Make Wine Out Of What?

This is kind of a frustrating time right now around our house. Apparently, we’re facing daily power outages until the new heating system is installed. We were wakened at a little after six this morning by someone drilling through concrete right outside our bedroom window. Awesome. Power switched off a little after seven. And it came back on sometime around seven tonight. Same as yesterday. Fortunately, we can run over to the Bible study location for some electric action. Still no heat…

So our food in the fridge is wildly teetering on the brink of spoiling. So my wife, in immensely practical fashion, threw a ton of our perishable food into a box and stuck it outside our kitchen window on the ledge. Since it’s freezing outside, our food worries are at an end. Good thing I married me a smart one…

This week, we hired T., a friend who regularly comes to our Bible study, to work as my part-time secretary. This is really important for us right now. There’s a lot of things that I would like to do at our Bible study, but right now I still don’t have the language ability. Especially with the characters. So yesterday, I wrote out last Sunday’s leaders meeting lesson in pinyin, and she took it home and typed it up in characters. Today, I wrote out notes for tomorrow nights study, and she checked my writing for mistakes (surprisingly few today, praise the Lord) and made sure it sounded Chinesey enough. So tomorrow night, we’ll have a Chinese handout for all the attenders. But top priority for T. is going to be finding out what it’s going to take to start some kind of a business that will let us keep a regular visa, and hopefully get visas for others coming from the States. So, we are very thankful for her help.

Lastly, today is a relactively overlooked Chinese holiday called “Double-Nine Day” or something like that. Today is the ninth day of the ninth month on the lunar calendar. Also called Double Yang Day, yang being the white side of the yin-yang, which represents life, etc. You’re supposed to give people chrysanthemums and drink chrysanthemum wine. Supposed to be a day that you spend with family and friends. Speaking of which, yesterday my wife and I ate with St. and T. after our studies and work were done, and it was the first time that I’ve ever had an honestly great hanging out with my Chinese friends. Usually, I’m spending tons of time with people because that’s my purpose, my job, my work. But we had a great time last night just talking about the Bible, our lives, our futures, and ridiculous things we say in English in Chinese. It’s exciting to realize that we are slowly but surely exchanging our American ways of life and language for the Chinese ways. Being able to genuinely enjoy yourself in another culture is not normally ranked on a language-skill scale, but it’s a real mile-marker all the same.

I told St. that when people do something stupid, we ask them if their mother dropped them when they were a baby. Which he thought was hilarious. Then he told me that here they ask if your brain was hung off the wing of an airplane. Which I thought was hilarious (it had been a long day). Really spiritual, I know. But a relief and a source of excitement for me.

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