Monday, October 28, 2013

Hospitality

Three weeks ago we had our first Chinese dinner guests over to our apartment. The wife is one of Jacob's students in his adult program.  On this blog we'll call her Katy.  Her husband is an engineer, and they have a teenage daughter.  We were so excited and so nervous.  We were concerned about making a cultural faux pas and not knowing it.  They brought gifts as customary when visiting someone's home in China.  For the kids they brought a small deck of cards with Chinese writing on them to help them learn (it will be a while). I tried to find out what they liked and made something simple: spaghetti and salad. It wasn't as simple as I thought because the salad wound up mixed in with the spaghetti along with the dressing.  I had pumpkin chocolate chunk espresso bread in the oven for dessert, and when I went to turn it in my microwave sized oven it flopped out of the oven with chocolatey orange goo oozing all over the kitchen floor. Thankfully we had very gracious guests who admitted to being as nervous as we were. We enjoyed the rest of the evening with their daughter entertaining our kids, us adults chatting and looking at pictures till they had to go. Their daughter had to finish her homework. Chinese children, once they are elementary age, spend  long hours at school, and have a heavy load of homework.
     This past Wednesday, we had the pleasure of being invited to their apartment for dinner, along with one of our teammates.  Katy actually lives in the same complex as us. We brought chocolate chunk banana bread as our gift. Her daughter loved it so much she took it to school the next day. I was quite surprised at how immaculate their apartment was. It's a two story with at least for bedrooms and three bathrooms, complete with a toilet seat heater. It's even been featured in a local magazine.  Let me just say that Katy is an excellent host. She pulled out her daughters old baby swing for Xavier, s children's table for Eden and Ephraim with things for them to color, and had Kinder chocolate eggs for them.  She prepared a lavish feast of beef and taro soup, green beans with pork, stir-fried broccoli, Japanese styled beef curry with carrots and potatoes, eggs and tomatoes (one of the kids favorites), rice of course, a delicious fruit salad made up of papaya, Elizabeth melon, banana, miniature tomatoes and sweet mayonnaise, and fresh squeezed carrot-apple juice.  The fruit salad was so good that I made it two days later. She even had her daughter' s old high chair, which they sent home with us later that evening, brought out for Xavier. For dinner, he had mashed up taro root for the first time. We enjoyed the rest of the evening chatting and looking at their pictures, of which, they have quite the collection. Wanting to be conscientious of their daughter's need to do homework, we finally wrapped it up, not to mention the fact that Xavier had made a smelly present, and we had forgotten the backpack at home.  A thought provoking part of the evening was when our Ephraim mentioned that we hadn't yet thanked Father for our food as we do in our home.  Please lift up our relationship with Katy and her family. They have been such a blessing to us. 

Showers of Blessing:
New friendships
Silver dollar sized honey oranges
A two year old in our org had a serious infection in her toe, and was able to receive the medical care she needed
Jacob finding a sister in his classroom




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