People come and go into and out of our lives on a regular basis. Some leave a greater impression than others. Some teach you much about life and love. Others you want to kick to the curb…but don’t. Others become your surrogate family when your “real” family is far away.
My China family is all of the above. These are the men and women who I serve alongside. Their kids are like my nephews and nieces. We dress up for birthday parties, and celebrate things in sometimes the oddest of ways. We grapple together how we can represent the Body in our context- and how we can do that better. As with every family we have moments where we get on each other’s nerves, personalities converge, and real life emerges. We live in community together.
This week a few of us from my China family met together in Arkansas for a week of…well, simply being. We filled our time with watching shows on A&E (addicting), playing Candyland until the cows came home (if we had cows), dancing to Michael Jackson on Wii, eating (something we’re very good at), using Sonny as a human jungle gym, meeting true southerners, and watching the latest episode of “The Siping Curse” unfold.
You see, every time this team takes a vacation together- or, really, right about this time every year- something happens that lands someone in the hospital. First, Jennifer fell off the elephant in Thailand and broke her arm (ask her sometime because she absolutely *loves* telling that story again and again). Then two-year-old Samantha broke her arm falling out of a chair. Then Mark breaks his arm. Then four-year-old Will busts his head open on the stairs. This time 9-year-old Jude fell off the four-wheeler and ends up in the ER. 🙂 Can we never catch a break?
These are the people with whom I live in community. And with that comes changes and transitions. Some are staying in the States. Some are going back to Siping. Some, like me, have moved on to places like Beijing. Yet, at the end of the day this is my family away from home.
For a few more pictures, go here.