These last couple weeks have been so rich, but they have also been very busy. It seems that when there is more to write about, there is less time in which to do the writing. The blog was supposed to make this easier, but that’s another thing…
The following paragraphs are snippets of of news to keep you updated on what is going on over here.
It’s yue bing (mooncake) time again! Mooncakes are the Chinese traditional food of the Mid-Autumn Festival. This festival is a traditional Chinese festival celebrating the full harvest moon that can be traced as far back as 2000B.C. This year it occurs on 3 October. Traditionally, it is a time of gathering with family and relaxing after the harvest season. It is also associated with the worship of the moon and other folktales.
Mooncakes – not to be confused with moonpies! These are the Chinese version of fruitcakes. The Chinese feast on mooncakes, give mooncakes to friends and colleagues, and are basically overwhelmed by mooncakes in the weeks leading up to this holiday. There are numerous and sometime bizarre folktales about the history of the mooncake, and are as old as the festival itself. Some involve mythical characters or ancient army conquests. They are ubiquitous in the weeks leading up to the mid-autumn festival. They have all kinds of fillings from dried fruit and nuts, to sugared ham to green tea flavors.
I’m actually not a huge fan of eating the mooncakes (I’m also not a fan of fruitcake) so I’ve come up with some alternative uses for them. Here is one pictured.
Cambodia trip! Five members of LIGHT will be traveling to Cambodia Oct 9-20 to participate in a short term medical outreach trip. Our team from Shenyang will be joining a team from Singapore to minster to villagers both medically and non-medically. It was exciting to hear that the team raised about half of their funds from local sources in Shenyang! This is not the first time LIGHT has sent people out – we have been to Cambodia before, to Pakistan, and also to Sichuan province for earthquake relief. It is our goal to be a LIGHT not just in Shenyang but also to far reaches of the world! Please remember to lift them up as they travel.
Shen Jianqing is an 18 month old boy who has Hemophilia A, a serious bleeding disorder. While visiting the orphanage a couple of weeks ago we noticed this toddler with a HUGE bruised knot on his head and several other bruises on the face. The orphanage doctors have suspected a bleeding disorder, but no specific measures have been taken on his behalf. For his safety and treatment we are trying to get him into a suitable foster home. At the moment, the orphanage director has not yet given permission for him to be fostered. Please lift him up – for his safety and health, that we may find a good family to foster him, and that we would be allowed to place him in that family. I’m sorry I do not have a photo of him – I was not allowed to take a picture in the orphanage.
MOVING TIME! In addition to the regular craziness of my live here, I’ve decided to move to another apartment. I have a mentally unstable neighbor who refuses to take medication (confirmed by his sister). This guy has been disturbing my peaceful sanctuary for some time. Some of you have been entertained by my Facebook status updates about him – but he has been driving me crazy! Furthermore, my friends all live in another part of town, so making a move to be nearer to my community makes a lot of sense. Within a week, I had decided to move house, found an apartment, signed a lease and packed up my entire house – all while maintaining my regular work schedule. Thanks to helpful packing friends!
When I am very busy, when allow my margins to become thinner and thinner, it’s much more difficult to stay centered and true. I’m feeling this now. I do notice when I’m spinning away from my center, but I don’t always take the time to move back into the right place. I don’t like how I’m living or thinking or even breathing when I’m living in my margins. But I continue to tell myself that this is only for a season, tomorrow will be better, tomorrow I’ll get there… not so much. At least I now I am a bit more aware of where I am and how I can maintain my center and balance, which is found only in the deep love of Christ. It is only by his compelling love that I have the discipline to either maintain a centered life, or move back to it when I find myself way out in the margins. May you also become aware of when you are living in your margins and how to maintain a centered life. Not easy, but totally worth it.