We arrived in Beijing early Friday morning and spent the next four days with David and Ya Ning Langley, our workers in Beijing.
Along the way, Ron hired two young men, both with masters' degrees who will work with the orphanages and oversee David's work in Beijing when he needs to return to the U.S. Both young men went to university with David and they were all good friends so there will be a good relationship between them.
We made a stop in Changsha to meet with Jim and Jane Self. Jane is Chinese. This young couple married a month ago after a year's courtship. Jim has been teaching English in China for several years. He is from Columbia, Tennessee and a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University.
We intended to drive south from Xi'an to meet the second young man but the train schedule would not work out for us. It would have been a rainy three-hour drive on mountainous roads so we decided it was too dangerous. Instead, Ron got on the computer with Skype (telephone over the computer) and spoke with James Triplett for almost three hours. With this telephone interview and excellent references for James, Ron offered him a position with China Mission. James has been teaching English in China for six years and well accustomed to life in China. He wants to continue to live in China after a trip back to see his family in Mississippi.
While in Beijing, Ron had two appointments to meet with charity foundations that have expressed interest in working with us to raise funds in China for our work. Each meeting provides more information and moves us closer to working out a suitable arrangement.
On Sunday, we got to see many of the friends we made during the last time we were in Beijing. It was a wonderful day. The weather was so nice (windy but dry) as we recalled the cold temperatures we endured in January before we returned home early this year.
Sunday afternoon we met Peter, the young man in the picture with Ron. He is 15 years old and speaks good English because he attends a Foreign Language School. He asked questions about the most prestigious universities in the U.S. and we know he will make it to one of them if he chooses to do so. He is very smart. His father drove us to see the 2008 Olympic sights. We learned that both Peter and his father have accepted the teachings of the Good Book.
We left Beijing early Tuesday morning to fly to Shanghai. We met up with Vivian, a Chinese writer who works part-time for us. She has probably located the site for our next orphanage not far from Changde. She said the government in Sichuan is also interested in giving us a second site for an orphanage there. Her negotiations with government personnel sound very favorable. Ron will make a trip to see these areas when he returns to China in July to prepare for the cleft palate medical mission.
We were not successful in finding a location in Xi'an because the two available sites do not have clear title to the property. It would be impossible for us to register and have any assurance that the land would remain under our scope of work.
Our flight back to the U.S. was uneventful but lengthy. No matter how much rest you get beforehand, the 15 hour flight to Atlanta gets very tiring. We are only sleeping part of the night so it will take about a week to get our internal clocks tuned back to Atlanta time.
Thanks for your interest in our work and for your prayers for our safety.