Harder Family

Harder Family

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Year of the Ox and Ice

Job 38:22 "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail..."

Since 2017, we have enjoyed adding new cultural experiences to our family’s holidays. Every year we celebrate Chinese New Year as a family. We try to bring other people along side to introduce them to the amazing culture of China. I have such a deep love for the Chinese people. I love reading the biographies of missionaries who traveled to China so many years ago: Gladys Alyward, Hudson Taylor, and Lottie Moon. I also love reading real accounts from believers currently in China. When I traveled to China to get the boys, I fell even more in love with China and the people there. If God ever called me to go to China to be a missionary, I would jump at the chance. But God is amazing because even though I'm in Kentucky, God has given us numerous unique opportunities with people in China. Wayne and I talk weekly with his English partner and his wife who lived in the US for a year and then went home. COVID made meeting in person difficult while they were here, but Zoom and technology has allowed us the opportunity to continue building our friendship from across the ocean. Additionally, Shan Chen has an amazing tutor in China that we meet with 2 times a month. It is crazy how many people God has put in our lives that are Chinese. I always thought I'd have to travel to China to be a missionary, and yet God has given us opportunities right from the comfort of our home.

A few days ago, we experienced something unique: an ice storm. Even though we lived in Chicago 18 years and had numerous blizzards, we have never had an ice storm like we had in Kentucky! Although I agree with my northern friends that people in the south aren’t great drivers in winter weather, it’s also more interesting here: less plows and salt, hills (something flat Chicago has no clue about), etc. But I’ll be the first to admit when I heard an ice storm I thought, “How bad can this be?” I learned really quickly how crazy it can become in an ice storm. Literally our whole world became an ice rink and everything was encapsulated in ice, even the grass! It was so beautiful and scary at the same time. Now we received word that on Monday we are supposed to get more ice and possibly 8-12” of snow! The only thing that keeps me from moving further south for warmth is the knowledge that winter here doesn’t last very long and I can survive. Instead of complaining, I’ll enjoy God’s beauty from the comfort of my warm home!

Below are pictures from our Chinese New Year celebration. 2021 is the year of the ox! Every year we add more ornaments to our tree. The boys just beam with excitement when we set everything up to celebrate their heritage. This year we hired a friend from Chicago to make them a special gift for New Year. The boys had them displayed in their bedroom. It was worth every penny to see their reactions when they received them. Adoption isn’t always easy, but it is so worth it. Not only do you get to obey Gods command to care for orphans, but you open your heart to embrace more cultures around you and learn outside your comfort zone. I’m so thankful that God brought us our boys and has given us the privilege to show God’s love to them and to others in China. 

Over the years I have learned new culinary skills. Shan Chen has proudly told me that I make Chinese food as good as people in China and way better then Kentucky Chinese food. 😂 I upgraded to a cast iron wok since my other ones kept losing their coating. Next, I would love to upgrade to a street vendor wok! 

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