We are getting well settled in here in Shanghai, China. Here are a few updates and highlights so far.
I still cannot believe what a smooth trip it was. If I told you that Davis did not touch an iPhone, iPad or iPod for the entire trip, would that help you understand what an awesome trip it was?!?! Well, it's true. We played Bible Go fish (25 times) and colored and opened up a present every hour (that he was awake). Thank you, Grammy for the backpack full of wrapped gifts. It worked like you hoped! We are just finally over jetlag this morning. Recovering from jetlag with a toddler along is quite different than when you are alone.
We spent the morning yesterday (Sunday) in downtown Shanghai. It was really cool because we arrived there at about 6:30am before it got busy (read: a gazillion people everywhere!!) and the only people around were the elderly population all playing badminton and doing eastern exercise, employees of companies and hotels doing morning PT and people walking dogs and babies. Got some cool pics and met some nice people.
I have been to over a dozen Chinese cities in three trips, and NEVER have I experienced what I did yesterday. Davis was a MOVIE STAR!! At one time we had nearly 20 cameras circling us as people took pictures. The common thing was to 1) touch his head or face, 2) guess his age (almost always accurately) and 3) take his picture. He did not know how to react. I just kept kneeling down, explaining what I could and ensuring him that he was safe with us.
Yesterday afternoon we attended Abundant Grace International Fellowship, an English speaking International church led by Pastor Nate Showalter (brother of Richard Showalter). You may recall Nate and his family as the folks who so graciously let a group of us stay in their lovely home in 2009 while they were away. AGIF is a fully legal, government allowed Christian church! In the words of one Leader yesterday: China allows you to believe whatever you want in religion...it only monitors how you express those beliefs publicly. The church experience was shocking for lack of a better word. I felt like I was in one of the better American churches that I have ever attended. It was like Willow Creek meets NCC meets North Point meets CCF. Extraordinary diversity, excellent worship, relevant preaching, media, rocking kids and youth ministry, coffee and brownies at the newcomers reception, and a small groups ministry with a goal of seeing 100% of Sunday attendees in a Small Group. We met people from all over the world and had an awesome experience. This is the first English speaking church I have attended in China.
Wow...What Noah said!!! I can't believe that I am in China. Never thought this day would ever happen and I am so blessed and honored that it did. We had a great flight here and I was so very proud of Davis. He was a real trooper! Noah says we are past the jetlag but I'm not sure he is right (the boys are, I am not). I feel like I have been beaten and I am feeling more tired today (Monday) than yesterday. Yesterday we felt like bad parents because we would not let Davis fall asleep for long and he wasn't happy with us when we woke him and wouldn't let him go back to sleep. We managed to keep him awake until 9pm last light and this morning he is wide awake and full of energy (unlike his Mommy).
We had a great first day here in Shanghai and I am looking forward to the next 2 weeks. Later today we make our way to our next hotel, where will stay for our remaining time. Please continue to pray for us on this journey and for us as a family! We sense God with us.
We will post and blog as we can....likely will be limited until we are out of China.
Love you all