Happy New Year (Guo Nian Hao)

Happy New Year friends and family!

No, I have not mistaken the time, for the new year has just come around and up here there is much celebration. I am talking of course of the Chinese lunar new year which was on Thursday, Feb 7. The Asian community at OSU had many parties and it felt a lot like international new year, only all in Chinese ;)> This year is the year of the rat which symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Hopefully this is the first of many Chinese new years I will celebrate and it seems as if I’ve discovered another Christmas. It is very fascinating to learn about all the traditions and superstitions that come into play, even though many of them are ignored now-a-days in the U.S. asian community. The Chinese new year (not sure why it is called the Chinese new year since it is the new year of any country that uses the asian lunar calendar, which is basically most of asia) is much like Christmas in that it is a time for family to get together and you spend about a month preparing for it, but the Chinese new year celebrations last for 15 days. Maybe some of you have heard of the red envelop (hong bao), well that is from the Chinese new year. Parents give their children and unmarried young people red envelops containing money so that their children will have prosperity and plenty (and in turn take care of the parents in the future). There’s a lot more I could say about Chinese new year, but I think it is not quite as interesting for someone who is not studying Chinese, so I will leave it at that.

I have finally submitted my application for the study abroad program to Qingdao, and my application to two large scholarships that I’m hoping will pay for it. They are now in the Lord’s hands and I would appreciate your prayer as they are reviewed and decisions are made. I expect to get into the Qingdao program because it is not a competition, they simply want to make sure you are a responsible hardworking person who has the desire and ability to study in China for the summer. But the scholarships I sorely need, and are both rather competitive.

Thank you for all your prayers concerning my midterms, I only have one left: Chinese speaking and listening. That is on Monday. Please keep praying for my friends that I am witnessing to. Please continue to pray that I would get enough sleep and not get into an unhealthy lifestyle just because I’m more focused on school.

Last Sunday I took my membership vows and I am now a member of Grace Central, my church here in Columbus. I didn’t want to give up my membership at my home church, Community Presbyterian Church, so I just became an associate member, which means I’m a member at Grace Central but I can’t vote. I am very glad to now be a member so that church will become more like my family instead of just a place I go in and out of once a week. Praise the Lord for providing me with a wonderful church here in Columbus, and thank you all who prayed for that back in the summer when I first started studying at OSU.

Well, have a wonderful week, a wonderful new year, and don’t forget to give yourself a big hug from me 🙂

In Christ

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