When looking through my profile pictures on facebook a few minutes ago, I saw this one (pictured above).

And wow. I can’t believe it’s almost been two years since I went to China to teach English!! On the one hand, it feels like a dream — like I never took that 13 hour flight from San Francisco to the other side of the world…

…or met the most passionate group of people in my life who were all there for the same goal: to teach middle school and high school students conversational English and to subtly share with them His Truth.

…or ate such good, authentic Chinese food (even if some of it was gross! ;-) ).

…or walked down streets lined with a variety of Chinese vendors that smelled of homemade noodles, soups, dumplings and breads.

…or felt so far, yet so close to the Father at the same time. (Being away from “the familiar” made me feel distant. However, having to trust Him for my daily bread really challenged my heart.)

…or interacted daily with the sweetest, most beautiful children on the face of this earth.

…or climbed one of the tallest mountains in the world, wondering if we’d ever make it to the top of the seemingly unending staircase. (Mount Tai in Tai’an, Province of Shandong.)

…or stepped foot on the Wall of China.

…or bargained for cheap things marketed expensively to tourists:

Me: “How much?”
Vendor: “50 Qui.” (This amount is really only worth about $6)
“50 Qui? No, no that is too much! How about 20 Qui?”
“20 Qui too low.”
“Hmmm…Nevermind, I’m not interested *begins to walk off*”
“Wait, wait!! I give you this for 30 Qui!”
“*Shakes head* Nope”
“25 Qui!”
“*exasperated* okayyy….22 Qui.”

 …or sung the most heart-encouraging worship songs with my amazing teammates.

…or had so much fun doing American things with Chinese kids. Easter egg hunts, Halloween masks, Uno, Justin Beiber, Birthday cake (in tha face!), Boggle, pinatas (ok, so maybe this is Mexican..) Edelweiss (ok, so maybe this is German, also…ha!). Just to name a few!


YET on the other hand, it feels like it’s still such a part of my heart.

(If you’re more interested in the story of why I went to China and what my experience was like, feel free to comment! :) )