Friday evening, May 7, eight members
of a group from FBC, Richmond, arrived in Shanghai. We stayed at the YMCA
Hotel that night and toured the historical Citygod Temple complex,
including the classical South China garden, Yu Yuan. Unfortunately, it
rained on that Saturday, but it didn't dampen our enthusiasm. These hardy
souls were ready to embark on their China adventure: Jerry, Berta, Sue,
Ann, Pat, Marie, Joy, and Larry.
Saturday afternoon, we
traveled to Nanjing and they were settled into the guest house on our
campus. It isn't four-star, but it's very adequate. From that moment on,
there was scarcely a free moment until the following Saturday morning.
Sunday brought church at
St. Paul's Church, which is where I usually attend. After the service we
had a chance to talk with the pastor. I learned the church building was
built in 1921 and was an Anglican church.
After church, we walked down to the Confucius Temple
area, which is similar to Shanghai's Citygod Temple area, that is, the
architecture is the old Ming Dynasty style. These days, it's a large
shopping area. We ate lunch at McDonald's or KFC and then took a city bus
to the obligatory sightseeing place in Nanjing: Sun Yatsen's Mausoleum.
Sunday evening, Jerry and Berta and I took the train
back to Shanghai for Monday's classes. First up was the class for staff
members of the national YMCA.
After a light lunch with the 'Y' staff, we went up
to Muen Church for the afternoon class for National and Shanghai Christian
Monday, while we three were in Shanghai, the
remaining team members were busy in Nanjing with the opening sessions of
the Primary School Conference sponsored by my school. The sixty
participants were primary school teachers from around the province, mostly
from the northern area, but also from Nanjing and some of the other cities
along the Yangzi River.
This was the first time I had had a chance to link
volunteers to a school project. Previously, volunteers had only worked
with students and related groups as arranged by me. I am very happy with
this development and hope it will be the first of many such opportunities
to expand involvement beyond this campus. The following photos show activities
related to the primary school teachers conference.
Classroom activities with students generally
involved one American being surrounded by a group of 6-10 students,
engaged in lively conversation. In addition to these small group times,
students took the Americans outside, to parks, shopping, restaurants, and
in general, introduced them to life in Nanjing, at least in the general
area of our school. In the process, Americans and Chinese learned more
about each other, and Chinese students had many opportunities to use
English in communication.
In addition to classroom activities, the Freshmen
and sophomores put on programs demonstrating many aspects of Chinese
culture. The sophomore program included: a fashion show of traditional
ethnic and Chinese dress, demonstration of traditional Chinese painting
and tea service and even a traditional Chinese game requiring a sense of
rhythm and balance.
And, of course, no trip to Nanjing would be complete
without a trip to the Amity Printing Company, where Bibles for China are
printed. To date they have printed more than 32 million Bibles, including
simplified and traditional characters, ethnic languages, study Bibles,
bilingual Bibles and New Testaments, in both hard and soft covers, in
various sizes, in addition to hymnals and other Christian literature. In
addition, the team met with Amity Foundation staff for an orientation,
visited the Nanjing seminary and the Amity Christian Arts Center.
When they left, on Saturday, May 15, for Beijing,
they left deep impressions in the hearts and lives of countless students
and primary school teachers throughout Jiangsu Province. And, I suspect,
they carried away with them treasures to hide in their hearts that will
last far longer than any souvenirs they bought.
To FBC Richmond, we say a heartfelt, "Thank