Harder Family

Harder Family

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Guangzhou: Day 2

Psalm 96:4-5 "For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens."

Today started off with our daily breakfast visit at the hotel buffet. We met our guide at 9 to head out for some sightseeing for the day. We started our day off at Chen Academy. This was a beautiful place to visit and the architecture was very different from Beijing. Although it shared some similarities, it was also very unique. While we were there, we had a custom scroll made for each of the boys. On location is a famous calligraphist who wrote each of the boy's names, their family/gotcha date, and the city/province they were adopted. Each of the boys picked out their own scroll. While we were waiting for them to dry, we also watched another local artist who does art with just has hand. It was phenomenal. My boys asked a ton of questions and ended up being invited by the artist to try to make bamboo with him. It was sweet to see him work patiently with them. 

This is what happens when you are not 100% sure what size you son is and you bring pants that are a little too long. He tucked his pants into his socks.

Shan Chen's scroll

We watched the artist make this picture.

Their finished product.

After visiting the Chen Academy, we headed to the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. I had read online that this was a pretty park to visit. What I didn't know is that it is also an active Buddhist temple. When we arrived, we saw many people lighting incense and bowing and praying to the idols. It broke my heart to see so many lost people thinking that these idols hear them. They brought them fruit, flowers, and other food. Somehow Shan Chen and DJ were handed incense too. I'm not sure fire and boys go well together!! The people just meandered aimlessly shaking their hands together and burning their incense. I was trying to find a verse that summed up what we saw, and the verse about fit it perfectly (Psalm 96:4-5). My heart breaks for these lost people who need to hear about the freedom and joy that Christ offers. It made me think of a David Platt sermon I heard about him visiting a remote village in Southeast Asia. He said that the people there had never once heard the gospel or knew anything about Jesus. He said for hundreds of years, people were living and dying - oblivious to the gospel. This reminded me of a conversation Hudson Taylor had with a new convert Nyi: "It was he who, talking with Mr. Taylor, unexpectedly raised a question the pain of which was not easily forgotten. “How long have you had the glad tidings in England?” he asked unsuspectingly. The young missionary was ashamed to tell him, and vaguely replied that it was several hundreds of years. “What,” exclaimed Nyi in astonishment, “several hundreds of years! Is it possible that you have known about Jesus so long, and only now have come to tell us? My father sought the truth for more than twenty years,” he continued sadly, “and died without finding it. Oh, why did you not come sooner?” What a convicting quote that is to me. How many of us have this amazing gift that was given to us from God and we do not share it with those around us??? Today reminded me of the importance of daily sharing with anyone who will listen to the reason for the HOPE that we have through Jesus!!

After the temple, we headed to another huge mall they call the toy market. The boys had a blast picking out one special toy. This place was crazy huge. Thankfully, our guide knew exactly where to take us!! I also purchased the boys a traditional Chinese outfit for next Chinese New Year. 

Our guide took us to a very small Chinese restaurant (if you want to call it that). The food was good and cheap (12 yuan, which is under $2/person for food). You order your food and then grab a plastic chair and sit wherever you can find a place. It was a very unique experience!

The "restaurant"

When we got back to the hotel, we got changed to go swimming. The temperature was about 72 degrees outside with a cool breeze. As soon as I felt the pool temperature with my toe, I knew that I was not going to go swimming with the boys. I'm a huge wimp and the water was seriously FREEZING! Thankfully, the boys decided it was too cold for them as well, so we ended up in the hot tub.

We concluded our day with dinner at a local Vietnamese restaurant. We met up with my friend Melissa who has been a sounding board during the adoption process. She gets her sweet boy tomorrow. She is also with Great Wall and we would bounce our timelines, questions, and "how to fill this form out" questions on Facebook. I was so excited to finally meet her in person.

Tomorrow we are going to venture out for the day on our own!! We are taking a taxi to the Safari Park and then catching the subway home. Please pray for Shan Chen's leg. His leg keeps coming loose and he is starting to get friction wounds on his scar. Wayne made a doctor appointment (on top of his MRI appointment the week after we get home), to make sure we can get the sleeve ordered for his leg. Thank you for continuing to pray for us. It is hard to believe that we have almost been in China for 2 weeks! It's also hard to believe that this time next week, we will almost be home. I will miss China a ton. I LOVE China!!

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