October 10, 2009

Volume 3, Issue 10

The semester has just flown by. We give midterm exams this week. Where has the time gone? Relationships with students are beginning to deepen to heart issues and other relationships are at the foundational stages. Please remember all these students as our time here this semester is limited.

Even with limited time this semester, we are encouraged to know the seeds planted, even in this abbreviated semester, are there being watered by teammates and by the Father himself.

Normal, What’s Normal?

If living in China has only taught us one thing, it’s that normal really isn’t that normal. Huh, are you trying to confuse me? No, but really, what is normal?

As we follow the Father, we are constantly asked, or sometimes required and commanded, to do things that we don’t exactly consider normal when viewed from the world’s eyes. Take for example, moving our young family to China or being prompted by the Father to give away $100 to a lady needing help in a 7-11 parking lot. Neither of those I would consider normal along with numerous other things.

Add living in China to the “non-normalness” of normal and then you really have an adventure. China throws curve balls almost daily. In 2008, the curveball was the lead up to the Olympic games in Beijing delaying our arrival in China by a month. Now this year, 2009, we have the lead up to the 60th anniversary of China increasing the security and posing some increased hassle for travelers and the H1N1 flu spreading around the world causing changes in procedures. To provide safety for teachers and students, our campus requires temperatures to be reported daily, travel outside of campus to be reduced, and visitors to our apartments limited to 1-2. Additionally, we are expecting the arrival of Baby #2 in December which further makes normal less normal.

While these changes to normal could cause frustration, we have come to adapt quickly to the changes and continue pressing forward. We will not let the changes to normal affect the work we are doing here in Harbin. We are assured knowing the Father’s thought are higher than our thoughts, his ways higher than our ways.

So the question becomes, when does non-normal and unexpected become the norm?

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