ruth’s dad’s heart since he decided to fully follow our Heavenly Father. The stress that was once loading down his shoulders has been lifted giving him more time and strength to simply enjoy the gifts that our Father has blessed us so abundantly with. He used to smile some before but now he smiles with a joy that can only come from Him. It has been amazing to see that change come from her dad being surrounded by those showering him with the love of the Lord.

    I’ll close with this picture describing the beauty of this place and the serenity and peace I’ve seen in her dad. (Taken at the top of the mountain on the way to Grandma’s).

    20130207-200216.jpg

    Lup

  • 01Feb

    So walking along the road I come to a construction site for putting a new layer of concrete on a bridge.

    Here’s the site:

    20130128-212831.jpg

    The fun part came where watching how they were doing it.

    For starters there were at least 25 people on site. One cement mixer which poured out 2 wheelbarrows full every 2 minutes or so.

    But of the 25 workers there were about 12 actual workers. 4 adding rocks and cement mix. 1 operating the cement mixer. 4 on wheelbarrow duty. 2 hoeing the dumped cement. And 1 on tamping and smoothing.

    The other 13? On fire duty. Someone has to absorb the warmth coming from the fire.

    How do these guys make sure it’s level? Um. Level? You’re supposed to do that?

    Then there is the wheelbarrow guys trying to make things harder by creating a larger area of poured cement, then having to drive the wheelbarrow OVER the newly poured cement so that it could get to the places in the middle that didn’t have enough. Nothing like making it harder on yourself. But maybe that’s how you get to join the fire group faster?

    Common sense did not flow from this worksite. I wish I had videoed it. Instead I was surprisingly entertained for 15 minutes by watching a demonstration on “How to make a cement bridge the wrong and hard way”.

    Oh I love this place!

    Lup

  • 28Jan

    Look my dad could be famous in China. This a billboard I saw walking down the street here in Wenshan.

    They aren’t twins but it sure is close!

    20130128-212346.jpg

    I wish it came out clearer but you get the idea!

    Lup

  • 25Jan

    This past week I’ve been going around town trying to find a suitable office for my (and my two partners) new company.

    We’ve officially registered The Starting Line Information Consulting Company!

    Our hope is to be able to make money from Chinese people to take that and support local groups and organizations who are supporting their community.

    It came from the idea that running the therapy center is not free and there is no income. So we needed to find a way to support the therapy center through ways other than just relying on donations.

    So our company plans to consult children, adults, and businesses on English through things like summer camps, weekday and weekend classes, and custom visits to companies. We are hoping to eventually being able to expand into helping businesses with team building and also teaching locals new skills!

    We are really excited about the possibilities! But we need a place first!

    So oh to have all this extra cash just walking around to buy these amazing spaces that we’ve seen! We’re trying to figure out which one is going to best suit our needs so please help us pray that we can find it!

    Off to the village next week for Chinese New Year! Can’t wait to see what this year brings!

    春节快乐!

    Lup

  • 18Jan

    It’s cold! Well it at least feels cold.

    I made the journey back to China and finally arrived in Wenshan a few days ago. And these concrete building for some reason just don’t insulated quite like insulated walls…. Hmm. So when it’s 30 degrees outside its about 40 inside. Good thing you don’t have to be fashionable while inside because I basically put on as much clothes as I can. And now I understand in all the old shows when people are wearing night caps! I wear a beanie to bed to help keep some of my heat in. A lot of people use space heaters but I’ve found that unless you’re right next to it there is no effect. So instead I drink lots of warm drinks like tea to help warm me from the inside out.

    In a few weeks it’ll be Chinese New Year again. This year I’ll be headed back out to the village that I always go to. I don’t think there will be any animal killing this year (sorry to disappoint) but you never know what other adventures will come!

    For now help think warm thoughts for me!

    Here’s a picture of the city of Wenshan from the 31st floor of a building I was at!

    20130119-090127.jpg

    Lup

  • 07Jan

    Hello faithful readers and new readers!

    I presented yesterday at Sunny Hills but there was supposed to be a short video with two kids learning to walk. I decided to upload the full recap video of 2012 in the therapy center.

    The beginning of the video is our afternoon physical therapy center an the later half is our morning sessions with our special education classes.

    Sorry for all the Chinese but this was the video I made for them to use at their annual party. The gist of the words is simply listing all the things that we were thankful for (their anniversary celebration falls on Thanksgiving every year).

    Here’s the link to the video. You can only get to it via link so don’t try searching for it.

    2012 Therapy Center Video Link

    I’m headed back to China tomorrow. I had a great time in the States celebrating Christmas and New Years!

    I’m excited for the next year of posts.

    Happy watching!

    Lup

  • 29Nov
    Uncategorized Comments Off on Quick pic #21

    You’ve gotta love it when people barely know English but try using it anyway!

    Not sure what age group this guy is looking to meet… But go bingo!

    20121129-162623.jpg

    Lup

  • 29Oct

    Hmmm…. So I saw this outside my friend’s window. Not sure it’s a good idea to stand on a small piece of metal when your 3+ stories high to do work.

    20121030-013715.jpg

    So while standing there is not the best idea…. I’m pretty sure welding the piece that he is standing on while he is standing on it, is an even worse idea, but he does it anyway.

    But I’m not sure if it’s a worse or a better idea than his partner using his hand as a shield to protect his eyes from the welding sparks. But I suppose it’s one way to tan your palms.

    Oh China you really do entertain me daily.

    Lup

  • 20Oct

    It’s really funny to hear people saying “ahoy”, not quite twice like Mr. Burns, but you can’t help but think about that or sailors.

    Anyway, on to the real story.

    The last full day here in Czech Republic and Europe we headed on a three hour train with the hope of finding my friend’s family. He had no phone numbers, hardly remembered people’s names and no addresses. What we had was faith. I didn’t realize that this city, that wasn’t Prague, was going to be so big. I guess I thought it was going to be a small little country town. Instead it was a full blown metropolis. It had two stops for the main train and then it’s own trolley system within the city. Now I realize how crazy this was going to be. Luckily my friend remembered a stop near his brother in laws restaurant hotel and he recognized it as we passed by. We hoped that he would be there or that at least someone would know how to contact him. We walked in the door and asked the first person we saw. Success number one the waiter knew the brother in law, fail number one he wasn’t in. So the waiter asked what we wanted and we told him we were just here to find him. So he went in the back and out came the wife. The two recognized each other immediately and began to talk. She quickly went to the back and ordered up some food for us.

    20121020-183516.jpg

    (Traditional Czech food of duck, cabbage (a little sweet), and potato dumplings)

    Then she came back out and talked with my friend for a long while. She went into the back again to try to round up the family. After our late lunch we went to his sister in laws house and they met with tears and a warm embrace. It was quite a good moment.

    Later in the night the brother in law joined us with his daughter. They sat and just caught up for the whole evening.

    I have never honestly seen my friend in his element. He’s always frantic, stumbling over words and often awkward. But the moment he stepped into his wife’s brother’s restaurant he was a different man. As we went from house to house reuniting him with his family, he was the center of attention and thrived. He told stories with humor, that were captivating and filled with questions from his audience. Maybe I have no idea what was going on or if he was staying on topic, but based on everyone’s expressions, captivated looks and the repeating of the word “eh noin” and “yo” which seems to mean understand and ok, it seemed that he was right on track.

    We took the last train back to Prague (another 3 hour tour!) and arrived back to the hotel around 4am!

    It was long and tiring but great to see my friend see his family again. They exchanged emails and will hopefully be back in contact with each other. Lets hope that this isn’t the last time that they will get to see each other.

    It was good to get to see the non tourist life of Czech Republic too. It’s always good to see different lifestyles.

    I’m on my way home! It’s been a good week but all good things must come to an end. But at least every end is a new beginning!

    Lastly a picture of the Czech Republic country side. It was very very beautiful. The leaves were just starting to change colors and the landscapes were gorgeous. I highly recommend the train ride through this area.

    20121020-184518.jpg

    Lup

  • 18Oct

    A few hour flight and I feel like I’ve gone a thousand plus years on the time machine. From Ancient Rome to bohemian Prague. What a difference. The churches got pointier, the statues have color, and the people now speak a language that I can’t even begin to figure out.


    20121018-235522.jpg

    I’m still trying to find the church to go with steeple. Maybe then when I open the doors I’ll see all the people.

    My first impressions of Prague is that it reminds me a lot of Paris. I guess the architecture designs come from about the same eras so it makes sense. But with the river running through Prague and the bridges plus all the elaborate gothic churches, it’s a better comparison to Paris than it is to Rome.

    The hotel here is amazing. I’ll post pictures of the view when there is better light. But I just watched tv while brushing my hair and teeth, AT THE SINK. I was thoroughly entertained by the B2K boys followed by Lauren Hill music videos haha! Old school!

    Tonight I had some deer meat and potato dumplings. Ate every bite of it!

    20121018-235441.jpg

    We watched the famous clock show. It’s cute but I’m glad I only waited 10 minutes for it. The cool part was trying to figure out the lower part of the clock.

    20121018-235840.jpg

    Not sure anyone knows what time it is.

    Here’s a picture of me with the Czech White House in the background.

    20121018-235952.jpg

    Tomorrow we are off to my friend’s hometown. Hopefully we can make contact with some of his family.

    Lup

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