Two weeks since my last post and two weeks until I’m back in the states. Whoa..

Last week (9/16) Rach and I took a little outing to a city about an hour north of here. We went to “scout” the area for possible future workers. Basically what we do on these outings is take in the city’s culture and history by talking to locals, taking pictures, checking out the local food and popular sites, and documenting it all for job requests. Kind of like when Moses sent Caleb and the other 11 spies into the promised land. I mean, not exactly..at all..but still, we felt like spies under the alias of “tourist”. What a seriously cool adventure though, and we are going on another next week!



This past week we got to help with a little English camp where we taught and hung out with some local bros and sistas. I’m not saying God can’t use me to teach English as a second language, but I really don’t think that’s my calling. And I’m okay with that. I did enjoy those three days very much though. Our ability to play Crazy 8’s together made up for our lack of verbal communication. The little community these students have built is remarkable. They live together 24/7 and all pitch in to help clean, cook, wash clothes, etc. There is never a question of “who’s turn is it for (fill in the blank)”, they just do what needs to be done, and without complaining. Convicting.

On our last day there they made us a little feast of fish and rice and eggplant, papaya, greens, and a few other dishes I was unsure of but ate anyway. And it was quite good.

You could tell they knew The Father because of their loving actions.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35

Along with the blessings of new friends this week, I have been super encouraged by the loving words of some dear friends back home. I’ve known some of these girls since diaper ages, and the gracious thoughts they shared of me had me in tears. It wasn’t just the kind things they said (they were too kind), but it was the love and truth of Christ I saw in their words, and I was thanking God for bringing us all up in His grace. If it weren’t for Him we wouldn’t have anything good to say of others or ourselves.
I [Jesus] am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in Him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Needless to say, this has been a good and challenging week. A challenge not only to love others, but to receive the love of Christ when I don’t always think I’m deserving. I know I am never deserving, but there are days when my pride turns up. But then I am humbled when I think of verses like the above, showing me again that it is nothing of what I’ve done but all of what HE has done and is still doing.

As I [Jesus] have loved you…abide in me and I will abide in you.



It’s 1:30am as I write this but I’ll be traveling the next couple of days so I wanted to share a bit from this weekend before more cool stories piled up. First of all, update on my grams, she is doing a little better and is going in on Monday morning to get an injection for her nerve pain. Not sure about the details of this, but please pray for her and the doctors who will be taking care of her Monday morning. Thank you all! And thank you to those who have been praying for my health. I’ve had much more energy this passed week and haven’t been dealing with allergies as badly as before. Praise Him!

One of our goals for our time here is to pray-walk every campus in University City which is an island in the middle of GZ and home to 13 universities. It’s not as an exciting campus as OU or anything, but it’s pretty and large. Since it was a Saturday and around nap time (yes, China has a national nap time from 12-2..it’s great) there weren’t many students out and about, but we chose a campus and walked around. I was praying that we’d meet some students soon and be able to chat (in English, I selfishly added). As time approached 2:30 we began to see lots of students and decided to follow the source of where they were flowing from; the dorms. Walking passed those dorms brought back some good memories from freshman year, only we didn’t have to hang out our laundry over our balconies to dry. Anyway, while strolling down memory lane my thoughts we interrupted by a guy singing and playing guitar. He wasn’t bad, and it was in English. I figured an American girl tra-la-la-ing up to the boy with a guitar was too stereotypical, so I kept walking. Next thing I heard was “JOIN OUR DRAMA CLUB!” Again, in English. “Oh uhh sorry, we don’t go here.” The two drama girls didn’t look too disappointed at this news but we could tell they wanted to talk to us, so we went to talk. The typical questions of “where are you from, what are you doing here, what’s your name” we’re exchanged and somehow we ended up staying there for over an hour! Actually, a few more of the girls friends, and the singer dude and some friends, joined us and we had a good time talking and letting them practice their English. Singer dude asked us which state were from and when I said Oklahoma he replied with “Oh, the Thunder!” I can’t tell y’all how excited that made me; I probably embarrassed Rachel with my giddiness. He knew all the players names and watches all the games, so now I have a Chinese friend to talk basketball with!..girls here don’t play or talk sports. But now to the best part of the story. We were talking about our majors and future plans and whatnot and I brought up the possibility…just thinking about it mom and dad…of me going to seminary. I explained it to them as Bible college and I wanted to learn more about how I can help people through the study of God’s word, like Biblical counseling. I told them that I was a Christian, that Jesus saved me and helps me daily and I’d like to show others how He can do the same for them. This started into a really cool conversation about what we all believe and Rachel got to share-in Chinese-the entire story, from creation to Christ. They all listened attentively and asked some questions. Some words are hard to translate so there was lots of Chinglish going on, but good thing God doesn’t rely on our abilities to do His work. When the conversation came to a natural stop we asked if anyone had questions or wanted to talk about anything specifically. Nobody did, so we got out the frisbee and taught them how to toss and catch..quite the sight!

I really felt at peace having shared with them, and we exchanged numbers with the girls so we can all hang out again. They’re fun, and already I want so much for them to know their Creator. Pray for them please! It’s really hard for them to understand the Gospel, and even after hearing it so many times they may only say they understand and know just to make us happy, which is of course not what we want to happen. We want to love them and show them Christ through that. God’s ability is not dependent on us, but our ability is dependent on Him. And He is faithful to show Himself.

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:2

I met Glory on the subway.

Just a heads up, this isn’t a super fun and cheerful post. Since being back from Malaysia I’ve had awful allergies making me feel sick, my grandma’s been in the hospital back home, and being in a foreign country just isn’t always easy. So please hear me out, I’m not complaining, just being real. And God has shown me a lot through it all. This is just one of the stories from it.

Last week we went to the zoo with a fellow M friend and her three precious children. It was fun, but I couldn’t help but notice how more pictures were being taken of us than the animals. At one point a man asked if he could take a picture of the youngest boy with his daughter. We all kinda laughed and my friend said sure, but poor little bud wasn’t too excited about it. He’s two; he doesn’t get it that they don’t see many blonde, fair skinned children around here. I’m 22; I get it but still don’t see how necessary it is to take multiple pictures. After the zoo Rachel had physical therapy so I waited at Starbucks. Starbucks in China is probably more swanky than in America these days, and it’s wifi is dependable so I pulled out my phone to read the YouVersion Word. 1 John 3 was my read for the afternoon and as I’m sure you all know it’s about loving one another, I felt a stir of conviction in how annoyed I was at the zoo.

The next evening, Saturday, we were on our way to meet a local friend of Rachel’s for dinner. This would be the first time I’d met her and both of our first times to this part of the city. It took about an hour with waking and subwaying and again, several people were staring at us. Apparently this part of town, unlike where we live, doesn’t see many foreigners so me being the tall girl I am and Rachel’s blue eyes and both of our light skin made us a site I suppose. But it was weirder than the zoo. No one was pulling out their phones or cameras for pictures thankfully, but they just had blank stared instead. Really weird. Anyway, we got to our stop and met Tina and had good dinner and conversation. On our way back to the subway station I wasn’t too excited to get on and be stared at some more. We stood by two girls with a suitcase. When the subway starts it kinda jerks so you’d better be holding on. Well one of these girls wasn’t holding onto anything but her suitcase with wheels which inevitably rolled and caused her to be off balance and raise her foot and land it back down right on my toe. Ouch. She quickly apologized and I assured her I was okay, but oh my it hurt! And it bled, so the next five minutes or so I tried to hide it so she wouldn’t feel worse. We finally reached our interchange and I felt I should smile and say bye to the girl to reassure her there were no hard feelings. We got on the next subway and already I was feeling eyes on us again, and now my toe was hurting. There were so many people on this subway that Rach and I didn’t get to stand by one another. I usually don’t talk to people on the subway just because I don’t know enough Chinese, unless Rachel wants to help me, but since we were separated and I was exhausted I kept my mouth shut and tried to keep my eyes down. Honestly y’all, I just wasn’t doing well. I was thinking, why am I here when I can barely communicate with these people and when I could be home with my family. I suddenly remembered my little study the day before and felt that same conviction. “Oh yeah…I’m sorry. Lord, forgive me of my attitude and show me how to love these people. I don’t deserve to be here but You have called me here. Though I can’t say much to them and honestly don’t want to at the moment, I want your glory to be shown more than for me to be comfortable.” Yeah, those words came from a greater source than me. So I looked to the lady standing next to me and saw her pretty blue dress and I said one of the only sentences in Chinese I know well, “I like your dress.” She looked up and smiled very brightly and said, “xi xi (thank you)!” The subway stopped and she pointed that this was hers. I stepped out of the way and we smiled and said bye. “Okay that put me in a better mood, and it seemed to do the same for her. Cool.” Now there was a little more room and I walked over to where Rachel was and the subway took off again. There was a girl, about my age I guessed, standing next to me and she also had a very pretty dress on. So I thought, why not, maybe it’ll bring a better mood to both of us again. *in Chinese* “I like your dress.” “Thank you.” “It’s very pretty.” (Then a sentence I didn’t understand so I tapped Rach) “Supermarket”, the girl now said in English. “Ohh, haha cool!” I embarrassingly replied. “What’s your name?” “Glory.” “Glory?!” Did she really just say her name was what I just prayed for? “Yes, G-L-O-R-Y.” “Oh yes yes that’s a beautiful name!” “Thank you!” “I’m Laura.” “Nice to meet you.”
We didn’t get to talk more because our subway stop approached and she was still going on. I wanted so much to tell her right then and there of the glory of my King, but something told me that His glory had been shown in me by being who He’s called me to be, and by loving others. True, I don’t deserve to be here, but by His grace I am and with His mercy I’m living. I am here for HIS glory.

Things aren’t going to go perfectly here, or at home while I’m gone. But my attitude will determine a lot of how my time goes. This is what I’m learning…again.

P.s. Grams is home and doing better. Please keep her in your prayers though. She’s just in a lot of pain from pinched nerves and there’s not a whole lot the doctor’s can do for that pain. It is hard being here when I know my mom is taking care of her and my dad is taking care of them both, and I want to help take care of them all. But I’m trying to daily put my trust in the Most High and I know that all He does is for His glory.