America's influence

This afternoon was a little weird. I'm not sure what happened, but when we got off the bus at the Pearl Market, I suddenly felt HORRIBLE. It was hot, muggy, loud, and intensely crowded. It's hard to explain how hot, how muggy, how loud, and how crowded it is in American terms. Even in our large cities, I haven't experienced anything like that in the US. The magnitude of heat and bodies was surreal, like a tsunami of urban, oven chaos. It feels like it's pushing you down into the earth. It will literally take your breath away.

Maybe this country girl just wasn't prepared for it. Maybe I'm fighting a sinus something, too, because I was super dizzy. But, we had to get right back in a taxi and come home, which was sort of a bummer. (And let me tell you, I'll put up with a lot to avoid a taxi in China.) Maybe another day would be better for that adventure.

Bobby took Moses to get his shots and find out the results of his TB test. I really hope everything is OK. It seems really goofy to me that they would let a kid hang out with you for a WEEK, slobbering all over you, sleeping on you, snuggling with you, THEN force a TB test that could prevent his entry into the US. But that's the way the system works right now.

I found a little jar of Skippy peanut butter this morning. That may not sound like a big deal to you, but I almost shouted, I was so excited. I have no idea how much we paid for it, but I didn't care. I was soooo happy to find it!

I've been thinking some more about what happened with church yesterday. I have no idea what is happening in inner China, but from the very limited exposure I've had to this country, I'm wondering if the greatest threat to faith here is really regulatory. What seems a stronger barrier to me is Western materialism.

If you think Hollywood is having a dark affect on American culture, you should see what it's doing to China. The people here don't seem to understand that what they see on the screen is not how people really live in the US. So, they are desperately trying to replicate the material, sensual extremes the movies show them. At first I thought it was just a love of fashion. But the longer I'm here, the more I'm seeing another side to it.

During a discussion with a linguistics student a few days ago, I was asking her why the girls in China dressed up so much everywhere they went. (You literally see more high heels than flats walking down broken streets, driving mopeds, riding bikes, washing clothes on the street.) She was surprised that I was asking, because she thought that was what the girls in the US did. She thought that from watching the movies. I giggled and enlightened her a little about feminine life in East Tennessee.

Literally, though, so many people here are trying very hard to replicate the glamor of the movies. They don't have any checks or balances to show them it's just a fantasy. I'm concerned that the biggest influence America seems to have here is our worst.

I wonder if there is any way we could repair what we are destroying? It seems like the Chinese government would be glad to have influential resources that would promote strong family values, responsible community, and a good work ethic instead of movies promoting loose living and selfishness. I think we need to start praying for the creativity and resources to offer better, healing gifts to this part of the world, instead of harmful ones. I'm just so sorry that the cancer of our own culture has spread here. It makes me ashamed and very sad.

Better run. Moses is home again. TB test came back negtive. Shots are done. So thankful for both.

(Photo is of Moses watching the koi in the White Swan hotel. They are gorgeous.)




Julie  – (July 26, 2010 at 6:12 PM)  

Bec, I have yet to read your blog and not be moved to tears! It's so precious to read about your experiences of getting to know Moses and the Chinese culture. Thanks for sharing with us.

Walnut  – (July 27, 2010 at 11:35 AM)  

Bobby and Bec,

You are blessed with a wonderful family. Moses will learn the ways of the Lord from JD and Clara. They are well brought up and God-fearing kids. Well, maybe just maybe JD should not teach Moses how to swallow chicken bones. It hurts going down but it hurts more coming out. :-)

Spanish meatballs (private joke) !!


WALNUT

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Welcome to our family’s adoption journey. As you read, you will see us stumble and take wrong paths. You will see our hopes surge and fall. You will see the gaps in our humanity, and how our God realigns us to His purposes over and again. We think the messiness of this process is important. Sometimes walking with God isn’t a neat, linear package that can be summarized in bullet points. More often, life ebbs and flows around our plans, while God works His sovereign wonders from it all. We are learning so much through this journey. And we are super excited about our new son. If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you along for the ride.

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