Since our arrival at the end of January, we have discovered a wide variety of jobs that the Lord has placed in our path. Like most good things, these opportunities were uncovered slowly and took time to develop. What started as having (what felt like) too much free time, is now becoming a better balanced schedule filled with many odd-jobs and last minute opportunities that have blessed us, and many, immensely. Having this sort of flexibility in our schdule has truly made our time here in China Christ-centered and open to any and all promptings.
For example, Sarah, my roommate, has discovered that she has a deep desire to serve the Lord in the classroom alongside some of our friends in our community. Because of this, she is able to go and assist in the school multiple times a week. Maggie, on the other hand, has a desire to work more with the pregnant mothers of China. She, too, may go with greater frequency to lend a hand at their home. And I, as of two weeks ago, discovered where I felt called to serve and spend more of my time. I have decided to spend more time at the baby home, not only to love on the plethora of little ones who need care, but also to get to know and serve the Ayis, or nannies, that care for the children. Over time I have grown to absolutely LOVE them and look forward to our time together in the rooms of the home.
Not only were they the ones that gave me my Chinese name, but they also have been the ones that have been kind enough to help me practice speaking in Mandarin, were patient as I majorly struggled, and even had been known to bring me little treats in the day. Every day they greet me with a warm smile, immediately offer their own seat, and begin to chat with me in Chinglish. (Chinese/English hybrid language, in which I am fluent.) Because of these relationships and my hunger for depth within them, I have decided to intensify my study of Mandarin and become more intentional in spending time with them even out side of the baby home.
Tomorrow we are having an Ayi and her family over for an American-style dinner. I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to serve them and give them a taste of the welcome and love that they have bestowed upon me and the girls here. Please pray that the Lord gives me the grace to continue learning the language quickly and efficiently so that I may better serve these beautiful women and introduce them to the most amazing relationship they could ever have.