Thankfully, God sustained us in wacky, wonderful, and even weird ways. Some of those adventures we were able to capture right here, so that you, dear reader, could join us on the journey in real time.** Other adventures, however, suffered silence due to the Great Firewall, exhaustion, self-censorship, and/or our inability to process our circumstances. Much of our Middle Kingdom life was exhilarating, yet not all of our adventures were good. Through it all, we nonetheless give thanks that "all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to [the Lord's] purpose"(Romans 8:28). God is indeed the great redeemer.
A few months ago, our Great Redeemer called us to return to the US. We are now settling back into Washington, DC, where we lived for four years before China. Other than DC's stunning Mall and manic save-the-world feel, we have no idea what to expect. We pray for mutual blessing, we pray for adventures, and if all else fails,....Moms? :)
These "Re-Entry Chronicles" serve two purposes. Firstly, now that we are back in a country with better internet, and we're in a season with more capacity to blog, we want to fill in the gaps of our China years. There is still much we want to share about the country that captured our hearts and taught us God's faithfulness in new and impactful ways.
Secondly, these Chronicles will also provide a cathartic way to debrief as we enter a new season in our passport country. Sixty months have passed since we first moved to China. Every Friday, I will reflect on a new month between September 2011 and now. I will draw upon any journal entries I wrote at the time, and I'll also layer any current observations I now have on top of those original writings. I hope to include some pictures I was never able to publish, and maybe even a video or two! These reflections will help us weave the past into our present so that we are equipped for whatever God has for us in the future.
Thank you for continuing the journey with us, dear reader. Please check back here next Friday, September 16th, to see what I've published, as this exercise will be a good one for me in accountability and self-discipline. And if I haven't published anything on a given Friday, please give me a nudge. We re-entry folks need nudges, as they remind us we're not alone, and they help us do productive things like unpack boxes! :)
*After 1.5 years of living in Hangzhou, I'm not sure I agree that the city is laid-back; it felt rather manic and congested. Yet West Lake was certainly stunning :).
**You can find those real-time reflections under the new heading "Before and During China" in the top-left corner of this site :).