It didn't seem right to take pictures of our church service but that's where our day started today. It was so overwhelming to be in a communist country are worship with people from all over the world! There were rumors going around our travel group that Steven Curtis Chapman is in Beijing for the opening of Maria's Big House and that he would be at the service we attended. He was not there but none of us were disappointed...God was there at that was all that mattered. A verse in one of the songs that we sang said "As morning comes and evening fades, you inspire songs of praise." As we sang this all I could think of is that tomorrow morning we will wake up, fly to our daughters province, hold her for the first time, and praise God like never before. How mighty and awesome is our God!
After church we went to a jade store where we learned a few traditions and facts about jade. Sorry I didn't get any pictures of that either. Then it was on to the most famous section of the Great Wall. We went up a couple levels and took a few pictures. Then Allie and Emily decided to see how far up they could climb. Before they headed up we passed a man who looked up at the super steep stairs and said "Bu Yao!" which we have learned means "No thank you!" I totally agreed with him! It's beautiful and I'm grateful for the opportunity to see such a historic place but those are some very high and steep stairs!!!
Allie & Em made it to the tower at the top of this picture. Maybe if you enlarge the picture you can see them coming back down. I can't tell though because blogger is blocked here and my super fantastic friend TJ is posting what I e-mail her. Isn't she awesome!!!
While Allie and Emily climbed, I wondered around the little touristy shops that are tucked around the towers. They sell the typical Chinese souvenirs that are quickly becoming common sights and loosing their appeal. I did find a man who was carving chops (small rectangular stones that are carved with the characters of your name and used like a rubber stamp as your signature) so I had one made for Emily and KayLi.
I also found this adorable little guy who was being dressed up like an emperor and having his picture taken. Isn't he just too cute! It reminded me of how there are booths set up at fairs at home where they put old western style clothes on top of your clothes and take pictures that look like you are in a saloon. There was a big difference here though...they had one amazing REAL backdrop!
Twice people came up to me and asked to have their picture taken with me...very weird but they're super sweet about it. It happened a few more times to Emily today too...she's lovin' it!
Allie & Emily came running down to the bottom and al I could think of was that tomorrow we will be running to finally meet our daughter. Please pray for safe travel for our group and smooth transitions for all twenty four children. We are all so nervous and excited that prayers for calm nerves (and stomaches for a few of us who have been slightly queasy since we got here...we are guessing the combination of strange but surprisingly good food, air pollution and nerves is getting to us) would be awesome too!
It's going to be a truly great Gotcha Day!!!!!!!!
By TJ - any comments you leave on this blog gets sent to Lisa via e-mail so please feel free to comment away!