Vanessa- an update

Vanessa Liu, our Chinese guest for Christmas, left yesterday, and we miss her so much!  As planned, we took her to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY last Wed.  The exhibits are both comprehensive and impressive, and Vanessa mostly listened, kept her Chinese dictionary at the ready, and seemed to enjoy herself.  She saw and heard many things that were new to her.  At supper the next day, we had a long discussion about “faith in evolution” vs. faith in Christ, and she restated her commitment to evolutionary beliefs.  Those are, we believe, the major impediment to her conversion, since she has been taught them constantly since childhood.  The good news is that she now has the other side, presented thoughtfully and respectfully.  In addition, she participated in giving and receiving gifts (I got a quill and ink set, for instance), attended many church services, went dancing with us on New Year’s Eve, spent several hours discussing his trip to China with our cousin, John Graham and even did some target practice.  As we parted, and some of us were close to tears, she stressed that she wanted us to visit her in China.  I hope we can! 🙂

Here are some pictures of our adventures together: Continue reading “Vanessa- an update”

Our gift from China at Christmas

We have a special gift with us this Christmas.  Vanessa Liu, our daughter’s Chinese roommate at OSU, has come to stay over the holidays,Rene & Vanessa at Christmas 2008 and in only a few days she has become dear to our hearts.  (Here she is with Rene, her friend from OSU who brought her down.)  We talk about China & America, the ways our two cultures are different or the same, and why we do all the things we do.  She has been helping clean and decorate some, she went to the ornament exchange with the CPC ladies Mon. night, and yesterday she had fun feeding the chickens.  She will join us in gift giving and receiving on Christmas day, and be at a big family dinner this Sat.  Though she doesn’t understand much of it, she has also joined us in corporate & family worship.

This Sun. evening past we had Continue reading “Our gift from China at Christmas”

Brutal Dictatorship in action…

are you surprised?

Here is one man’s description of his anguish:

Before sunset on Monday, Mr. Yu walked along a river running past the eastern wall of the school compound. Peering over the wall, one could see piles of bricks and concrete all over the ground. He pointed out the few standing ruins of the main building. His daughter’s classroom had been on the fourth floor.

He said she had lived for two days after being buried alive, like some other students. She had even called out to him.

“We could hear them under the rubble,” he said. “We passed them milk and water, but it was no use.”

He smoked and stared at the debris.

If you are a parent, you should be tearing up right now…

Next month, as you watch the Olympics, remember what Mr. Yu has discovered about corruption in a dictatorship.

Democracy– the worst form of government on earth…

except for all the others.

Lydia in China

Over the summer Lydia will be updating her own blog; you can read about all her adventures at If and when we get photos and news, we will do some cross-posting here as well. For those of you who might be wondering, she will actually be in China for the start of the Olympic Games, but will not see them herself.

We miss you already, Lydia! 🙂

My Last Week of School

Dear Friends and Family,

NOTICE: This is the last weekly e-mail you will get from me until I get back from China (I think) because I am going to get my own blog page where I can easily upload pictures, so you get to visit that once a week and read my post. However, I know that the internet is a little weird in China because the government messes with it, so if for some reason I can not access my blog in China, or you can not access it or something, I will go back to weekly e-mails. We will figure all that out when the time comes, but just don’t be alarmed if you don’t get anymore e-mails from me. I will let everyone know the web address of my blog once I get it (probably sometime this week).

Back to the main message. Yeah! Continue reading “My Last Week of School”

Danger & Heartache in China

In a few weeks the latest “Indiana Jones” movie will open at theaters. One of my memories of that series is the big, round boulders that keep careening out of some passageway at the hero, along with his nick-of-time escapes from being crushed. But how about boulders the size of the kitchen table, or your car, coming at you in real life?! Our cousin, John Graham, was in south central China the afternoon of the 7.9 earthquake, and he has an amazing story to tell: Continue reading “Danger & Heartache in China”

Renaissance Fair

Lydia has had a very busy week (as you will see), so she asked me to post this for her:

Dear Friends and Family,

Wow, sooo, I have two weeks to catch up on don’t I? We’ll I’ll try to hit the highlights. So two weeks ago, I was formally initiated into the Mirrors Sophomore Class Honorary, an honorary that I had applied for in February and had done an interview for as well. Every year a group of 40 students are selected by the current Mirrors members to be the next ‘generation’ I specifically wanted to get into this honorary because their main service project is volunteering for the St. James Cancer Hospital. I want to get involved in service to cancer patients since my grandmother on my mother’s side died of cancer.

Last Wednesday I received a letter of congratulations from the East Asian Studies Center at OSU. I had won Continue reading “Renaissance Fair”


Dear friends and family,

Despite my better judgment, I’m going to write an update this week because so many cool things have happened. Most important and wonderfully exciting is we had a blizzard here in Columbus!!! It started snowing Friday morning, kept going through to Friday night, and by Saturday morning it was blizzarding and it didn’t really stop until Saturday evening. I can’t say what the average snow fall is or anything, but around my dorm it ranges between a foot and a foot and a half deep. The wind was blowing pretty hard the whole time, so the snow got moved around quite a bit.

Snow is so much fun!! and this is the first time I’ve been in so much snow (excluding a big snow we had when I was about 5 which I don’t remember very well). Friday evening I spent an hour sliding down a steep pathway, very very fun, and later that evening after my usual IFI potluck, a few other international students and I Continue reading “Blizzard”