September 10, 2010
eNews September 2010
Welcome to Harbin, Heilongjiang
After spending 19 hours on airplanes, 4 nights in Beijing, and 1 hour in a shuttle bus, we've arrived home in Harbin. We spent the last week settling back into our apartments buying food and other necessities. Since we've just recently arrived in China and the weather's warm (2 months before winter) we often head outside to local restaurants to gobble up yummy Chinese food and spend time with our new teammates.
This year at Harbin Engineering University we're surrounded by many new faces. There are 3 new teachers on our team, a young couple from Georgia and a single lady from California. They're all amazing! We've gotten to know each one a little better as we've spent a week completing team building activities together (not to mention all the meals we've eaten together). We've shown the team around the campus, dined at our favorite restaurants (including Hamama's, the best Western food in town), and introduced them to our vegetable and fruit vendors. Our new team members have continued to spoil our kids. In addition to our new teammates, there are also 3 new American English teachers and many new faces throughout the school's administration. Please remember these relationships as the semester continues.
The semester began on Monday. I'm teaching the Sophomore Speaking class for English major students. It's great because I taught these students last year, and now I can continue building relationships with many of the same students. As our family took walks outside before classes began, we'd often meet former students and chat for a while as we walked. It was absolutely awesome to walk into the classroom full of familiar faces and names I already knew. Next week I'll begin teaching 2 speaking classes to a brand new bunch of freshmen students. Freshmen college students throughout China participate in military training (mostly marching and following orders) for the first 3 weeks of their freshmen year. As I'm typing this I can hear music and marching orders outside my window as freshmen students fill the soccer stadium for a closing ceremony of sorts. I'm really looking forward to meeting the new freshmen and beginning new relationships.
The city hasn't changed much since we left. The subway is still being constructed causing major delays to the bus routes. Our favorite places are still open (we never know when a store will go out of business or move). And our vendors still recognize the kids and comment about how much they've grown. We commented to each other last week that this is the first time since college that either of us has lived in the same place for more than 2 years.
Last month we mailed invitations for you to join the Father in what He's doing here in China by generously giving and praying. Some have responded with prayer and generous giving and for that we are extremely thankful. For the current 2010-11 school year, the Father has provided 70% of the total needed. We trust He'll provide the remaining $12,000. How is the Father responding to your petitions? Is he inviting you to give? Is He inviting you to pray?
You can read more about each of these at our blog (www.twelvetwotimes.com) as well as other stories throughout the month. We keep the blog up-to-date with information, stories, and photos from our time in Harbin. We know we are here because you've chosen to respond to the Father's invitation to join Him by giving generously. Thank you!
Special thanks to Jodi, our new teammate, for taking all these wonderful pictures.
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