No turning back

Sunday morning we met Rob in the restaurant at the hotel for breakfast (breakfast is so good here!!!  I’m going to miss having a breakfast buffet when we get home;)

After breakfast, we took a cab to Shamian Island.  It’s where the US Consulate used to be located and where all adoptive families would stay.  We loved going there when we were here last March and Rob had figured out the time for the English/Mandarin church service.

We got to the island a little early, so we first went to a little shop and got a few gifts and a Bible for Wen in Chinese and Mandarin.  He has one at home from my sweet friends that is in English, and one in only Mandarin from his friend Xia Li, but it will be helpful for the time being to have the side-by-side translation for us.

Rob got him a silk traditional Chinese outfit to match his brothers and for the group photo tradition with CCAI.
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It was really cool to be able to take WenXuan to his first church service as well as have Rob be there, and have it be in Mandarin and English!

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By the time the service started, the church was packed with Chinese people.  I’m pretty sure we were just about the only foreigners this particular Sunday.

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It was all I could do to hold it together through some of it.  It was really special.  And it was fun to watch Wen see the Chinese men and women up front singing their hearts out in worship.  His heart is really open to music – he is always singing and has a great ear.

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The preacher definitely preached the gospel, but in addition to that, I’m pretty sure he covered the majority of the bible with the exception of Revelation.

It was an amazing morning…

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After lunch we walked around the island.  It’s surreal – like you are not even in China anymore.  Very colonial looking.

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What a handsome kid!

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Obligatory statue photos – there are bronze statues all over the island.

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Even the Starbucks is beautiful!

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We walked down to the water and had lunch at the Rose Garden.  Food was not exceptional but the atmosphere was great since we got to sit outside.  Sorry – I should have taken a photo!  Wen commented on how beautiful the setting was at the restaurant and so we figured that was a good spot to eat.  And we felt fine after too, so that’s always a good sign when you aren’t exactly sure what you are ordering or eating sometimes!

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After lunch we took a cab to the grocery store/Carrefour to get a few things.  Here’s Rob in a “Smith Sandwich” and Wen with his balloon lollipop from the grocery store.

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When we got back I had to go to a meeting for our group to do some preliminary visa and medical appointment paperwork and Rob and Wes took Wen to get a hair cut at hotel salon.

Last week, Wen cut his own hair – wanting to look nice for gotcha day – and it didn’t turn out like he planned so he was really excited to also go for his first barbershop experience!

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After meetings, haircuts and lego time, we set out to find and Irish Restaurant we’d heard another adoptive family had visited.  Since we were with our Irish friend, it was only fitting we go find probably the only Irish pub in Guangzhou.  We had a great meal and fun getting to spend more time with Rob.

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I’ve talked about this some before, but today we were overcome once again by the Lord’s goodness and blessing and FUN.  That’s the best way Wes and I can describe our family – we are on an adventure with the Lord.  If you say YES to Jesus and are obedient to where HE leads you – you are in for an adventure.  And although it may be hard, expensive or even scary, the reward is BIG.  If we hadn’t said YES we would have never known our amazing sons, or new friends like Rob and Ciara, Michelle, Linda, Lou Huan, the children at Eagles Wings, the other adoptive families who we’ve become friends with both in China and back home and there’s more to come, of that we are certain.

Saying YES may not lead you to China, it could lead to anything really – maybe even something as simple as next door to a neighbor, but once you’ve said YES there is no turning back.  The song we sang (twice) in church – Wen sang it too – brought tears to my eyes as it perfectly describes the journey we are on when we’ve said yes to Jesus Christ and desire to live in obedience.  Sing with us!

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Christ is my reward
And all of my devotion
Now there’s nothing in this world
That could ever satisfy

Through every trial
My soul will sing
No turning back
I’ve been set free

Christ is enough for me
Christ is enough for me
Everything I need is in You
Everything I need

Christ my all in all
The joy of my salvation
And this hope will never fail
Heaven is our home

Through every storm
My soul will sing
Jesus is here
To God be the glory

I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back
No turning back

The cross before me
The world behind me
No turning back
No turning back

(lyrics c/o Hillsong United)

5 Responses to No turning back

  1. Windy Pratt November 30, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    My eyeballs are sweating. Such a great testimony of faith. Our God is great!

  2. Kathleen Mielke November 30, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    Every time I read your update my heart is over joyed.. I know this journey is very enlighting. I am learning so much from your posts. God speed you home.

  3. Emily Edson November 30, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

    What a Magnificent testimony of God’s Goodness, Faithfulness & Blessings! We Serve an Awesome God, and You & Wes are Mighty Warriors for Him! Tons of Love & Prayers!❤️

  4. Carolyn Smith December 1, 2015 at 7:31 am #

    Anna, your God-given gift of writing was given to you “for such a time as this”! I hope and pray that one day these “adventures” (tochinaforphilip, too) will be published into a book that will even reach more people. It would be powerful, as is your blog…thank you! Love y’all so, M❤️M

  5. Becky December 1, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    Anna, I love following your adventurous, faithful, loving, and fun! journey with Christ and your growing family. I see so much of your Daddy’s spirit and your Mother’s graciousness and beauty living through you. Know you are blessing so many of us by sharing. My prayers for you and yours will continue and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. love, Becky

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