Wow. That pretty much sums up today! We started early, and met our guide from last year, George, and we, and another family headed off to see the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. It was so much more beautiful than the section we saw last year, and just a completely different experience, and we are so thankful to have made the decision to break away from the CCAI touring and go off on our own. Seeing George again was so wonderful, and I'm grateful to have been able to share his exuberance with our kids, and our friends.
The section of the wall we visited had many different vendors, and once we got through that maze, we made it to the ski lift that takes you up the mountain to the wall, then made our way through several of the guard tower sections. The weather was beautiful, and we were able to take our time, and really enjoy the time we spent there. After we had walked and climbed as much as we could, we headed back to the area we had gotten off the lift. Just beside that was the toboggan ride that takes you down the side of the mountain. We loaded on, and off we went! That ride was so much fun! Greg and Andy rode first, Nathan was second, Alex and I went next, then Kim and Mike followed behind us.
After we ran the gamut of vendors, and succumbed to a few souviners, we headed off to lunch with George. We ate at an authentic restaurant that was family style. We enjoyed an eggplant dish, steamed buns, greenbeans with garlic and chilis, noodles, fried rice, sweet and sour chicken, Kung Pao chicken, and French fries. It was fantastic, and I think we ate just about every bit of it!
When we were done with lunch we headed off to see the Olympic stadium. The wind had picked up and it got cold quickly so we spent a few minutes walking down to the birds nest and the water cube, and on the way back, had George help us negotiate for some hats for Alex and Nathan. Once he had a good price, we had some very happy boys!
After that we headed over to a very nice tea house, and were shown all about the traditional ways to drink tea. We tried five different types of tea, and then had some time to browse around the shop. We all wond up coming out with several types of tea, and new tea cups.
Today has definitely been one of the most incredible days we've spent in China (outside of the day we got Annabella, of course!) I truly hope that I'll be able to visit beijing again, and that I will see George when we do. As we bade goodbye to George, Greg asked him if he attended a church, and he responded with some questions about Christianity, and said that he had been visiting a church nearby. Greg took the opportunity to walk down to the market down the street, while I took the kids to the room, and was able to help answer some questions that he had. I ask that you all be in prayer for George, and his family, and that he will see the truth in God, and will accept Him as his Lord and savior. Nothing would make me happier than to know that our point in coming back here was to be used as a tool to bring our friend to Christ!
Well, we have an extremely early morning tomorrow, so I'm going to try to upload the pictures from the night market last night, and from today, then head to bed. Thanks for your continued prayers for our family, and journey, and especially for our friend, George!
The night market...
"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ." 1 Cor 12:12