Friday, September 30, 2011

ID me, please.

Hello all! We are safe in beautiful Kyoto, Japan. Soon we will be heading to Ibaraki for our homestays, and I cannot tell you how excited I am. Already, Japan is so different from China. For one, everything here is clean. I mean SUPER clean. Oh, and I don't have diarrhea anymore, thank the Lord (maybe that's too much info for a blog, but it has become one of the main topics of my conversations here so I guess I'm desensitized). It's so peaceful and natural here... I love it.
Needless to say, though, there have been struggles. I have experience culture shock on this trip moreso than ever before. And it's no easy task maintaining an identity when everything that you feel makes you who you are is miles away and nothing ever stays the same. So tonight, I really felt God whispering to me who I am, and I think it can be shared with all children of God. I really believe this to be the identity of all followers of Christ. I hope it blesses you wherever you are. Your prayers are sooo appreciated, and you are missed.

I am Hallie.
I am a child of God, created in His image to bear His image around the world. In the mundane and the mighty, I am called to LIVE-truly live-for His glory and to walk in the path of His freedom. I am called to sacrifice, to give mercy, and to love unconditionally. But I am also called to fight fiercely and work diligently against the Evil One and anything that is not of Him. I am enabled to enjoy Him, to be made glad in Him, to live joyfully and righteously. And I am privileged to give Him all praise for all things. This is my Christ-given, cross-ensured identity, and today, I will embrace it to the fullest.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Reporting from Beijing!
It is so incredible here...the history is amazing and humbling, and the people are wonderful! A man on the subway the other day actually ran up to me to give me the one yuan I left in the ticket machine. One yuan is equal to 16 American cents. So sweet.
I am learning so much, mainly finding that God is so much bigger than I thought He was. I have spent so much time of my life living unaware of the ways in which God works all over the world. But I am finally realizing that He has been at work long before I could fathom Him. As we drove into Beijing for the first time and I saw a Chinese flag waving, I heard Him whisper, "Yes, this is my nation, too."
Highlight so far has been meeting the Mother Teresa of China, Mary Chiang. She works with blind people to teach them a skill and give them musical instrument lessons. They played their traditional Chinese instruments for us, and it was so amazing.
I do miss America (mainly the food), but I am so happy to be here. Best wishes to the states!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

On the way!

Well, we made it to Foggy Hong Kong in one piece! I am so joyful, peaceful, and excited in the Lord to be on this trip. Our group is awesome and I can already tell that we are going to be family. Logan's dad gave us a bit of parting advice that I just loved, and I'm hoping it becomes a theme of our trip. He said, "Be safe. Wait, no. Don't be safe. Be courageous and take risks. That's much better than safe."
Love and miss everyone... You are in my thoughts and prayers. Keep us in yours!