Saturday, June 26, 2010


All my bags are packed; I'm ready to go.

The van comes to pick us up in less than 2 hours, and we will say goodbye to Hangzhou, our home for the past year. And what a year it has been.

It was not at all what I expected.

I expected to teach, but instead I learned. I expected to reach out, but instead I reached up. I expected to grow, but instead I grew up.

Above all, I feel this has been a year of learning and growing. Maybe God wanted me in China, not so that I could teach others, but so that He and they could teach me. I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned a lot of my faults and short-comings. But more than that, I have begun to learn how to turn them over to the Father, and allow Him to change me for His glory.

I expected to reach people with the Good News. But instead I have learned to let Him Work through me, and to let go and allow Him to bring the increase in His own time and for His own glory. He has taught me over and over to rely on Him. And He has taught me the meaning of His words in 1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Although I still have a long way to go, I have grown more than I can even recount. But more than that, I have grown closer to Michael. I have grown closer to my family and true friends. And I have grown closer to my Father.

He has been so good to us. He has been with us every step of the way. He has picked us up when we have fallen. He has blessed us beyond measure. He has led us and protected us and held us in a way that I have never felt before. Thank you, Father, for your steadfast love. I cannot express it in words, but you know what I am saying in my heart.

And to all of you, I want to say thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your encouraging comments. Thank you most of all for your prayers. They got us through some dark and despairing days, and they helped us rejoice even more on some beautiful and joyful days. May He bless us all as we continue to find ways to Obey and Serve.


  1. It's been a pleasure watching you two grow in your kingdom efforts. I am praying for God to show you where he wants you in the future when he uses all you've learned this last year to reach lost people!

    Thanks for sharing with us and being so transparent. Blessings!

  2. I have enjoyed keeping up with you and Michael on here while you have been gone! I'm glad the trip turned out to be so meaningful and beneficial not only to you but also to those you became friends with in China.

    We'll be praying for a safe trip back! Love you!!

  3. I'm glad that you can look back on your time in China as a time of growth for you. I hope you realize that you have helped many of us in the States as much as those in China. You guys have challenged us to grow and to not be content with always choosing the easy way.

    We'll see you soon!

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  5. Kris- I just started my blog today, so I am new to all this, and in stumbling around, I found yours. It touched me, because over 30 years ago I went into China on a travel agent trip as they had just opened up to the U.S. and to tourism, and we were a "test" group. It was a wonder, but it was so apparent that Christians were a novelty, and the people were so void of God. I remember a student asking me if I went to "church." She was told that church was where Americans got married and buried in, and that was her concept of God. Our tour guide watched our conversations and anytime God was mentioned, we were asked to change the subject. It was eye-opening, but then an amazing thing happened. I had met another Christian travel agent on the trip, and after 2 weeks, we really felt the isolation and frankly we were homesick. We were traveling on a iittle boat on the Li River, and watching the most incredible scenery go by, but felt so alone. It was early December, and she and I quietly began to see Christmas Carols, and they were the"God" ones, such as Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, etc. We were facing the water, and our spirits were lifted because though we were supressed, God lived in us. Suddenly, our tour guide was in our ear saying, "Sing Rudolf, sing Rudolf" and we turned around and were stunned. All the Chinese occupants on our little voyage were seated on the floor behind us (around 25-30) and had been sitting listening to us sing, and we knew that they heard some of the Gospel. Despite the tour guide, we kept singing for a while to smiles and clapping. I haven't thought about this for a long, long time, but when I read your blog, I sensed the bit of despair or concern that you think perhaps you could have done more, etc. God is Sovereign, and I believe your light shined - and the results are up to Him. Be encouraged - because nothing we do with a pure heart is EVER in vain. Blessings, Reenie

  6. Well, I thought I edited it, but I meant "sing" Christmas Carols, NOT "see." It was late! :)
    P.S. We never did sing "Rudolf" either!

  7. Kris, this is my favorite post of yours. Thanks! I feel like I know exactly what you are talking about, except for the bit about getting closer to your friends... you had friends in China???

  8. WOW.....what a beautiful expression of your heart from your year in China....and what a beautiful person you are inside and out. I have heard Stanford and Juliane express a lot of the same things.
    Don't let what you have learned about Him and what you have learned about yourself be buried by the traditions and maybe even worse restrictions in America.
    Hope to see you sometime.
    Love ya,