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Christmas 2006 (1/07)

Basketballs bounce in Xi'an

Zhangye, a deeper look (7/06)

China comes to Virginia (7/06)

Winter Conference 

Happy Birthday, Amity, 
Part 1

Part 2 (11/05)

Bringing Sunshine,
Part 1

Part 2 (10/05)

Summer 2005: (7/05)

Needed: China volunteers

Bluefield College in China

Lantern Festival (2/05)

Village of God (2/05)

Summer 2004:

FBC Richmond (5/20)

Opposites attract (5/26)

Mission Impossible (5/24)

Rules for a new mother (10/24)

Brocade Museum (10/24)

Barbara Diggs at NIM (4/4)

Fujian Earthen Houses (2/14)

Zhangzhou Puppets (2/14)

Merry Christmas

JIE's 50th Anniversary

Oral English Competition

Sam's Page

Virginia Baptists arrive for 2002 SEP, Shanghai - Nanjing

Part 2: in Jining, the program begins

Inner Mongolia's grasslands

Baotou and Wudang Temple

Abby and Sarah in Xi'an

Discovering the Nestorian Pagoda

Eating Zongzi June, 2002

Mary Washington comes to China, Part 1
Part 2 May/June 2002

Xi'an May 2002
Terracotta soldiers
   The Nestorian tablet





The Rest of the Story...

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The first part of the story ended on Tuesday evening with the banquet given by the college. The rest of the week went quickly and every day was filled with activities, not all of which are pictured here. Each day, the Americans went out, one by one, with a small group of Chinese students. Collectively, they visited many of the parks, gardens, and historical places in Nanjing, and a few of the commercial ones. Pictured above is the headquarters of the Amity Foundation, which sponsors Amity teachers, such as myself and the Strongs. We went there for a short orientation. You can learn more about Amity by clicking on the link at left. We also went to the seminary, which is the Jinling Union Theological Seminary. This seminary is the national institution, but there are about 17 or 18 regional or provincial ones scattered around China. There, we bought Bibles, mostly bilingual, and maybe a few more types of materials, in their little bookstore, then walked across the street to a shop which sells Christian arts and crafts, a small division of Amity. The meal you see above is typical of many eaten by the American students with their Chinese friends. Kelly went with a group to a nearby park and then back to a restaurant near the school for lunch.

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The Chinese have a saying, "You're not a real man until you have been to the Great Wall." It is always awesome to walk on this tremendous monument to the achievements of manpower. The wall snakes across the mountain ridges of north China and is quite daunting at times. You can see from the section behind Susan just how steep some of it is. We rewarded ourselves with a stop at Pizza Hut afterwards. That evening, we attended a performance of a Chinese acrobatic troupe at the Chaoyang Theater, a standard venue for these performances, largely provided for tourists.

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It's always moving to attend a Chinese church. The crowds are overwhelming and the sincerity of the worshippers is heartwarming. This church has four services on Sunday. The courtyard is heavily crowded in between services. The church building is set back off of the street, such that it is almost impossible to see from the sidewalk until you get right to the gate. The courtyard is full of people seated in folding chairs; the rooms on each side of the courtyard are also packed with people. Inside the main sanctuary, a large hall parallel to the sanctuary is full of people, and then of course, there is the sanctuary itself. It is full of people, with a row of chairs added at the end of each pew. We were invited to sing a couple of songs and sang a variation of "Amazing Grace," which included some "hallelujahs" and the chorus, "Father, Jesus, Spirit, I Adore You." One of the students reported seeing a woman in the audience singing along on the "hallelujah" part.

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Sunday afternoon, we went to the Summer Palace, which is on the northwest outskirts of the city. It is a beautiful park and too large for us to see in its entirety, but we enjoyed our quick tour. After that, we went to Tiananmen Square, that vast expanse of concrete that has been the scene of so many tumultuous celebrations and demonstrations.

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Most Americans, after a week or more of three-times-a-day Chinese food, want to eat at Hard Rock Cafe, and this group was no exception. Of course, this included buying shirts as souvenirs. We did enjoy the food, also.

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Monday morning was devoted to a tour of the Forbidden City, or Imperial Palace, the home of the Chinese emperors, beginning with the Ming Dynasty, having been completed in 1420. It is too large to see thoroughly, but we spent three hours attempting to see as much as possible. The orange shoe covers were required for that portion which houses many treasures from the days of the emperors: huge jade carvings, swords, artifacts, elaborately embroidered imperial robes, and more. Monday afternoon, the nine visitors from Mary Washington College BSU left for the US and I left for Nanjing. It was the end of one phase of our mutual experience, but not the end of the results, in both the hearts and lives of the Chinese with whom they shared their time, energy, and love, but also in the lives of the Americans, who were changed in ways they had not anticipated. Only God knows what will come of this trip, but for those of us who are on this side of the ocean, we know that we will never forget them.