Some pictures from team-building time during training in Cedarville, Ohio

Monday, July 30

at Young's Dairy for ice cream & mini-golf

Anna (my roommate in China) and Katie

Janna, Me & Katie

Joel, Loren & Ethan

Kevin & Nate - our party of 25 waiting for a table at Applebee's

Katie & Kevin resorting to playing telephone during the wait

Nate and Jessica

Mr. Rohm is the chair of the ERAP committee -
we told our waitress it was his birthday as a joke

sunset over an Ohio field

back to La Guardia!
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A situation has developed greatly impacting the ERAP program since I last wrote. Last fall the Foreign Expert's Bureau in China enacted a new policy stating that all foreign teachers would need to have a teaching certificate and at least two years of teaching experience, which was to go into affect at the beginning of the 2007-2008 academic year. At that time, the schools at which we teach petitioned for exemption from this rule so that newly-graduated Cedarville students could continue to go to China. However, some of the people at the Bureau were recently replaced, causing the schools to resubmit their requests, which were refused. The principals at these schools have been petitioning the government for the past two weeks in hopes of being granted exemptions.

Unfortunately, the outcome for which we were all hoping for was not to be, although it's better than what it could have been. The principal at Ren Da Fu Zhong and its branch school was the only one granted an exemption for her schools. The decision is final, which means that six newly hired teachers that were to begin their first year with me were informed yesterday that they will not be able to travel with us to China next month. Some of you may know Jaimie Teekell, Shawn Green, Emmett Robinson, Betsy Verwys, and Chris and Nicole Jones. I ask that you would be in remembrance for each of them as they face great disappointment and begin to pursue other options.

It is bittersweet as I prepare to leave for training on Thursday. While I feel like I am following father's plan, I am also very saddened and disappointed for the others who will not be able to travel with us. I have gotten to know several of them, and was looking forward to living, working, and serving with them. At this point, returning teachers and new teachers at Ren Da Fu Zhong are scheduled to fly to China on Wednesday, August 22. We are still unaware if the date will need to be pushed back by a few days, as we are still waiting for the invitation letters and work permits needed in order to apply for visas. Unless they come very soon, our flights will be delayed, so please lift up your thoughts for added motivation for the Chinese government this week!

I have begun to study Chinese, in hopes of having some slim understanding of the language before stepping off the plane in Beijing. Dr. Don has been instrumental in my grasp of the Chinese language, and I thought I would share some of his helpful tidbits (and his humor) with you all:

Are you harboring a fugitive? Hu yu hai ding?

See me ASAP Kum hia nao

Small horse Tai ni po ni

Your price is too high No pai dum ting

Did you go to the beach? Wai yu so tan?

I bumped into a coffee table Ai bang mai ni

I think you need a face lift Chin tu fat

It's very dark in here Wai so dim?

Is your flight delayed Hao long wei ting?

An unauthorized execution Lin ching

Are you on a diet? Wai yu mun ching?

This is a towaway zone No pah king

You are not very bright Yu so dum

I got this for free Ai no pei

I am innocent Wai hang mi?

Please, stay a while longer Wai go nao?

Our mtg is next wk Wai yu kum nao?

They have arrived Hia dei kum

Stay out of sight Wa shing ka

Does this bathroom stink! Hu flung dung?

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The details are coming in! I will be teaching Senior 1 History twice a week for a total of eight hours, Junior 1 Oral English once a week for six hours, and Junior 1 Experimental English twice a week for two hours. This comes to a teaching load of sixteen hours per week.

Now, you're probably wondering what exactly this means and what these classes am I! :) Joel is the team leader at RenDaFuZhong and he says that he's sure that we all have a million questions about the classes we're teaching and they will all be answered at training starting on July 19. This is taking place at Cedarville University in Ohio.

Would you join with me in remembering several things?

1) Beseech the throne on behalf of the RenDaFuZhong principal as she continues negotiating with Chinese government officials to allow the ERAP program to continue. As Joel has stressed, this is not something to cause a panic, but a process that needs to be lifted up.

2) That I would enter both training and China personally right with father, throwing off everything that hinders and things that so easily entangle. That I would be preparing my heart and seeking him first.

3) That the pesky ear problems I've had for most of my life would not be troublesome right now, and over the next year. Right now I am very uncomfortable.
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