March thru May in Shenyang
Again, I’m letting the photos speak for themselves for the most part! Sorry for being such a poor correspondent but being alternatively “puny” and busy is my excuse!
The work at the orphanage with Migyeong, Alice and various visitors including several from the local expat community is progressing right along. One very valuable “ex-pat”, a nurse from Canada, has returned home and is very missed. She was very zealous to come to the orphanage on a regular basis and was instrumental in providing information and, in some cases, actual medicine to relieve the painful conditions of the children.
Our Wednesday small group meeting has continued to grow with the sister, son and, for a very short time, the husband of our regular translator and her husband. Finding work in China can be a challenge and this is the case with this family. Mary, the sister and Bill her son have been making their own way while Mary’s husband has been working in Dalian, a city in our same province. Mary and Bill had been living in Inner Mongolia but recently moved here to be nearer her brother and sister-in-law in Shenyang and her husband. About a month ago, her husband decided to go to Pakistan for work and did! We actually only met him once but we are all “thinking” of him in that somewhat dangerous land.
Besides this family, we have been joined by several students that are bound for Tulsa later this summer and at least one of their parents each. These kids and their parents have become very good friends and have visited the orphanage and helped with the kids there as well as providing fruit and other needed things for the work there. We are hoping that they stay connected with us once their kids go to Tulsa!
Our three guys: LiangLiang, LuPing and Sam are finishing up their school years. LiangLiang is still investigating which college he will attend this next year. It will NOT be in Shenyang so we will miss his usual Friday visits to our home! LuPing will continue to study locally but will be spending more time away from home than here so we will miss him as well. Sam has two more years of boarding school so at least we will have him around! It is amazing to see how big they’ve grown and how mature they have become! Time really does fly and seeing these three progress from little kids to young men is dramatic evidence of this for us!
Most of the month of April, I joined Migyeong in Korea and we enjoyed being wined and dined by her many friends there. I noted some characteristics of Korea and have included some pics to remind me: from historical time, graves have been marked by a grass covered mound and these are often found in remote spots throughout the country in rural areas on the edge of fields or cleared areas on mountains. Another item I noticed, probably because of the lack of leaves on many trees were the messy nests of the magpie birds! One I particularly noticed was built using the cross on one of the many, many churches that are EVERYWHERE in Korea! A blessed bird family for sure!
The Koreans are a passionate folk and one of their greatest passions seems to be golf! In every major city, a feature of the skyline would be a driving range fenced in high and wide with green netting! I didn’t see any golf courses but I assume they are there somewhere. One advantage of these driving ranges is that they can be visited during the evening once the long work day is completed!
Since Korea is surrounded by ocean, we spent some time on the coast and I was taken by the structures that make up their jetties. In Galveston, the shore is maintained with rough granite cubes but here, they are sustained with what look to be giant “jacks” for those of you that remember that childhood game! The pic of Migyeong leaning against some gives you some idea of their size! I wonder where they are made and how?
Because of the season being one in which the Asian pears are starting to bloom, I couldn’t help but notice how the trees are trained to grow in a flat plane by wires that force the branches to remain in a fixed height. I guess it makes them easier to harvest when the time comes but in the meantime, it makes for a very picturesque sight while driving through the countryside.
Of course, the most memorable aspect of our trip was the very hospitable Korean people. We traveled with several other ladies to the coast (“train, bus, automobile”) and got a view plus lots of fun. We visited an orphanage where one of the ladies lives and works. We were taken to many meals and stayed in many homes of wonderful folks. Overall, it was a busy trip but so much love made it memorable and worthwhile and even overall restful!
Soon after getting back, we were visited by a friend from Hong Kong who was seeking a respite before going on to another city to teach. This fitted in perfectly with us so we rested, visited the orphanage including our former “youth” and occasional other sights in Shenyang. The weather here has been seasonably beautiful and warm so our kids are taking advantage of it being almost daily outside soaking up “rays” so we joined in with them.
I have enjoyed hearing from some of you during this period! It is always a pleasure keeping up with good friends! We gotta love them while we’ve got them since we never know what tomorrow might bring. We celebrated a recent “home going” of one of our long-term co-workers here with a memorial that was more joyful than sad although we all still miss our Jimmy. We appreciate all of you and count on your support in prayer as well as the financial side, too. I will try to be more “on time” with these updates in the future.
Love, Migyeong and Elaine
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