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China Mission Trip OVERVIEW By Stan Burnette - Click here
TEAM MEMBER BLOGS:
JOSIE JIANG (BURNETTE) . . . I am different from others that went to China this time. For them it’s a mission trip, but for me it means I got to go back to where I was born, where I am from, where I love and miss with all my heart. As a member from my care center, I should say the kids there are very nice and friendly! They are willing to hear about God and are willing to be baptized. I remember that every year we have some kids baptized! I am one of them! We are very prideful Chinese and we love to show Americans about our beautiful country! l love China! I love all the kids and I love Buford church of Christ!
BETSY BURNETTE . . . China was my first ever mission trip. I did not know what to expect besides the heat, squatty potties, and lots of rice. What I didn’t expect was how beautiful the country was and how quickly I would fall in love with the people. I saw children so eager to obey the Lord; they were willing to get baptized “secretly” in a very public place. One of my favorite things was worshipping together and singing praises to God in two different languages at the same time. I made friendships that distance won’t tear apart. I hope God was glorified through us! Please continue to pray for the Christians in China! We love them so!
ABBY GIBSON . . .I love China! It is a beutiful place. It is so different from America and an amazing experience! My favorite part is walking to the care center and playing with the kids! It is unlike anything you have ever seen; those kids have never seen white people before...much less like John Iverson. The teams does an amazing job with the kids! I think I could speak for everyone that the food there is very different from what we are used to! Leaving is the most difficult thing! I hate saying our goodbyes to them. I can’t wait to go back next year to see the familiar faces and make new friends!
BEN BURNETTE... Each year that I have the opportunity to return to China, the children I have gotten to know and love the year before are 6 inches taller and are able to speak more and more English. It’s special to get to build relationships with them that are now more than just playing ping pong or other sports. Spending time in Bible studies with the Care Center’s staff and translators is truly a blessing as well. They have different questions and and concerns, so the Bible studies have helped me grow in directions I hadn’t considered before. China holds a very special place in my heart and I hope to be able to help grow the Lord’s church there in the future.
JENNY BURNETTE . . . We have been to Luxi, China for several years now. It is a joy to watch the children grow each year! This year, several who have been shy in the past, were very excited to see us. We witnessed 3 sweet souls obey the gospel! They had their Bibles in hand and were ready with questions from our first day there. We were blessed to worship the Lord with our Christian brothers and sisters. Praying, communion and singing praises (each in our own language) always make me emotional.
China in July is hot, humid and certainly not without challenges... but the chance to spend time with the children makes the trip wonderful. God is good!
KIM GIBSON . . . LOVE...It was wonderful to see familiar faces and meet new faces at the Refuge of Grace Care Center in Luxi! I love to imagine what a JOY it would be to present a vacation Bible School ( a wonderful VBS like Buford enjoyed) and watch the children learn about God and Eternity. If we could openly teach the Bible (Good Book) to the children, learn songs of praise in Chinese and English, act out Bible lessons, crafts that have a true Biblical meaning to help them remember, have children asking questions and KNOWING there is a God that loves and cares for them. We pray our smiles and love, attention and indiscreet lessons will share and spread His love. We pray the director and teachers are encouraged to carry on knowing there are Christian brothers and sisters that will meet them in Heaven, even if we cannot worship together on earth. Please let this be your prayer for the people of China.
July 13th, Wednesday
Day 7 was our last day at the center with the kids. We brought 2 Polaroid instamatic cameras with film and divided the kids and adults into 2 teams. We sent them to town to do a scavenger hunt. They had never heard of this and they had so much fun. Games like this help the kids with their English which is very important over here. If they don't pass the English test at the end of middle school they are not allowed to attend high school. This is very embarrassing for them and their families. We ended the hunt at a local fast food chicken place and we got each of them an ice cream cone.
After lunch and rest time we made dream catchers with the kids. These were our parting gift for them. We explained the myth of dream catchers but emphasized that they were to follow their dreams and achieve great things.
After our last dinner together we held separate studies, one for the adult men led by our men, and one for the students led by our women. We talked about being created different but all coming from the same creator. It was meant to encourage them to dream big and do great things in their country in His name.
We were to catch the bus the next morning at our hotel at 6. We opened our hotel room doors to find some of the center's children waiting for us in the hallway. They came to say goodbye again and had written us notes. It was very sweet and it touched us so much they they got up so early and came to the hotel to see us.
We have arrived in Beijing for a day and a half of sight seeing. We visited the Pearl Market on the afternoon we arrived and the ate at a Chinese restaurant. On this last day in Beijing we are visiting the Great Wall.
We look forward to seeing everyone back in the states on Sunday!
In Him, Connie Burnette for the China Mission Team
July 12th, Tuesday - Day 6
July 11th, Monday
Day 5 in China was a fun day. We took the kids and workers from the care center to a cave. It is a beautiful cave that is a two mile walk down in and back out. It showcased the awesomeness and power of a great Creator. We packed lunches for the kids and chartered a bus. It was a fun day and exciting time for the kids to get to go in a "field trip". We played uno, colored in adult coloring books and played ping pong to end the day. Everyone was so hungry after the days outing that the care center ran out of food at dinner. Several of our people walked to town to eat noodles (which we live doing!). Stan and John went with the care center director after dinner to visit a sick sister who is homebound.
We have had the opportunity this visit to study with several adults and that is very rewarding.
In Him, Connie Burnette
July 10th Sunday
Day 4 in China was Sunday. Our hotel has a breakfast buffet every morning. I use the word buffet loosely! Anyway, this morning when our group came in for breakfast they started coking and brought hot noodles and dumplings to our tables just for us. It was a pleasant surprise and we started our day with smiles and full tummies.
We met with the care center family for worship. It was a very uplifting (but extremely hot!) time. There were so many of us we couldn't fit in the room and some were having to sit at the doorway. The small space crowded with many bodies and no air conditioning made us miss our nice auditorium with cushioned seats and air conditioning. John Iverson preached in the service.
Stan went with the care center director early this morning to a local family study. Then we had our meeting. After lunch Stan and John went with the director to a country family study in the afternoon. The rest of us spent some downtime in the afternoon resting, playing, and shopping.
We have 3 days left at the care center before we head to Beijing for a day of sight seeing and then we head home. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at home.
In Him, Connie Burnette
July 9th, Saturday Day 3 Photos
July 8th, Friday
Day 2 has come to an end here in Luxi. As a group we are still feeling the effects of jet lag and the heat here is staggering. It makes us appreciate air conditioning and our beds at home!
We hiked a local mountain today with a group from the care center. There is a beautiful temple on the mountain and we were able to take lots of pictures. We left for the hike right after arriving at the care center in the morning. We were trying to stay ahead of the brutal heat but I would say it caught up with us!! It got up to 97 degrees today with a heat index of 114! We arrived back at the care center around lunchtime hot, thirsty, and tired!!! While some napped and some swam Stan was able to visit a local family. They asked him questions for about an hour and a half.
After dinner the men of the center held another group discussion. This is proving to be a highlight of the day. There is a couple here working at the center who are engaged and we are able to offer some premarital counseling to them.
We have heard about the events in Dallas and we are saddened by this. We are praying that our country will turn back to our Creator.
In Him, Connie Burnette
Kim Gibson posted on Facebook...
Love hiking China AND surviving!!!
July 7th, Thursday
We arrived in Luxi, China after 35 hours, 31 minutes, and 28 seconds of travel!!! We took 3 flights, a bus ride and a van ride. The first face we see at the airport is Erin Simons. Erin is teaching English at a University in Wuhan, China. The university is on summer break so Erin came over to join us for a week! It is great to see her, hug her, and have her help! She has learned how to get around in China and her help is very much appreciated.
After checking into the hotel, we went to the Care Center to visit the children and have dinner. At the Care Center, we were reunited with Josie. Josie had arrived in China on June 16th to visit extended family and friends. We were very happy to see her again!
The first full day was very productive. There is a new Director at the Care Center who is very interested in studying about the Bible. He is a member of the church and we are very encouraged by his leadership at the center. Stan B. and John studied with some students, that we have known and studied with in the past, and 3 girls decided to be baptized! So, the group headed to a local swimming pool, where amid the other crowd, the Chinese man was able to be baptized with them. At the end of the first day, Stan, John, and Ben B had a study of the Bible with the men who work at the center. It was a great way to start off the week of being with the kids!
It is now the middle of the night here in China and of course I am wide awake because of the time difference and wanted to update everyone. Please keep the Refuge of Grace Care Center, the workers, children and Asia Agape in your daily meditation.
In Him, Connie Burnette on behalf of the Mission Team
July 5th, Tuesday
They still have about a 10-13 hour travel day. Your continued prayers are appreciated. Received word late Tuesday night that they arrived safely. Erin Simmons from Buford that is working over there with China Now has joined them for the week! Pray for them as they begin working with the Care Center.
July 4th, Monday
Nine will be returning to Pingjiang City in Luxi County, China to visit the Care Center supported by Chinese Agape. They will spend time sharing God’s love to children and teachers raised from birth with no knowledge of a loving God and our savior Jesus Christ. Erin, who is currently working with China Now, will also be joining them. Please pray for safe travels for all and that they will be effective in touching hearts in China with the good news.