We began December with M'Lynn traveling home for 10 days to attend her grandfather's funeral. I stayed in Harbin teaching classes and taking care of Kanyon and Corbin. Added to the mix was a teammate's business trip to Beijing leaving his wife and children home alone for the weekend. Our team had two single parent households!
It was not easy for anyone. Children were sick, parents were tired, teammates were doubly busy, but everyone was bearing each others burdens. During this time, teammates stepped up and watched the kids so I could teach. Others walked Kanyon to preschool so I could stay with Corbin. Another teammate bought 5 boxes of orange juice, 6 bottles of Sprite, and vegetables so we'd have something to eat and drink. Each night a different teammate would make supper for the whole team. Everyone sacrificed time, food, money, sleep, and energy.
But why? Because of the good news. Period. This kind of crazy awesome community we had going on, I believe, is proof of the power and nature of the good news in our lives.
Together we've been doing a study about the good news in everyday life. Most recently, the topic was community and what it is to live as a city on a hill in the context of the good news. The study, by Timothy Keller, talked about how we are "natural enemies" coming from different backgrounds, families, traditions, majors, states, and lives but we are able to come together because of what He has done for us and we're able to love for His name sake!
With Christmas approaching quickly, we are eager to share this community with others so they can see how we interact with each other for His name. We desire others to see the difference in our community not because we are different as Americans, but because we are His and His love enables us to love each other.