Today is Tuesday and our team feels so refreshed. Our hotel was so much better last night… hot shower, washing machine and dryer, safe to use in room, clean beds, etc. Everyone enjoyed a hot shower and getting caught up on their laundry.
There is much fall-out in the local press regarding the severity of the rain on Saturday night. Apparently there is a government cover up to conceal just how many people died in the worst rainstorm in 61 years. The pictures are really devastating. On the South side of Beijing there is a pig farm and 3,000 pigs were killed. There are dozens of people still missing. It is supposed to rain again tomorrow so the city is taking many more precautions. The Beijing mayor resigned over the recent handling of the flood here in Beijing.
Our team is doing well. Jo Ann dressed up in her costume today when she taught her story and the children loved it. Mr. Bee is very expressive in his teaching and the children listen well. Today everyone went to the Science Park in the afternoon. Everyone was able to work with their hands and use their imaginations. It was a great activity for all of the campers.
We ate at a Chinese restaurant for supper and had many unusual foods. Everyone is being super good about eating the different foods that are put before us. We had to go buy new chopsticks as the restaurant gave us recycled chopsticks. That was just too gross for me!
K2 has a cold and we were able to get him medicine. He has a super great attitude and said he was not going to allow a cold to ruin his trip! Gotta love that enthusiasm.
Today has been another very humid and sweaty day! We began this morning with a form of VBS; I believe this is the best way to describe it. Jo Ann and Keith both taught lessons; Jenna led the singing; and K2 helped with the games. The children were excellent and listened so well.
The real news of this update is the hotel that we stayed in last night! This 7 Days Inn was unbelievable! Here was our wonderful accommodations for last night: non-smoking rooms with ashtrays, no mattresses – just a boxspring, no toilet paper in the restrooms, paper thin walls that allowed you to hear everything – even Keith talking to Jo Ann who was in her room and we were separated by a hallway, and keys that may or may not work. Someone came into Keith’s room and took his remote control. During the night someone opened my door – glad the key chain was on. For obvious safety reasons, we checked out of this hotel as soon as we got ready this morning.
I was able to secure the hotel that the group stayed in last year. The hotel was completely booked but they came up with two rooms – bumping two people out of their rooms because we were such good customers last year with our group. No one complained in our group!
Everyone is now in bed and waiting for the events of tomorrow. It is 1:14 a.m. Tuesday morning, so I need to go to bed now!
Today is the Lord’s Day! I had the privilege to preach in the house church of 31 adults, 8 teens, and multiple children. I was able to preach for one hour and one church member asked why I stopped. Now that is interesting.
We had a delicious lunch prepared by the members of the church.
We checked into our new hotel… the 7 Days Inn. This is going to be interesting. I feel like we are in a drug hotel. We will just have to see how it goes.
At any rate, the family that we support is very excited that we are here to minister. We have had a great honor to spend time with them today, helping them, and encouraging them. We even went to Burger King for supper tonight; quite delicious. We then had small blizzards from DQ.
Oh, by the way, the rainstorm from yesterday was the worst storm in Beijing for over 60 years. Over 5,000 cars were damaged and several drowned. It was quite a storm.
All team members are doing well!
Today is the day that we meet the family for which we have come to help. This morning we met a little later as I sensed the four team members were dragging when we left each other last night. We met at 9:00 a.m. for breakfast and then we walked to a Christian Bookstore that is about 1 1/2 miles from the hotel. We were able to pick up several nice items from the store, some of which will be shared with the children of our church.
We then proceeded to go to the Silk Market. At the Silk Market we met many people. It began to rain while we were at the Silk Market. It became very, very steamy with the humidity. We left the Silk Market at 4:00 p.m. to meet the missionary family. It poured the rain down very hard during our drive. Once at the restaurant we ate and planned to meet for a couple hours. However, the rain continued so we thought it best to leave the hotel.
I don’t recall it ever raining so hard!
The story of today is the rain! It has rained and rained and rained. The rain was up to the middle of the bus tires as we drove from the missionary’s house back to the hotel.
Everyone is still doing well. Our ministry begins in earnest tomorrow morning!
Our day began today at 6:45 a.m. with breakfast. We had to leave by 7:30 a.m. in order to get to Tiananmen Square because there is a large African delegation in town for some kind of summit with the Chinese government. There were tens of thousands in the square. It was some kind of humid today too. We took several pics, imagine that!
Off we went to the Forbidden City and then to Wangfujing Street. The street vendors with their scorpions, snakes, squid, silk worms, star fish, baby chicks, etc. were peddling their wares. There were no takers in our group. As much as we tried to get Jo Ann or Keith to try, they politely declined repeatedly.
From Wangfujing Street, we took our van to the Pearl Market. Everyone spent several hours shopping and buying gifts for family and friends. I hope you are a family member or friend to one of our team members because I saw several really neat gifts purchased.
At 6:00 p.m. we headed back to the hotel for a quick shower. Then we headed to Pizza Hut for the second time since we arrived. We ordered two large pizzas and all of them were eaten by five hungry people! We walked the two miles back to our hotel. We did not have to beg anyone to go to bed tonight. Every one is now feeling the effects of the time change.
I learned today that this group likes to shop, eat pizza, laugh, and take lots of pics!
We have arrived in China! We arrived around 40 minutes late into Terminal 3 at the PEK airport. The flight was totally uneventful. All five of us slept off-and-on. They served us two meals. Keith, K2, and I had plenty of leg room as we were seated in row 47 which was an emergency exit row. In fact, we had no seats in front of us at all.
We cleared immigration rather quickly and took the train to the baggage claim. All of our bags arrived in the first few bags off the conveyor belt. The bus driver and guide were waiting for us as was the son of the family that we came to help. We loaded our bags and headed to the hotel. Jo Ann was snapping pics as fast as her new camera could take them!
We had no issues at check-in and everyone was given an hour to shower and meet for supper. We met in the lobby at 8:30 p.m. Jo Ann decided to go to bed. The four of us walked 1 1/2 miles to a Pizza Hut. We enjoyed pizza and 7-up. We then walked back to the hotel and looked around at the hotel.
It is now time to go to bed for we must be in the lobby at 6:00 a.m. for breakfast. Good night all!
Our China Team is significantly smaller than just one year ago. Last year we had 24 members of TBT travel to China to help with two different camps. This year our team consists of five members: Keith Bee, Keith Bee II, Jo Ann Savage, Jenna Grantham and me. Both K2 and Jenna are “veterans” as they helped with the camps last year.
Today has been a big and exciting day for the team. We met at the TUS airport at 4:30 A.M. This was early! All were on time at the airport and we checked in at the United counter. We had no issues and everything went smoothly at check-in. We next went through security and the first four that went through had no issues; however, Keith was stopped because he had jello and pudding cups in his small suitcase. After some discussion, it was decided that he could keep two or three in his backpack but he needed to “check” his bag. We went on to the gate and Mr. Bee was “escorted” back to the check-in counter. He finally joined us and all was well.
We next landed at the LAX airport around 7:35 a.m. After a 15 minute wait we were able to unload. We walked from terminal 8 to terminal 2 where Air China is located. We arrived before the Air China counter was open so we went downstairs to enjoy a Starbucks drink. At 9:00 a.m. the counter opened and we were able to check-in. We had no issues with Air China and we were off to the next security gate.
Again, no one had an issue except Mr. Bee. The 2 or 3 jello / pudding cups that were in his backpack were reexamined. Mr. Bee asked the TSA agent, “Do you want me to eat worms in China?” With that the TSA agent ushered him through and Keith was able to keep his jello cups.
We are now waiting on our flight to leave for Beijing. We leave on Air China flight CA988. The flight is scheduled for 12:40 minutes. This is a long time to be in an airplane. Everyone has eaten something and we are ready to go! This is a good team and the camaraderie is excellent.
Jo Ann has a brand new camera. She has taken hundreds of pics and we have not even left the US yet. Just what awaits us when we arrive China?
Well, they have announced that we will begin boarding soon…