Blest Be The Paint That Binds

So we met our visitors last night for dinner at about six. We had told a bunch of the students that we were going to meet to paint the second room at 7:30. So we gave T. the keys to the place and asked her to open the door for whoever came and give them a crash course in her newfound painting skills. We didn’t get into a taxi to head over to the new place until about 8:00, so we had no idea what was going on. If anyone had showed up or not. En route, we get a text message from J., telling us that he’s at the door, but no one’s answering. Great. So we were a little worried.

But when we showed up, there were about ten students or so painting away, more than halfway done, and having a great time. It really seems like this little project has given them the foundations of feelings of ownership. Something truly wonderful about hanging with some friends and inhaling paint fumes for a few hours! They’ve all become better friends with each other, they all feel a little prouder of their participation in our Bible study, and they really feel more like it’s their place. Plus they’ve done something fun when they otherwise would have wasted their time, and they’ve got some stories to tell their friends. Both nights have been staffed mostly by people from our leaders meeting.

Today we’re taking our guests to go see a couple of the sights. Luckily, T., my part-time secretary, is a tourism major, and she gets into all the local junk for free. And she can fight to make sure we get the Chinese price instead of the American price. Plus she volunteered to go with us today even though it’s her day off. That’s a big help.

By the way, make sure you don’t choose your mission field based on what enchants you. Because the spell will wear off after a couple of months. I’ve only been here a while, and all the tourist sights have already lost the majority of their charm. The Great Wall is pretty amazing, but soon it’s just a really long pile of boring rocks.

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