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20 April 2017

TCK Gap Year in China

Claire grew up as a TCK in China and Thailand. She went to boarding school in Thailand for eight years.

Before attending university in Germany, Claire decided to take a gap year, spending half of it in China. She wanted to bring her years of childhood and youth in Asia to a good closure and have a meaningful farewell from China. God opened doors in Yunnan, and in Guizhou, for her to work with orphans. . .

“My time in Yunnan, where I spent the first two months of my gap year, is quickly coming to an end, so I would like to share some of my impressions and reflections. Growing up… there is something scary about it; the weight of responsibility grows. What “puts me in awe” the most is that growing up also means you take more and more responsibility for your faith. This opens windows to experience God in completely new ways and allows you to make the best decision in choosing Jesus each day, over and over again.

I have spent two incredibly blessed months here in Yunnan. Indeed, I have been blessed so much more than I could return. It was not an easy beginning, and in retrospect, I would say it was like I was thrown into ice-cold water. But that was good, because I learned that I didn’t have anything except Jesus. He granted me new special friendships with the locals and with other foreign workers. And the surrounding nature is overwhelmingly beautiful. Mountains rise up high, literally in front of your window, and there is a river that passes through the valley and our town, known as the “Nujiang—Angry River”. While the rainy season has turned it now into a yellow flood rushing and swirling down, in winter it will be an elegant turquoise ribbon, fed by distant glaciers.

During my stay, I joined a few village trips to visit orphans and their caretakers.  Today we went to see two teenage boys. Their aged grandma takes care of them.  To reach their home, we had to hike up the mountain for about 1.5 hours. It is so beautiful to be surrounded by lush green mountains, and to just enjoy the scenery. The boys and their grandma are very poor, yet after our visit the grandma gave
us big cucumbers to take home, probably the last food they had at home. Her generosity reminded us of the story in the Bible where the widow’s humble offering was the most valuable.

Boy, Guizhou, China 2There is much I can learn from this old lady. Giving is indeed a greater blessing than receiving, for later on that night I was able to share my big cucumber with another friend. However, before I left, this friend pressed a pear into my hands, so I ended up with a cucumber and a pear! I want to learn to be more generous, like these people who have so little, yet give so much.

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