The need for a new visa brought Rolf home earlier than usual this year and that meant being able to spend Christmas and New Year’s with family and friends for the first time in many years! It was pretty special as all our grandkids were home, too.
While home it is also time for medical and dental check- ups. That resulted in an unexpected out- patient surgery just before Christmas and a tooth needing to be pulled after New Year’s. All is well now for his return to China and we are very grateful these issues occurred while home!
We also took our “annual” trip to Sherri’s brother and sister-in-law, Art and Debbie’s lake house just outside of Gainesville Florida. Driving at this time of year can be very interesting. We found ourselves driving in white out conditions on icy roads observing all the cars and semis in the ditch from the storm the day before! We only made it down three quarters of the state the first day before finding a hotel for the night and then waking up the next morning only to find there was no hot water! But taking everything into consideration we were fortunate to not be one of the cars in the ditch, we found a restaurant open for dinner (even though they only had 1 waitress and 3 cooks that were able to show up) and we had a bed to sleep in for the night! We are thankful for God’s protection even in our perhaps unwise choice of day to travel!
It can be pretty cold in Florida this time of year!! But we did enjoy –once we got there! – peace, quiet and rest and we also enjoyed spending some time with Art and Debbie and some Florida friends. And coming back the drive was thankfully uneventful.
Now it is time for Rolf to return to China February 1st. As he gotten to know the people and culture he has learned that one of the most important relationships in Chinese culture is the parent-child relationship. Many young people feel a strong sense of bondage to their parents, even into adulthood. Concerns for losing face can be enslaving, especially when one feels like the weight of one’s entire family, including ancestors, rests upon one’s shoulders. A person’s face in some measure depends on the face of his or her family. This creates a harsh cycle of identity, conflict and power struggle. Pressure and pain typifies many such relationships until money (wealth) becomes a means of autonomy from one’s parents.
Please pray with us that God would in His infinite wisdom draw these relationships to Himself and in the process heal the many strained family situations.
It is our hope and desire that you might not only become aware of what God is doing in China, but that God would challenge and lead some to share in God’s work and our responsibility in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. “…the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-38
We are grateful and thankful for the support that has come in. This is a team effort and we couldn’t do it without you our team!